Royal Gorge Arkansas River Class IV to V-
The Royal GorgeThe Royal Gorge is known for its big and powerful drops. Sheer walls, 1000 feet high, channel the river into narrow, powerful rapids where the views are awe inspiring-if you have the time to look!
The Royal Gorge was once the place where boaters let the river flow on alone. Due to state of the art equipment and better technical understanding, this section has become a thrilling whitewater adventure. Raft under the world famous Royal Gorge Bridge 1400 feet above the river. Careful screening will decide who paddles this wild side of the Arkansas River. Experience is a must.
|Lower Arkansas River||Fee|
|Royal Gorge Full Day||$125.00**|
|Royal Gorge Half Day||$75.00**|
|Adrenaline Rush Upgrade||$25.00||$25.00|
* Minimum of 18 is suggested. During times where the water level is lower, we can take younger people. June is typically high water where we need to inforce the minimum age.
**Colorado Govt. Use Fees of $5.00 flat fee for half day trips or 5.25% for full 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.
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 Dvorak Expeditions for your trip.
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Royal Gorge Trips
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 or 12:30pm for the afternoon trip.
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.
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.
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.
What to Bring
Please see our packing list.
Can our group be on the same boat?
Up to seven guests plus the guide can paddle in a raft. Groups larger than seven 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. 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.
Pre- and Post-Trip Arrangements
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 21 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 Royal Gorge!
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:
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).
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
Are there any additional charges?
Optional rental equipment and guide gratuities are not included in the trip price.