Moderate float water tucked in a scenic canyon

Lower Bighorn Sheep Canyon


Lower Bighorn Sheep Canyon Trip Search:



Trip Length

Difficulty Level

lower bighorn sheep canyon overview

The Lower Bighorn Sheep Canyon section of the Arkansas River offers continuously moving water punctuated by exciting rapids, all while floating through a gorgeous boulder-strewn, craggy canyon. Although highway 50 runs parallel to the river here, you may see Colorado wildlife, especially Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep.

Recommended For: Self-guided float fishing trips, or self-guided beginner kayakers and rafters with children.

Lower Bighorn Sheep Canyon Rafting Trips on the Arkansas River:

Arkansas River 5 Day Trip

Raft with us on nearly every section we offer, including Browns Canyon National Monument, on the Arkansas River – all in one unforgettable 5 Day trip! With departures between May 15 and Aug 15, rafters of all skill levels and kids ages 8+ are welcome on this adventure. Meet and depart in Buena Vista, Colorado – near Denver and Colorado Springs.

Adult price : $1129


lower bighorn sheep canyon sections

Lower Bighorn Sheep Canyon White Water Rafting Details:

Difficulty: Class II-III (What does this mean?)
Elevation: 6519′ to 6285′
Average Gradient: 25.4′ per mile

Access to Access

Vallie Bridge to Trading Post: 4.7 miles
Trading Post to Lone Pine: 4.5 miles
Total Mileage: 9.2 miles

Notes: Lower Bighorn Sheep Canyon is not typically commercially rafted as it’s own section, rather it is included in longer full-day and multi-day trips. One rapid just above Trading Post access can become very large at higher water flows.

Click Here for Current Water Flows



What people are saying

  • Lydia filled us with confidence. She was skilled and knowledgeable and explained each set of rapids so we knew what to expect. She was great company and we had the best experience. She was brilliant.

    Dwight W. Rafter
  • I cannot wait to come back! Also loved how funny all the guides were. It was the most I’ve seen my sister laugh in a long time! Thank you so much for this amazing experience.

    Lexi R. Rafter
  • I spent several days researching various rafting options and after speaking w/your team was sold. We were not disappointed-the trip is spectacular and our guide Sean was informative, lively professional and entertaining.

    Lauren C. Rafter


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 – Lower Bighorn Sheep Canyon Access Details:

  • Sites: Vallie Bridge, Trading Post and Lone Pine Recreation Sites
  • Instructions: Follow signage at recreation site.
  • Fee: Annual or daily permits are required to use these sites. Those without passes will be ticketed.
  • Where to Buy: Annual Permits can be purchased through AHRA in Salida or Colorado Parks and Wildlife Offices in Denver, but most people use the self-serve daily pay stations at AHRA managed access points.
  • Contact: Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area (AHRA)
    307 W Sackett Street, Salida, CO 81201
    719-539-7289 ~

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.

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