Arkansas River Rafting – Parkdale

Rafting TripsSection DetailsMapResources

Arkansas River – Parkdale White Water Rafting Description:

Find the Arkansas River in Colorado

The rapids of the Parkdale section of the Arkansas River are similar to those in Browns Canyon. Like Browns Canyon, the rapids are separated by calm pools, which allow boaters time to recover between rapids. However, if the water is higher, waves and rapids can be even larger than in Browns Canyon. Highway 50 parallels the river throughout this section. The Parkdale section provides the perfect warm-up if you plan to continue downstream into the challenging class IV-V rapids of the Royal Gorge.

Recommended For: All levels of experience; beginners and first-timers.

Recommended Rafting Trips on Parkdale – Arkansas River:

Click Here – Bighorn Sheep
Full Day Info

Trip Name:
Bighorn Sheep Full Day
Sections Included:
Wilderness Aware Rafting

Click Here – Bighorn Sheep
Half Day Info

Trip Name:
Bighorn Sheep Half Day
Sections Included:
Wilderness Aware Rafting

Arkansas River – Parkdale White Water Rafting Details:

Difficulty: Class III-IV (What does this mean?)
Elevation: 6285′ to 5760′
Average Gradient: 27.3′ per mile

Access to Access

Lone Pine to Fernleaf Gulch: 0.8 miles
Fernleaf Gulch and Texas Creek: 4.4 miles
Texas Creek to Maytag: 1.4 miles
Maytag to Pinnacle Rock: 4.0 miles
Pinnacle Rock to Salt Lick: 1.6 miles
Salt Lick to Spikebuck: 2.2 miles
Spikebuck to Parkdale: 4.8 miles
Total Mileage: 19.2 miles

Notes: Good alternative to Browns Canyon, though not as challenging. Also, the second half of this section is typically the “warm up” before entering the Royal Gorge if you are rafting a full day Royal Gorge trip.

GPS Coordinates to Parkdale Access Points – Arkansas River:

  • Lone Pine Access: 38.390312,-105.653136
  • Fernleaf Gulch Access: 38.392818,-105.638351
  • Texas Creek Access: 38.409554,-105.58452
  • Maytag Access: 38.425277,-105.566608
  • Pinnacle Rock Access: 38.44901,-105.520763
  • Salt Lick Access: 38.455135,-105.500486
  • Spikebuck Access: 38.458646,-105.462184
  • Parkdale Access: 38.485391,-105.387361

Cities Near the Parkdale Section:

  • Cotopaxi, Texas Creek & Cañon City

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 – Parkdale Access Details:

Lone Pine, Texas Creek, Pinnacle Rock, Salt Lick, Spikebuck & Parkdale Access
Fernleaf Gulch & Maytag Access

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:

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.
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.
Very pleasant and enjoyable experience. Rafted four other times and this was the best.
Linda H.
Appreciate your professional and fun staff! Will definitely return next year!
Dana Q.
This trip surpassed all of my expectations.
Amy B.
We started rafting with you in 1988. This is our fourth trip. Will be back.
Jim L.
This was the highlight of our trip to Colorado!
Beth G.
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.
We had an awesome time. I would definitely recommend your company!
Leona H.
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.
We feel we have found new friends in Wilderness Aware and plan on spending time in the future with you.
Susie S.
Best time I’ve had on the river in the past 15 years!!!! Will return soon!!!
Dylan S.
The trip, your people, your facility never get old.
Fred 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.
From the enthusiastic greetings when we arrived at the office this am, all service was top notch.
John D.
It was the best first experience in rafting. Ben was awesome!! Five stars!
Kirby S.
Been rafting six times around the country. Best trip and guide so far.
James H.
When I made our reservation I knew we were going to have a fantastic time. Everything that happened today exceeded my expectations.
Mark E.
Very professional yet very informal approach—not an easy combination to sustain—nice team—office included.
Mark W.
Family friend always said Wilderness Aware Rafting was the best. I totally agree!
Angie D.
One of the best times of my life!
Dylnn R.
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.
Sarah was fantastic! Very knowledgeable and very fun! Best trip ever, even the low water! We will be back again!
Barbara L.
Good job, as usual. Our 5th or 6th trip with WA. Big fans of WA.
Tim S.
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.
I would like to commend your staff on their great teamwork and enthusiasm. This was the highlight of our trip to Arizona.
Michele E.
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.
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.
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.
Thanks for the great time on the river. You do a super job of taking care of your crews.
Jan P.
Matt was the most enthusiastic and exciting guide I have ever had… and I have done this a lot.
Carl M.
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.
Sarah, our guide, was the consummate professional.
Becky M.
I loved my experience at WA and will definitely be back with more people.
Cory D.
I want to raft again and again and well you get the point…again.
Levi V.
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.
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.
The entire staff from reservations to first contact to trip guide was friendly and helpful. Our Scouts had an outstanding time!
Ken T.

Recent Blog Posts: