Arkansas River – Upper Bighorn Sheep Canyon White Water Rafting Description:
Upper Bighorn Sheep Canyon is a mild whitewater rafting section of the Arkansas River characterized by long sections of mellow water interrupted by the occasional moderate-sized rapid. Upper Bighorn is perfect for float fishing adventures or for those looking for a family rafting excursion. It can also be combined with sections above and below it for a multi-day trip.
Recommended For: Timid first-timers and families with young children.
Recommended Rafting Trips on Upper Bighorn Sheep Canyon – Arkansas River:
Arkansas River 2, 3 or 5 Day
Portions of Narrows, Milk Run, Browns Canyon, Upper and Lower Bighorn Sheep Canyon, Parkdale and Royal Gorge
Wilderness Aware Rafting
Arkansas River – Upper Bighorn Sheep Canyon White Water Rafting Details:
Difficulty: Class II-III (What does this mean?)
Elevation: 7041′ to 6519′
Average Gradient: 27.9′ per mile
Access to Access
Salida Boat Ramp to Salida East: 2.7 miles
Salida East to Rincon: 7.4 miles
Rincon to Vallie Bridge: 8.6 miles
Total Mileage: 18.7 miles
Notes: Upper Bighorn Sheep Canyon is a wonderful alternative to many sections on the Arkansas River if you have children that cannot raft due to age restrictions.
GPS Coordinates to Upper Bighorn Sheep Canyon Access Points – Arkansas River:
- Salida Boat Ramp Access: 38.537357,-105.99148
- Salida East Access: 38.50771,-105.961906
- Rincon Access: 38.472138,-105.866168
- Vallie Bridge Access: 38.391422,-105.774082
Cities Near the Upper 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 – Upper Bighorn Sheep Canyon 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.