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Whitewater Rafting Colorado – Arkansas River

Arkansas River Tours has been offering exceptional whitewater rafting in Colorado since 1973. Colorado’s Rocky Mountains are the birthplace of more major rivers than any other mountain range in the U.S. Colorado’s Arkansas River, the most popular river in America, provides a variety of whitewater rafting experiences ranging from ½ day trips to multi-day trips with camping, easy whitewater for family vacation adventures to challenging extreme adventures in Class IV+ whitewater. Three unique canyons, Bighorn Canyon, Brown’s Canyon and the Royal Gorge provide whitewater rafting trips for the timid beginner to the seasoned veteran.

Bighorn Canyon

Family Rafting in Bighorn Sheep Canyon. First timers or experienced rafters will enjoy fun and exciting Class II-III+ rapids. Trips for families with kids as young as 5 years old.



Royal Gorge

Royal Gorge whitewater rafting is the most challenging Class IV-IV+ rapids we offer! This ultimate rafting experience features huge waves, steep technical drops and almost continuous action.



Browns Canyon

America’s newest National Monument! Combine exciting whitewater with spectacular views of some of Colorado’s highest peaks. Class II-III+ rapids are suitable for families, first timers and experienced rafters.


Multi-Day Trips

A true mini-vacation! Combine Brown’s Canyon, Bighorn Sheep Canyon and the Royal Gorge for 2 or 3 day adventures. Riverside camping, fantastic meals and time around the campfire highlight your Colorado rafting vacation.


More River Adventures

Fly Fishing

Colorado Fly Fishing
Float fish the Gold Medal Arkansas River! Fly fish for Brown and Rainbow trout with our professional guides. Evening Floats to multi-day fishing expeditions. Wilderness 3 day trips in the Gunnison Gorge.


Specialty Trips



  • Gunnison Gorge Photography Workshop with John Fielder
  • Corporate Team Building trips
  • Boy Scout and Girl Scout trips



Gunnison Gorge

Gunnison Gorge Rafting
Wilderness multi-day trips below Black Canyon National Park. This exclusive trip can be run as 2 Day Whitewater adventure or a 3 day Fishing expedition. Gold Medal fishing, exciting rapids plus exquisite scenery and camping.


River & Rail

River and Rail Packages
Combine rafting with a steak or chicken BBQ lunch cooked by the river and a Royal Gorge train ride. Choose a ½ Day Bighorn Sheep Canyon trip or a Cottonwood Family Float to start your adventure.


Recently on the Blog

We are open for float fishing!

trout fishing in colorado

We are open for the 2015 Float Fishing season!   Hungry fish are cooperating to make this a great start to the season.  Flows are conducive for a great fry emergence and the water is clear.   We are focusing on baetis hatches and caddis are not far behind having started hatching in Canon City.  Of course, streamers from the boat are still my favorite way to go!

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Mumford & Sons Announces Gentlemen of the Road Stopover in Salida


Salida, CO – Mumford & Sons are pleased to announce the details of their forthcoming Gentlemen of the Road Stopover in Salida, CO on August 21st and 22nd.  The Stopover includes numerous internationally acclaimed artists, including The Flaming Lips, Dawes, Jenny Lewis, The Vaccines, TuneYards, James Vincent McMorrow, JEFF The Brotherhood, Blake Mills and more to be announced. There are four Stopover locations in North America, each a two-day event that combines the intimacy of a community celebration with the excitement of a world-class music festival.  Mumford & Sons will headline the Saturday shows.  A series of smaller events involving local businesses, […]

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Royal Gorge Bridge and Park Reopening

Royal Gorge Park & Bridge

This year will be the official reopening of the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park after the devastating fire in 2013. A completely rebuilt Visitors Center on the edge of the Gorge will overlook this dramatic vista. We look forward to partnering with our friends at the Bridge to bring you a package that will include rafting in Bighorn Sheep Canyon or the Royal Gorge, general admission to the Park and a zip line like no other! Imagine zipping 1200 feet over the river from one side of the Gorge to the other for a total length of over 2,000 feet! […]

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Colorado Rafting 2015 Snowpack Update

colorado snowpack

The recent snowstorm has really pushed our snowpack even higher above 100% of normal. It is important to note that the news media will report on the general snowpack conditions and take into account areas of drought in Colorado that are not connected to river recreation. We look to specific measuring sites, called SNOTEL sites, to determine stream flows and potential runoff which are our primary concerns for rafting and fishing conditions. The highlighted numbers are snow water content percentages. Add those 3 numbers, divide by 3 and you get the Arkansas River condition. 121% is very good for late […]

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