One of the most popular activities in the summer in Telluride is whitewater rafting as the snowpack on the mountains melts to create wild rapids. There are sections of smooth waters too! Water levels are generally higher between Memorial Day and Independence Day, but rafting season typically starts in early May and can run through August.
It’s fun and easy to start with a half-day trip though you can opt for a three-day rafting adventure if you’re feeling adventurous. Many of the beginner trips ride over class II and III rapids so you’ll still get the full rafting experience.
Each trip will have a safety demonstration and the guides will review what to do and what not to do both on and off the raft.
Most trips will include wetsuits, booties, splash jackets, and of course life preservers in your tour cost. You’ll want to wear a swimsuit and shorts for your water adventure. Wear loose clothing and items that dry fast like wool, fleece, polyester or any other water repellant clothing. Try to avoid wearing cotton as once cotton is wet it stays wet and keep you cooler than you’d like. If you don’t rent booties, wear old tennis shoes or sandals that stay on your feet securely. Flip-flops are impractical for whitewater rafting and you may just watch them float down the river without you.
For sunglasses, wear a pair you wouldn’t be sad to lose or buy sunglass straps to keep them around your neck. Put sunscreen on at least 30 minutes to your trip start time, as the sun exposure can be more significant when reflecting off of the water. Pack a towel or two in the car for when you return so you can dry off and warm up!