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Arkansas River Tours and Activities

Arkansas River
Flowing through four states, the Arkansas River is the sixth longest river in the United States. Its source basin and Arkansas River Canyon can be found in Colorado, where it is a popular spot to go whitewater rafting. It runs past the Rocky Mountains and drops extensively as it flows through the valley, creating the conditions that are good for rafting and kayaking. Depending on the section of the river there is everything from Class IV and V rapids to gentler II and III sections that are ideal for beginners. Waters weave scenically in and through canyons and gorges surrounded by thick forest and snow-capped peaks.

Aside from boating and fishing, visitors to the Arkansas River often utilize the facilities and the beautiful backdrop for activities such as hiking, camping, mountain biking, birding, and rock climbing. There is also great fly fishing in this part of the river, particularly for trout.


Practical Info

The Arkansas River is located about 120 miles from Denver and 90 miles west of Colorado Springs. There may be fees to access parts of the river, but most of the recreation facilities are free to use. There is a visitors center for the Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area located in Salida.

Address: Colorado, USA
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36 Tours and Activities to Experience Arkansas River

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Free Cancellation:Get a full refund up to 24 hours in advance on most experiences.See Details
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Arkansas River Dinner Float

Arkansas River Dinner Float

star-4.5
4
Come enjoy a unique Colorado white water rafting and dining experience. Ideal for families with young children and groups looking for mild white water rafting in Colorado with a delicious ending. Float from our office for about 30-45 minutes to the Riverside Bar and Grill where you can relax over dinner with your family and friends. Included in the trip cost per person are river shoe rentals and a meal voucher that generally covers an entree and drink. Total trip duration, including check-in, shuttle, float and dining time is 2-3 hours.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$76.31
From
$76.31

Browns Canyon National Monument Whitewater Rafting

Browns Canyon National Monument Whitewater Rafting

star-5
110
Enjoy the experience of a lifetime with family friendly Colorado rafting through Browns Canyon National Monument on the Arkansas River. Exciting class III-IV rapids intermixed with calm water in between make Browns Canyon rafting great for beginners and experts alike.
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$92.65
From
$92.65

Half-Day Bighorn Sheep Canyon Rafting Adventure in Cotopaxi

Half-Day Bighorn Sheep Canyon Rafting Adventure in Cotopaxi

star-5
16
Experience excellent Colorado Rafting as you hit the most exciting and iconic rapids in the Bighorn Sheep Canyon. This is the perfect Arkansas River trip for beginner to intermediate rafters. Journey Quest is a non-profit Christ-centered rafting ministry, and these trip are uplifting, family-friendly adventures. You’ll love the scenery, the experience, and the intentional ministry led by our guides on your next Colorado whitewater rafting adventure.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$67.44
From
$67.44

Lower Browns Canyon Mildwater Float Trip

Lower Browns Canyon Mildwater Float Trip

star-5
19
A wonderful family friendly white water rafting trip in Colorado! Splash, swim, and take in the stunning views while a professional river guide rows you down the river without the interruption of paddling (unless of course, you want to paddle)! Enjoy bouncy wave trains, man made white water park, and wildlife sightings on this calm and picturesque section suitable for children as young as 4.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$93.14
From
$93.14

1-Day Arkansas River - Browns Canyon Rafting Trip

1-Day Arkansas River - Browns Canyon Rafting Trip

star-5
8
Experience the adrenaline-pumping excitement of a whitewater rafting adventure in the heart of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains on this professionally guided, full-day excursion. Ride along the clear, crisp waters of the Arkansas River, from the river’s source in the beautiful Arkansas Valley, with dramatic 14,000 foot peaks to the bottom of the Royal Gorge. Crash through the Class II and III rapids of the Granite Gorge and Browns Canyon National Monument whitewater. All boating equipment and lunch are included.
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$125.00
From
$125.00
Taking safety measures

