Water, water everywhere– at least that seems the theme of this summer in Colorado! Our rivers have been surging, often at levels not seen in a couple of decades. While these conditions stunted early season recreation due to dangerous and tragically deadly conditions, August river flow rates are well above historic averages. On the Arkansas River, the flow rates are trending at or above 1,500 cfs in Salida and anywhere from 1,200 cfs to 1,800 cfs at key checkpoints along the river including Browns Canyon, Wellsville, Parkdale and the Royal Gorge.
Rafting conditions are the most favorable they’ve been all season setting Colorado up for great whitewater throughout August and well past Labor Day weekend.
“All geographic areas have different levels of rafting, but we’re anticipating many runs will be open later this season than they have in several years,” said David Costlow, executive director of the Colorado River Outfitters Association in a news release. “Durango has family- to wild-rafting, as does the Buena Vista to Cañon City area. The Cache la Poudre outside Fort Collins, the Rio Grande near Creed, all sections of the Colorado and the Taylor near Crested Butte are enjoying consistent and full-level flows.”
Fishing enthusiasts are also welcoming the above average flows this time of year. According to the Kiowa County Fishing Report, this is the best time of year to be fishing. The decreased flows after high runoff have encouraged fish to redistribute themselves throughout the streams rather than being held tight to the banks in the deeper, slow moving pools. So, if you still have some rafting or angling plans on your summer bucket list, August is the perfect time to take advantage of our high-water year!