Arkansas River Browns Canyon
Class III to IV-
The Arkansas offers many sections of thrilling whitewater which attract river enthusiasts from all over the world and is the most popular rafting river in America. The most popular of all the Arkansas' sections is Browns Canyon. Here, you can experience whitewater rafting for the first time or enjoy returning time after time to this beautiful boulder-strewn canyon. Exciting rapids like Pinball, Zoom-Flume, Big Drop, Seven Stairs and Widow-maker punctuate the canyon. Full day trips include a delicious smorgasbord lunch and approximately 8 more miles of rafting than our ½ day.
½ day = 10 miles, 1 day = 18 miles
Departure Times: ½ Day - 8:30 AM and 1:00 PM
1 Day - 9:30 AM
Please arrive at least 30-45 minutes prior to departure time. This allows you time to check in, relax, and enjoy our complimentary breakfast before your trip leaves. Breakfast is available 7:30 am to 10:00 am.
MULTI-DAY RIVER TRIPS
2, 3, 5 DAY RAFTING - Class III-IV
Combine several of the Arkansas' best whitewater sections into a great multi-day trip and experience the fun of self-contained overnight camping by the river. Having specialized in running multi-day rafting trips since 1976, Wilderness Aware has run more overnight trips on the Arkansas than any other outfitter. This experience gives us the competitive edge when it comes to organizing your adventure.
Two-day trips include both the Narrows and Browns Canyon, or Browns Canyon and calmer waters downstream. Three and five day trips offer you the opportunity to sit back and rest after the excitement of Browns Canyon and to enjoy the spectacular views of the Sangre de Cristo mountain range. Before long, we encounter yet another great whitewater section called Bighorn Sheep Canyon. Big, powerful waves with relatively few rocks characterize this section. Three-day trips include Browns Canyon and Bighorn Sheep Canyon or the Narrows, while in five days you can run them all. Multi day trips will depart every day if there is at least 4 people signed up for the trip.
Length: 35 miles on 2 day trips
68 miles on 3 day trips
90 miles on 5 day trips
Departure Time: 9:00 AM
Please arrive at least 45 minutes - 1 hour prior to departure time. This allows you time to check in, relax, and enjoy our complimentary breakfast before your trip leaves. You may also check in before 7 PM the day before your trip and pick up your waterproof bag. This makes packing much easier at your motel or camp.
1/2 DAY AND FULL DAY EXPRESS RAFTING - Class III-IV
If you have experienced the thrill of Browns Canyon and are ready for a new challenge, consider The Narrows Express. The Narrows Express combines the Narrows half-day and the Browns Canyon full-day for the longest, most action packed, full-day trip around. This is high mileage, nonstop action, especially at high water. Here, the thrill is in successfully making the technical moves between boulders in fast, choppy water. The Narrows half-day is a great opportunity to experience the excitement of the Narrows in just a morning's trip.
Length: 9 miles on ½ day trips
26 miles on 1 day Express trips
Departure Time: 9:00 AM
Please arrive at least 30-45 minutes prior to departure time. This allows you time to check in, relax, and enjoy our complimentary breakfast before your trip leaves.
Raft: Minimum age: 7 for Browns Canyon and 12 for the Narrows
|Browns Canyon 1/2 Day||$62.00*||$53.00*|
|Browns Canyon 1 Day||$97.00*||$82.00*|
|Browns Canyon 2 Days||$359.00*||$305.00*|
|Browns Canyon 3 Days||$534.00*||$454.00*|
|Browns Canyon 5 Days||$814.00*||$692.00*|
|Narrows 1/2 Day||$66.00*||$66.00*|
|Narrows 1 Day||$120.00*||$120.00*|
*Browns ½ and full day trips youth rates are for 8 to 12 yr olds, minimum age may increase based on higher water levels. On Multiday trips youth rates are for youths 7-16.
*9% land and water access fee. Wilderness Aware, Inc. rents wetsuits, wetshoes, splash jackets, two-man tents, and sleeping bags with self-inflating air mattresses.
Browns Canyon trips have a minimum group size of 2. All other trips listed have a minumun group size of 4.
To see dates for any of these trips, choose a trip from the option box and press the submit button above. Once you are registered, you will get a confirmation email from Wilderness Aware Rafting for your trip.
You can search all the trips that we offer:
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Where to Meet:
In the upper right hand corner of this page, you can enter your location or a point that you know of and hit enter and google maps will open and show you a map to the meeting location and driving time.
