Click here for Clear Creek Rafting Company, Whitewater Rafting near Colorado Springs Colorado
Whitewater Rafting Whitewater Rafting

Colorado Whitewater Rafting & Kayaking
Arkansas River Rafting & Kayaking

 

The Arkansas is the most popular whitewater river in America and it is open for rafting from May though September. This 100-mile stretch of water flows through the spectacular Browns Canyon National Monument and is used by more than 400,000 rafters, kayakers, fishermen, campers and wildlife viewers each year. The Arkansas River has an average gradient of 38 feet per mile.

Rafting the Arkansas River, Colorado
Rafting the Arkansas River is Perfect For All Ages
Browns Canyon National Monument, Colorado
The Famous Browns Canyon National Monument

 

The Arkansas River is divided in three different sections. The upper section, the Bighorn, flows by the Cotopaxi cliffs. As you cruise down the river, you will experience geological formations and views of the Sangre de Cristo mountain range. Bighorn Sheep are commonly seen as you raft down the river. These rapids are classified as III-IV rapids.

Continuing down the river to the Royal Gorge section that features giant waves, steep technical drops and almost continuous whitewater through the narrow canyon of the Royal Gorge. As you adventure though some of the most challenging whitewater you'll find, you may not even notice the Royal Gorge Bridge 1053 feet above the river. To traverse this section, you must be in good physical shape to navigate the class IV-V rapids.

Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area is one of the nation's premier recreation areas. Stretching for 152 miles along the Arkansas River, the area offers abundant and outstanding opportunities for rafting, kayaking, picnicking, hiking,  fishing, mountain biking, and sightseeing among deep canyons, broad valleys and towering mountain peaks. The Arkansas River is very popular for private and commercial boaters alike. There are many public areas easily accessible from the area's highways, some require a hike.

BOATING ACCESS POINTS: Along Highway 50 from Mile Marker 100 to 119 are Pinnacle Rock, Salt Lick, Five Points, Spikebuck, Parkdale, Pink House, Centennial Park and River Station. Along Highway 24 from Mile Marker 0 to 119 are Lake Fork, Crystal Lakes, Hayden Meadows, Kobe, and Granite. Along Highway 24 from Mile Marker 14 to 32 are Granite, Clear Creek North & South, Numbers Launch Site, Riverside, Railroad Bridge, Buena Vista. Along Highway 24 from Mile Marker 36 to 52 are Fisherman's Bridge, Ruby Mountain, Hecla Junction, Stone Bridge. Along Highway 50 from Mile Marker 60 to 72 are Salida Boat Ramp, Salida East, Rincon.  Along Highway 50 from Mile Marker 80 to 96 are Vallie Bridge, Trading Post, Lone Pine, Fernleaf Gulch, Texas Creek, Maytag.

Browns Canyon is the last section of the Arkansas River, which runs near the Buena Vista area. This section of the river is tamer than the other sections and is more suitable for all ages with class III-III+ rapids.

The International Rapid Rating Scale:

  • Class I: Easy. Fast moving water with riffles, small waves.
  • Class II: Novice. Straightforward rapids, wide, clear channels.
  • Class III: Intermediate. Rapids, moderate, irregular waves.
  • Class IV: Advanced. Intense, powerful rapids, precise boat handling.
  • Class V: Expert. Long, obstructed, violent rapids.

