Get Ready for Your Trip!

the arkansas river inn to inn rafting


departure & return times


Please share with everyone in your group. If you have any questions or need additional information call us at 1.800.462.7238.

9:00 am – Please arrive one hour before departure time. You may want to allow more time to leisurely enjoy our complimentary continental breakfast buffet. You will return to our office at the end of your trip between 4 pm and 6 pm.

where to meet


Your trip departs from our office at 12600 US 24 near Buena Vista, Colorado. Look for our mountain shaped sign on the north side of Hwy 24 at mile marker 213.8 just east of the Arkansas River and Johnson Village.

Our preferred route from the Metro-Denver area to Buena Vista is via Highway 285. As an alternative you can take I-70 west from Denver to Copper Mountain then south through Leadville to Buena Vista.

When you search for our address in your favorite map application, please search our full name and address: 
Wilderness Aware Rafting, 12600 US 24, Buena Vista, CO 81211

Click Here to Get Custom Google Map Directions!

GPS Coordinates:
38.813867, -106.101856

what to bring


What to Bring


  • Do Not Wear Cotton on the River (no jeans or sweats)Quick dry apparel is available in our retail store
  • Swimming Suit and/or Shorts
  • Sunglasses with Securing Strap
  • Waterproof Sunscreen
  • Waterproof Camera
  • Hat or Visor (can be worn under your helmet)
  • Fleece Jacket or Synthetic Insulating Layer
  • Tennis Shoes or Secure Sandals (no flip-flops or Crocs)
  • Comfortable clothes for first afternoon activity
  • Water Bottle
  • Cash for Souvenirs and Tipping Your Guide


  • Casual Change of Clothes and Light Jacket
  • Toiletries
  • Money for shopping and additional drinks at dinner

Attn: All Bed & Breakfasts are Non-Smoking

We Provide

  • Free Continental Breakfast at our Office
  • Meals from Lunch on the First Day to Lunch on the Last Day
  • Evening Happy Hour Drinks and Hors D’oeuvres
  • Snack and Drink at the End of Each Day
  • Double Accommodations at B&B ($50/night single surcharge)
  • Horseback Ride, Swimming or Golf on the First Afternoon
  • All Transportation Upon Check-in
  • Luggage Transfers
  • Senior Guides
  • Rafting and Safety Equipment

High Water / Cool Weather Rentals

Include free pair of wetsuit booties

Wetsuit Booties Only

Splash Jacket

other important information

River Maps

Check out the section of river you will be rafting – complete with put-in’s, takeouts, rapids and other interesting features.

Lodging Information

The area in and around Buena Vista has plenty to offer regarding lodging. There are hotels, motels, bed & breakfast, campgrounds, cabins, and a resort.

Reservation/Cancellation Policies
  • Cancellation Policy: If your group or any person in your group cancels their trip up to 10 days prior to departure date and time, you will receive a full refund. No cancellation fees. If you cancel within 10 days prior to departure date and time, for any reason, you will not receive a refund.
  • Cancellation Coverage Option: At the time of confirmation, you can purchase cancellation coverage for $50/person. Coverage allows you to cancel up to 72 hours prior to departure and receive a full refund. Cancellation coverage is non-refundable, non-transferable and does not cover no-shows.
  • Inn to Inn Trips Only: Bed and breakfasts have their own cancellation policies. You may or may not receive a refund for the cost of lodging if the trip cancelled, even if cancellation coverage is purchased.
  • Late Arrival Policy: It is your responsibility arrive for your trip on time – typically 30-60 minutes prior to your scheduled departure time. We will not wait for late arrivals. Please take into account travel time, weather, road construction, etc.
  • Water Policy: Wilderness Aware reserves the right to move your group to a more appropriate section of river due to extreme high or low water conditions. We will give you as much notice as possible of conditions that may affect your scheduled trip. Note that if an alternate section of river is available to your group no refunds or credits are given.
  • Weather Policy: Wilderness Aware trips run rain or shine. We will not cancel or cut short trips due to rain and/or thunderstorm conditions (including lighting).
  • Drugs and Alcohol: Alcohol or drugs are not to be consumed before or during the time you are on the river. No refund will be given to those drinking alcohol or using drugs prior to river time. This includes recreational marijuana. You may bring alcohol in plastic or metal containers for consumption in the evening in camp on multi-day trips.
  • Pregnancy: We do allow guests that are pregnant to participate in rafting.
Liability Releases

Each person rafting will be required to sign a liability release form prior to trip departure. Upon confirmation of your trip, you will receive a link to fill out your liability waiver online. Each youth under the age of 18 years old will need a parent or guardian to co-sign their liability. If you are not able to access the online liability waiver, you can print and complete a paper copy. Paper copies can be downloaded here.

Q & A: Common Trip Questions

Will I receive a safety orientation prior to my trip?
Prior to boarding your raft, your guide will cover a detailed safety orientation with everyone. Colorado Rivers Outfitters Association (CROA) created a comprehensive video that covers the same information in your safety orientation. Feel free to check out this video before your rafting adventure begins.

Is it appropriate to tip my guide?
Tipping is appropriate, particularly if you have received exceptional customer service. If you believe that a tip is appropriate we recommend an average tip of 10%-20% of your trip cost. You will have the opportunity to tip your guide directly, or you may use the cash tip box or leave a credit card tip through our helpful front desk staff. We always appreciate hearing from you so that we can recognize extraordinary customer service and we also appreciate hearing from you if you feel that there are areas that we can improve upon. We strive to exceed your expectations!

I cannot swim. Can I still go rafting?
Many of our participants cannot swim, however, good physical condition and strong swimming skills must be considered if you are participating in a class V whitewater trip. We provide U.S. Coast Guard approved personal flotation devices designed to float you face-up in whitewater. Personal flotation devices are required to be worn at all times.

Do I need to wear a helmet?
Helmets are required and provided on the Arkansas River.

Can I bring anything along with me on the raft?
Each raft is equipped with a waterproof bag for any small items that you may need during the day.

Should I bring a water bottle on my raft trip?
We do not carry drinking water on your raft and recommend you bring your own bottle. You can refill at lunch from our cooler. Water bottles can sit on the floor of the raft.

What type of meals will I have during my trip?
We provide deli style lunches. Dinner will served at a local restaurant. The inns provide breakfast.

Do you have a retail store?
We have a retail store for those last minute items such as sunscreen and waterproof cameras. Plan to check out our t-shirts, hats and souvenirs after the trip.

Will there be photos taken on my trip?
There will be photos taken of every raft. Digital copies are available to view and purchase at our office by the time your trip returns. They can also be found at

I am worried about the altitude. Will I be ok to raft?
You will be rafting at 8000 feet above sea level. Most people don’t have serious problems here, but shortness of breath and dehydration are possible. Come a day or two early to acclimatize yourself if you can. We recommend that you drink plenty of water during your stay.

arkansas river videos

stuff we are proud of

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ALL rafting trips will begin on June 1st, 2020 for non-resident visitors to Chaffee County. Click here for more info.