There may have been a lot of snow on the mountains this winter, but with hot temperatures and fast snowmelt, you may find yourself asking, “Is there still enough water to go rafting?”
If you plan on boating the Arkansas River in central Colorado, the answer is YES! Thanks to the Voluntary Flow Management Program (VFMP), great rafting is available in Buena Vista and Salida throughout the summer.
Since 1991, VFMP has ensured water flows of 700 cubic feet per second July 1st through August 15th so rafters and kayakers can take advantage of boating opportunities all summer long. VFMP is unique to the Arkansas River, making it Colorado’s best river for rafting, kayaking, and SUPing.
During a hot summer like this one, it takes a lot of cooperation from a variety of water interests to guarantee a great whitewater boating season. However, it’s the United States Bureau of Reclamation that manages VFMP as it also operates the reservoirs from which the water comes.
The VFMP’s annual operation during the summer season benefits not only rafting companies and private boaters, but it helps support the many communities—like Buena Vista and Salida—that depend on tourism as an economic driver.
During the rest of the year, the flow management program is used to protect and enhance fisheries by boosting minimum flows to protect trout. As a result, the Arkansas River has been named a gold medal fishery because of its world-class brown and rainbow trout fishing opportunities.
Don’t let VFMP’s great work go to waste! Book a river trip with RMOC today. We have a ton of great choices for hitting the rapids or cruising over mellow water.
Our raft trips are always a big hit. Or, you can take control over your boat in an inflatable kayak. Better yet, challenge yourself with a Stand Up Paddleboard trip downriver. Remember, we are also offering private trips to ensure your safety. All you have to do is ask.