Smaller rapids, mellow float water with stunning scenery

Lower Browns Canyon


Lower Browns Canyon Trip Search:




Trip Length

Difficulty Level

lower browns canyon overview

Starting just below the large rapids of Browns Canyon, the Lower Browns Canyon section of the Arkansas River offers fast-moving water, with just a few mild rapids. This section is a great alternative to Browns Canyon if you have young children or are looking for a scenic, slow float. This area is popular for fishing or for trying out inflatable kayaks. As you raft past large cottonwood trees and green pastures, take in the stunning views of the snow capped 14,000 foot Sawatch Mountains.

Recommended For: Fishermen, inflatable kayaks, beginner kayakers, families with small children or those on overnight trips floating down from Browns Canyon headed to the lower river.

Recommended Rafting Trips on Lower Browns Canyon – Arkansas River:

Lower Browns Canyon Half Day Trip

Enjoy a gentle stretch of the Arkansas River on this mild and mellow half day adventure. This family-friendly trip departs from Buena Vista, Colorado – close to Denver and Colorado Springs. Young kids ages 4+ and rafters of all skill levels love this trip that runs between May 1st and Labor Day. Beautiful scenery and exceptional guides make this trip a guest favorite!

Adult price : $89


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 browns canyon sections

Arkansas River – Lower Browns Canyon White Water Rafting Details:

Difficulty: Class II-III (What does this mean?)
Elevation: 7272′ to 7041′
Average Gradient: 25.1′ per mile

Access to Access

Stone Bridge to Big Bend: 3.0 miles
Big Bend to Salida Boat Ramp: 6.2 miles
Total Mileage: 9.2 miles

Notes: Lower Browns Canyon is a wonderful alternative to Browns Canyon if you have children that cannot raft Browns Canyon due to age restrictions.

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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 Browns Canyon Access Details:

Stone Bridge & Big Bend Access

Arkansas River – Stone Bridge and Big Bend Access Details:

  • Sites: Stone Bridge & Big Bend Recreation Site
  • 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 ~
Salida Boat Ramp Access

Arkansas River – Salida Boat Ramp Access Details:

  • Sites: Salida Boat Ramp Access
  • Instructions: Parking alongside ramp or on city streets. Do not block the ramp when parking.
  • Fee: No

Wilderness Aware Rafting offers self-guided boater vehicle shuttles on limited sections of the Arkansas River. Please contact them at 800.462.7238 or complete an Arkansas River Shuttle Reservation Form on their website.

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