Narrow with fast-paced, continuous wave trains



About Rafting the Narrows Colorado 

The Narrows Colorado offers non-stop exciting whitewater through a beautifully secluded section of the Arkansas River. Large cottonwood trees line the river, where the stunning 14,000 peaks of the Collegiate Peaks dominate the horizon. The river through The Narrows section offers long rapids with fast-paced wave trains – making in a wonderful adventure for spirited first-timers as well as those with rafting experience.

Recommended For: Intermediate rafters, adventurous first-timers and outgoing families.

Recommended Rafting Trips on The Narrows – Arkansas River:

Arkansas River 2 Day Trip

Enjoy two full days of fantastic class III-IV white water rafting and isolated riverside camping within Browns Canyon National Monument on this popular Arkansas River trip. Suitable for all skill levels and kids ages 8+, this multi-day adventure departs from Buena Vista, Colorado, near Denver, Colorado Springs and major resorts. Trips are available from May 1st to Aug 25.

Adult price : $489


Arkansas River 3 Day Trip

Get away from the day-to-day on this amazing, action-packed Arkansas River adventure. Enjoy fantastic whitewater during the day, including rafting Browns Canyon National Monument, and secluded camping at night. This trip departs from Buena Vista, Colorado – near Denver and Colorado Springs, and is suitable for all skill levels and kids ages 8+. Raft with us between May 15 and Aug 15.

Adult price : $732


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 : $1130


the narrows sections

Arkansas River – Narrows White Water Rafting Details:

Difficulty: Class III-IV (What does this mean?)
Elevation: 8272′ to 7905′
Average Gradient: 48.9′ per mile

Access to Access

Riverside to Railroad Bridge: .5 miles
Railroad Bridge to Buena Vista: 7.0 miles
Total Mileage: 7.5 miles

Notes: The Narrows is fantastic at medium to high water, with great wave trains and alot of technical paddling. The Narrows at lower water levels (<800 cfs) is rocky and hard to navigate.



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 – The Narrows Access Details:

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
Railroad Bridge Access

Arkansas River – Railroad Bridge Access Details:

  • Sites: Railroad Bridge 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 ~
Buena Vista Access

Arkansas River – Buena Vista Access Details:

  • Sites: Buena Vista Access
  • Instructions: Follow signage at site.
  • Fee: No
  • Contact: Town of Buena Vista
    210 East Main Street, Po Box 2002, Buena Vista, CO 81211
    719.395.8643 ~

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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