Should We Tip Our Guide?
Our guides make a base wage similar to a bartender or wait person. General guidelines for tipping would be the same as for a bartender or a waitperson (15-20%). If you do believe in tipping, and the guide has proven to do a great job, it is a nice way to express your appreciation but only if you feel you had a safe, fun, and informative experience. If you did not have a pleasurable and adequate experience, we would appreciate it if you would please bring it to the attention of our management. Feedback and letters from our guests are greatly appreciated and helps us maintain the highest standard of customer service and appreciation.
When Is the Best Time of the Year to Go Rafting?
This depends on what you’re interested in. If big, exciting water is what your group is looking for, then high-water season is the best time. Mid-June to early July is traditionally the high-water season. When rivers run at their peak, it can make for a big ride. Keep in mind some sections may close due to high water conditions. Most people enjoy a normal run off-season, which is mid-May to late-August. Water levels and weather are very unpredictable, so book a date that best suits the group and be prepared for the unexpected. There really is no bad time to go white water rafting in Colorado.
What Should We Wear?
For any outdoor activity it is a good idea to be prepared. Always avoid cotton clothing, as it tends to get wet and stay wet – not to mention taking valuable warmth from your body’s surface. For rafting, bathing suits and shorts are recommended. While not required, we do provide wetsuits, splash jackets, and booties at no additional charge. This equipment isn’t mandatory but it is designed to keep you warm. Towels are best kept in your vehicles at the office and don’t do you much good on the river because there is no way to keep them dry. For rafting and other activities your best bet would be materials such as wool, polypro, fleece, micro fleece, polyester, waterproof jackets, and any other outdoor material that dries fast. There is limited space on the rafts, so you should limit what you bring to what you can wear. Personal flotation devices (PFDs) are included with all rafting adventures and helmets on all Blue River trips. If you have any questions please give us a call and we can give you information so that you know what to expect and can plan accordingly.
What Should We Bring?
Please see our equipment lists for activity specific gear. For rafting you will want to bring a few towels to leave in your car; you’ll be happy to have something to dry off with after your adventure. Bring a change of dry clothes to leave in your car; our basecamps offer changing rooms so you can be comfortable after your Colorado raft adventure. Bring sunscreen, sunglasses, sunglass straps and hats that protect from the sun. Bring water for pre-rafting and post-rafting hydration.. Remember, you’re in the Colorado Rockies, and it’s important to stay hydrated! We also suggest bringing cash to tip your guide.
Do We Go If It’s Raining?
The weather in the Colorado Rocky Mountains is very unpredictable and varies from mile to mile and minute to minute. Colorado averages over 300 days of sunshine a year. The odds are, the weather will be good. We run our outdoor activities in all weather conditions, rain or shine, and have gear available to help keep you comfortable, even in the worst conditions. Wetsuits, neoprene booties, and splash tops can really make a big difference and make your trip a pleasurable one. Don’t forget, you’re going to get wet rafting, even on the sunniest of days. Weather is not a cause for cancellation.
Do You Need to Know How to Swim?
Nope! Except for advanced and expert trips, you can go white water rafting even if you can’t swim. Each person will be fitted with a Type-V Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device (life jacket) to be worn while on the river at all times. This life jacket is designed to float the wearer on his/her back with his/her head out of the water. Guests are instructed on the proper use of this life jacket in a safety orientation talk before departure. It does help to have some knowledge of swimming, especially in some of the more aggressive sections.
Is It Dangerous?
