April Snows Bring May Rafters: Echo Canyon River Expeditions Launches 2013 Colorado Whitewater Rafting Season

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Echo Canyon River Expeditions, Colorado’s largest commercial river outfitter, is making a big splash this year thanks to heavy spring snow and a new family-friendly route for whitewater rafting on the Arkansas River.

Kids smile on raft trip with Echo Canyon

Big smiles from kids enjoying a whitewater rafting trip with Echo Canyon River Expeditions.

The weather patterns over the past few weeks have blessed us with an amazing amount of spring snow and our season is looking dramatically better. We’re ready to get out there and have some fun on the river.

Late spring snowfall in Colorado — which has continued into May — is being measured in feet rather than inches, and that is putting smiles on a lot of faces as whitewater rafting season begins on the Arkansas River. Echo Canyon River Expeditions in Cañon City is adding even more smiles with a new family-friendly route that’s suitable for kids as young as three.

“We’ve moved the Family Float upstream this year to a section of the river that embodies the beauty of Bighorn Sheep Canyon and the spirit of the Arkansas River, but allows us to take young children, or anyone who prefers a docile float, along for the ride,” explained Andy Neinas, owner of Echo Canyon River Expeditions.

With options ranging from the gentle, five-mile Family Float to extreme whitewater on the Royal Gorge Double Dip, Echo Canyon can help families choose the perfect river trip. The late-season snow should help extend the rafting season this year, providing travelers more flexibility when planning their river adventures.

“The weather patterns over the past few weeks have blessed us with an amazing amount of spring snow, and our season is looking dramatically better,” added Neinas. “We’re ready to get out there and have some fun on the river.”

The 2013 season will officially kick off on May 11, but Echo Canyon River Expeditions is running rafting trips now with advance reservations. Guests can call 800-755-3246 to schedule a trip or to get help selecting the right trip for their group.

For first-time rafters and kids ages six and older, Bighorn Sheep Canyon offers a nice blend of mild-to-moderate excitement with miles of scenic beauty. As the name implies, Bighorn Sheep populate this area and are often spotted along the banks of the river or along the rugged mountainsides. This trip is offered as a half- or full-day excursion, with the latter including more miles and extra rapids. All full-day trips with Echo Canyon include a riverside steak lunch.

Rafters with a little more experience will enjoy the Royal Gorge, which offers the best continuous whitewater rafting in Colorado. While navigating rapids such as Sunshine Falls, Sledgehammer and Boat Eater, guests pass beneath the famous Royal Gorge Bridge, which stands almost 1,100 feet above the surface of the river. For real whitewater junkies, the Royal Gorge Double Dip includes back-to-back half-day runs on the rough-and-tumble Arkansas River for a full day of extreme whitewater. To participate in either of the Royal Gorge trips, it is suggested that guests be in good physical condition and be able to swim. Minimum age for the Royal Gorge depends on water levels.

The largest commercial river outfitter in Colorado, Echo Canyon River Expeditions has been sharing rafting adventures since 1978. The family-operated business offers half-, full- and multi-day whitewater raft trips on the Arkansas River near Colorado Springs, with trips and packages ranging from family-friendly entertainment to extreme adventure. Group rafting events and season passes are available. The 8 Mile Bar & Grill serves freshly prepared meals with indoor and patio seating, a full bar and beautiful views. Echo Canyon Campground offers pull-through RV sites with hookups, secluded tent sites and rustic cabins, with newly remodeled bathrooms and showers.

Echo Canyon River Expeditions
45000 West U.S. Highway 50, Cañon City, CO 81212
800-755-3246 | http://www.raftecho.com | info(at)raftecho(dot)com

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