Whitewater Rafting in Central Colorado
Covering Aspen, Buena Vista, Canon City, Cotopaxi, Creede, Dillon, Glenwood Springs, Idaho Springs, Salida, Texas Creek

Arkansas River
Central Colorado's Arkansas River is the nations top rafting river. Known internationally for its challenging rapids and scenic beauty. Whitewater enthusiasts say the Arkansas offers "more excitement per mile" than most other rivers. From it's headwaters in Leadville it flows 148 miles through Colorado's Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area. Then it makes it's way eastward to join the Mississippi River. With nearly 300,000 users annually the Arkansas' 148-mile stretch in Central Colorado is America's most popular rafting water. What makes the Arkansas so popular is its length of season, variety of rapids, continuous numbers of rapids, rapids' technical nature, wildlife, and unparalleled beauty. The rafting season normally begins in May but can start as early as April. The season runs through the summer to mid-August and often to Labor day. This three month season gives rafting enthusiasts ample opportunity to enjoy excursions with one of the many river rafting outfitters operating on the Arkansas.

Arkansas Whitewater Rafting

Photo Courtesy of Wilderness Aware Rafting

Featured Whitewater Rafting Companies in Central Colorado

Twice named "Colorado Company of the Year"! Wilderness Aware Rafting operates on five different Colorado rafting rivers and the Salt River in Arizona near Phoenix and Tucson. Trips range in duration from 1/4 to 10 days and include wildwater and family whitewater. Our trips represent a full range of difficulties, but most do not require previous experience.

We also offer scenic horseback rides, downhill mountain bike rides and jeep tours. Visit our 7200 square foot facility located on the banks of the Arkansas River. Established in 1976. Outstanding safety record, with experienced and fun loving guides. Top quality meals are included!


River Runners - The Whitewater Professionals

River Runners

Call 877-723-8938 to reserve your trip today!

Minimize your anxiety, allow us to help you plan your rafting adventure.
Spend more more time to enjoying your Colorado vacation.

  • Raft right from our resort's private beach, with no shuttle to the river
  • Arrive early and plan to stay late to enjoy our Riverside Grill
  • Riverside camping available for individuals or groups
  • Jump in a game of beach volleyball, horseshoes or try to catch a fish in the Arkansas River
  • Hot Showers available
  • T-shirts, rafting photos, rafting souvenirs, and snacks
  • Shaded, secure parking for all size vehicles and tour busses

Arkansas Valley Adventures

Arkansas Valley Adventures

1-(800) 370-0581

Raft the best whitewater in in the United States with Arkansas Valley Adventures. AVA offers 1/4 day to multi-day trips. Choose from a relaxing float trip all the way up to a continuous, heart-pounding whitewater adventure. AVA uses only top of the line equipment for your rafting enjoyment. Guides are skilled in whitewater rescue, and are certified in First Aid and CPR. Arkansas Valley Adventures prides itself in providing the safest trips possible. They also have log cabins and camping for your convenience. Other services include teen whitewater camps, guided float fishing trips, adventure programs, rafting guide training, and inflatable kayak trips. Equipment rentals available.


Other Whitewater Rafting Companies in Central Colorado

Royal Gorge Rafting
Royal Gorge Rafting, 45045 West US Highway 50, Canon City, CO 81212. 719-275-7238