All our guides go through extensive training, basic first aid, CPR, and all river guides are certified by the state of Colorado. Rafting is an adventure sport and involves a degree of risk on the part of the participant. Although we take precautions to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable trip, we cannot be responsible for lost or damaged articles and/or personal injury. It is important for the group to choose a trip within their entire group’s limits. Colorado Rafting Company/Colorado Adventure Guides is committed to the safety of our guests. Due to the inherently dangerous nature of some outdoor recreation activities in the backcountry, all participants are required to acknowledge these risks by reading and signing a liability waiver prior to trip departure. All participants under the age of 18 must have a liability/health history waiver signed by a parent or legal guardian. In addition to this form, the health history questionnaire must be filled out for each participant. All information submitted is completely confidential; it is for the guide’s use and would only be shared in the event of an emergency with medical and/or rescue personnel directly caring for the guest. It is Colorado Adventure Guides’ policy that all Emergency Contacts be a person over the age of 18 and not participating in the same guided trip or course.
What About the Altitude?
The elevation in town in Breckenridge is 9,600 feet above sea level. Most towns in Summit County share similar elevations with Silverthorne being the lowest at 9,035’. When adjusting to altitude, the body needs to work a little harder. Those of us who live here carry enough oxygen in our blood to feel well during activity. Your body will try to make extra oxygen molecules during this acclimation process. You might experience difficulty sleeping, difficulty catching your breath even during mild exertion, a racing heart rate, nausea, and a loss of appetite. To prepare for your trip, we recommend hydrating, eating well and getting a full-night’s rest. While you are in Summit County, we recommend the same course of action. Try to avoid drinking alcohol on your first night. Altitude affects people differently, and can affect the same person differently on separate occasions. Sometimes altitude sickness symptoms are indicative of a more serious illness and you might need to con sult a physician. If you deal with chronic pulmonary, cardiac, or other health issues like asthma, COPD, diabetes, CHF or if you are pregnant you should consult your doctor before your activity. Our guides are trained to recognize altitude sickness symptoms in the field.
What Is Your Cancellation and Reschedule Policy?
Rescheduling will be honored 48 HOURS PRIOR to guided adventures. An administrative fee of 10% will be assessed for all rescheduling. Refunds will be honored for cancellations of more than 48 HOURS PRIOR notice to guided adventure start date. An administrative fee of 10% will be assessed for all cancellations. All activities are Rain or Shine. In case of operational cancellation due to adverse or unsafe conditions prior to start time, first we will attempt to reschedule. If rescheduling is not possible, you will receive a full refund. Operators, including guides in the field, reserve the right to shorten or reroute activity in the case of unmanageable hazards or inability of guest to complete the objective. Completion of objective-based routes is not guaranteed.
No-shows will be charged the full price.
Contact us by phone 970.423.2295 or [email protected] to cancel or inquire about a cancellation.
River and rapid classifications is another great way to determine the suitable age for a river trip for your group. Remember that classification can change with weather and water conditions.
Beginner = first timers, young children
Intermediate = aggressive first timers, teens
Advanced = experienced paddlers looking for an adventure
Expert = very experienced paddlers only
This River Rapids Class Rating System is strictly a subjective scale. You can characterize a rapid by class or give a general class to a whole river even though it has several different classes of rapids within it. The class of a rapid or river can change at different water levels. The temperature of the water, the air temperature, the remoteness of the river, and the difficulty of a rescue can all influence the rapid’s class.
Class I – Easy. Small riffles. No significant waves or obstacles.
Class II – Novice. Moderate rapids with regular waves, small drops, clear passages and wide channels. Occasional maneuvering may be required.
Class III – Intermediate. Moderately difficult rapids with larger irregular waves, often narrow channels. Complex maneuvering to avoid obstacles required.
Class IV – Advanced. Intense, powerful rapids requiring precise maneuvering in fast, turbulent water. Complex channels with many significant obstacles to be avoided.
Class V – Expert. Extremely long violent or obstructed rapids, often following each other almost without interruption. Drops may have large, unavoidable waves and holes or steep, congested chutes with difficult routes. Steep gradient.
Class VI – Unrunnable.
*Classifications of river sections may change due to water levels. For information to help you choose a trip, or for any questions you might have please call our office or send us an email and we will be happy to assist you in putting together a river experience.