Raft Colorado’s Arkansas River

Posted on July 15, 2014

Family-friendly rafting.

Make whitewater rafting in Colorado the highlight of your family vacation

By Travis Hochard, General Manager, River Runners

I loved it when my dad took me whitewater rafting in Colorado for the first time. It was with River Runners on the Browns Canyon section of the Arkansas River. I knew right away it would not be my last time to run those rapids and I eventually trained to be a raft guide there. Now I am the general manager at River Runners and I am able to share my love for the river with my own kids.

The things that have drawn me back to the Upper Arkansas River through the years are the feelings I get while on a whitewater rafting trip. All of life’s problems seem to float away with the sound of swift water rushing over granite boulders, the smell of pine trees from the canyon forest, the sensation you get as the current pulls the raft down river, and the anticipation of what’s around the next bend. It’s like being a kid again – or it simply allows kids to be kids.

People tell us all the time that whitewater rafting was the best part of their vacation. This is no surprise to our staff, because it is the river that keeps us coming back year after year and it’s a wonderful thing to be able to share this passion with our guests.

An above average snowpack last winter brought Colorado’s rivers up to levels not seen in years, but the water has since dropped, making many sections of the Arkansas River appropriate for younger families and first-time rafters. The Colorado rafting season will be going strong through the first week of September. If you are looking for a unique activity that is fun for the entire family – give us a call at 800-723-8987 or book online today.


Choosing the best whitewater rafting trip for your family

Kids as young as 3 years old can raft the Family Float

One of the many great things about whitewater rafting in Colorado is that there is something for everyone. The Arkansas River alone offers more than 100 miles of river with everything from class V rapids in the Pine Creek section to a casual scenic float trip on the Milk Run. Kids as young as three years old can start off on the Family Float trip and six year olds can raft the Browns Canyon or the Bighorn Sheep Canyon. If your kids are at least 14 years old you may want to consider rafting the Royal Gorge or the Numbers. No matter what trip you choose you can always request a senior guide and for younger kids you should also request an oar boat or paddle assist.

Half-day, Full-day and Overnight Rafting Trips

Rafting with kids.
River Runners offers a range of whitewater rafting trips starting with a one-hour float all the way up to an overnight rafting expedition. Full day rafting trips are the most popular, but a half-day experience may work better for your group. If you’re not sure you can always start off small and work your way up.

Raft from two locations

River Runners operates from two locations on the Arkansas River. Rafting trips through the Royal Gorge and the Bighorn Sheep Canyon depart from the River Runners Royal Gorge Rafting Center – 8 miles west of Canon City, Colorado. Rafting trips through the Milk Run, the Browns Canyon, the Numbers and the Pine Creek sections of the Arkansas River depart from theRiver Runners at Fisherman’s Bridge – six miles south of Buena Vista, Colorado.