Independent Whitewater Rafting Compliment - More Rapids for Less Money
SALIDA, COLORADO -- For those of you that love excitement and are traveling to the Colorado area next summer, I HIGHLY recommend taking a trip out to the Arkansas River for some whitewater rafting. Its one of the most exhilirating experiences around. The Arkansas River is one of the most popular rafting trips in the country, so there are many different companies to choose from. In fact, I believe about 70 companies have permits to take commercial trips down the Arkansas. The river offers all levels of excitement. The Browns Canyon trip is more family-oriented, with moderate rapids ranging from Class III-IV. Its the most popular trip. Then there are the more challenging sections, like the Royal Gorge or the Numbers (both Class IV-V). Do your research before committing to a trip. Most companies require a 50% non-refundable deposit to reserve your trip. These companies will keep your money if you cancel. Most of them, that is. Independent Whitewater is an exception. The only way theyll keep your money is if your reservation prevented them from getting more business. Its one of the smaller companies, so if you book a large trip and cancel, youre probably out of the deposit. Otherwise, theyll refund the money and try to get your business another time. They truly are customer-service-oriented. In order to compete with the bigger companies, they have to offer some extras that others wont. First, their rates at cheaper than just about every other company. Second, they own private land for river access. This means you wont have to fight with numerous other companies at the public takeouts. For the Browns Canyon trip, most companies stop at Hecla Junction. The private land owned by Independent Whitewater allows you to head down two more miles for two more exciting rapids (including a Class V). Thirdly, they have the most experienced guides on the river. Some of them have been working the river for 15 years. They know how to have fun, putting the boats in "surf holes" and "splatting rocks". In addition to having more fun, they get you down the river safely. Ive seen other companies take trips down the river, and they just didnt seem like they were having as much fun as us. Lastly, they keep their trips small. At most, they put five boats in a group (unless you need more). I saw a group from another company go by (while we were in an awesome swimming hole) with about 20 boats. It looked too regimented for them to be having fun. In all, I think the best trip on the Arkansas River is provided by the folks at Independent Whitewater. They have a website, if youre interested, www.independentrafting.com. If youre planning to be out here in the summer, check it out. You wont be disappointed, I promise.