What is your rafting personality according to our team of psychologists? Take Malina's quiz to find out... grab a pencil jot down your answers, give yourself three points for every time you chose A, two for B, and one for C.
Now that you've completed the quiz add up your points. If you scored over 25 you're Hard Core! If you scored above 19 the Buddha is smiling -- you're a Middle-Pather. And if you scored around 12, you're a proud Family Man/Woman.
Alrighty! What does this have to do with rafting again? Well...
If nothing but the most extreme will do for you, this spring is your season. When warm weather unleashes a torrent of snowmelt you are gonna want to give us a call, find out what is running highest, and pull on some wool socks because all spring long you're going to have a ton of choices. Rivers like the Kaweah, Cal Salmon, North Fork Stanislaus, North Fork American and the Tuolumne are going to be challenging and exciting even to the most demanding and confident rafters. Our veteran guides are drooling (and working out!) in anticipation--throw'em a bone and paddle with them! Later in the season, you might want to look into Cherry Creek, which is arguably the most difficult and challenging commercially-run river in North America!
Clavey Falls - Class V
The Tuolumne River
Adventurous and up-for-a-challenge, you too have lots o' choices this year. Rivers like the Merced, with its huge wave trains and fast current, will be a joy to raft this spring, but as a "non-technical" river (in regular language that means there aren't very many obstacles like rock gardens and boulders in the water), it won't be overly intimidating. Another great option for you--available all season long--is the Middle Fork of the American. Once flows have dropped around July, you will also have a great time on the Tuolumne this season. As someone who falls into the Middle Path category, I can tell you that the "T" is a fabulous combo of beautiful scenery and exciting whitewater. My heart gets going on this river but it doesn't actually leap out of my chest like it would on Cherry Creek.
"Neds Gulch - Class IV"
The Merced River
You might be thinking that spring rafting has no place for laid-back people like you but actually... the South Fork of the American is a great option. There are a couple really cool things about this river in the springtime: One is that there are amazing displays of wildflowers so the canyon is never more beautiful. There are sections of the Upper South Fork that are literally carpeted with California Poppies! When I raft this section I always have to remind myself to paddle because I get so caught up in the golden hills. Sounds cheesy, I know, but even as someone who has rafted the Upper a million times I never tire of seeing all those flowers. If you're particularly interested in the poppies be sure to call us to find out when they're blooming--Mother Nature is on her own schedule. Another cool thing about springtime rafting is that there are no crowds to contend with either on or off the river. You'll have a truly personal experience. Of course I'd be remiss if I didn't say that there's nothing like a raft trip on a blazing summer day too, and the great snowpack this year means there will be good flows all summer long.
South Fork American River
Hopefully I've helped you understand your options this spring a little better. Ultimately though, if you have any questions about matching a trip to your needs the best thing to do is to call our office. We are happy to describe your options and give you honest information. Our goal is never to book particular trips--it's to help you have the best experience possible whether you want to be thrilled and challenged or if you want to have fun with your family.
-- Miss Malina, eNews writer, and AO Middle-Pather.