Low Water, High TimesCliff Langley
Everybody wants to go rafting during the dog days of summer because, at the risk of sounding like Dr. Obvious, being in the water on a hot summer day feels good. August produces a lot of hot days and at the peak of the summer tourist season a lot of people in Duluth, MN want to go whitewater rafting on the St. Louis River. The thing is with August sometimes the water levels can be low. So does that mean people can still go rafting? Is there fun to be had on the river still?
Typically mid to late August sports low water levels across the country as the snow run off has dwindled out west and in the Midwest August can be a dry month, meaning less rain to raise river levels. Those that come to Duluth, MN for whitewater rafting seeking high water and big waves on the St. Louis River should come in May or June. That doesn’t mean that you can’t have fun on the river or still find challenging rapids in August.
First off, if you are on vacation in Duluth, MN and you are looking for fun things to do then there is no time like river time. Sure the waves can be bigger in June, but if it’s a hot day you could be walking around in the sweltering heat of Canal Park or be on the river paddling, splashing and swimming. What sounds ‘cooler?’
Even in the drier months the St. Louis River holds water well as it has a big watershed (an area of land where all the water flows to the same location) that eventually drains into Lake Superior. At lower flows certain rapids hold water well and can provide fun that can’t be had at high water, such as surfing a wave in a raft. We also run trips on the Lower St. Louis River when the Upper section gets too low. Since the Lower flows through a narrow canyon it can only be rafted safely at lower flows. This trip is shorter in mileage but still is a 2 hour whitewater, adventure experience.
We cater our trips both to the customers and current water levels. When the St. Louis River gets lower we adjust our trips to add more excitement and interaction. Granted, all of our trips are focused on supplying our clients a whitewater, adventure experience. It’s just that lower flows just give us a chance to add in a few extras that aren’t possible to do in higher water.
So if it’s mid to late August and you are in Duluth, MN looking to go white rafting on the St. Louis River or just a day trip up from the Twin Cities or somewhere else, book your trip and let’s have some fun!