Unlike many whitewater rafting rivers around Colorado, Aspen's Roaring Fork is free flowing from it's headwaters in the Elk Mountains down to it's confluence with the Colorado River in Glenwood Springs. Thus, when the temperature rises and the snow starts to melt, the mighty Roaring Fork starts to run. If there is little snow and the temps stay hot we get a "quick runoff" and our rafting season sees lower river flows earlier in the summer due to lack of high alpine snow reserves. But on the contrary, when the snowpack is good the rafting can stay good all summer.
Rivers such as the Arkansas, the Poudre, and most of Colorado's river have many dams that store spring runoff for agricultural and municipal uses. In turn, the water gets stopped and these rivers receive a constant and regulated flow of water throughout the summer which helps to extend the rafting season.
This year we are looking at an "average" to "above average" snowpack in the Elk Mountains and surrounding ranges. Which should, fingers crossed, make for a nice long whitewater rafting season in Aspen. When the Roaring Fork is running it is, hands down, one of the more beautiful and exciting river trips in the area; and your rafting on one of the last un-dammed rivers in the state of Colorado. We hope to keep it that way.