Be wary of the water during high runoff

It may feel like summer, with temperatures on Monday topping 90 degrees. But now is not the time to take to the rivers of the region, at least not in questionable craft with improper safety equipment.

The Colorado River was flowing at more than 25,000 cubic feet per second near the Utah state line Tuesday. While that’s well below the historic peak flows, it’s still a mighty head of water. A trip on the river right now is the very antithesis of a leisurely float on a lazy river.

The Colorado and Gunnison rivers are both tumbling and rushing with water, and their many undercurrents, combined with icy temperatures, could quickly spell disaster for anybody unfortunate enough to end up in the water unprepared.

Traveling on the rivers in capable rafts with experienced oarsmen and proper safety gear is one thing. But leave the inner tubes at home for now. Don’t venture onto the water without appropriate life vests. And be careful in hiking, fishing or undertaking other activities along the banks of our rivers.

Cooling off shouldn’t become a life-threatening event.


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