Colorado's rapid rafting

Colorado's rapid rafting

Record levels of snow this season in the Colorado Rockies promises rip roaring rapids on the Colorado River once the melt down begins.

Ski enthusiasts have enjoyed an outstanding ski season and once the snow melts there will be no stopping the Colorado River, particularly in Utah where there are no dams to control the released water.

According to US adventure specialists Tag-A-Long Expeditions, such high water only occurs about once every ten years. They expect the Colorado River to peak between 12 May and 16 June 2008. The company is offering various rafting packages to Cataract Canyon in Canyonlands National Park, Utah. The 100 mile journey between Moab, Utah and Lake Powell takes in 28 Grand Canyon style rapids.

The downside to the record snowpack is the threat of heavy flooding if warm weather in May causes the snow to melt too quickly. Areas at high risk of such flooding include parts of Pueblo, Colorado Springs and western Colorado.

The Rocky Mountain News reports that state emergency management officials are currently touring Colorado to ensure that all counties could respond to a dangerous flood season. "The longer we push the cooling period, if we get a warmup, that's going to be something to watch out for," said Tom Browning, manager of flood protection at the Colorado Water Conservation Board at a flood task force meeting on Tuesday.

Around 80 per cent of the state's drinking water comes from melted mountain snows.

Written by: Maxine Clarke


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