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the arkansas river multi-day camping

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departure & return times

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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 enjoy our complimentary continental breakfast). If you wish, you may check in prior to 7 pm the day before your trip to pick up your overnight bags, which allows for leisurely packing in your motel room or camp. You will return to our office at the end of your trip between 4 pm and 6 pm.

where to meet

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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

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What to Bring – Day

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

What to Bring – Camp 

  • Warm Sleeping Bag / Ground Pad (available to rent)
  • Tent (available to rent)
  • Warm Jacket
  • Rain Jacket or Poncho
  • Dry Shoes for Camp
  • Change of Clothes and Small Towel
  • Toiletries
  • Headlamp or Flashlight
  • Plastic Bag for Wet Clothes
  • Insect Repellant
  • Favorite Beverage (Beer or Soda)
  • Favorite Book or Toy

We provide

  • Free Continental Breakfast at our Office
  • Complimentary Drink and Snack at the End of the Trip
  • Meals from Lunch on the First Day to Lunch on the Last Day
  • Lemonade and Water with Meals and Hot Drinks in Camp
  • Personal Waterproof Storage Bags – 3.2 cu. ft.
  • All Kitchen and Group Camping Equipment
  • Transportation from our Office to the River and Back
  • Professional Guides
  • Rafting and Safety Equipment
  • Portable Chemical Toilets

Equipment Rentals

Wetsuits
$10/day
Include free pair of wetsuit booties

Wetsuit Booties Only
$5/day

Splash Jacket
$5/day

Tent
$17/trip
Sleeps 2 people w/gear

Sleeping Bag w/ Ground Pad
$15/set

Ground Pad Only
$4/trip

other important information

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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.
  • 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!

What happens if I arrive late for my trip?
To provide our guests with the best possible customer service, we launch our trips on time. We cannot wait for late guests. You must arrive for your trip 1 hour prior to your departure time in order to get through our check in process and prepare for your trip. Please plan your time accordingly – allow enough travel time and include unexpected stops for road construction.

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.

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 kind of camping conditions should I expect?
All campsites are primitive-no plumbing or electricity. We provide a portable chemical toilet for use in camp. You may wash in the river.

What type of meals will I have during my trip?
We provide fresh hearty meals starting with lunch on the first day through lunch on the last day. Special diets can be accommodated upon request. Remember we provide only lemonade and water. If you would like to bring your own drinks in metal or plastic containers, please feel free. We will provide a place to carry them.

Can I fish on this trip?
Feel free to bring your fishing gear. You may fish from the shore at camp only as we do not allow fishing from the raft. You will need a valid Colorado fishing license, available to purchase locally at the hardware store.

What do I do with any trash I may have?
Please keep in mind that on our trip we will carry out all of our trash and whatever other trash we may find as we travel down the river. We appreciate your assistance in keeping the river clean and beautiful.

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 www.www.inaraft.com/your-rafting-photos

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

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