Fast-paced, action-packed, steep and technical

The Numbers

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the numbers overview

The Numbers section of the Arkansas River is steep and rocky, making it very technical and challenging. Precision paddling is required in order to maneuver through tight channels while punching though powerful waves and boulder-choked drops. This section of Arkansas River whitewater is for those looking for an action-packed, highly challenging adventure.

Recommended For: Those with previous rafting experience; extremely outgoing first-timers.

Recommended Rafting Trips on The Numbers – Arkansas River:

Browns & Numbers Combo Full Day Trip

Take on two great Arkansas River sections in one day! You’ll start in the fun and fast-paced rapids of Browns Canyon and finish with the challenging and technical rapids of the Numbers. This trip departs from Buena Vista, Colorado, near Denver and Colorado Springs, and is recommended to advanced rafters and those ages 14+. Available from May 15 to Aug 20.

Adult price : $131

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Numbers Full Day Trip

Experience the most highly technical and challenging section of white water we offer. This thrilling and fast-paced Arkansas River trip departs from our office in Buena Vista, Colorado, near Colorado Springs and Denver, and includes the Numbers and Narrows sections. Recommended to advanced rafters and those ages 14+. This adventure is available from May 15 to Aug 15.

Adult price : $126

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Numbers Half Day Trip

Raft the non-stop action, steep drops and tight technical turns of this exciting Arkansas River half day adventure. Suitable for advanced rafters and those ages 14+, this trip departs from Buena Vista, Colorado – close to Denver, Colorado Springs and major resort towns. This exhilarating and challenging trip is available from May 15 to Aug 20.

Adult price : $82

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Arkansas River Extreme 2 Day Trip

Paddle the two most challenging sections of the Arkansas River over two amazing days – The Numbers and Royal Gorge. The fantastic rafting adventure is full of technical paddling through fast, twisting rapids. Meet and depart from Buena Vista, Colorado, near Denver and Colorado Springs, on this trip available from May 15 to Aug 15. Best suited for advanced rafters and those ages 14+.

Adult price : $449

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the numbers sections

Numbers White Water Rafting Details:

Difficulty: Class IV-V (What does this mean?)
Elevation: 8625′ to 8238′
Average Gradient: 67.2′ per mile

Access to Access

Numbers to Riverside: 5.3 miles
Riverside to Railroad Bridge: .5 miles
Total Mileage: 5.8 miles

Notes: This section is typically under a high water advisory (over 2400 cfs) from late-May through late-June due to run-off and all commercial outfitters refrain from rafting this section at that time.

reviews

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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

resources

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.
The Numbers & Railroad Bridge Access

Arkansas River – The Numbers & Railroad Bridge Access Details:

  • Sites: Numbers & Railroad Bridge Recreation Site
  • Instructions: Follow signage at recreation sites.
  • 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 ~ www.parks.state.co.us/parks/arkansasheadwaters
Riverside Access
  • Sites: Riverside Access
  • Instructions: This is a public camping site with access to the river. If camping, do not block the path to the river. Many commercial and self-guided boaters use this access so please load and unload quickly.
  • Fee: No

Shuttles:
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.

reviews

  • Great instructors, great experience, I would recommend to anyone they must go to Wilderness Aware for rafting!

    Lance Gregory Vigil Avatar
    Lance Gregory Vigil
    9/17/2019

    We had a wonderful time on our lower browns canyon half day trip. We brought our 6-year old daughter along and it was the perfect... read more

    Natalie Magee Avatar
    Natalie Magee
    9/14/2019

    IT WAS A GREAT BONDING TRIP WITH MY DAUGHTER AND HER BOYFRIEND... GREAT GUIDES

    Scott Shaw Avatar
    Scott Shaw
    9/12/2019
  • A great first time rafting with a fun and experienced guide, Michael.

    Heidi Ihrke Avatar
    Heidi Ihrke
    8/30/2019

    What thrill ride! We were here 7/24/19. Water levels were higher than expected so we were able to ride longer. Our guide, Eric, was THE... read more

    Susan Gray Avatar
    Susan Gray
    8/24/2019

    Outfit was professional with safety-first attitude. Definitely made our first rafting experience a great time. We trusted Michael, our guide, to teach us... read more

    Kelly Bloom Barbieri Avatar
    Kelly Bloom Barbieri
    8/20/2019
  • Great instructors! Made everyone feel safe and comfortable... super fun and exciting and professional experience! Definitely worth the money.

    Celia Siders-Fushia Avatar
    Celia Siders-Fushia
    8/20/2019

    Full day trip with Justin was awesome! The water was great, the lunch was better than expected, and the conversation never lagged! The rapids came... read more

    Jeannem McCoy Avatar
    Jeannem McCoy
    8/19/2019

    Great experience! Justin and Brent were great and we laughed constantly as we went down the Numbers portion of the river. Great guys, felt very... read more

    Kim Behrens-Grieser Avatar
    Kim Behrens-Grieser
    8/18/2019
  • 5 stars
    We had a fantastic trip on the one day trip through Browns Canyon on the Arkansas River in Colorado. Great guides and equipment...
    read more

    Ana Unruh Cohen Avatar
    Ana Unruh Cohen
    8/06/2019

    We did the half day Browns Canyon on the AR river today and it was AWESOME!! Our guide Lindsey was fun and knowledgeable! Great local... read more

    Kimberly Winchester Short Avatar
    Kimberly Winchester Short
    8/06/2019

    Just finished our 4th adventure with Wilderness Aware and would not even consider another company. Great experience from arrival to departure. Thanks to... read more

    James Christensen Avatar
    James Christensen
    8/01/2019

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