Many of our trips book out so make your reservation as soon as you have chosen a trip and date.
What should we wear?
For spring trips, wetsuits are recommended on most trips and are required all season on the Upper Animas and the Piedra Rivers. Swimsuits are worn under the wetsuit. Synthetic fleece, poly-pro or wool tops keep you warmer as well because these materials stay warm when wet. In the summer months, swimsuits and nylon shorts are sufficient on our milder trips. Cotton t-shirts, sweatshirts and jeans will stay cold (the temperature of the snow melt water) when wet, so are not suggested. Shoes are required at all times. Wetsuit boots, better known as booties, work best and are available for rent. Since the water is from snow melt, wetsuit boots are always valued. Sandals with straps or old sneakers will do if you do not mind cold feet. See What to Wear & Bring for more information.
Do we have to know how to swim?
You do not have to know how to swim to go rafting on Class I, II and III rivers! PFD’s (personal floatation devices, better known as life jackets) are worn at all times on the river and are designed to float you face up. You should, however, be comfortable in moving water with a PFD. On higher adventure rivers (Class IV and V) you should be an avid swimmer. Swimming in strong current adds to the challenge.
The guides instruct you before the trip on what to do in the small chance (more likely on higher adventure trips and inflatable kayak trips) you take a “swim” in the river.
How big are the rapids?
All rivers are different. Most rivers in the world are rated on the International Scale of Whitewater I – VI.
Class I: “moving water”
Class II: “splashes”
Class III: “wet and fun”
Class IV: “big drops”
Class V: “violent rapids”
Class VI: considered “unrunnable”.
Each of our rafting options details the class of rapids you will experience to help you decide which trip would be best for you and your group. Even though rapids are designated a class, they can vary up or down a level depending on the amount of river flow.
Mild to Wild Rafting and Jeep Trail Tours, Inc. offers trips for all adventure levels on a raft, inflatable kayak and paddle board, and in the high country in our custom jeep trail tour vehicles.
How deep is the river?
River depth changes at different points depending on the gradient and width of the river.
Can we bring cameras or video cameras?
We suggest bringing waterproof, disposable cameras and leaving the video camera at home unless it is waterproof. There is no guarantee that your camera and video camera will not get wet. The best rule of thumb is, if you don’t want it to get wet or lose it, don’t bring it!
Do we have to paddle?
There are different types of raft boats used for different situations. Oar framed boats allow the guide to use a pair of oars to control and move the raft. Often, customers paddle along with the guide according to his or her commands. Since the guide essentially has control, guests may opt to get involved and help paddle or simply sit back and enjoy the scenery. “Paddle” boats do not have the frame so participants and the guide all have a paddle. No experience is necessary for either type of raft configuration. The guide will teach you how to paddle in your pre-trip instruction and safety orientation.
On our high adventure trips (Upper Animas and Piedra) all participants are required to paddle. On many intermediate adventure trips, most participants in the raft may be required to paddle, depending on the river.
How cold is the river water?
The rivers we run rely on snow melt (as opposed to dam releases) as their main source of water. This means that in the early season, the water is very cold (40-45 degrees). Later in the season, the water does warm up to about 50-55 degrees. Splash jackets are provided on all of our trips. Wetsuit boots are recommended all season, wetsuits are recommended early to mid-season on mild trips, and they are required on most intermediate trips, all high adventure trips and most inflatable kayak trips.
How do we get back to our car?
We provide transportation in quality, well-maintained vehicles back to the meeting place at no extra charge on all of our trips.
What are the minimum and maximum age limits?
With 77 different trip options for people ages 4 to 84, you are sure to find the trip that is right for you! All trips have recommended age limits. These age limits can fluctuate depending on the water level. See each trip’s specific detailed outline for age requirements. We do reserve the right to raise age limits at higher water levels.
Will I get wet?
The trip, the water level and the class of white water will determine how wet you get. Our milder trips have smaller rapids so you get less wet. Also consider the season. If you raft when the snow is rapidly melting and the water is higher, you will get more wet than later in the season. If it rains, you get more water for you money…and the rainwater is warmer than the river water!