Colorado Whitewater Rafting Season Starts Early Due to Unseasonably Warm Spring

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River Runners has launched its Arkansas River rafting season early thanks to mild weather and above average temperatures in the Colorado high country.

Bighorn Sheep Canyon.

Rafting the Arkansas River.

We have had awesome weather for river rafting this spring...the water level is low, but the adventure is still high as you navigate technical class III rapids

River Runners, a Colorado river outfitter with locations in Buena Vista and Canon City, is now offering whitewater rafting trips on the Arkansas River daily through September 3 (Labor Day), 2012.

According to Travis Hochard, operations manager at River Runners, the first rafting trip of the season took place on April 10, 2012, which is about three weeks earlier than last season.

“We have had awesome weather for river rafting this spring. The water level is low, but the adventure is still high as you navigate technical class three rapids,” Hochard said. “Plus, now is a great time to find solitude on one of the most popular rafting rivers in the world.”

The above average spring temperatures will also mean a below average runoff on the Arkansas River, but Hochard believes it should not affect the customer experience and that more sections of river will actually be open to a larger demographic of people compared to high water years.

“Thanks to good reservoir storage and a flow program we expect fun and splashy rafting for families on the class three sections and an exciting challenge for thrill seekers on the advanced whitewater trips, which were closed most of last season due to high water,” Hochard said.

River Runners is also offering early-bird rafting discounts to bring people through the door. All full-day rafting trips are buy-one, get-one half-off on advanced bookings through June 15, according to Eileen Peterson, general manager at River Runners.

“This is one of the best rafting deals in Colorado,” Peterson said. “It even includes rafting the Royal Gorge in Canon City – a premier rafting trip just one hour from Colorado Springs.”

River Runners will celebrate 40 years of whitewater rafting on the Arkansas River in 2012. The Certified Colorado River Outfitter offers fully-guided rafting trips on beginner, intermediate and advanced whitewater sections of the Arkansas River every day now through Labor Day. To learn more about half-day, full-day and overnight rafting adventures with River Runners log on to http://www.whitewater.net or call 1-800-723-8987.

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