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Can You go Water Rafting Any Time of Year

January 7th, 2012 ernie Posted in Time of Year No Comments »

Water Rafting Any Time of YearAnother reader was wondering if you can go white water rafting any time of year and what the conditions would be. The short answer is yes, however there are some obvious conditions that need to be considered. You also need to make sure that you have the correct equipment, especially if you are rafting in the fall or spring. The water can be very cold and if you end up in the water hypothermia can set in rapidly causing death. Follow the guides advice and make sure that you are well equipped for all of the emergencies.

Water Rafting Any Time of Year – Weather is a Big Factor

There are white water rafting trips that are run by tour operators all over the world and so yes you could go rafting anytime during the year. You just need to follow the seasons and you can go rafting. We are planning a post later on that will list the top 10 locations around the world.

Another factor related to weather is the spring run off. During the spring when the snow is melting, many rivers become raging torrents and only the most skilled and dare devil type rafters will brave these conditions.  A class II river in the summer time may become a class V river in the spring

Similarly with storm runoff, many rivers particularly in desert areas can go from a trickle to  a raging torrent in a few hours. Again only the skilled should risk taking on one of these.

Summer Time Flows

Summer time is usually the lowest flow for a river and many rivers are suitable at this time for inexperienced rafters who want to try a class II or III river and not worry about needing the strength or the stamina. Some of these rivers are for floating and swimming while you enjoy the beautiful scenery that abounds.

Storms can be an issue in the summer, so beware of sudden storms that cause the river to rise quickly. Also some dams will release water  to lower upstream lakes and this can increase the flow of water along the river.

Dress Accordingly

In the summer time the air is hot and the water sometimes can be quite warm. However in the spring and fall, the water will be much cooler and the air as well, so you need to ensure that you have the proper gear to keep you warm and avoid hypothermia. Many tour operators will provide wet suits or dry suits for participants to wear in these conditions, either for an additional fee or it will be included in the overall price.

Make sure you take advantage of these since, being cold can really spoil a trip and even risk your life if you get dumped into the water that is not much above freezing, especially in the spring when the river is fed by melting snow and ice.

Check with the Tour Operator for Local Conditions

Always check with the tour operator for the conditions when you book.  Summer time flows could mean a gentle ride down the river, while late spring could mean a more challenging trip. Some locations stop during the summer because the river flows are just to shallow to permit rafting.

So the answer to the questions is that yes you can go white water rafting at all times of the year, with some conditions. Location, weather and time of year are always important in terms of meeting or exceeding your expectations. Call ahead to confirm!

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