Half-Day Arkansas River - Browns Canyon Rafting Trip

Half-Day Arkansas River - Browns Canyon Rafting Trip

star-5
15
Experience the adrenaline-pumping excitement of a whitewater rafting adventure in the heart of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains on this professionally guided, half-day excursion. Ride along the clear, crisp waters of the Arkansas River, from the river’s source in the beautiful Arkansas Valley, with dramatic 14,000 foot peaks to the bottom of the Royal Gorge. Crash through the Class II and III rapids of the Granite Gorge and Browns Canyon National Monument whitewater. All boating equipment — rain gear, drinking water and a personal floatation device — are included.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$85.00
From
$85.00
Taking safety measures

1-Day Arkansas River - Bighorn Sheep Canyon Trip

1-Day Arkansas River - Bighorn Sheep Canyon Trip

Experience the adrenaline-pumping excitement of a whitewater rafting adventure on this professionally guided, half-day excursion at Bighorn Sheep Canyon. Ride along the clear, crisp waters of the Arkansas River, with beautiful views of the snow-covered Sangre de Cristo Mountains. A gentle start crashes into more challenging Class II and III rapids for the more experienced paddler. It’s a perfect balance for kids and adults wanting to share a fun day on the river. All boating equipment — rain gear, drinking water and a personal floatation device — are included.
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  • 2 to 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$125.00
From
$125.00

Half-Day Arkansas River - The Numbers Rafting Tour

Half-Day Arkansas River - The Numbers Rafting Tour

star-5
2
Experience the adrenaline-pumping excitement of a whitewater rafting adventure on this professionally guided, half-day, small-group excursion. Crash through the Class IV rapids of the Arkansas River, home to world-class kayak competitions. See pine forests lining the river banks and the Collegiate Peaks towering over 14,000 feet above the river’s corridor. Paddlers must be at least 18 years old. All boating equipment — rain gear, drinking water and a personal floatation device — are included.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$120.00
From
$120.00

Half-Day Arkansas River - Royal Gorge Rafting Trip

Half-Day Arkansas River - Royal Gorge Rafting Trip

Experience the adrenaline-pumping excitement of a whitewater rafting adventure on this professionally guided, half-day, small-group excursion. Ride along Class IV and V rapids, the wild side of the Arkansas River. Royal Gorge was once a place where boaters left the river alone. With state-of-the-art equipment and better technical understanding, however, this section of rapids has become a thrilling and challenging whitewater rafting trip. Experience is a must.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$89.75
From
$89.75
Taking safety measures

1-Day Arkansas River - The Numbers Rafting Trip

1-Day Arkansas River - The Numbers Rafting Trip

star-5
1
Experience the adrenaline-pumping excitement of a whitewater rafting adventure on this professionally guided, full-day, small-group excursion. Crash through the Class IV rapids of the Arkansas River, winding its way through a whitewater paradise in the center of Colorado at 11,000 feet. Paddlers must be at least 18 years old. All the necessary equipment — rain gear, helmet, drinking water and a personal floatation device — plus a deli-style lunch are included.
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$150.00
From
$150.00
Taking safety measures

1-Day Arkansas River - Royal Gorge Rafting - Expert Level

1-Day Arkansas River - Royal Gorge Rafting - Expert Level

Experience the adrenaline-pumping excitement of a whitewater rafting adventure on this professionally guided, full-day, small-group excursion. Ride along Class IV and V rapids, under the world famous Royal Gorge Bridge, 1,400 feet above the river. Royal Gorge was once a place where boaters left the river alone. With state-of-the-art equipment and better technical understanding, however, this section of rapids has become a thrilling and challenging whitewater rafting trip. Experience is a must. All boating equipment — rain gear, drinking water and a personal floatation device — plus lunch, are included.
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  • 4 to 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$195.00
From
$195.00
Taking safety measures

Full Day Royal Gorge Whitewater Rafting Adventure Canon City CO

Full Day Royal Gorge Whitewater Rafting Adventure Canon City CO

star-5
10
The Royal Gorge is one of the most thrilling and exciting whitewater rafting trips on the Arkansas River. Enjoy the beauty and thrill of God’s creation as you experience 1,000 foot high canyon walls, confront exciting Class III-V rapids, and see the famous Royal Gorge Bridge. Full-day trips start with Bighorn Canyon (class III-IV), break for a delicious riverside lunch, then drop into the Royal Gorge (class IV-V). Journey Quest is a non-profit Christ-centered rafting ministry, and these trip are uplifting, family-friendly adventures. You’ll love the scenery, the experience, and the intentional ministry led by our guides on this Colorado whitewater rafting adventure. The Royal Gorge is a serious section of river. Previous class III or higher paddling experience and strong swimming ability are recommended for all guests. For the safety of our guests and guides, we cannot take guests who are over 250lbs or individuals with a history of heart or serious medical problems.
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  • 6 to 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$138.16
From
$138.16

