Guides Encourage Utahns To Enjoy Safe River Fun

Jul 3, 2019, 5:03 PM | Updated: Jul 4, 2019, 8:46 am

PROVO CANYON, Utah – Exceptionally high runoff in Utah’s rivers and streams this spring prompted warnings to stay away to be safe. But, as warm weather arrives and the rivers recede, businesses that make their money on rivers are urging people to come back and have fun.

“People spend a lot of money to come here, and this is our backyard,” said Steve Myers, who owns and operates High Country Adventure in Vivian Park on the Provo River.  He’s talking with us as he rows the oars on his raft, floating down the Provo River on a sun baked day in Utah County.

When Myers takes people rafting on the Provo River, he guides visitors from around the world and right next-door.

“You’d be surprised how many people from Utah are like… We’ve never been on the river before,” he said.  His father started High Country Adventure 30 years ago.

This year, the river is fast, but business has been slow.  Right now, the Provo River is well below flood stage, but running fast and cold.  Peak flows have subsided in recent days, and Myers said, it is time for people to get out on our rivers and enjoy them as long as they play it safe.

“Right now, it’s actually awesome,” he said.  “The alarms kind of got set off in May: danger, danger, high water… Stay away.”

There was good reason for that.  Rivers were raging, and the banks were unsafe along many Utah rivers for weeks.  In addition, six people died in swift water accidents two years ago, when rivers were high, so the state was on alert this spring.

But, there are stretches on the Provo, and elsewhere in the state, where the water is high and fast, but safe for floating.

“It was fun coasting,” said Cathy Reese, who was floating the river today with her extended family, without a guide.  “There were a few little whitecaps. But, it was really fun.”

I asked here whether she was worried about the current.

“Totally safe,” she said. “We have little kids, and we had fun.”

“It kind of went back and forth between being calm and fast,” said Josie Haddock, one of the kids in the group.  “It was fun.”

They like to get out rafting on the river a couple of times a year, and they really enjoyed the conditions today.

“We’ve never had it when the water has been this high before,” said Jennifer Jenkinson.  “It was awesome, and it was fast. We probably got down in an hour.  Usually it takes two.”

Myers tells me business is down about 40% this year because of those river warnings, and cold, cool weather. He’s had a lot of calls from people wondering whether he’s open, and he’s been open the last two months.

“People are saying stay away,” he said.  “But, it’s not really stay away so much as be prepared when you come to the river.”

His company outfits everyone in a life jacket, and covers all safety precautions before they ever leave the shore.

“Just make sure you are safe, and you know where you’re going,” he said.  He recommends calling your local outfitters if you don’t have experience.

You can contact High Country Adventure, or any of a number of other outfitters across Utah to plan your river adventure this summer.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Outdoors & Adventure

Beaver Mountain ready...
Mike Anderson

Cache Valley resorts cashing in on early start dates

Ski resorts in Cache Valley planned for some of their earliest start dates in about a decade thanks to our recent storms.
4 days ago
New marina bear lake...
Mike Anderson

Residents review proposals for second marina at Bear Lake

People who love spending summer weekends and vacations at Bear Lake State Park gathered Wednesday to review proposals for a second marina.
17 days ago
Snow covers the trees and mountains with paths for skiers....
Shelby Lofton

Skiers stuck in long lines before hitting the slopes

Ski resorts are opening early, and people are waiting in lines to visit.
21 days ago
Old mill ruins and snow at Sweetwater Creek State Park in Atlanta, Georgia....
Zoe Sottile, CNN

‘A whole new world’: Georgia debuts all-terrain wheelchairs at its state parks

Wheelchair users will now be able to explore Georgia's state parks with free all-terrain wheelchairs.
21 days ago
Aerial view of Millcreek Canyon, snow cap mountain and trees...
Carter Williams

Millcreek Canyon temporary closed as part of ongoing wildfire mitigation project

Millcreek canyon is closed for parts of Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday this week as Rocky Mountain Power crews remove about 150 power poles.
24 days ago
Brooke Williams

3-year-old lost in wilderness overnight found safe Saturday morning

A 3-year-old boy went missing Friday night and was found on a hillside Saturday morning.
1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 reasons you may want to consider apartment life over owning a home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Take this quiz before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t let a ransomware attack get you down | Protect your workplace today with cyber insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Guides Encourage Utahns To Enjoy Safe River Fun