You do not have to give up white water rafting just because the weather is starting to cool off significantly in most areas. If you are not afraid of a little cold weather, then there is absolutely no reason why you still can’t enjoy your favorite recreational activity in the winter. White water rafting in the winter actually presents more of a challenge because the colder temperatures make the water more active. These are the top places to go white water rafting and the precautions that you may have to take to have a great time.
Royal Gorge in Colorado is one of the top white water rafting spots throughout the year. Heading to Canon City, Colorado, to go down the Arkansas River is one of the most picturesque spots to raft in the world. Temperatures rarely drop below freezing and there is almost zero snowfall in Canon City during the winter, which makes it a perfect spot for white water rafting in the winter.
Heading to Modesto, California, to go down the Tuolumne River is another great spot for an amazing rafting experience. Part of the Tuolumne River runs through Yosemite National Park, so you get to see one of the most beautiful locations in the world. Since it rarely drops below 40 degrees and never snows, your white water rafting trip will never be canceled for inclement weather.
The final great white water rafting spot in the winter is the Chattanooga River in Asheville, North Carolina. The area is so beautiful it was used in the film “Deliverance.” Everyone wants to see some greenery after a long winter, and that is exactly what you will get when going down the Chattanooga River. The temperatures may get a little cold during some days, but it should not be a problem if you take the right precautions.
Weather is unpredictable in the winter, but there is no need to cancel your rafting trip if the temperatures start to drop below what you were expecting. The best way to stay warm during a white water rafting trip in the winter is to make sure that you do not wear cotton. If your cotton clothing would get wet, then you are only going to get colder during the entire trip. Make sure that you wear fleece or some other water resistant material.
If the weather is extremely cold or you want to be extra cautious, then it is advised to wear a wet suit and a padded jacket. This combination of clothing will keep you warm no matter how low the temperatures drop. You will also not have to worry about getting wet or entering the cold water because the wet suit will ensure that you stay warm.
While most people know to wear extra clothing in cold temperatures, almost everyone forgets about eating extra food. Your body temperature starts to lower when you get hungry, so eating extra food will guarantee this does not happen during the trip down the river. If you keep these tips in mind, then you should have absolutely no problems while white water rafting on the Chattanooga, Tuolumne and Arkansas rivers during the winter.
This article was written by Ryan Hooper for Rocky Mountain Whitewater Rafting, a rafting guide with over 15 years experience, in 2009. Rocky Mountain Whitewater Rafting has guided thousands of whitewater rafting trips on Clear Creek and throughout Colorado.