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Choosing a River Trip Company

Water Sports

P.O. Box 1662
Buena Vista, CO 81211
(303) 369-4632

When it comes to experiencing a river rafting adventure, there's no such thing as overplanning. The key is in finding a reputable, professionally staffed and certified rafting company to ensure a rewarding and safe river rafting experience.

The Colorado River Outfitter Assoc. (CROA), representing more than 40 river outfitters throughout Colorado, ensures the highest standards in safety by requiring that all of its members are fully certified. "Anyone planning a river rafting trip with a CROA outfitter is assured that all our members have the professional skills and expertise to navigate Colorado's river systems," said Bill Dvorak, CROA Chairman. "While there are many private outfitters, there's no guarantee that the company meets the criteria that we set for our members," Dvorak continued.

The key to a safe and enjoyable whitewater excursion is all in the details. To assist rafting enthusiasts in selecting the right outfitter, CROA offers its Directory free-of-charge. The guide provides information on all 41 members, including a variety of trips, programs for special interest groups and guidelines for making each rafting trip as enjoyable as possible.

When planning a whitewater excursion, important questions for rafters to consider include:

- Length of trip: half-day, full-day or multi-day?

- Level of expertise: how many years has the company been in business and navigating a particular river?

- Transportation: many resorts and vacation spots offer transportation; how far is the drive?

- Meals: picnic or barbecue; provided or bring your own? Do the multi-day trips include all meals? What type of food?

- Class of water: whitewater thrills or relaxing float trips?

- Level of participation: to paddle with the guide or relax, hang on and let the guide row you?

- Times: when does the trip depart and return?

- Equipment: what equipment, such as wet suits, camping equipment (for multi-day) and safety gear does the outfitter provide? Is there a fee for rental?

- Children: what services does the river outfitter offer children? What's the minimum age requirement?

- Special interest groups: does the outfitter offer any programs for the disabled, at-risk youths, senior citizens, or corporate groups?

These and other questions are answered in CROA's directory, featuring a quick, but thorough listing of services, activities, and specialties. From pampered, indulgent retreats to rugged, challenging odysseys, there's an outfitter to suit every whim and fancy. Besides river running, many river outfitters also offer combination packages which include mountain biking, rock climbing, kayaking, horseback riding, jeeping, hot springs stops, moonlight floats of flyfishing.

To receive a Colorado River Outfitters Assoc. directory, call (303) 369-4632 or write 10281 Hwy. 50, Howard, CO 81233.

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