If you have the opportunity to visit the Big Bend National Park, you’ll no doubt enjoy the amazing historical sights that provide insight into what life was like centuries ago. You’ll definitely marvel at the hundreds of different species of plant and animal life, too.
All that admiration is bound to leave you wanting some action, though, which is why you’ll want to grab a raft and head down to the water to test your prowess at staying afloat. Let’s hope that rafting in Big Bend Park won’t lead to you bending over some rocky formations in unnatural ways. For the most part, rafting in the park is perfectly safe yet still manages to provide a bit of excitement even for the adventurous visitors.
The rafting tours
All of the tours feature a knowledgeable guide who will talk about what makes the park so special and will also take you to a few spots you might not be able to find on your own. The guided tours are generally free of adrenaline rushes and instead focus on sightseeing from a raft or similar floatation device.
For the best experience, you might want to opt for a horseback and raft tour – it’s like a miniature program that makes you feel as if you’re receiving a workout while simultaneously sitting back and relaxing.
Of course, those looking for something more will undoubtedly want to brave the park’s river on their own – this is most often done in a canoe or kayak, although rafts are just as able to give you a good time if you can keep them steady and avoid menacing rocks.
Rafting on your own
Don’t feel like having a tour guide tell you what to do and where to go? You can always grab a floatation device and board the water yourself. It won’t even have to be your own – there are plenty of outfitters in the area that rent quality equipment for a reasonable fee.
The biggest problem is knowing where to go – the park is quite large, and it’s not a stretch to say that you could get lost if you forget where you entered the water. You probably aren’t going to use a GPS device on a raft, so you’d do well to memorize the various parts of the river before entering the water and then try and translate the map into real life once you’re floating.
The Rio Grande River in the Big Bend is not without its treacherous parts, and inexperienced rafters could flip and even sustain injury if they judge their paths poorly. If you’re unsure of your rafting ability or are floating with inexperienced or unreliable undividuals, do your best to stick to safe parts with minimal unpredictability.
If you can deal with the river’s few unpredictable turns, rafting without a guide will likely prove more rewarding – you’ll be able to stop and look around whenever you like, and you’ll also save some money on top of it, since the knowledge and expertise of a rafting guide don’t come free of charge.