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Hi guys. Thanks in advance for any responses.

My family and I (4 adults) are going to raft the Royal Gorge around Noon with American Adventure this upcoming weekend. I know that with afternoon showers it's best to go in earlier, but I can't rally the troops that early for the drive in. I've only gone rafting once with some friends a few years back at Brown's and we flipped, all spilled out, went rushing down the river, etc. Needless to say, it was a scary introduction into rafting. Up until the flip, I had a blast.

Trying this again when family is in town, partially at their request and partially because I would really like to replace that crappy experience with a better one!

What can I expect this weekend? I looked into things and it says the Royal Gorge is at 500cfs. Honestly, what are we in for? Being from Denver and not seeing the river very often, I picture very fast moving water, lots of rapids and holes ready to pull the raft in. So, any realistic help would be so very appreciated.

Stay safe!
 

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Below 500 is not fast moving water. The rapids are still fun, but more technical. You're dodging rocks. There's one hole in Sunshine that's an issue for rafts between 500-600. Unless we get a lot of rain this evening I don't think you'll see those levels, so the hole shouldn't be munchin.

While the big crushing waves and holes are gone, it's still a fun trip!
 

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I do photography at Sunshine Rapid. With the water level at what it has been the past week or so we have seen tons of carnage. Flips, swims, and pins. That being said, The Royal Gorge is definitely a beautiful trip. The swims I've seen haven't seemed too tramatic for the individuals involved (except one). You may swim, but I wouldn't describe it as rushing down the river at this water level.
I don't want to discourage your from the Gorge, but if you are looking to dramatically lower your chances of swimming, Bighorn Sheep Canyon (Salt Lick to Parkdale or Pentacle Rock to Parkdale) is also a nice section in the area.

In any case, AAE is a great outfitter. Can't say enough good things about them.
12:00 should be a good trip.
 

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Dress appropriately, tuck your feet under the tubes and remember, forward 2. It will be fine and enjoy. You will hit rocks and when you do push a family member you dont like over the edge. Seriously, it will be fine.
 

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I can't help but feel like there are some conflicting responses here. :)
Welcome to the buzz.:)


Also remember that anyone on this site that says he or she hasnt had a bad swim on the river is lying or just never gets out. It happens but you gotta get past it. Your odds of having a swim or a bad one tomorrow are greatly diminished. Enjoy the trip.
 

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Oh and if you do have a swim, you have to post back and tell us about it so we can give you a very hard time and question everything. It's tradition.
 

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What can I expect this weekend? I looked into things and it says the Royal Gorge is at 500cfs. Honestly, what are we in for? Being from Denver and not seeing the river very often, I picture very fast moving water, lots of rapids and holes ready to pull the raft in. So, any realistic help would be so very appreciated.
You can always request a senior guide. That might put you more at ease.
Remember to have fun!
 

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I can't believe no one's enlightened our visitor about the esteemed tradition of the Bootie Beer after a swim.

Or, if you're on a guided trip, should the guide be the one that has to drink it?

newbieraftingquestion - The water level on the Arkansas is going to be pretty low and you'll spend a lot of time bumping off rocks. When my raft was brand spanking new I let a buddy talk me into running the Gorge at about the level it's at right now. The good thing is that I never winced again after that trip when I slammed into a big rock or scraped over boulders.

Another alternative would be to drive out to Glenwood Canyon, run the Shoshone to Grizzley Creek section of the Colorado, which is rocking Class III for about 30 45 minutes at 1,700 cfs, then stay on the river and enjoy the 2- or 3-hour scenic Class I and II float from Grizzley Creek down to Glenwood Springs where you can finish the day with a soak in the hot springs.

If you just want a mellow float, you could also rent a raft in Glenwood and then run the Grizzley Creek to Glenwood section on your own - it's a classic novice run and probably cheaper than what you'd spend for the group on a guided trip. You can either hitch or get a cab for the shuttles along that stretch and float stretches of novice whitewater all the way to Rifle.

I think some of the outfitters do laps on Shoshone too.

Enjoy!

-AH
 
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