Half-Day Royal Gorge Whitewater Rafting Adventure Cañon City CO

Half-Day Royal Gorge Whitewater Rafting Adventure Cañon City CO

star-5
10
The Royal Gorge is one of the most thrilling and exciting whitewater rafting trips on the Arkansas River. Enjoy the beauty and thrill of God’s creation as you experience 1,000 foot high canyon walls, confront exciting Class IV-V rapids, and see the famous Royal Gorge Bridge. The Royal Gorge is a serious section of river facing Class III-V Rapids, and a half-day trip is not a suitable introduction for beginners. Previous class III or higher paddling experience and strong swimming ability are recommended for all guests. For the safety of our guests and guides, we cannot take guests who are over 250lbs or individuals with a history of heart or serious medical problems. Journey Quest is a non-profit Christ-centered rafting ministry, and these trip are uplifting, family-friendly adventures. You’ll love the scenery, the experience, and the intentional ministry led by our guides on this Colorado whitewater rafting adventure.
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  • 3 to 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$86.16
From
$86.16

Half Day Bighorn Sheep Canyon Rafting Adventure Cañon City CO

Half Day Bighorn Sheep Canyon Rafting Adventure Cañon City CO

star-5
24
Experience excellent Colorado Rafting as you hit the most exciting and iconic rapids in the Bighorn Sheep Canyon. This is the perfect Arkansas River trip for beginner to intermediate rafters. Journey Quest is a non-profit Christ-centered rafting ministry, and these trip are uplifting, family-friendly adventures. You’ll love the scenery, the experience, and the intentional ministry led by our guides on your next Colorado whitewater rafting adventure.
More
  • 3 to 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$67.44
From
$67.44

Full-Day Bighorn Sheep Canyon Rafting Adventure Cañon City CO

Full-Day Bighorn Sheep Canyon Rafting Adventure Cañon City CO

star-5
6
The Full-Day Bighorn Sheep Canyon trip is a perfect way to have fun with family and friends. With a full-day on the river, there’s plenty of time to take a plunge into the Arkansas River, play games, view wildlife, and enjoy everything else Bighorn Sheep Canyon has to offer. Join us on your next full day of Colorado Rafting fun! Journey Quest is a non-profit Christ-centered rafting ministry, and these trip are uplifting, family-friendly adventures. You’ll love the scenery, the experience, and the intentional ministry led by our guides on this Colorado whitewater rafting adventure.
More
  • 6 to 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$113.20
From
$113.20

Full-Day Bighorn Sheep Canyon Rafting Adventure Cotopaxi CO

Full-Day Bighorn Sheep Canyon Rafting Adventure Cotopaxi CO

star-5
3
The Full-Day Bighorn Sheep Canyon trip is a perfect way to have fun with family and friends. With a full-day on the river, there’s plenty of time to take a plunge into the Arkansas River, play games, view wildlife, and enjoy everything else Bighorn Sheep Canyon has to offer. Join us on your next full day of Colorado Rafting fun! Journey Quest is a non-profit Christ-centered rafting ministry, and these trip are uplifting, family-friendly adventures. You’ll love the scenery, the experience, and the intentional ministry led by our guides on this Colorado whitewater rafting adventure.
More
  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$113.20
From
$113.20

Numbers Extreme Whitewater Rafting

Numbers Extreme Whitewater Rafting

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15
Extreme Colorado white water rafting on the Arkansas River in Buena Vista is for experienced rafters or adventurous beginners in good physical condition. The Numbers sections offers some of the most technical white water rafting in Colorado. Be prepared for a full body workout as your professional river guide directs your group through each back to back rapid. Enjoy scenic views of the 14,000 foot Collegiate Peaks and cottonwood lined riverbanks between paddle strokes
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$103.56
From
$103.56

