The Arkansas River in Colorado is one of the most fun to raft in the state. Its waters offer a good mixture of rapid classes that allow for paddlers of all levels to enjoy. While rafting the river you’re bound to see countless sights, all of which will make lasting memories for you.
The river begins its flow high up in the infamous Rocky Mountains (near Leadville) and it typically has a peak season that stretches from May until September. Sometimes if the snowfall during the previous season was abundant, river tours will begin a little earlier than usual. This river is the perfect option for families and beginner or intermediate paddlers, though it does offer Class V rapids for those a little more experienced.
This summer, discover the many twists and turns of the Arkansas river and see what it has to offer! And if you’ve never been before, now is the perfect time for you to test out your skills. Before you do make your decision, however, let’s take a closer look at what you can expect while you’re out on the river. To truly get the most out of your journey it helps to sometimes know all the details ahead of time!
On The River
Being one of the most sought-after whitewater rivers is a tough job. But the Arkansas does a great job delivering thrilling adventures every time you navigate it. Within the first 125 miles, the river takes a deep plunge of more than 5,000 feet. Along the river- depending on where you start- rafters will come across many of Colorado’s “fourteeners” and wildlife like bighorn sheep, elk, deer, and birds.
The river snakes through several stunning landmarks, including Browns Canyon and Royal Gorge. Both are favorites spots for outdoor lovers near and far and can be added to your “to-do” list for a future trip.
Several rafting companies offer half-day to overnight rafting through areas like Browns Canyon, where the rapids are between Class III-V. The water tends to rise up and will inevitably splash into your raft. It’s always a good idea to add a wetsuit under your regular clothes even on hot days because the water can get cold.
If you’re in traveling from the Royal Gorge area first, expect rapids to be between Class IV-V. These waters move fast and you’ll encounter large rapids along the way.
The Swallows section of the river runs between Canon City and Pueblo. Here, paddlers will encounter calm, scenic sections that allow you to float rather than face rapid after rapid. This area also allows families to experience the river in a more relaxed way.
Get Away From it All
Experiencing the landscape of Colorado from the river is a truly unique adventure on its own. The integrity and conservation of the land near the river as well as the water itself are painstakingly taken care. The water and land are both teeming with life and its easy to get caught up in nature while you’re on the river.
The Arkansas River whitewater rafting in Colorado offers one of the most diverse experiences along its route, with many opportunities to camp and explore along the banks. Rafting companies are pros at helping you adjust to the ways of the river and making it one of the most unforgettable trips you’ll ever take.
This summer, switch it up a little and travel the outdoors through whitewater rafting. Take the opportunity to challenge yourself by navigating one of the best whitewater trips in the United States! And if you’re not sure which company to pick to guide you on the river, consider Performance Tours or Wilderness Aware Rafting as your go-to gurus. They’re just some of the many incredible rafting companies with decades of combined experience.
Their familiarity and awareness of the river and the world around it will put you at ease. So isn’t it time that you schedule this fun family activity to see what it’s all about? Discover the wonders of the Arkansas River and leave feeling a sense of awe!