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cañon city overview
Visiting Cañon City, Colorado in the summer is a vacation you’ll never forget! With such a wide variety of outdoor activities, shopping and restaurants – you won’t have time to be bored! America’s most famous white water rafting river – the Arkansas – runs right through Cañon City, Colorado. No Cañon City vacation is complete without experiencing a white water rafting trip in the Arkansas River, especially through the Royal Gorge. And you won’t find a better white water rafting outfitter than Wilderness Aware!
Many of our customers come back year after year to enjoy Cañon City, the Royal Gorge and the beautiful Arkansas River. With so many things to do, white water rafting is only one of the many activities you can experience.
- Arkansas River – the best white water in the U.S. near Buena Vista – 86 miles away (map)
- Gunnison River – raft the wild water of Gunnison Gorge near Hotchkiss – 201 miles away (map)
- Colorado River – mild family float trips along the Upper Colorado near Kremmling – 148 miles away (map)
- North Platte River – remote and scenic wilderness trips in May and June near Cowdrey – 218 miles away (map)
- Dolores River – explore western Colorado high desert scenery in May and June near Gateway and Cortez – 279 miles away (map)
- Salt River – exciting springtime rafting trips through Salt River Canyon in Arizona near Phoenix and Tucson – 725 miles away (map)
Recommended Rafting Trips near Cañon City:
When you book a Browns Canyon rafting trip you’ll experience Colorado’s most popular white water rafting trip! Raft the Arkansas River in Buena Vista, Colorado near Denver, Colorado Springs and major resorts towns. Suitable for all skill levels and kids ages 7+, you can experience a Browns Canyon rafting adventure anytime between May 1 and Labor Day.
Adult price : $145
Join us for a half day of action-packed white water on the Arkansas River. Departing from Buena Vista, Colorado this adventure is close to Denver, Colorado Springs and major resorts. Rafters of all skill levels and kids ages 7+ are welcome on this trip that runs between May 1st and Labor Day.
Adult price : $95
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 : $95
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 : $170
Experience fantastic rafting and comfort all in one great Arkansas River trip. Customize white water rafting sections, comfortable lodging at bed and breakfasts and delicious dining choices at local restaurants. Departing from Buena Vista, Colorado – near Denver and Colorado Springs – raft anytime between May 15 and Labor Day. Suitable for all skill levels and kids ages 10+.
Adult price : $370/day
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
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
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
A Classic Colorado Town
Before western settlers came into the area where present day Cañon City is located, it was frequented as a camping area by the Ute Indians, Colorado’s only indigenous tribe. In 1858, settlers finally made their appearance on the banks of the Arkansas River. It wasn’t until 1860 that the first building was complete and the town was more than just a mining camp.
Gold was what everyone came looking for. Cañon City prospered quickly, thanks to the gold rush that was creating thriving communities throughout Colorado. However, when the search for gold wasn’t yielding desirable amounts, oil was discovered instead. In late 1861 a man named A. M. Cassaday drilled for petroleum about six miles north of town. He struck oil at a depth of 50 feet, and completed the first commercial oil well west of the Mississippi. After the arrival of the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railway in 1874, the community became a shipping point for agricultural products, livestock, minerals, quarried marble. Smelters were built in Cañon City following the last great gold rush in Colorado, taking place in nearby Cripple Creek in 1891.
Since then, Cañon City has continued to thrive, boasting a population of around 16,000. The area draws huge crowds in the summer for a wide variety of tourist activities.
A Great Place for an Outdoor Vacation
Cañon City is a great destination for your next Colorado vacation. Outdoor activities are plentiful – hiking, rafting and camping make a Cañon City vacation the trip of lifetime. Take white water rafting trip through the Royal Gorge on the Arkansas River, hike through Bighorn Sheep Canyon, or simply enjoy camping in the wilderness.
Don’t forget to visit many other vacation towns and destinations on your Cañon City, CO vacation, including Salida, Buena Vista, Leadville, Breckenridge, Keystone, Aspen, Vail, Colorado Springs, Denver, and Gunnison.