Yampa River Rafting
Trip Planning & Itinerary
Yampa River Itinerary
EVENING PRIOR TO YOUR TRIP:
DAY TWO ON…
Yampa River Rapids & Water Levels
Have you heard raft guides and river folks throw around the term ‘CFS’ but aren’t sure what that means? So what is CFS? CFS stands for cubic feet per second which is a unit of measurement referring to the volume and speed of water flow. So basically, if a river has a high CFS that means the water is flowing faster resulting in larger rapids. With this said, CFS is very important to be aware of as different levels will give you different experiences on the water. Cataract Canyon considered having high water when the CFS is 20,000 and above and low water is around 4000 CFS. If the river is low, your rafting trip might be more mellow and have less intense waves. Gauges are installed on rivers in order to measure the CFS and that information can be found on city water data sites. Inflatable kayaks are not used for high water flows as a safety precaution.
Peak flows occur in the late spring and early summer. Low flows occur in late summer and early fall. Plan your trip accordingly.
If your Yampa River trip occurs during a period of high flow, you can expect multiple class IV & V rapids with class III mixed in. There where be plenty of whitewater! If your trip is during a period of low flow, you can expect class II & III rapids. For trips taking place with medium flow rate, expect a mix of class III & IV rapids.