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Arkansas River Tours

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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29 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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Half-Day Royal Gorge Whitewater Rafting Adventure Cañon City CO

Half-Day Royal Gorge Whitewater Rafting Adventure Cañon City CO

star-5
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
$80.90
From
$80.90

Royal Gorge Rafting and Zipline Tour(FREE gear use!) - Raft, Classic Zip & lunch

Royal Gorge Rafting and Zipline Tour(FREE gear use!) - Raft, Classic Zip & lunch

star-5
Splash through one of the most famous canyons in the American West on a combo Royal Gorge rafting and zipline adventure. Tackle the whitewater rapids on this most dramatic section of the Arkansas River, and then strap in for a high-flying zipline ride than spans more than a mile of stunning Colorado scenery. In between activities, recharge with lunch at a rustic bar and grill near the river.
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  • 10 hours
From
$197.00
From
$197.00

Bighorn Sheep Canyon Raft and Zipline - Class III Rapids, 9 Zip Lines, & lunch

Bighorn Sheep Canyon Raft and Zipline - Class III Rapids, 9 Zip Lines, & lunch

star-5
Complete two popular outdoor adventures against the backdrop of crisp Colorado scenery on this combo tour with a top-rated company. Spend the morning navigating the mild rapids of Bighorn Sheep Canyon on a whitewater rafting run that’s perfect for beginners and families. After lunch at a bar and grill near the Arkansas River, take flight on an exciting zipline course above the high desert landscape.
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  • 1 day
From
$186.00
From
$186.00

Half Day Bighorn Sheep Canyon Rafting Adventure Cañon City CO

Half Day Bighorn Sheep Canyon Rafting Adventure Cañon City CO

star-5
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 to 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$61.53
From
$61.53

Arkansas River Dinner Float

Arkansas River Dinner Float

star-4.5
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 to 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$78.26
From
$78.26

Browns Canyon Rafting Full Day

Browns Canyon Rafting Full Day

star-5
Raft down Colorado’s Arkansas River in Browns Canyon on this half-day whitewater rafting adventure. Start at Buena Vista and make your way down 12 class I, II, and III rapids with your guide across 16 miles of rivers. Enjoy a delicious, locally sourced, lunch just on the banks of the river and admire the beautiful views of the Collegiate Peaks.
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$137.24
From
$137.24

Browns Canyon National Monument Whitewater Rafting

Browns Canyon National Monument Whitewater Rafting

star-5
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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  • 4 to 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$95.03
From
$95.03

Bighorn Sheep Canyon Full Day Whitewater Experience

Bighorn Sheep Canyon Full Day Whitewater Experience

star-5
Enjoy a full day on the Arkansas River with this guided whitewater tour that sets you up for success, even if it's your first time rafting. The Bighorn Sheep Canyon it is an ideal choice for beginners and families, featuring mild class I-III rapids and plenty of tranquil stretches to catch your breath and soak in the gorgeous Colorado scenery. A riverside lunch helps keeps the energy up, while optional photos and videos provide a lasting memento of your river adventure.
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$151.98
From
$151.98
Taking safety measures

Numbers Full Day Rafting Trip

Numbers Full Day Rafting Trip

star-5
Get your adrenaline pumping as you embark on this whitewater rafting excursion down the Arkansas River. Navigate Class IV and IV+ rapids with your group and guide. take in the beautiful scenery along the way, and refuel with a fajita feast right on the banks of the river. This tour is suitable for those in good physical condition and can swim; no prior rafting experience required but is recommended.
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  • 7 hours 15 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$141.89
From
$141.89

Numbers Half Day Rafting Trip with Lunch

Numbers Half Day Rafting Trip with Lunch

star-5
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! 
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  • 4 hours 15 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$116.54
From
$116.54

Numbers Extreme Whitewater Rafting

Numbers Extreme Whitewater Rafting

star-5
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
$106.21
From
$106.21

