CANON CITY — Colorado rafting companies are kicking into high gear as the heavy snowpack in the mountains begins to melt.

Raft Masters owner Will Colon, whose company has been hitting the rapids this year since mid-March, tells The Canon City Daily Record ( ) "it's shaping up to be the perfect season."

He says the key is for the snowpack to melt gradually, feeding a steady amount of water into the state's waterways. If the snow melts too quickly, boaters will see a surge of water but it won't last until Labor Day, which typically marks the end of rafting season.

Strong flows have been reported on the Arkansas River, one of Colorado's most popular rivers for rafting. High water was reported on the river last year, but a chunk of the waterway was closed because of the Royal Gorge Fire.