March and April bring warmer water and air temperatures to Colorado and with it ideal conditions for rafting the Arkansas River at lower elevations. Popular spring rafting trips carry rafters through the Royal Gorge and Bighorn Sheep Canyon surrounded with unsurpassed natural beauty.
Royal Gorge River Rafting
Even though the Royal Gorge is a world-famous white water rafting destination, it is suitable for first time rafters looking for an exciting challenge. Rafters go through a short training and are paired with expert guides who will go over how to maneuver the raft down the river.
Rafters experience stunning scenery as the river carries them between sheer towering 1200 foot high cliff walls and beneath the world’s highest suspension bridge.
Rafting the Arkansas River through the Royal Gorge presents class IV and V rapids of Sunshine Falls, and Sledgehammer and the Narrows. Class IV means swift water with large waves and whitewater holes that might be unavoidable, while class V rapids are continuous swift-moving water with large irregular waves, holes, and drops that require complicated maneuvering.
If you’ve never rafted and have concerns, you might want to start with a the Bighorn Sheep Canyon for rafting.
Bighorn Sheep Canyon
Rafting the Arkansas River through the Bighorn Sheep Canyon trip carries rafters along a beautiful stretch of river often called “the Grand Canyon of the Arkansas.” This section of the river is ideal for first time rafters as well as expert paddlers.
Rapids included in this stretch of the Arkansas River include 3 Rocks, Spike Buck, Sharks Tooth, and Wake Up! Between rapids rafters enjoy calm, tranquil areas where they can catch their breath. Along with breathtaking scenery, rafters have the opportunity to spot the local Bighorn Sheep on their way through the canyon.
It’s important to note that rafting the Arkansas River is physically demanding at high water, so rafters need to be in good physical condition.