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rafting company advice

Grand Rapids, MI
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115 posts
50 reviews
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rafting company advice

I'm going to Durango with husband and 3 kids (9, 11, 13) in August and looking for info about rafting companies. Can anyone reconnend a particular company? Is a 1/2 day trip about right for the ages of the kids? Is the water level good this time of year? Another option would be for me to raft later in the trip in Glenwood Springs. Any advice would be helpful. Thanks.

Mamathoma

Edgewood, New Mexico
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715 posts
42 reviews
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1. Re: rafting company advice

We stayed a week at Vallecito Lake and headed over to Durango for a 2 hour rafting trip. I would definitely recommend Flexible Flyers. They are a smaller rafting company, but a lot of fun. Brian was our boat captain and we really enjoyed the trip. In June, there was a lot water and it was flowing fast. We took our two kids, 5 and 7, and they had a blast, as did we. A half day trip might be too long. The fun parts (with the rapids) are in the 2 hour trip, the rest is just floating down the river. The water temp was around 45 degrees when we went in June. That first splash really wakes you up! We didn't need a wet suit (some rafting companies make you wear and rent one, skip these). You can look them up on the web at http://www.flexibleflyersrafting.com/. Enjoy!

Wisconsin
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29 posts
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2. Re: rafting company advice

We used this company http://www.independentrafting.com and did their 1/2 day Brown's Canyon trip.

Superb experience all around. Great company, great people, great trip. Just when you thought the last rapid was unbelievable, the next would be even better. Their private takeout apparently allows them to hit a couple of the rapids that usually are only on the full-day trips - and these were excellent.

I will disagree with a couple of the previous poster's points (and it might be because of their trip vs. ours):

- For us, a half-day trip was too short. We were sad to see it end. There was no "float" part of our trip, but there also weren't any kids under 10 allowed on ours. The class III's were running closer to class IV's, while the class IV's were actually CLOSED while we were there by the state DNR (or whatever agency controls access).

- Wet suit. We also went in June (the 19th, I believe) and the water was freezing. EVERYONE in all 5 boats had them on (as well as splash jackets) and some people were still cold (there was one stop along the way where you could jump off the bluffs into the freezing water, and I think this got to them). It might not be necessary now, but I would go with whatever they recommend.

Give them a call - we had a 12 person group and I spent significant time getting their recommendations and advice and they were spot on.

Grand Rapids, MI
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115 posts
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3. Re: rafting company advice

Thanks for all of your advice. I'll check into those 2 companies. Enjoy the rest of your summer.

Menlo Park, CA
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4 posts
41 reviews
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4. Re: rafting company advice

My friend that used to live in Durango recommended Flexible Flyers Rafting. We took their two hour “Historic Durango and ALL the rapids" and my kids (10 and 13)were fine with that amount of time. 970-247-4628, www.flexibleflyersrafting.com . Their pick up location is literally across the river from the Holiday Inn. The outfit is run by Robin and Stephen, and they are a laid back couple; to wit, we enjoyed listening to Bob Marley on bus ride to the put in point. Stephan told us that most of their clientele are locals, and that they were the only rafting company that did not have a spill when running rapids in the early 2008 season spring runoff. The rapids are claimed to be class III, but in July they were very mild; nothing like the Snake River we did the year before in Jackson Hole, WY. During the run Stephen told us "I don't like telling people what to do, that's I why I prefer to row, and not to have clients paddle." I noticed afterward that several of the other companies would have a rower in the back, like Stephan, who has total command of the raft, but issued their clients paddles – I am not sure why.

Afterwards consider renting cruiser bikes from Monty's Town Bike Rental on 13th Street (970 426 2807) and ride along Animas River trail. My wife and I really enjoyed this easy bike ride. We stopped several times to watch the rafts and kayaks go by.

5. Re: rafting company advice

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