About Us – Who We Are

Arkansas River Tours in ColoradoSince our inception as one of the original Colorado whitewater rafting companies in 1973, Arkansas River Tours has been committed to providing the safest, highest-quality river trips available. We have a strong background in experiential education which transfers into the personable trips we offer. Arkansas River Tours is a leader in many aspects of the rafting industry in Colorado. Our guide training is well recognized by our fellow outfitters. We have provided rescue courses and trained guides from other companies in proper techniques of paddle boat guiding. Many of the high standards we set for ourselves have become guidelines for others. We were the pioneers in running the Royal Gorge in paddle boats. In fact, ART was the first company to include swim tests at certain water levels and to mandate the use of helmets in the Royal Gorge.

ART guides receive the most extensive training available, exceeding all state requirements by several hours. Our guides consider whitewater rafting to be their profession, not just a summer job. These fun-loving professionals are always willing to share their love for rivers and knowledge of the river environment. Most of our guides are EMTs or Wilderness First Responders and all guides are First Aid and CPR certified. Their average experience is more than 5 years. Safety being our #1 concern, all of our boats are self-bailers with foot cups and we use only the finest equipment available.

ART is proud of our reputation in running river trips for a diverse clientele. Our guests include families, singles, Scouts, youth camps and corporate groups. We have designed programs for physically challenged individuals as well as "at risk" youth groups. Our instructional program includes guide training, river rescue, teen whitewater camps and corporate team building programs.

We take pride in the fact that many of our guests have become friends and return with their families and others to raft with us again. Our friendly knowledgeable reservationists, exceptional guides and capable drivers guarantee the finest whitewater rafting experience available.

ART is owned and managed by Bob and Marsha Hamel. They are personally on site daily in the office and on the river making sure our high standards are exceeding your expectations. Bob is actively involved in the industry as a board member of the Arkansas River Outfitters Association, the Colorado River Outfitters Association, the Colorado Rafting Association and the Arkansas Headwaters State Park Citizen's Task Force.

EQUIPMENT/FACILITIES: We have self-bailing rafts, foot cups, throw lines, top quality lifejackets, well-maintained buses, changing rooms, restrooms, retail store, & photo service.

HANDICAPPED GUESTS: Are a specialty and can be accommodated with advance notice.