Arkansas River Rafting – Upper Bighorn

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

Find the Arkansas River in Colorado

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:

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
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.

Click Here for Current Water Flows

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:

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

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