key to symbols

Places to Stay & Fun Things to Do

4 Seasons RV Resort Email link icon Photos on page icon Special offers and discounts link icon
In the Heart of the Rockies, 2 miles E of Salida. Full RV hookups on level, grassy sites by the Arkansas River. 3 mountain resort cabins. Open 4 Seasons! $AVE MONEY, LONGER STAY! Multi-night discounts.
A Raft Masters Adventure Web page link icon Photos on page icon
Rafting adventures on either The Arkansas River, 45 miles from Colorado Springs in Canon City; or, Clear Creek, 30 miles from Denver in Idaho Springs. Raft Masters FREE use of wetsuit and river-boots.
Acquired Tastes Rafting Web page link icon Photos on page icon New Colorado business icon
We provide a smaller, more personal rafting experience with 2 MORE RAPIDS! Acquired Tastes Rafting has 1/2-day, full-day and 2-day adventures. Takeout and camp are on private property along the River.
Adventure Outfitters Web page link icon Photos on page icon
Great Guides+Great Prices = Great Value! It's that simple! Rafting! Family Adventure to Expert Runs. Full Day or 1/2-Day trips into Bighorn Sheep Canyon and the Royal Gorge. Outfitters Committed To Safety!
Agate Dog Inc dba Geo Tours Whitewater Raft Trips Web page link icon Photos on page icon
Metro Area base in Morrison! Geo Tours is WHITEWATER RAFTING. Experienced staff, owners since 1981. Clear Creek mini-trips; closest to Denver, perfect family outing. Gold Medal waters fishing trips.
Arkansas River Tours - Family Floats to Extreme Adventures Email link icon Web page link icon Photos on page icon
Family reunions - Our specialty! Since 1973, ART offers exceptional floats trips to extreme adventures on the Arkansas River; in Cotopaxi, between Canon City and Salida. Wilderness Tours in Gunnison Gorge.
Chalk Creek Campground, Cabins and RV Park Web page link icon Photos on page icon
Near Buena Vista, Salida, fishing, rafting, hiking, hot springs pools, off-roading. Log Cabins have kitchen and bathroom. Some campground sites along Chalk Creek. Large full hookups RV sites! FREE WI-FI!!
City of Salida Hot Springs Aquatic Center Web page link icon Location map of property icon
The largest indoor hot springs aquatic center in Colorado! Open year-round in Salida. Relax in natural, hot, mineral water with family swimming and soaking pools. Private European style natural hot baths.
Clear Creek Rafting Co. Email link icon Web page link icon Photos on page icon
Something for everyone! Whitewater trips on 2 GREAT RIVERS: The Arkansas River and Clear Creek. 2 CONVENIENT LOCATIONS: Royal Gorge and Idaho Springs! From 2 hours to multi-day rafting tours.
Colorado Adventures - Wilderness Aware Web page link icon Photos on page icon Special offers and discounts link icon
BE AWARE: Family Outdoor Fun! Colorado Adventures was twice name: Colorado Company of the Year! Daily trips on 5 rivers into the Wilderness. Multi-day raft excursions include Inn-to-Inn all inclusive stays.
MoonShadow Ranch Web page link icon
Mild Weather Year Round -- MoonShadow is a Family Vacation Home -- 4-bedroom Ranch -- between Salida and Canon City -- In the Royal Gorge Region. In summer and winter gear up for ATVing or fishing.
Noah's Ark Whitewater Rafting and Adventure Co.
"Miles from Ordinary"
 Web page link icon Photos on page icon
The family whitewater rafting specialists since 1983! Noah's Ark is dedicated to excellence, adventure and fun. Half-day, full-day, overnight trips on the Arkansas River. Group discounts with reservations.
Royal Gorge Rafting, Zip Line Tours, Vacation Rentals, White Water Bar and Grill Web page link icon Photos on page icon
Colorado's #1 Royal Gorge Outfitter and Zip Line Tours. Royal Gorge Rafting, Zip Line Tours, White Water Bar and Grill - One Location - 100% FUN! Between Salida and Canon City on the Arkansas River.
Sweetwater River Ranch - Experience A River Vacation Web page link icon
On the Arkansas River - Sweetwater. WI-FI. At the Ranch fishing and bird watching. Nearby: raft, hike, ATV Jeep Trails, wildlife. Small, peaceful, relaxing. Near Royal Gorge, Canon City, Salida, and Westcliffe.

More Activities & Information

Buena Vista Area, Colorado includes: Johnson Village, Nathrop, St. Elmo

Royal Gorge Area, Colorado includes: Cañon City, Coaldale, Cotopaxi, Florence, Guffey, Penrose, Texas Creek

Salida, Colorado includes: Howard, Monarch, Poncha Springs



Rafting & Kayaking in Colorado


Click to return to main Colorado Rafting & Kayaking Map


horizontal rule
Follow Us On:
Follow us on Facebook Button Follow us on Pinterest Button Follow us on Instagram Button

Places to Stay & Facility Features
Cabins & Cottages | Motels & Hotels | Lodging & Lodges | Vacation Homes | Condos, Suites & Townhomes | Bed & Breakfast | Tent Camping | RV Parks & Campgrounds | RV Sales, Service & Rentals | Romance Packages | Family Friendly | Pets Welcome | By Water | Swimming Pools | Guest Horses | Groups, Reunions & Retreats | Weddings & Elopements | Winter Lodging

Fun Things to Do
Calendars of Events | National Parks, Monuments & Historic Sites | Scenic Byways & Drives | Fishing & Fly Fishing | Hot Springs | Horse Riding | ATVing | Jeeping & 4WD | Whitewater Rafting & Kayaking | Attractions | Golfing | Restaurants & Dining | More Fun Stuff | Hunting & Land Leases | Snowmobiling | Downhill Skiing & Snowboarding | Snowshoeing | Cross - Country Skiing

A-Z Towns & Areas | Colorado Maps | About Us

Copyright by The Colorado Directory, Inc. This is a directory only; it is not and does not contain a recommendation,warranty, guaranty, inducement or endorsement of any kind. Representations herein were supplied by the individual businesses. The publisher, The Colorado Directory, Inc., does not assume any responsibility for truth, falsity or completeness of any representation made herein or any errors, changes, services rendered, or changes made in the use of this directory. This information was compiled as accurately as possible. Prices and services are frequently subject to change. Errors called to the publisher's attention will be corrected in the future. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored or transmitted in any form or by any means, without permission in writing from the publisher.