Here’s How it Goes!
Trip: Dinner Float
Meeting Place: Wilderness Aware Rafting Headquarters, in Johnson Village near Buena Vista, CO.
Trip: Dinner Float
Show Up Time: 4:45 pm – 5:00 pm
Trip Departs: 5:30 pm
Trip Concludes: 6:30 pm – 7:00 pm
Our trips start on time, so be sure to allow enough travel time to accommodate mountain driving and road construction!
Rapid Classification: I-II
Trip Length: 3.5 miles
Meals Provided: Dinner vouchers for the Riverside Grille, a $15/person value.
Getting Here: The closest major airports include Colorado Springs (COS) – 2 hours, and Denver (DIA) – 3 hours. You will rent a car to get to Buena Vista as our public transportation is limited. Greyhound bus service arrives daily. Once you are here, contact Corrine, for local transportation service. There is no Uber or Lyft service in Buena Vista.
Season: Memorial Day – mid-August
Introduction: The Arkansas River Dinner Float is a great opportunity to get on the river with a short mild water float suitable for the whole family ages 4 to 84. You can celebrate the success of your adventure with a delicious meal at the Riverside Grill.
Preparation: Arrive at our riverside facility just two miles south of Buena Vista, Colorado by 5:00 pm to check-in for your trip. Our friendly and knowledgeable office staff will greet you and give you a quick orientation on recommended river attire for your adventure based on the weather and water conditions as well as what you can bring on your trip. Once your paperwork is signed and verified, and you have decided if you want to rent a wetsuit or splash jacket to go with your complimentary pair of booties, you will be directed to our clean and spacious changing rooms to get changed into your river gear. You will be given a dinner voucher for each person in your party. One person from your party will help our staff shuttle your vehicle to the take-out before your trip launches. This is a short 20-minute round trip drive.
Departure: At your designated departure time, your trip leader will give you a comprehensive safety orientation with plenty of time for questions. He/she will inform you of possible issues that could happen on the river giving you the confidence needed to handle any challenges that could arise during the trip. We will walk down to the river where your boat will be rigged and ready for you to begin your adventure.
The River: The river is fast moving here with just enough obstacles to keep the whole family entertained. You will be in awe of the sweeping snowcapped peak views as you float down the river. Watch for wildlife or even a bald eagle nest. Float time varies with water levels but is usually around 45 minutes.
Scenery: The Milk Run of the Arkansas River is lined with huge cottonwood trees. You will see stunning views of the Collegiate Peaks Mountain Range named after the Ivy League schools, Princeton, Yale, Columbia and Harvard.
When Should I Go? Availability for the dinner float is based on the restaurant, which is typically open from the week before Memorial Day weekend to late August. June is our high-water season when the river is swollen with snowmelt creating fun wave trains in the Milk Run so prepare for a wet and splashy ride. July is the most popular month for rafting the Arkansas River, offering moderate water levels. In late August the water levels drop, and the river becomes a more technically challenging ride.
Exit: When you arrive at the take-out, your guide will collect any rental gear you used. You can say your good-byes before heading over to the Riverside Grill for your dinner. If your experience met or exceeded your expectations, feel free to tip your guide. Enjoy your dinner at your own pace, have an extra drink on the beach and enjoy the sunset. Since you shuttled your car to the restaurant, you may leave whenever it suits you. Please take some time when you return home to review us on Trip Advisor, Google and Yelp.