Arkansas River White Water Rafting


Where is the Arkansas River?

Is this a popular place for rafters?

What are some reasons why people raft this river?

The Arkansas River is a popular whitewater rafting location in Colorado. It tends to draw crowds of all different types of rafters, from the very inexperienced to the professionals and everyone in between.

There are many reasons why people come back to this river again and again. Here are some important features of the Arkansas River that continue to bring people to its waters and shores every time rafting season rolls around:

  • The scenery is impressive on this river, and it’s never quite the same. The seasons and years make a difference in the way the river presents itself, and so people who visit it every year always have something new and exciting to see, experience, and enjoy.
  • The river offers challenges for people of all skill levels. Anyone can enjoy taking a trip on this river, depending on the part of the river they choose to raft. It’s a great option for families, too, for this very reason.
  • There’s plenty of different ways to enjoy the river, and different companies that offer river rafting tours as well. Because of the popularity of this area, you’ll never be at a loss for booking options when planning your next river rafting vacation.

If you’re thinking about planning a rafting trip on the Arkansas River, we’ve got plenty of information to help you get started. Below, we’ve gathered some of the basics about this popular river so you can decide whether or not it’s the best option for you.

Take your time and look through this information. Remember that every river is not the same, and that people who enjoy one river may not enjoy the next. This choice may take a little consideration to find out whether or not this river is right for you, but our information should help you make that decision.

Read on to learn more about Arkansas River rafting in Colorado.


Arkansas River

Difficulty: Easy to Difficult, depending on trip length and location choices

Location: Granite, Colorado

Notable Locations on the River: Browns Canyon, The Numbers, The Narrows, Pine Creek, Trip Drop Rapids

Duration: Half-Day, ¾-Day, Full-Day, Multi-Day

  • Choose the half-day option if you’re just looking to get out and explore the river a little bit.
  • Go with the ¾-day for a slightly longer experience that will satisfy most moderate rafters and challenge beginners.
  • Full-day trips are ideal for those who want to get a little more on the difficult side of moderate.
  • Multi-day rafting trips can be combined with camping, rappelling, ziplining and other exciting activities in the area. These trips are especially ideal for experienced rafters as well as active people who do a lot of exercise on a regular basis.

Some of the most beloved whitewater is located along the Arkansas River, so if you’re looking for a rite of passage in the rafting world, be sure to plan a trip as soon as possible! There are many skill level options available on this river, some of which may be more challenging than others. Consider which part of the river you want to raft before you book your trip.

When you take your rafting trip on the Arkansas River, you’ll enjoy exquisite scenery and plenty of nature at every turn. You may encounter some local flora and fauna, and you’re sure to see plenty of views and vistas you wouldn’t be able to experience anywhere else.

And if you’re looking for a challenging rafting experience for advanced rafters, there are parts of this river that offer continual rapids without a breather in between any of them. There’s truly something for everyone along the Arkansas River, and it only takes a little bit of planning to figure out the perfect trip itinerary for you and everyone in your group, too.


  • Since there are many touring companies operating on this river, there are enough options and customizable packages to help you find the perfect, precise trip for all your needs.
  • This river is excellent at almost any time of the year, with only a few months being less than desirable times to raft on it.
  • Children as young as seven years of age can enjoy rafting on this river with adult accompaniment, as long you choose an excursion that is safe for little ones.


  • There are, as with any rafting experiences, always times of the year when this river may not be functional for whitewater rafting purposes. If this happens to you, then you may need to reschedule or cancel your trip. Your touring company should have policies in place for this potential situation.
  • The river is popular and may be crowded during the busier months, making it difficult to see the scenery or get up close and personal with the wildlife.
  • At times, parts of this river can be dangerous. Those who are not experienced enough should consider staying away from the more difficult parts of the trip, including Pine Creek, which is the most strenuous piece of the journey.


There’s a lot to keep in mind when planning your trip to the Arkansas River! Although this river might not be for everyone, it’s a great place to get started if you’re looking for a beginner river with some challenges for more experienced members of your group, too.

Of course, there may be some other tips you need to keep in mind before making your trip into a reality, too. Rafting, whether you’ve done it one time or a hundred times, always involves some considering in order to make the most of your experience.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when it comes to planning your rafting trip on the Arkansas River:

  • If you want to visit during the busiest and best rafting season, plan your trip from May to September. June to August is an even better time frame, but a little earlier or later can work well if you’re looking for the best time of year for rafting in Colorado.
  • Make sure everyone in your group understands river safety. Although the guides on your rafting tour will explain some of this, it’s important to go over as much as you can with everyone before you arrive. Safety first!
  • Check to see if swimming ability is required for the river trip you’ll be taking. On some easier and more mild trips, it’s okay if not everyone in your group can swim well. However, on moderate or more advanced trips, everyone will likely need to know how to swim.
  • Decide whether or not you want to do a half-day, a full-day, or some other trip length. Choose the length of time you want to be on the water and narrow down your options from there.
  • Consider whether or not you’ll be camping during your trip. Camping can be fun, but can limit the choices you have when booking your tour.

There may be other things you need to keep in mind before your trip as well. However, if you start with these tips, you’ll be well on your way to a great vacation in no time!

We routinely make an effort to implement our editorial practices and policies throughout our web site. This includes investigating every one of our posts thoroughly and always doing our utmost best to showcase the most reliable details possible for our readership. Feel free to browse our About Us Page for more information.

Thank you for checking out RaftingAddict! When you purchase through site links on our website, we might earn an affiliate commission, at no extra expense to you. Please be sure to enjoy our website!