1. Should I bring the kids?
Yes, for SUP its more about size than age. We have had 7 and 8 year olds successfully navigate the river section on their own. For inclusion, we offer a variety of options that kids as little as 5 have loved . Riding tandem with a guide on one of our larger boards is a thrilling and super fun way for them to be along and still feel the sensation of a board. Our one of a kind SUPSQUATCH provides another unique, safe and thrilling experience that we guarantee they will be talking about for a long time to come. 3 year olds are the lowest age permitted commercially by Parks and Recreation to be in a raft. Our one of a kind river hub provides a nice grassy lawn that touches the Colorado River and we have shade structures there as well. If someone in the group did not want to participate but wanted to still spend a day outside, we would be more than happy to have them join us at our base camp.
Dillon and Nottingham Lake
Absolutely bring the kids. We have keiki “kids” boards that the kids can paddle on and maneuver. We provide instruction with even our rentals to make sure we are setting our patrons up for success. We make it a point to keep track of who is on the water so that we can provide assistance if possible. On Lake Dillon, we are the only outfitter with our own pontoon boat that we can use to pick up guests that may be stranded or need help if inclement weather hits.
2. Are dogs allowed?
Unfortunately not, please leave the pets at home as there is not place to leave the animals. Cars get extremely hot out here in the blazing Colorado sun.
Dillon and Nottingham Lake
Yes! We offer complimentary doggie PFD/Lifejackets to make sure that they are safe. Please make sure they are family friendly dogs and if they damage anything on the boards, you will be responsible to pay us for the damages.
3. Will I get wet?
SUP, yes! Rafting, that depends, you can usually stay pretty dry on these tame rapids unless your group wants to get doused, just tell the guide so!
4. Is there nearby camping or lodging?
Wonderful riverside camping is available all around our SUP CO Dome at Rancho Del Rio. Pay at the general store when you arrive on site, costs are $3 per day per person, $5 if you want the free shuttle to State Bridge (4 miles). Rancho del Rio also has a few cabins for rent.
State Bridge offers beautifully remodeled cabins, rustic yurts and tee pees for rent.
Rancho – ranchodelrio.com / 970-653-4431
State Bridge – statebridge.com / 970-653-0113 / firstname.lastname@example.org
5. Will I see wildlife?
Very likely, numerous bald eagles and hawks soar overhead, while beaver and fish travel along side. An abundance of deer, elk, and bear make this a hunter’s paradise in the fall.
6. Is there food nearby?
Not really on the week days. The Rancho Del Rio general store offers drinks and snacks but nor really a hearty meal. On the weekends, KK’S Center of the Universe opens and her one of a kind culinary flare is something worthy of its own show.
7. Can I bring alcohol?
No, before your trip on the water. If you wanted to enjoy some cold suds after the trip, be our guest. Be thoughtful, intelligent and considerate. We will not tolerate any drunkenness around our hubs, especially during business hours. If a guide smells alcohol on your person and deems you unfit to go down the river or on the lake, you will be scratched from the tour and no refund will be given to you.
8. What are the rapids like?
The following is a breakdown of rapid descriptors used by the International Scale of River Navigability:
Class 1 : Fast moving water with riffles and small waves. Few obstructions, all obvious and easily missed with little training. Risk to swimmers is slight; self-rescue is easy.
Class 2: Straightforward rapids with wide, clear channels which are evident without scouting. Occasional maneuvering may be required, but rocks and medium-sized waves are easily avoided by trained paddlers. Swimmers are seldom injured and group assistance, while helpful, is seldom needed. Rapids that are at the upper end of this difficulty range are designated Class II+.
Class 3: Rapids with moderate, irregular waves which may be difficult to avoid and which can swamp an open canoe. Complex maneuvers in fast current and good boat control in tight passages or around ledges are often required; large waves or strainers may be present but are easily avoided. Strong eddies and powerful current effects can be found, particularly on large-volume rivers. Scouting is advisable for inexperienced parties. Injuries while swimming are rare; self-rescue is usually easy but group assistance may be required to avoid long swims. Rapids that are at the lower or upper end of this difficulty range are designated Class III- or Class III+ respectively.
Classifications can vary enormously, depending on the skill level and experience of the paddlers who rated the river. For example, at the 1999 International Conference on Outdoor Recreation and Education, an author of a paddling guide pointed out that there is too much variation in what is covered by the Class I designation, and proposed making further distinctions within the Class I flat water designations and Class I+ moving water designations, with the goal of providing better information for canoeists instructors leading trips, and families with young children.
The grade of a river or rapid is likely to change along with the level of the water. High water usually makes rapids more difficult and dangerous, although some rapids may be easier at high flows because features are covered or washed out. At spate/flood stage, even rapids which are usually easy can contain lethal and unpredictable hazards. Conversely, some rapids may be easier with lower water levels when dangerous hydraulics become easier to manage. Some rivers with high volumes of fast moving water may require little maneuvering, but will pose serious risk of injury or death in the event of a capsize.