Milk Run Family Rafting Trip

Milk Run Family Rafting Trip

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28
Beginners will feel safe and comfortable on this 1-hour rafting trip down the Milk Run of the Arkansas River in Buena Vista, CO. Families with small children over two years old can paddle together through easy splashes and gentle floats with mountain views. All paddling equipment and safety gear is included.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$84.63
From
$84.63
Taking safety measures

Browns Canyon Intermediate Rafting Trip with Transportation

Browns Canyon Intermediate Rafting Trip with Transportation

star-5
55
Journey to the Browns Canyon National Monument, and spend time on the Arkansas River with this 7-hour rafting adventure. Set out on the river, and roll over heart-pumping rapids, including the popular Pinball, Zoom Flume, and Big Drop. Make the most of your trip to Colorado with a full day planned out for you, including round-trip transportation from either Breckenridge, Fisco, or Keystone. Plus this adventure is fun for both beginners and rafting enthusiasts.
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$146.48
From
$146.48
Taking safety measures

Numbers Express: Advanced Rafting Trip with Transportation

Numbers Express: Advanced Rafting Trip with Transportation

star-5
9
Experience the thrill of some of Colorado’s most exciting whitewater rafting on this incredible full-day trip. Raft down the picturesque Arkansas River and gaze upon rocky mountain views between thrilling bursts. Hurtle down the rapids, including some medium-sized drops and prepare to get wet. The rafting is fast-paced and continuous, so this trip is designed for strong swimmers and those with previous rafting experience.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$161.67
From
$161.67
Taking safety measures

Half Day Rafting Trip in Browns Canyon with Lunch

Half Day Rafting Trip in Browns Canyon with Lunch

star-5
26
Browns Canyon on the Arkansas River is our most popular trip! The unique combination of lots of exciting whitewater, spectacular canyon scenery, great mountain views of some of Colorado’s highest mountains and opportunities to spot wildlife make this the ideal raft trip. Exciting enough for seasoned paddlers, but not too scary for first-timers. You will want to bring your friends and family for epic rapids such as Pinball, Zoom Flume, and Big Drop! This trip includes our Ultimate Fajita Feast hot lunch!
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$129.12
From
$129.12
Taking safety measures

Full Day Intermediate Rafting Trip in Browns Canyon

Full Day Intermediate Rafting Trip in Browns Canyon

star-5
55
Novice and advanced rafters alike agree that running Browns Canyon on the Arkansas River makes for a fun-filled day on the water. Admire canyon scenery as you head through white water, including rapids such as Pinball and Big Drop. Lunch is also included for you to enjoy partway through the trip.
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  • 6 hours 45 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$135.63
From
$135.63
Taking safety measures

Numbers - Half Day Trip

Numbers - Half Day Trip

star-5
16
ADVANCED -IV-lV+ – ARKANSAS RIVER This stretch of river contains some of Colorado’s most exciting whitewater! With some soaking splashes, a few medium-sized drops and nearly non-stop action, you will want to be in good physical condition and be a good swimmer. Enjoy amazing views of the impressive, snow-capped Collegiate Peaks while resting between long rapids. Perfect for the whitewater veterans and adrenaline-seeking first timers. Min age: 14 Meeting location:  Buena Vista Run Level:  Advanced
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  • 3 hours 15 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$118.27
From
$118.27
Taking safety measures

Numbers Half Day Rafting Trip with Lunch

Numbers Half Day Rafting Trip with Lunch

star-5
7
Advanced -IV-lV+ rafting on the Arkansas River! This stretch of river contains some of Colorado’s most exciting whitewater! With some soaking splashes, a few medium-sized drops and nearly non-stop action, you will want to be in good physical condition and be a good swimmer. Enjoy amazing views of the impressive, snow-capped Collegiate Peaks while resting between long rapids. Perfect for the whitewater veterans and adrenaline-seeking first timers! This Trip includes our Ultimate Fajita Feast hot lunch! 
More
  • 4 hours 15 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$139.97
From
$139.97
Taking safety measures

Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What's the best way to experience Arkansas River?