Frequently Asked Questions about Colorado Adventures with Noah's Ark

Here are answers to some commonly asked questions. Please do not hesitate to call or email our office for further clarification or with additional questions. We are glad to help!






Is rafting safe?
No. There are risks in any outdoor activity, whether you are rafting, backpacking, or rock climbing. These risks are what lend to the very nature of the experience and most often provide the excitement and adventure associated with the activity. Our guides undergo rigorous training that meets and exceeds state requirements, including learning principles of risk management and decision making that lend to minimizing, but never eliminating, the risk in each activity.
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Will my boat have a guide?

Yes, each boat will have a guide.
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Do I need to know how to swim?

While knowing how to swim is not required, it is recommended. We will provide you with US Coast Guard approved life jackets that are designed to keep you afloat in the water. However having the ability to swim will certainly increase your comfort level as well as enable you to more quickly return to your raft or to get out of the river if you should happen to find yourself out of the raft and in the water. We will give you a pre-trip safety talk in which you will be instructed on protecting yourself in the water, how to identify and evade hazards in the river, and how/when to either maneuver back to the raft or get to the shore; you will be instructed in self rescue techniques where swim skills can be important. *If you are rafting the Royal Gorge or the Numbers (bigger water), you are required to have Class III rafting experience and are expected to know how to handle yourself in the water.
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What is the difference between an oar boat, combination boat and paddle boat?

In an oar boat, the guide will do all the work from the center of the boat using his/her oars. Oar boats are ideal for families and those looking to just relax, hang on and enjoy the scenery. An oar boat becomes a combo boat when we add up to four paddles for those in the group who would like to paddle some during the trip. Being in a paddle boat requires a commitment to paddle the entire length of the trip. The guide steers from the back of the boat, calling out commands to the paddlers who provide the necessary momentum to move the boat down the river. There is less opportunity to hold on in a paddle boat as you will need to be prepared to paddle through the rapids.  The minimum age for a paddle boat is 16, or 14 with previous class III rafting experience. Other restrictions may apply depending on the section of river and water level. Your trip leader will work with you to select the right type of boat(s) for your group.
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How many people fit in a raft?

An oar boat can hold up to eight people plus the guide, while a paddle boat can hold up to seven plus the guide. If you are in a group requiring more than one raft, your trip leader will work with you to appropriately divide the group into the boats.
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Do we need to rent wetsuits?

Wetsuits are available for rent. Some people like wetsuits because they may keep you warmer when in contact with water, which is colder in the spring and early summer, as well as during "high water" when it is running faster and does not have as much time to warm up. Additionally, wetsuits can help keep you warmer during inclement weather, which is both common and unpredictable in Colorado during the summer months. Wetsuits may also help guard against the potential shock associated with cold water immersion. If you are concerned about getting cold on your trip for any reason, we recommend that you rent a wetsuit for your personal comfort. Wetsuits are advised anytime the water levels are above 2800 CFS in the Royal Gorge and 900 CFS in the Numbers. Please refer to the Rentals Comparison Chart for more information.
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What is the largest lifejacket you provide?

The largest Type V lifejacket approved by the Coast Guard allows for a 52" chest. This is what we provide.
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How are rapids classified?

Please refer to the Rapid Classification Chart for this information.
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Are helmets required?

Helmets are required on Browns Canyon, the Narrows, the Numbers and the Royal Gorge.
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Why is the minimum age 6 years old?

There are many issues that come into play in determining the minimum age for whitewater rafting. Two important ones are the size of the child and the maturity level of the child. US Coast Guard approved Type V life jackets do not come in sizes to fit small children. Of greater importance is the ability of the child to not panic, to understand instructions and to self rescue if they are thrown from the boat. Based on the risk, the water, the type of gear and river we have established that the minimum age for the Browns Canyon section of the river is 6 years old.
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What is the class of rock climbing?
The climbs that we offer are rated between 5.6 and 5.8 on the standard North American Rating System (Yosemite Decimal System). These climbs are great for both beginners and those who have climbed before. Our guides will place you on a climb that is appropriate for your experience level.
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How high is the rock climb and rappel?

At our primary rock climbing site, Bob's Rock, you will rappel approximately 75 feet and climb to a height of approximately 65 feet.
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What does everyone else do while the others are rock climbing?

We can provide two or three different climbs and up to five rappelling stations to keep as many people in your group participating at once. The size of your group will dictate how many systems we set up. While not participating, people can help encourage others as they watch them climb or take time to relax and enjoy beautiful scenery. Our guides can also help by leading initiative games with those waiting.
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What is the weight of an average pack?
Our guides will work to adequately distribute to your group the weight of food and community gear, depending on the size of each participant. An "average" pack might weigh 30-40 pounds, but will vary depending on the size of each individual.
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Do we move our camp every day or stay in the same place?

On the majority of our trips, you will move camp each night. This will depend on the route you are on and also the difficulty level you have requested for your wilderness backpacking trip. Easier routes may include two nights where you stay in the same place. Other reasons for keeping camp in the same place include climbing a peak or wanting a considerable amount of time for fishing. When you book your trip, we will make sure to understand your expectations and group's ability so that we can assign an appropriate route.
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Are we guaranteed a peak climb?

Peak climbs can never be guaranteed due to factors out of our control such as inclement weather or the condition of the group. Our guides will do everything possible to help you accomplish this goal, but are trained to recognize when it is appropriate to turn around given the safety and well being of the group.
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What do I need to bring?
Please refer to Equipment Lists in Prepare to Go
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What if I have specific dietary requests?
Most of our meals are friendly to special dietary needs. Meat is usually an “add-in” or served separately, and can easily be avoided, as can most gluten products, and other allergy aggravators. Because of the group-style nature of our meals, we are not always able to accommodate alterations in our menus. So, if you have certain foods that you know you will need or want, please bring a supply along with you. Storage and refrigeration can be arranged. For specific dietary restrictions or requests please notify us in advance and we will try to accommodate you as much as possible.
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Do my children need to read, understand and sign the release form?

Yes, everyone going on the trip must read, understand, and sign the release form.
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Can I make an alteration or amendment to my release form?

No changes or alterations are allowed to the release. Any release that we receive that has been altered, changed or is not signed by the proper parties will prohibit that guest or child from participating in the activity or going on any trip. No refunds will be given if the release form has been altered, changed or not signed.
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Is it appropriate to tip my guide?

Yes, it is appropriate to tip your guide. Tipping is industry appropriate, particularly if you have received exceptional customer service while recognizing their hard work in providing you with a quality, professional experience.
$10-15 per guest/per day is typical.
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Do we have to pay the user fee on our trip if we are tax-exempt?

Yes. These charges are not a "tax", but a user fee assessed by the agency that governs the public land we operate on. The Arkansas River fee goes to the Colorado State Parks, the Gunnison River fee to the Bureau of Land Management, and fees associated with rock climbing, hiking and backpacking go to the United States Forest Service.
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What happens if the weather is bad?

With the exception of rock climbing, we will continue with all trips in the case of inclement weather, taking all necessary precautions given the weather conditions (i.e. rain, hail, wind, lightning). A rock climb will be canceled if it is raining, and unfortunately, we are not able to refund the trip if it can't be rescheduled.
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Where would I find more information about West Nile Virus?
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