The South Fork usually runs from May through October. Snow melt, precipitation, air temperature and reservoir releases can affect current river levels. Lower readings mean that the river is generally less full and could mean it may not have enough flow for good paddling. Kayak Camping Checklist (and how you should pack it). Colorado Rafting River Guide Pay attention to this number when booking your trip as you soon will learn, water levels make a BIG difference on your whitewater rafting experience!

Challenging Class III+ whitewater rafting. Consistent flows for whitewater rafting are controlled by the upstream reservoirs in the summertime with added runoff in the spring. The general formula for working out the CFS reading, is to multiply the width of the river by the depth by the speed.

Because it’s such an important topic, we’ve put together a guide to help explain some of the terms and to help ease you into understanding water flow readings. Great for first-timers, groups and families, yet still fun for experienced boaters. If you’ve found this helpful and think others could benefit, please share it. Class IV whitewater with additional challenges. CFS or Cubic Feet per Second is the unit of measurement used for determining the “speed” of a river. Participants should be athletic individuals with previous experience.

CFS readings will not be the same on every river, in that a reading of 1700 CFS could be low for some rivers but high and potentially dangerous for others. Explore the NEW USGS National Water Dashboard; to access real-time data from over 13,500 stations nationwide.

CFS or Cubic Feet per Second is the unit of measurement used for determining the “speed” of a river. The number of CFS (Cubic Feet per Second), commonly referred to as the stream discharge, is a measure of the volume of water passing a point each second of time. 1100-1700 CFS = Normal flows, usually associated with late summer and fall. What do the numbers mean? But as a general rule you’ll have learned that the depth, width and gradient of the river will affect the speed and flow of the water.

Previous experience preferred and helpful. Your guide is depending on guests to paddle with full force to compensate for the speed of the river. How fast a river flows is determined by a number of factors. High water conditions are my favorite time to go rafting. Higher CFS readings generally mean the river is flowing faster, with a high volume and often rapids. This is generally what determines the flow of the river. Higher flows mean less room for error since your guide will have much less time to readjust and maneuver the raft to avoid obstacles if the paddle crew is unable to follow the original route. The river covers a distance of 2,920 miles long making it the world’s 9th longest river, and it is the only river that crosses the equator twice. Bigger waves and swift moving water. One cubic foot of water weighs 62.5 pounds.

The table lists the recommended flow rates for each water based recreational activity. Zoom Flume rapid in Browns Canyon at a lower CFS.

Call us at 1-800-In A RAFT (1-800-462-7238) or book your Colorado white water rafting adventure online. Challenging Class V whitewater. South Fork River Flows Middle Fork River Flows North Fork River Flows.

800-1200 CFS = Lower flows. Kayak In Pickup Truck Bed – How To Tie Down And Transport, 7 Popular Kayak Modification And Upgrade Ideas. 1100 - 1700 CFS = Medium - High flows.

Typically high CFS flows occur late June – early July when the majority of the snowpack is melting. Erosion can also play a part. 800 - 1100 CFS  = Normal flows.

How much water is in the river? Fast-moving water, with powerful waves and rapids. CFS stands for Cubic Feet per Second. Lower readings mean that the river is generally less full and could mean it may not have enough flow for good paddling. What do the numbers mean? So please use the information in the table below to help you plan your safe day on the river. We offer private boater shuttles on many sections of the Arkansas River in Colorado and the Upper Salt River in Arizona. Class IV whitewater rafting. 850-1000 cfs: Still wadable in most sections, but at this level the river also fishes well from a drift boat.

If the rivers are flowing above 2,000 CFS this is officially high water! The value is determined by multiplying the cross sectional area of the stream, in square feet, times the speed or velocity of the water, in feet per second. When rivers are flowing at a faster rate, it is of upmost importance to listen and follow guide commands. There are a series of dams upstream of the South Fork and Middle Forks of the American River which provide water for electrical power, irrigation, and drinking for residents of California. What do the numbers mean? 12600 US Highway 24/285

1200-1500 cfs: Less than 50% wadable. Families with small children or those who may not want to paddle have the option of zero paddling on trips as well since we are able to mount oars on our rafts for your guide to row instead.