Arkansas River – Parkdale White Water Rafting Description:
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:
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:
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.