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Parkdale Arkansas River Rafting
Our 37th Year!

Raft Trips

Parkdale, Colorado Big Horn Sheep Canyon III+

Big Horn Sheep Canyon Rafting
The Canyon walls open to stunning views of the snow-covered Sangre de Cristo Mountains rising to over 14,000 feet. Stretching between Salida, Cotopaxi and Parkdale, these rapids are less technical than Browns Canyon but no less exciting for an introductory river experience. Class III+

From mountain slopes of pinon pine, juniper and cholla cactus populated by big horn sheep herds to the summits of the Collegiate Peaks, Mount Oxford, Princeton, Harvard and Yale to the rapid-filled canyons of the Arkansas River, the Arkansas River Valley offers a world of adventures for you and your family. Explore this magical part of America’s old west with horseback riding, (day or overnight) mountain biking, hiking, visit a hot springs or take four-wheel-drive tour of this area’s ghost towns. This trip offers you a great way to experience the wildlife and the wilderness within spectacular river valley.
Parkdale River Rafting

Here the canyon walls open to beautiful views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, rising to over 14,000 feet. The river flows from the high country it`s clear and teeming with trout. A gentle start moving into more challenging whitewater for the more experienced paddlers. Lunch is provided on full trips. All boating equipment is provided as well as rain gear and life jackets. "BOOK EARLY" Dates are limited.

A Great Family Trip
Minimum age 5, water level dependant.

Bighorn Canyon Adults Youths 5-12
Half Day $60.00* $55.00*
Full Day $95.00* $72.00*
Adrenaline Rush Upgrade $25.00 $25.00

*Youth rates are for 5 to 12 yr olds. Minimum age may increase based on higher water levels. June is typcially high water where we recommend the min. age be 12.
*Colorado Govt. Use Fees of $5.00 flat fee for half day trips or 5.25% for full/multi day trips, $2.00 per person per trip admin fee and a sur-charge of 1% will be added to these fees. The sur-charge is going toward the Upper Arkansas Land Trust. Our website will show you the total price of this raft trip before you make any commitments.

Adrenaline Rush Upgrade
Any trip that you want the small 'extreme' 12 ft. raft experience (4) paddlers with guide.

The prices above may not be current.

We no longer offer reservations for this adventure.

Please contact: Dvorak Expeditions at 719 539-6851
You can also contact them by email at:

What to Bring:
Please see our packing list.

Responsibility Waiver
We require you to read and sign a liability release form prior to your trip as well as a health questionnaire.

Because of the risk associated with river trips, including possible personal injury, property loss and financial loss in the event of cancellation, we strongly urge all trip participants to obtain vacation insurance.
Meeting Place & Time:
Nathrop base at 8:00 a.m. for morning half-day or full-day trips or 11:30 a.m. for afternoon trips.

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.

By Plane:
Major airports are Denver International or Colorado Springs; rental car or van from there to the Arkansas Valley. Car rentals are available in Denver or Colorado Springs. There are "limited" jeep and domestic rental vehicles available in the Arkansas valley by prior arrangement.
Salida and Buena Vista, Colorado have small aircraft facilities and charter flights only are available with adequate numbers for charter.
Arrive in Salida or Buena Vista, Colorado the day prior to the trip.

By Car:
Coming from Colorado Springs, take Hwy 24 west to US Hwy 285, south on US Hwy 285 to Nathrop. We are located 10 miles south of Buena Vista, Colorado on Hwy 285. Coming from the north, take US Hwy 285 to Nathrop.

1. You start your whitewater rafting adventure by checking in at the office in Nathrop.
2. Your guides will show the way with fitting out your personal floatation devise (PFD) and they will issue your wetsuit & boots by size for you to fit and dress for the trip. We will have rain jackets and pants for each guest on board the raft in the group dry bag. You can also place your personal items such as (sunscreen, fleece jacket, small towel into this same bag. You might want to place them in a large zip lock bag to keep them easy to view and find all together from the dry bag later in the day. If you have a camera (waterproof), lip sunscreen or items you want to get to often a fanny pack works great to wear.
3. Once you have gathered up your items for the day you will take your PFD, personal items and wetsuit/boots and make your way to the bus or van for transportation will be provided to the river “Put In” launch.
4. Note: You want to make sure that you have left your keys at the front desk with the attendant and locked your valuables into your car. Your things are safe on our private property. On return from the trip you’ll have your keys ready for you to change into dry items, shower etc. The shop will have photos, t-shirts and many fun items for your whitewater souvenirs.
5. Your travel time to the launch site is about 30-45 minutes.
6. Once you arrive at the river your guides will direct you to the area where they will give you the safety talk and demonstrate the techniques for your raft crew; i.e. paddle where each person will paddle thru the rapids with the guide instructor or ride the rapids on an oar powered by your guide at the 10’ oars. Launch onto the river should be about 9:30 a.m. Now you’re on your way and a full day of wild rapids class II & III lots of adrenaline that will come and go as you cover about 18 miles of river in a full day.
7. (Full Day Trips) Now there is still half a day left and you will stop for a deli lunch prepared by your guides... Cold drinks, fresh fruits, and deli sandwiches you create yourself. Chips and cookies for the sweet tooth and always-fresh water for you throughout the day.
8. You will finish the day with some great rapids and in the quiet spots, it might be the time to water war with those on the other rafts. Time for paybacks from an earlier soaking you got.
9. Back at the center, you can revisit your day’s events with your guide and see those Great photos taken of you and your family or group that day. Don’t forget the “Dry” t-shirt and take one home to those that missed this fantastic day on the Arkansas River’s Big Horn Sheep Canyon!
“I can’t believe we actually saw a whole bunch of Big Horn Sheep right there next to us.” Guest
Front Range River Rafting

Refund Policy
It is sometimes necessary for us to cancel or modify a trip because of unusual circumstances. We reserve the right to cancel or modify any trip due to weather or water conditions or other circumstances beyond our control. In such cases, we cannot be responsible for paying any expenses you may have incurred other than to refund monies due to you for trip costs per the policies below.

We recommend that you obtain trip vacation insurance in order to protect yourself from any losses you might incur if you suddenly need to cancel your reservation. If you have to cancel your trip and have not obtained trip insurance, we recommend you try to find someone to take your place.

Please read carefully our cancellation policy, below, as it applies in every instance:

One-Day Trips
When cancellation is made 2 days or more prior to departure, all monies are refunded less a 50% (of total trip price) cancellation fee, or the total deposit if it is less than 50% of the trip price.
With less than 2 days notice, no monies are refunded (this includes credit card charges).

Travel Insurance:
We recommend that you purchase trip cancellation insurance through Travelex Insurance (please reference locator account # 06-0520 – product # A0105102) in the event you need to cancel your trip with us.
Product No. TR01 05/00
Location No. 06-0520

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