Tuesday, May 19th, 2015

When’s the best time to go whitewater rafting?

While Glacier Raft Company offers raft trips (https://glacierraftco.com/rafting/) 7 days a week from early May through mid-September, there are vast differences in weather and water conditions throughout the season. Because the rivers we float are not dam-released rivers, the Flathead Rivers are free flowing, dependent on the previous winter’s snowpack, spring melt, and rainfall for their water flow. As a result, the water level and flow peak in early June with Class II-III whitewater. The rivers gradually recede and slow to solid Class II whitewater as the summer progresses. The high water adventure of early season rafting usually requires wetsuits, while warmer summer air and water temperatures let us raft in T-shirts and shorts. Every day on the Flathead can be different than the previous day or the next day. One constant is that the river is always cold (just above freezing in early spring and never warmer than 60).

Air temperatures fluctuate widely:

Temperature May June July Aug Sept
Average Max 64 71 79 78 67
Average Min 37 44 47 46 39
Record High 90 91 99 99 95
Record Low 13 24 31 26 18

In May, the Glacier National Park area is just starting to awaken from winter. As the mountain snows melt, the rivers start raging and roaring. Early season rafting involves peak runoff with bigger and faster water, fewer crowds, colder water and mandatory wetsuits. The quick-flowing water means that our 8-mile half day trip will take about 1.5 hours!

The spring runoff is usually over by the first of July and the water is clearing up. The air temperatures are rising and the river is getting a bit warmer. With the receding water levels, the rapids are more defined and the river takes on a new personality.

Glacier Raft Company offers a variety of whitewater trips, all including lots of fun!

Visit www.jbaldelli.holewinskigroup.com/rafting  or call 800-235-6781 to book a rafting trip with us today!

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