Early Spring Rafting- The Best Time To Go

Posted March 28, 2006 by Robyn Suddeth

ns05mr048-ed.jpgA little-known secret…

April is one of the best months to be out on California’s rivers: hillsides a million shades of deep and bright greens, waterfalls prolific, and wildflowers poking out of anywhere they can. Even better than that- the water is high! But most importantly: because it’s still a bit chilly out and kids are still in school, most people aren’t thinking about rafting. So, not only are rivers beautiful and exciting, but you often find that you and your buddies are some of the only ones out there. (Only a small group of people are dedicated to and love California’s rivers enough to sport layers of capilene and polypro and smile through the rain!)

Us guides are therefore really thankful for those people who are in on this little secret and are booking trips on some of the best early Spring runs around. All Outdoors already has trips scheduled on the Kaweah, North Fork of the American, Middle Fork of the American, and the South Fork… all within the first three weeks of April!

Some of my favorite early trips last April were on the North Fork, so I’m excited that there’s a few already booked on that one. A lot of times there were just as many guides out there as guests, taking their own boats down and having fun getting to know that amazing canyon. It’s a beautiful place- a true “gorge” with tight canyon walls and technical maneuvers through large boulder gardens, clear, teal-colored water, waterfalls all over the place. The intimate feel of the canyon, the challenge of good Class IV whitewater, and the experience of braving the colder weather together all added up to what felt like a more adventurous and real experience. Everyone bonded a lot faster than on other trips I had worked before.

So why do I blab on about this? Well I was hoping to encourage a few of you to go out and check out some early boating for yourself, and give all of us in the back of the boat more opportunities to share the Spring with you. But when you tell all your friends about it afterwards, just tell them it was really cold. (Wouldn’t want to let the secret out.)


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