Heading south on Hwy 285 from Denver or west on Hwy 24 from Colorado Springs, we sit at the bottom of Trout Creek pass. Look for our new building on the right side of the highway before you cross the Arkansas River at Johnson Village. (2 ½ - 3 hrs from Denver or 2 hrs from Colorado Springs)
From the north on Hwy 24, go through the town of Buena Vista. Turn left at the Hwy 285/24-intersection two miles south of town heading toward Denver and Colorado Springs. You will go through Johnson Village and cross the Arkansas River. Look for our new building just across the river on the left side of the highway.
From the south on Hwy 285, turn right at the Hwy 285/24-intersection heading toward Denver and Colorado Springs. You will go through Johnson Village and cross the Arkansas River. Look for our new building just across the river on the left side of the highway.
Driving times to our Base
Denver 2½ hrs
Colorado Springs 2 hrs
Durango 4 hrs
Grand Junction 4½ hrs
Vail 1¾ hrs
Fort Collins 3½ hrs
Aspen 1½ hrs
Breckenridge 1½ hrs
Pre-trip information is available in .pdf format by clicking on the trip name below.
BROWNS CANYON PRE-TRIP INFORMATION
ARKANSAS RIVER MULTI-DAY PRE-TRIP INFORMATION
DOWNLOAD NARROWS PRE-TRIP INFORMATION
If you are not able to view the file or are not sure if you have the right software you can click here to download Adobe Acrobat Reader.
What to bring
* *Wetsuit (High water or rainy days)
* Wool or pyle sweater or polypro (loaners available)
* *Wetshoes OR wool socks and old tennis shoes
* *Splash jacket
* Swim suit and/or shorts
* Hat or visor
* Sunglasses with securing strap
* Securing strap for prescription glasses
* Sunscreen and lip protection
* Water bottle -optional
* Money for souvenirs and guide gratuity (if appropriate)
Can our group be on the same boat?
Up to seven guests plus the guide can paddle in a raft. We can take eight people if someone is willing to ride in the middle of the raft as a passenger. Groups larger than eight people must split between multiple rafts. We can tell you at the time of your reservation if your group will need to split up for other reasons.
Can I help paddle?
The paddle raft option is for our adventurous guests that want to have a hand in the action. Here, you are part of a crew and must contribute to the team effort in maneuvering the raft. The crew is captained by one of our qualified guides.
Will you teach me how to paddle?
Before every trip we conduct an in-depth participant safety orientation and paddling instruction. We regularly take first time rafters on most of our trips.
Can I just hold on?
You may elect to ride in an oar boat where the guide has complete control of the raft. This gives you freedom to admire the scenery and use both hands for holding on. This is a nice option if you have young children or senior citizens in your group. One or two non-paddling passengers may also ride on a paddle raft.
A guide captains every boat. Our guides represent the most qualified professionals in the industry. Guides must attend a 5-day interview trip prior to being hired. They are thoroughly experienced in the techniques of river running and are first-aid and CPR certified. Before guiding their first commercial trip, our guides receive river training that far exceeds the state requirement. What sets our guides apart is the personal attention they give our participants. Our crew of fun loving professionals is dedicated to making each and every trip the finest possible.
We regularly conduct interpretive workshops to provide our guides with additional information on the natural, cultural, and political history of the rivers we run. We are proud of our staff and we know you will enjoy this fine group of people.
Is rafting safe?
Safety in any activity, including rafting, can never be guaranteed. Wilderness Aware can assume no responsibility for personal injury or for equipment lost or damaged in any way. We are, however, very proud of our outstanding 25 year safety record. Your safety is always our primary concern.
If you cancel more than 10 days prior to trip departure, we will refund your entire payment less a $5/person cancellation fee for 1/2 and 1-day trips, and a $50/person cancellation fee for multi-day trips. If you cancel less than 10 days prior to trip departure, there is no refund. Trips are rarely cancelled due to river or weather conditions, or for lack of reservations. If we cancel the trip you will receive a full refund.
Trip Cancellation Insurance
For a nominal fee, you may elect to purchase trip cancellation insurance. This entitles you to a full refund if you cancel your trip 24 hours prior to the trip departure. Receive a trip credit valid for one year if you cancel less than 24 hours but not less than one hour before the trip departure time. Trip cancellation insurance can be purchased through Wilderness Aware.
Are there any additional charges?
Optional rental equipment and guide gratuities are not included in the trip price.