Colorado Rafter Spending At Record Levels In 2015

<p>(Photo courtesy Flicker user&nbsp;<a href="" 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.

The Denver Post reports the Colorado River Outfitters Association says there were nearly 509,000 commercial raft trips on 29 stretches of Colorado rivers in 2015. The economic impact of those trips beat the state's previous record from 2014.

According to the report, the Arkansas River from above Buena Vista through Salida to Cañon City remained the state's top rafting spot. The Animas River saw a drop in rafters largely due to the Gold King mine spill in August.

Outfitters are preparing for another successful season this year, with help from a snowy April and cool weather that's keeping the snow from melting too early.