Water Drops, Royal Gorge And Numbers Now Open To Whitewater Rafters

<p>(Photo courtesy Flicker user&nbsp;<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/raftecho/399998161/" target="_blank">Echo Canyon River&nbsp;Expeditions</a>)</p>
<p>A rafting crew from Echo Canyon River Expeditions floats through the Royal Gorge on the Arkansas River in 2005.</p>
Photo: Rafting Arkansas River Royal Gorge
A rafting crew from Echo Canyon River Expeditions floats through the Royal Gorge on the Arkansas River in 2005.

Water levels on the river have dropped over the past week because it's been drier and spring snow melt is nearly done. Rafting companies can now return to the river’s popular Royal Gorge and Numbers sections.

Parts of the river were closed to commercial trips for most of June.

High river levels this spring have been a double-edged sword for Colorado’s outdoor recreators. Rafters have enjoyed some of the highest water in a decade.

But the state’s rivers have also claimed at least a dozen lives, making this an unusually deadly year. The state averages 10 boating deaths annually.