Arkansas River Off-Season Activities

 In Activities & Events, Adventures & Travel, Nature & Wildlife


The waters of the Arkansas may be too shallow to raft in October, but lower levels can make for some great end of the season fishing. Check the weather and, if the temperature permits, try fishing upstream of Salida. Or, if you’re unfamiliar with the area, find a local outfitter to guide you to the good spots. Brown trout and Kokanee salmon will be spawning, with Rainbow trout, Cutthroat trout and Northern pike not far behind. Give late season fishing a try and you’re likely to have a stretch of the river all to yourself. 


Check out some of the best trails in the Arkansas River Valley while the temperatures are cool and the sun is still shining. The 485-mile Colorado Trail passes right through Salida and Buena Vista, delivering breathtaking views along the way. While you may not get to hiking all 485 miles of it, it is broken into segments that can be hiked at your own pace. 

Wildlife Spotting

Set out with your camera and see if you can see some of Colorado’s bighorn sheep or a herd of pronghorns. Resembling an antelope, the pronghorn’s closest relative is actually the giraffe. These animals are a true Colorado sight to see. Bighorn sheep are an equally impressive sight and the state mammal of Colorado! A zoom lens will help here, as these animals like steep cliffs. Keep your distance when viewing any wildlife and maintain respect for these beautiful animals. 


Find a spot along the Arkansas River away from the city lights and watch as the night’s display of stars emerge. The Stone Bridge river access north of Salida is a great spot to guarantee a dark sky. Be sure to check the weather, as a cloudy sky will ruin even the darkest spot for stargazing. 

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