This trip surpassed all of my expectations.
Amy B.

Arkansas River White Water Rafting

Arkansas River Rafting: Close to Colorado Resorts, Denver, and Colorado Springs

White Water Rafting on the Arkansas River

Join us on America’s most popular river for white water rafting

Arkansas River rafting trips attract enthusiasts from around the world, making the Arkansas River the world’s most popular rafting location for whitewater rafting trips. The Arkansas River offers river rafting on 95 miles of thrilling whitewater and whitewater rafting trips range in duration from short half-day trips to multi-day trips of up to five days. Enjoy our private Arkansas River rafting access and picnic area adjacent to our headquarters in Buena Vista.

We offer Arkansas River rafting trips suitable for families with small children as well as exciting white water rafting trips for seasoned pros. You may choose to raft on mellow scenic sections such as the Upper Bighorn Sheep Canyon, the wildly popular and moderately rambunctious Browns Canyon and Narrows trips or challenge the steep and unpredictable Numbers and Royal Gorge sections. Whatever level of white water rafting on the Arkansas River you’re prepared for, you can find the right trip with us.

Arkansas River Multi-Day Rafting and Camping Trips are available for two, three and five day lengths. Wilderness Aware runs more overnight river rafting trips than any other Arkansas River outfitter. We are the only company on the Arkansas River offering continuous rafting trips longer than two days where you carry your camping gear on the rafts and camp along the river… without driving between sections. For those interested in an overnight Arkansas River whitewater rafting trip of up to four days while sleeping in the comfort of a bed and breakfast each night, you may want to consider our Inn to Inn Rafting Trip. Senior guides cater to special requests on these custom small-group trips.

Arkansas River Trips:

Browns Canyon Full Day III-IV 18 mi. May 1 – Sept 2 7
Browns Canyon Half Day III-IV 10 mi. May 1 – Sept 2 7
Lower Browns Canyon Family Half Day I-II 9.5 mi. May 1 – Sept 2 4
Narrows Half Day III-IV 9 mi. May 1 – Aug 15 10
Narrows Express Full Day III-IV 26 mi. May 1 – Aug 15 10
Numbers Half Day IV-V 6 mi. May 1 – Sept 2 14
Numbers Full Day IV-V 15 mi. May 1 – Sept 2 14
Royal Gorge Full Day IV-V 18 mi. May 1 – Sept 2 14
Browns/Numbers Combo Full Day III, IV-V 15 mi. May 1 – Sept 2 14
Inn to Inn Rafting – 2, 3 or 4 Day III-IV (V optional) 35-85 mi. May 1 – Sept 2 10
Arkansas River 2-Day Raft/Camping III-IV (V optional) 35 mi. May 1 – Sept 2 8
Arkansas River 2-Day Extreme Raft/Camping IV-V 33 mi. May 1 – Sept 2 14
Arkansas River 3-Day Raft/Camping III-IV (V optional) 68 mi. May 1 – Sept 2 8
Arkansas River 5-Day Raft/Camping III-IV (V optional) 90 mi. May 1 – Sept 2 8


The Arkansas River drops 5,000 feet in its first 125 miles from its headwaters in the Colorado Rockies near the Continental Divide to the plains near Cañon City, Colorado. The Arkansas River is located 90 miles west of Colorado Springs, 120 miles southwest of Denver. The whitewater rafting sections of the Arkansas River flow past Buena Vista, Salida and finally end in Cañon City, Colorado.

Arkansas River Resources:

Directions to our Buena Vista, CO Office:
The Arkansas River is located just outside our office in Buena Vista, about 2 ½ hours southwest of Denver.

Packing List
Packing List and Pre-Trip Information:
Complete lists of what to bring, what we provide, where to meet, policies, rental costs and other info.

Gallery Photos:
Photos of the Arkansas River as well as the other river we raft, area wildlife, our staff and many, many more.

Arkansas River Map:
Overview Map of the Arkansas River showing section names, rapids and other interesting features.