SALIDA, Colo., June 29, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The country's most popular whitewater rafting destination is seeing an increase in overnight camping trips, according to the Arkansas River Outfitters Association.
The Arkansas River hosts nearly a quarter of a million visitors annually on its 100-plus miles of mild to wild whitewater that tumbles from the high Rocky Mountain peaks in southern Colorado.
The majority take half- or one-day trips but rafting-camping trips are increasingly popular, said Travis Hochard, general manager with River Runners in Buena Vista, where multi-day bookings are up 20 percent since 2015.
"I think families are looking for ways to escape modern life, which can be impersonal," Hochard said. "What better way to do that than to spend time in nature?"
Overnight trips on the Arkansas River can run from one to five nights, with paddling through exciting rapids during the day and riverside camping under the stars at night. Expect campfires, delicious meals prepared by certified river guides, and plenty of time for bonding with family and friends. Outfitters provide necessary gear such as tents and dry bags for clothing, making the trips an easy experience for nearly anyone.
"Rafting provides backcountry access to those who would otherwise not have the resources to experience it," Hochard said.
Families are choosing longer trips with time for exploration and relaxation that create memories for a lifetime, and so are groups of friends. Bachelor and bachelorette parties are one of the most popular reasons young adults get together for multiple days of whitewater rafting in Colorado, Hochard said.
"People are looking for more meaningful ways to experience their right of passage into marriage than a night of debauchery in Vegas," he said. The exciting days are filled with stunning scenery as trips travel miles of the Arkansas River.
The Arkansas flows through Browns Canyon National Monument, designated in 2015 for its granite spire walls that plunge to the river's banks. The best way to see it is by paddling its Class III-IV rapids. Additional sections include the 1,200-foot chasm of the Royal Gorge in Cañon City, with its Class VI-V technical boating challenges, and mild float trips for families with children as young as 4.
For information about planning a Colorado multi-day whitewater rafting adventure, contact an Arkansas River Outfitters Association member.
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SOURCE Arkansas River Outfitters Association