Melting Snow Is Great News For Rafting Companies

IDAHO SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4) – The melting snow is great news for rafting companies and the industry is expecting a strong season this year.

Usually the time when the best water happens is right around mid-June and only lasts for about a week. This year rafting companies are expecting it to last for about two weeks. By the time the whole season is said and done, it could be one for the record books.

Ryan Wiese has guided tours on the Clear Creek for over a decade. He’s never seen a season set up quit like this.

“We know that all the snowpack up there is coming down,” Wiese said. “We’re looking at a really good, long, sustained high water season this year.”

Streams are only flowing average right now, but the surge is coming. But there’s so much snow to melt that the highest flows could be twice as long as a normal year. That depends on whether that isn’t extreme, especially too hot.

“If it all comes down at once then we’re going to depend on rain,” John Rice with the Clear Creek Rafting Company said.

Perfect conditions could keep rafting companies busy through the summer and even into early fall. It’s a needed relief for an industry that struggled the last two years — first with a bad economy, and second with little water. This year customers should get everything they want.

The water could be so high this year that it could affect some of the rafting routes. Rafting companies say that because of the high water they might have to take rafts out of the water to cross bridges instead of going under them.

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