By Expedia Local Expert, on October 21, 2016

4 cool facts about Colorado rafting

Nothing quite beats the rush of a cool mist blanketing your face as your raft chases the next wave. You’re sailing down a river in Colorado, powered by the velocity of the current and the momentum provided by your team’s paddling efforts. You’re rafting in Colorado: There is nothing like it.

What? You’ve never raced down river rapids, enthralled by the adrenaline rush of soaring over impressive white caps? If you’re curious about the experience, now is the time to check out the Expedia guide to white water rafting. It tells you everything you need to know before you go. And if you are a veteran rafter, you can use the guide to discover new ways to participate in your favorite vacation-maker activity.

Contrary to popular belief, Colorado rafting adventures aren’t reserved for the most adrenaline-chasing of outdoor enthusiasts. Even if you’re a novice in the water, you can get a thrill out of a trip down Clear Creek or another Colorado body of water. To get you excited about rafting on your next vacation to the Mile High City and beyond, here are four cool facts about CO rafting:

Via Flickr/Wesley Fryer
Via Flickr/Wesley Fryer

1. Not all rapids are created equally

The river water in Colorado (and other rafting sites) is divided into six classes. Class I waters are the easiest to navigate, and Class VI rapids are reserved for rafting masters when they are safe to explore. Many of the river rapids in Colorado range from Class III to Class IV. This means you’ll encounter some rough waves and white water, and perhaps some rocks. With the help of your experienced guide, you can maneuver these more complicated waters safely—and have a blast doing it. If you want to stick to gentle waves, embark on a scenic float on the Colorado River.

Viewfinder Tip: Always keep one hand on your paddle’s T-Grip (the top end of the handle) while you’re rafting.

2. Punching is encouraged

Yes, you read that right, but we’re not talking about getting into fisticuffs over Colorado rafting deals. Keep your hands to yourself and let the boat do the punching. This rafting technique allows your raft to push through hydraulics, where water is circulating on top of itself, or large waves. Your entire team needs to paddle strong to pull this technique off, but it’s pretty exhilarating when you do.

3. There are nearly 20 rivers for rafting in Colorado

The Arkansas River is a favorite destination for white water rafting adventures in Colorado. But did you know the state recommends 18 different rivers for rafting? Set off down the upper Animas River in southwest Colorado, and you’re in for a wild ride. A trip down the Gunnison River near Grand Junction will leave you in awe. This rafting experience leads you through the Uncompahgre Mountain Range and some of the most stunning scenery in the state.

4. Your guide is certified

Not just anyone can lead the way down a river excursion. When the waves become ferocious on Colorado river rafting trips, the person at the helm needs to be prepared. That’s why all rafting guides are officially certified. You’re in good hands.

What do you love about river rafting?