American Adventure Expeditions, 12844 East US Highways 285/24, Buena Vista, CO 81211. 866-927-7238
Arkansas River Tours, US Highway 50, Cotopaxi, CO 81221. 800-321-4352
Arkansas Valley Adventures, 40671 US Highway 24 North, Buena Vista, CO 81211. 800-370-0581
Blazing Adventures, PO Box 4949, Aspen, CO 81612. 800-759-3939
Buffalo Joe's Whitewater Rafting, 113 North Railroad Street, Buena Vista, CO 81211. 866-283-3563
Canyon Marine, 10015 US Highway 50, Poncha Springs, CO 81242. 800-539-4447
Clear Creek Rafting, 350 Whitewater Road, Idaho Springs, CO 80452. 800-353-9901
Clear Creek Rafting, 44650 West US Highway 50, Canon City, CO 81212. 800-353-9901
Dvorak's Expeditions, 17291 US Highway 285, Nathrop, CO 81236. 800-824-3795
Echo Canyon River Expeditions, 45000 US Highway 50, Canon City, CO 81212. 800-755-3246
Four Corners Rafting, County Road 197, Nathrop, CO 81236. 866-745-7238
Geo Tours, 229 CO Highway 8, Morrison, CO 80465. 800-660-7238
Good Times Rafting, 1308 County Road 129, Glenwood Springs, CO 81601. 800-808-0357
Highside Adventure Tours, 183 Meadow Drive, Dillon, CO 80435. 800-997-3448
Independent Whitewater, 10830 County Road 165, Salida, CO 81201. 800-428-1479
Lakota Guides, PO Box 3481, Vail, CO 81658. 970-845-7238
Mountain Man Tours, 702 Main Street, Creede, CO 81130. 719-658-2663
Noah's Ark, 23910 US Highway 285, Buena Vista, CO 81211. 719-395-2158
Performance Tours, 115 Gregg Drive, Buena Vista, CO 81211. 800-328-7238
Raft Masters, 2315 Main Street, Canon City, CO 81212. 800-568-7238
Rock-N-Row, 19632 US Highway 50, Cotopaxi, CO 81221. 877-487-2494
Rocky Mountain Adventures, 1117 North US Highway 287, Fort Collins, CO 80524. 800-858-6808
Rocky Mountain Outdoor Center, 14825 US Highway 285, Salida, CO 81201. 800-255-5784
Vessels for Honor Rafting Company, 27077 US Highway 50, Texas Creek, CO 81223. 888-623-7939
Whitewater Adventure Outfitters, 50905 West US Highway 50, Canon City, CO 81212. 800-530-8212
Wilderness Aware Rafting, 12600 US Highway 285/24, Buena Vista, CO 81211. 800-462-7238

Choosing an Outfitter

From pampered indulgent getaways, to rugged challenging adventures, there's a trip and outfitter to suit every taste. In addition to river rafting many outfitters also offer combination packages which include many outdoor recreation options, including fishing, whitewater kayaking, canoeing, hiking, mountain biking, camping, rock climbing, horseback riding, photography and much more! It is important for you to select the right outfitter who will put your group on the appropriate section of river at the right time and with all of the essential equipment. In selecting the right trip and outfitter for your needs, the following questions should be considered:

Type of trip: fishing, instructional, paddle or oar boats, paddle assist or inflatable kayaks?  Half-day, full-day or multi-day trip?  Whitewater thrills or relaxing float trip.

Level of participation: to paddle with the guide, paddle on your own or relax and let the guide row?

Many outfitters provide transportation; How far is the drive? When does the trip depart and return? Is there a transportation fee? If so how much?

Picnic or barbecue; food provided or bring your own? Do the multi-day trips include all meals? What type of food is offered?

How long has the owner operated their business? Which agencies issue them permits? Call the agency and verify the information. Ask if there have been any complaints or citations against the outfitter.

What is the experience level of the guides and owners? What type of safety, rescue and first aid training / certification do they have?

What type of equipment does the outfitter use? Certain sections of some rivers require that wetsuits, helmets and self-bailing rafts are used at certain water levels.

What equipment, such as wetsuits, booties, flotation devices, helmets, camping equipment (for multi-day trips) and safety gear does the outfitter provide? Does it come with the cost of the trip? If not, what is the rental fee?

What services does the river outfitter offer children? What's the minimum age requirement for a trip?

What programs does the outfitter offer for the disabled, at-risk youths, senior citizens or corporate groups?

What is included in the price?

Special note: Word of mouth is the best recommendation! Ask friends and neighbors about their rafting experiences.