ARKANSAS RIVER TWO AND THREE DAY CAMPING TRIPS
This is a whitewater rafting sampler of two of the Arkansas River Valley's most thrilling white-water runs (about 5 hours each day). The Arkansas River Valley is an historic route of exploration and transportation in the Southern Rockies. Paralleled by the Denver and Rio Grande Western tracks and for much of its length by US Highway 50, there are numerous runs to be made between a large number of access points.
The water is usually clear and cold with uniformly swift current, and spiced with some serious recreational whitewater. The river harbors a healthy population of native and stocked trout. The overall surroundings are awesomely beautiful, in the shadow of 14,000 foot peaks.
June through August. Call for reservations.
2 Days - $310 per person, with a 50% advance deposit required.
3 Days - $465 per person, with a 50% advance deposit required.
On the first day, we meet at Buena Vista, then shuttle to our put-in for either Brown's Canyon (Class III-IV), the Narrows (Class III), or the Numbers (Class IV+). Our location is the Whispering Pines River Camp, a private campground on the banks of the Arkansas River by US Highway 50 just 12 miles east of Cotopaxi, Colorado. This is not a wilderness type trip, but what we call a "base-camp" trip, with some access to convenience stores and phones (even motels for the pampered), between runs.
Because water levels fluctuate throughout the season and because of the many put- in/take-out options, this trip will include the guide's choice of the best running whitewater available at the time you wish to travel.
"Brown's Canyon" - The most popular day whitewater run on the river, thus crowded
with other recreationists on weekends. Its' extreme popularity is justified by its relative isolation within a scenic canyon, and by exciting rapids like Zoom Flume and Widowmaker. 10-18 miles. Mostly on (BLM) public land.
"The Narrows" - A less crowded, but nevertheless quite exciting section including Johnson's Spillway. 8-14 miles. Mostly private land.
"The Numbers" - Considered by many to be primarily a kayak run, at optimum flows (1,000-2,000 cfs) it is a very busy and exciting raft slalom among big rocks and holes. This option is the warm-up option for experienced Class-IV rafters who want to tackle the Royal Gorge in paddle boats. 6-10 miles. Mostly private land.
"Royal Gorge" - This 2,000 foot deep canyon was the chief engineering obstacle faced by the railroad. The tracks cling to the sheer walls, and rock dislodged in construction has clogged the channel, giving us ferocious drops like Caretaker, Sunshine Falls and others. Our most exciting whitewater offering in the southwest, for experienced Class-IV rafters only.
Your river guides have many years of experience on the Arkansas River, are trained in river rescue and emergency first aid, and are certified by the Colorado River Outfitter's Association.
Our Meeting Place Day One:
At 9:00AM at Sweetwater Ranch in Texas Creek Colorado. This is located mear Mile Marker 250 at 24871 Highway 50 West. Texas Creek is located almost halfway between Salida and Canon City, Colorado.
There are many motels in the Arkansas Valley. Call The Local Chambers of Commerce in:
Buena Vista 719-395-6612
Canon City 719-275-2331
OAR OR PADDLE RAFTS:
You may request a paddleboat for your trip. Our 14 and 16 foot self-bailers have interior grablines, and footcups, the best of Class-V paddle-rafting technology. The Numbers and the Royal Gorge consist of hazardous whitewater. Unless you are qualified by previous Class-IV whitewater paddling experience, you will be required to ride on oar-powered rafts. Participants who have previously paddle-boated the Taos Box, Brown's Canyon, or certain other whitewater runs may request the paddle option. A team of six paddlers is required. Paddlers must be in excellent health, swim strongly, and remain sober. Guests who do not specifically request paddleboat will find our oar rafts (piloted only by the guide) provide plenty of thrills.
Summer in the Rocky Mountains is typically mild. Cold conditions may occur during summer thundershowers, when clouds, wind and precipitation often occur in the afternoons on hot days. This necessitates that participants plan for the full range of weather conditions (50-90 degrees F). Nights at basecamp are often cool (35-50 F).
Recreation releases from the Twin Lakes Reservoir are expected to supplement snowmelt runoff during late season weekends. The uncontrolled runoff usually occurs between early June and late July, with the
peak flood in late June. River temperatures are always chilly (ranging from 40F during snow melt to 60F during the late-season ebb.