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Planning A Rafting Trip

Written by Ben Sack, 01.30.2014

Sharing a white water raft trip with a bunch of friends or family can be one of the best summer activities in Colorado. I hear some common questions and concerns when a group leader reaches out to us. Planning a rafting trip for a group doesn’t have to be a monumental task; we’re here to help. Let’s break it down…

1. Pick a day that works for most of your group and double check availability.

There are a number of days throughout the summer that book to capacity well before the season even begins. Plan ahead early to ensure your group has that perfect weekend available.

2. Pick a trip that will provide the right level of adventure for your group.

Will a gentle excursion on the Family Float trip be enough adventure? Probably not for the majority of groups, unless you have very young children, in which case it might be perfect! Yes, it is quite gentle but the views are some of the prettiest in the canyon.

Will the Royal Gorge be too aggressive of a trip?
Don’t forget that just because you have a group of first time rafters that doesn’t mean the Royal Gorge isn’t an option. Just be sure you aren’t pushing some members beyond their comfort zone. Remember, it’s all about having fun!

Is Bighorn Sheep Canyon the happy medium?
For a lot of rafting groups the answer is yes. Bighorn has a number of fun splashy rapids so you will find some adventure on this section. We routinely take kids as young as around 6 years of age, so it’s a section of white water appropriate for the more nervous adult, too.

3. Choose if you’ll collect all of the money or if everyone will call in their payments separately.

We like to give you options. Sure, you can have everyone pay you directly and then you pay Echo… and enjoy those credit card reward points, right? More often we find the group organizer doesn’t want to be responsible for everyone. Do you really want to be responsible for that one relative who usually changes plans at the last minute? Heck no! So just submit your payment to Echo for your family, share your reservation number with the other group members and put it on them to call in their payment. This way everyone is responsible just for the number of rafters they will bring along.

4. Spread the word!

Let your friends know you’re putting a trip together and see who wants to join the group.

5. Book your group rafting trip

If you choose to have individuals call in their payments separately then you will receive a confirmation every time someone joins your reservation and submits a payment. So you can sit back and just watch your trip grow!

6. Enjoy your trip!

Oh yeah, the fun part!

7. Other helpful things to consider

Reserve your trip for the minimum number of people you know you’ll have in your group. We can usually accommodate a few late-comers a week or two prior to the trip date. Also, don’t forget to check out the helpful links in the confirmation email. The links include detailed driving directions, advice on what to wear and bring along and our FAQ page to address those other common questions. Echo has a restaurant and bar right on-site, so you can plan to eat before or after your trip or order catered meals for your group.

If you run into any questions as you plan a group rafting trip just contact Echo. We are here to help!

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About the Author

Ben Sack is the General Manager of Echo Canyon River Expeditions, Colorado's largest white water rafting outfitter. He's also a raft guide, photographer and a father of two boys. He writes to inspire the adventurer in all of us to get out and explore our rivers.
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