Adventure Awaits in Colorado

White-water rafting and kayaking: They define Colorado adventure, help forge friendships and, right now, are roaring into action. Thanks to this winter’s snow, Colorado’s 13 river systems are in tiptop shape for the state’s white-water season.

The rivers change in shape and feel each year because of the melted snow, or run-off. So water-lovers keep coming back each season for more surprises. From families seeking mellow float trips to experienced, death-defying thrill-seekers, people from all walks of life flex their paddle power on Colorado’s rivers.

River experts say rafters and kayakers will be able to enjoy sustained flows throughout the entire 2005 season on the Cache la Poudre, Arkansas, Animas, Yampa, Green and Colorado rivers.

Flows are expected to be at their best across the state from mid-May to the end of June. Early season, in April, is the perfect time to catch the wildest white-water and beat the crowds, however. It also is the best time to catch the early-season deals. Toward the end of the season in July and August, meanwhile, is when smoother waters prevail — making it perfect for float trips.

To experience a white-water adventure in Colorado, trek to the high country for an overnight trip, or take a day trip as part of a camping adventure to the mountains. Alternatively, gather a troop of weekend warriors and cash in on group discounts offered by most outfitters throughout the season.

Once there, get ready for the ride of your life. Colorado river guides know the rapids like the back of their hands, but they’ll also make you laugh, cook for you and educate you on some of the flora and fauna indigenous to the area. Most river outfitters provide all of the gear you’ll need. They are professional leaders and safety experts as well, so even if you are not a pro on the rapids, you can rest assured that someone is watching your back.