Arkansas River Rafting – Lower Bighorn

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Arkansas River – Lower Bighorn Sheep Canyon White Water Rafting Description:

Find the Arkansas River in Colorado

The Lower Bighorn Sheep Canyon section of the Arkansas River offers continuously moving water punctuated by exciting rapids, all while floating through a gorgeous boulder-strewn, craggy canyon. Although highway 50 runs parallel to the river here, you may see Colorado wildlife, especially Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep.

Recommended For: Self-guided float fishing trips, or self-guided beginner kayakers and rafters with children.

 

Recommended Rafting Trips on Lower Bighorn Sheep Canyon – Arkansas River:

Click Here – Multi-Day Trip Information

Trip Name:
Arkansas River 2, 3 or 5 Day
Sections Included:
Portions of Narrows, Milk Run, Browns Canyon, Upper and Lower Bighorn Sheep Canyon, Parkdale and Royal Gorge
Outfitter:
Wilderness Aware Rafting

Arkansas River – Lower Bighorn Sheep Canyon White Water Rafting Details:

Difficulty: Class II-III (What does this mean?)
Elevation: 6519′ to 6285′
Average Gradient: 25.4′ per mile

Access to Access

Vallie Bridge to Trading Post: 4.7 miles
Trading Post to Lone Pine: 4.5 miles
Total Mileage: 9.2 miles

Notes: Lower Bighorn Sheep Canyon is not typically commercially rafted as it’s own section, rather it is included in longer full-day and multi-day trips. One rapid just above Trading Post access can become very large at higher water flows.

Click Here for Current Water Flows

GPS Coordinates to Lower Bighorn Sheep Canyon Access Points – Arkansas River:

  • Vallie Bridge Access: 38.391422,-105.774082
  • Trading Post Access: 38.36738,-105.714333
  • Lone Pine Access: 38.390312,-105.653136

Cities Near the Lower Bighorn Sheep Canyon Section:

  • Salida, Poncha Springs, Howard & Cotopaxi

Information for Arkansas River Self-Guided Boaters:

The Arkansas River is in the Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area (AHRA) and is managed by Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

  • Boating Permit Required: NO
  • Permit Details: On the off chance you do not use a developed AHRA Recreation Site, no fee of any kind is required to float the river.

Arkansas River – Lower Bighorn Sheep Canyon Access Details:

  • Sites: Vallie Bridge, Trading Post and Lone Pine Recreation Sites
  • Instructions: Follow signage at recreation site.
  • Fee: Annual or daily permits are required to use these sites. Those without passes will be ticketed.
  • Where to Buy: Annual Permits can be purchased through AHRA in Salida or Colorado Parks and Wildlife Offices in Denver, but most people use the self-serve daily pay stations at AHRA managed access points.
  • Contact: Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area (AHRA)
    307 W Sackett Street, Salida, CO 81201
    719-539-7289 ~ www.parks.state.co.us/parks/arkansasheadwaters

Shuttles:
At this time we do not have information on any entity that offers shuttles on this section. We recommend traveling with at least two vehicles in order to run your own shuttle.

Colorado Rafting River Guide:

Colorado Rafting River Guide
Check out our detailed information about the rivers you can raft across Colorado.

What Our Guests Say:

Sarah, our guide, was the consummate professional.
Becky M.
We had an awesome time! All staff we dealt with were very personable and helpful. I can’t imagine anything you could do to improve!
Rusty B.
Very professional yet very informal approach—not an easy combination to sustain—nice team—office included.
Mark W.
This trip surpassed all of my expectations.
Amy B.
We had an awesome time. I would definitely recommend your company!
Leona H.
I loved my experience at WA and will definitely be back with more people.
Cory D.
Your internet advertising was great. People who answered the phone very helpful and the guides top notch. Seems like your manager has done a wonderful job. I see why you are a successful company.
Phil G.
The entire staff from reservations to first contact to trip guide was friendly and helpful. Our Scouts had an outstanding time!
Ken T.
We have rafted round the world and this is by far the best—best trained guides, best safety, best food, best fun. Thanks.
Jane H.
Family friend always said Wilderness Aware Rafting was the best. I totally agree!
Angie D.
Frenchie was the best guide I’ve ever had! This is a great company and I will definitely be telling friends about it!
Jamin R.
Sarah was fantastic! Very knowledgeable and very fun! Best trip ever, even the low water! We will be back again!
Barbara L.
We feel we have found new friends in Wilderness Aware and plan on spending time in the future with you.
Susie S.
Very pleasant and enjoyable experience. Rafted four other times and this was the best.
Linda H.
It was the best first experience in rafting. Ben was awesome!! Five stars!
Kirby S.
I would like to commend your staff on their great teamwork and enthusiasm. This was the highlight of our trip to Arizona.
Michele E.
Good job, as usual. Our 5th or 6th trip with WA. Big fans of WA.
Tim S.
The trip, your people, your facility never get old.
Fred P.
We’ve been with a lot of different rafting companies over the years and we have never used the same company twice but everyone on the trip agreed that your company is the best!
Lisa P.
From the enthusiastic greetings when we arrived at the office this am, all service was top notch.
John D.
Pete was great. Extremely friendly and he took great care of us and really put our group first. Our trip was relaxing and fun!
Erin L.
I want to raft again and again and well you get the point…again.
Levi V.
Best time I’ve had on the river in the past 15 years!!!! Will return soon!!!
Dylan S.
This company is quality. Six years ago I did the same trip with Jack, Ian, and Kelly and the quality is as good today.
Chris G.
This was my first rafting experience and you guys made it awesome! Thank you so much!
Jamie L.
Appreciate your professional and fun staff! Will definitely return next year!
Dana Q.
We started rafting with you in 1988. This is our fourth trip. Will be back.
Jim L.
Been rafting six times around the country. Best trip and guide so far.
James H.
Your staff and guides were so helpful and so much fun. My kids ranked that half-day trip as the highlight of our month long trip!
Patty G.
I love the staff!! Very entertaining and welcoming. This was a great rafting experience. I want to come back tomorrow and do it again!
Bailey W.
You are great to work with and your guides are fun to be around and well trained. Each experience I’ve had with you (3) has been excellent.
Dawn R.
Thanks for the great time on the river. You do a super job of taking care of your crews.
Jan P.
I started rafting at WA in 1999 and have always had a good time. I highly recommend WA to anyone who wants to raft.
Marty E.
Matt was the most enthusiastic and exciting guide I have ever had… and I have done this a lot.
Carl M.
One of the best times of my life!
Dylnn R.
I have rafted with other companies before but I found your company and Mike, our guide, to be outstanding! I will be back!
Joe M.
We booked our trip cold off the internet and found from the very beginning a very friendly and courteous staff that helped out and answered all our questions.
Carolyn W.
This was the highlight of our trip to Colorado!
Beth G.
When I made our reservation I knew we were going to have a fantastic time. Everything that happened today exceeded my expectations.
Mark E.
I work in safety – wish I could get all our regional safety folks to present their safety meetings with the same enthusiasm and professionalism.
Karla S.

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