Arkansas River Rafting
Come Whitewater Rafting on the Arkansas River!
The excitement of continuous whitewater rafting, including Beginner-Intermediate, Advanced and Overnight Trips!
There’s a reason that whitewater rafting in Colorado on the Arkansas River is one of the most popular and exciting river trips in the country. Combine the scenic beauty of the Arkansas River Valley in the Colorado mountains and the excitement of continuous whitewater and you get one of the most fantastic whitewater trips available. From beginner trips for the whole family to Class V paddling challenges that test even the best rafters, there are stretches of the Arkansas River right for any rafting ability! All Arkansas whitewater rafting trips leave from the AVA Granite Outpost, located 12 miles north of Buena Vista in Central Colorado.
We took our first trip with AVA on vacation in 2004 prior to moving to Colorado in 2006, now we go every summer! We go with our son and friends who come to town and have always had great trips and guides. This year we are thinking about trying a zipline rafting trip. I highly recommend AVA, you’ll have a blast!— Chris, Colorado
Colorado’s Arkansas River Whitewater Rafting Season: May thru September
- Most Arkansas River rafting trips leave from the AVA Granite Outpost, located 12 miles north of Buena Vista in Central Colorado. (Royal Gorge leaves from Canon City.)
Call 800-370-0581 today for reservations.
Beginner-Intermediate Whitewater Rafting Trips on the Arkansas River
On the Arkansas River, you’ll find whitewater trips that are ideal for beginner and intermediate rafters. We offer you Brown’s Canyon and Granite Gorge – two outstanding whitewater river runs that are perfect for rafters of any ability. We call these our “family whitewater trips.”
Brown’s Canyon is the nation’s most rafted stretch of river thanks to dramatic scenery, consistently excellent whitewater and easy access from Buena Vista. The whitewater rapids your group will experience on these river trips are safe for younger members of your group while still thrilling for adults and more experienced rafters. Come see the splendor of Brown’s Canyon yourself and you’ll know why the Colorado wilderness is one of our nation’s true treasures.
Granite Gorge is perfect for a quick introduction to Class III whitewater rapids that won’t take up your entire day. With a minimum of 7 yrs and 50 lbs., Granite Gorge is a popular choice for families of all sizes.
- Brown’s Canyon Express 3/4 Day
- Brown’s Canyon Sizzler Full Day
- Brown’s Canyon Half Day river trip
- Granite Gorge 1/3 Day
Intermediate-Advanced Whitewater Rafting Trips on the Arkansas River
The Arkansas River is the best place in the state for a variety of intermediate-advanced whitewater rafting trips.
If you’re looking for a more advanced experience than Brown’s Canyon, start with The Numbers, a stretch of Arkansas River rafting notorious for its challenging, non-stop whitewater action. Its Class III-V rapids are known as one of the best advanced whitewater runs in Colorado. The Numbers is available as a half-day trip or a full day trip. The full day trip combine The Numbers with The Narrows, a Class III+ section of fun and scenic rapids. On the full day trip, you’ll stop halfway to enjoy a hot chicken fajita lunch.
Looking for more? Undoubtedly, the premiere advanced Arkansas River whitewater rafting trip is Pine Creek, a Class IV & V run. This trip begins with a warm-up through Granite Gorge, an intermediate section of whitewater consisting of class II –III+ rapids. Then you arrive at the famous Gates of Pine Creek, which holds the most challenging whitewater on the Arkansas. We offer half day trips through Pine Creek, but you’ll be disappointed if you don’t combine Pine Creek with The Numbers on our full-day trip called The Gauntlet.
For you true adrenaline junkies: Add a Rappel into Granite Gorge to start your Gauntlet trip!
Furthest south, you’ll find Arkansas River rafting through the Royal Gorge, often described as the Grand Canyon of the Arkansas River. This trip near Canon City offers amazing whitewater and stunning canyon walls will leave you breathless as you lose yourself in continuous class III-V rapids.
- The Numbers Half Day or Full Day
- The Gauntlet (Pine Creek and the Numbers)
- The Gauntlet with Rappel
- Pine Creek Half Day
- Royal Gorge
Overnight Arkansas River Trips
If you don’t think you can achieve all you want on the Arkansas river in just one day or you’re looking for one of the most unique Colorado adventures, then check out our overnight Arkansas river whitewater rafting trips. Filled with relaxation, adventure and an even more intimate introduction to Colorado’s back country wilderness, the overnight trips are some of our best sellers.
Our overnight rafting trips allow you to unplug from your hectic life and reconnect with your family or friends.
One of our most popular rafting trips, the 24 Hours in Brown’s Canyon trip, includes camping in a remote canyon and a hearty, delicious dinner and breakfast prepared by your guides. This trip goes through the beginner-intermediate whitewater of the renowned Brown’s Canyon and is suitable for everyone ages 7 years and above.
Our 2 Day Advanced Arkansas River rafting trip is just as relaxing and scenic but adds the thrill of advanced whitewater through The Numbers and Narrows sections. This is also a great weekend or mid-week trip
The ultimate Arkansas River rafting trip, Mild to Wild, combines all of the best Arkansas whitewater rafting sections in one adventure. This river trip sends you through two days of Class III fun where you can hone your skills for the third day on some of the most advanced whitewater on the Arkansas River. We even take a little time in between to enjoy inflatable kayaking as well as rock climbing and rappelling in Granite Gorge. If you’re looking for the ultimate in Colorado adventure – this is the trip for you!
- 24 Hours In Brown’s Canyon
- Arkansas River Trip – 2 Day Advanced
- Mild to Wild – 3 Day Intermediate & Advanced Rafting Arkansas River
Logistics & Other Things You Should Know
Camping and lodging options abound in the area. Stay in one of our rustic log bunkhouse cabins at AVA’s Granite Outpost before and after your trip for the ultimate in convenience. Stay the night before your trip and you’ll be right on-site to check in for your trip. Return after your trip to your cabin, where you can relax after your incredible rafting outing. Or if you prefer, camp with us at the Granite Outpost for the same conveniences. The area in the Arkansas Valley is also full of national forest and BLM land, where camping is free.
Contact us and one of our friendly reservationists will be happy to help you locate the lodging option that is best for you. Don’t forget to book other Colorado activities like our new Colorado Zip Line Tours or Horseback Riding – rock climbing and fly fishing are available too – to supplement your Arkansas River rafting trips. Our staff can help you plan your entire trip and make it one to remember forever!
Don’t miss the adventure of a lifetime with Arkansas Valley Adventures!
*Does not include Royal Gorge trips