Half Day Expert Rafting Trip on Pine Creek with Lunch

Half Day Expert Rafting Trip on Pine Creek with Lunch

star-5
This is an expert level half day trip, level V section of the Arkansas River. This trip contains the most challenging whitewater on the Arkansas River. Narrow, fast, and technical, the river drops nearly 200 feet over its steepest mile. Previous rafting experience is highly recommended and good physical condition is required. Afterwards you will finish your trip with a fajita feast hot lunch.
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  • 5 hours 45 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$126.42
From
$126.42

Full Day Royal Gorge Whitewater Rafting Adventure Canon City CO

Full Day Royal Gorge Whitewater Rafting Adventure Canon City CO

star-5
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
$120.36
From
$120.36

Lower Browns Canyon Mildwater Float Trip

Lower Browns Canyon Mildwater Float Trip

star-5
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
$96.26
From
$96.26

Full-Day Bighorn Sheep Canyon Rafting Adventure Cañon City CO

Full-Day Bighorn Sheep Canyon Rafting Adventure Cañon City CO

star-5
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.
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  • 6 to 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$109.70
From
$109.70

Bighorn Sheep Canyon Full-Day Experience

Bighorn Sheep Canyon Full-Day Experience

star-5
Get ready for a wet and wild ride with this full-day rafting adventure down the Arkansas River’s Bighorn Sheep Canyon! Departing from Cañon City, tackle class II and II whitewater rapids with the help of an expert guide while winding through gorgeous Colorado scenery. With an included picnic lunch and plenty of opportunities to stop and swim, it’s a great introduction to rafting for first-timers and families.
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  • 8 hours
From
$118.00
From
$118.00

Milk Run Family Rafting Trip

Milk Run Family Rafting Trip

star-5
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
From
$64.44
From
$64.44

Intermediate Bighorn Sheep Canyon Whitewater Rafting Trip

Intermediate Bighorn Sheep Canyon Whitewater Rafting Trip

star-5
See what makes Bighorn Sheep Canyon one of the most popular rafting locations near the Royal Gorge on a half-day whitewater adventure that’s suitable for both novices and experienced rafters. Soak up views of the Sangre de Cristo mountains and pristine Colorado scenery in between tackling class II-IV rapids. At just a half day, it's an easy way to fit in a favorite Rocky Mountains outdoor activity.
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  • 3 to 4 hours
From
$80.50
From
$80.50

Bighorn Sheep Canyon Half-Day Rafting

Bighorn Sheep Canyon Half-Day Rafting

star-5
Paddle down the scenic Arkansas River on a half-day rafting adventure through Colorado’s Bighorn Sheep Canyon. Navigate class II and II whitewater rapids with an expert guide, and soak up the beauty of the surrounding high desert landscape, home to an abundance of native wildlife. It’s a great way for families and first-timers to experience one of Colorado’s favorite—and wettest!—outdoor adventure sports.
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  • 3 hours
From
$65.88
From
$65.88

Royal Gorge Full Rafting Experience

Royal Gorge Full Rafting Experience

star-5
Tackle some of Colorado's most prized rapids with a whitewater rafting trip through the magnificent canyons of the Royal Gorge. Navigate class III-V swells with an experienced guide, taking a break midday for a hearty riverside lunch featuring grilled steaks. From transport to key check service and optional photos and videos of the wet and wild adventure, all the details are arranged so you can focus on the water.
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$175.54
From
$175.54
Taking safety measures

Full Day Intermediate Rafting Trip in Browns Canyon

Full Day Intermediate Rafting Trip in Browns Canyon

star-5
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
From
$127.70
From
$127.70

Royal Gorge Full-Day Rafting Trip

Royal Gorge Full-Day Rafting Trip

star-5
Experience the ultimate in Colorado whitewater on this full-day Royal Gorge rafting trip from Cañon City. Warm up with a run down Bighorn Sheep Canyon, then put your paddling skills to the test while tacking the thrilling whitewater flumes of the Royal Gorge. A riverside picnic lunch is included on this wet and unforgettable adventure.
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  • 6 hours
From
$140.58
From
$140.58

The Numbers Half-Day Rafting Tour

The Numbers Half-Day Rafting Tour

star-5
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
$75.00
From
$75.00

Half-Day Rafting Tour Through the Royal Gorge

Half-Day Rafting Tour Through the Royal Gorge

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
From
$82.50
From
$82.50

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