Colorado’s River Outfitters Rejoice as Late Snowfall Boosts Snowpack, Runoff


- Advertisment -

Colorado’s late-season snowfall is giving the state’s rafting industry high hopes for a successful season. With spring snow boosting snowpack across the state and delaying the start of seasonal runoff, the Colorado River Outfitters Association (CROA) is reporting a normal, if slightly delayed, beginning to this year’s rafting season, which typically runs mid-May through mid-September.

Paddlesport retailers say the cold weather and rain may have slowed the sale of camping and hiking equipment, but created optimism for the rafting season that essentially launched Memorial Day weekend nationwide. According to CROA, summer bookings for this year are up over last year. “The outlook now is a lot different than it was six weeks ago,” said CROA president Dave Costlow. “Snow in May makes the phone start ringing, and we’ll trade snow in May for water in August.”

“It’s been slow starting but we’re optimistic for the rest of the season,” said Confluence Kayaks & Ski owner Jonathan Kahn.

According to CROA’s 2012 Economic Impact Study, Colorado’s rafting industry had a more than $127 million economic impact on the state’s tourism industry in 2012; and that was during a down year, plagued by warm temperatures and devastating wildfires. In 2011, Colorado’s rafting industry generated an economic impact of more than $151 million.

“In 2012, Colorado saw virtually no snow after March, and that situation was compounded by a warm spring and several devastating wildfires that garnered national attention,” said Costlow. April and May snow added several feet to Colorado’s snowpack. And while snowpack is not the only variable in determining water flow levels across the state, it is a good indicator for a healthy rafting season. “This puts outfitters on track to offer rafting throughout the typical rafting season,” said Costlow. Costlow said outfitters this year again are putting an emphasis on family rafting adventures.

“I have talked to a few outfitters and most outfitters had good to strong Memorial Day Weekend business,” Costlow added. “Outfitters are quite positive about the water outlook. The cooler temperatures slowing the melt, rain on the east slope and snow in the high country today just adds to optimism.” The Southeast and West have recorded abnormally wet spring weather as well.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -

Latest news

Entering the World of Wood: A Review of Shade Tree’s Custom Bent Shaft Kayak Paddle

With my getting older I thought it was time to treat myself to a custom wood paddle design by...

Skate Yak: The Movie!

Well, it's that time of year again in the Rockies when skate skiers head to the hills in the...

NRS Releases Brainwaves

Kayaking is all about fun, right? Not all the time. The newest film from NRS and Matt Devlin (@western_pix),...

Dire Straits for Glen Canyon Dam; Lodore/Deso to See Higher Flows from Flaming Gorge Dam Releases

Boaters on the Grand this year can expect lower water. And those on stretches above Lake Powell, especially on...
- Advertisement -

Buy Sweet Clothes, Help Catawba Riverkeeper!

Yep, you heard right. Buy clothing from sustainable apparel brand Recover Brands, which prioritizes reducing, reusing, and recycling, and you...

Breaking News: Ocoee Whitewater Center Burns to Ground

Site of the 1996 Summer Olympics—and its Olympic flame—the Ocoee Whitewater Center, located along the banks of the Upper Ocoee...

Must read

Win a BirdDog PFD from Astral

  For those who take their pup out on the...
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you