The Arkansas River stretches nearly 1,500 miles with its headwaters near Leadville (about 45 miles north of our office) but only a few sections offer the incredible class III-V whitewater rafting we enjoy near our Buena Vista office. Browns Canyon earned National Monument designation in February of 2015. We are proud to be the Visitor Center for Browns Canyon National Monument. There are many ways to take in the natural, rugged wilderness this portion of the Arkansas River offers, but there’s nothing better (and more fun) than experiencing Browns Canyon National Monument in a raft!
The sections of the Arkansas River where we offer our whitewater rafting trips attracts thousands of adventure seekers each year from all around the world, earning it the nickname “The Mecca of Whitewater Rafting”. There is something for every skill level here. The diverse Arkansas River features sections of high intensity rapids like The Numbers and the Royal Gorge as well as family friendly sections where guests as young as 4 years old can experience the fun of Colorado whitewater rafting at its finest. We even have oars we can easily mount onto our rafts so you can sit back and enjoy the gorgeous scenery as you soak up the Colorado sunshine. The most popular trips are in Browns Canyon. With over 100 miles of whitewater, you may also consider rafting the Narrows, Lower Browns Canyon and Bighorn Sheep Canyon.
Our whitewater rafting headquarters is located just 2.5 miles south of Buena Vista, Colorado in the small unincorporated town of Johnson Village. In 2015 we added 48 more solar panels to our existing wind generator and solar panels which makes us a 100% solar and wind powered facility. We have a 17.5 acre property featuring direct access to the Arkansas River. We often stop by our office for lunch on our Narrows full day trips and it also serves as the put in for some of our Browns Canyon whitewater rafting trips. Inside our office you’ll find a full retail shop featuring river essentials like chums or toobies to keep your glasses from falling into the river, waterproof cameras, sunscreen as well as fun souvenir items and gifts. We also offer all of our guests the opportunity to rent gear like booties, splash jackets, and wetsuits so you can stay warm on the water. Another thing to note, is our complimentary continental breakfast bar… Colorado’s only raft company to offer a free pre-trip breakfast to ward off hunger before taking on the river!
Riparian habitats are found along the Arkansas River and are home to a diverse variety of flora and fauna. As you raft along the river you’ll take in gorgeous plant life and scenery such as Colorado’s state flower, the Columbine. Later on in the summer season wildflowers bloom all along the valley so you’ll be able to take in their vibrant colors from the river, camp, and even in the fields outside our office. Since the Arkansas River encompasses the Great Continental Divide you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy incredible rock formations. Many of these look like familiar figures or faces—be sure to ask your guides about the zoo, the wedding ring, and the Pink Panther when you’re rafting through Browns Canyon National Monument!