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Paddlesports Schools:

Rocky Mountain Outdoor Center
Located in:
Salida, CO

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Whitewater Kayaking, Rafting, Rock Climbing, & Mountain Biking: Guided Tours and Professional Instruction. Choose your own a (more...)
 
 
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Kayaking & Canoeing Arkansas River Colorado

Granite Gorge
 photos of Granite Gorge  map of Granite Gorge
Put-in:  Granite, CO
Take-out:  Numbers put-in
Difficulty:  Class III-V
Length:  5.5 miles
Lake Creek Tributary
Put-in:  Diversion Tunnel
Take-out:  Willis Gulch Picnic Area
Difficulty:  Class IV, V+
Length:  9 miles
Clear Creek Tributary
Put-in:  Missouri Gulch Trailhead
Take-out:  Above Clear Creek Ranch
Difficulty:  Class V-
Length:  3.3 miles
The Numbers
 photos of The Numbers  map of The Numbers
Put-in:  Numbers Put-in
Take-out:  Railroad Bridge
Difficulty:  Class III+ < 1000cfs
Class IV: 1000 cfs to 22
Length:  5 miles
Narrows-Frog Rock
 photos of Narrows-Frog Rock  map of Narrows-Frog Rock
Put-in:  Railroad Bridge
Take-out:  Buena Vista baseball fields
Difficulty:  Class III < 2200 cfs
Class IV > 2200 cfs
Length:  7 miles
Buena Vista Whitewater Park
 photos of Buena Vista Whitewater Park  videos of Buena Vista Whitewater Park  map of Buena Vista Whitewater Park
Put-in:  Buena Vista Ballpark Access
Take-out:  River Trail next to Downtown Hole
Difficulty:  Class
Length:  1 Mile
Buena Vista Town Run
 map of Buena Vista Town Run
Put-in:  Buena Vista baseball fields
Take-out:  Johnson's Village
Difficulty:  Class III
Length:  2.5 miles
Milk Run
 map of Milk Run
Put-in:  Johnson Village Bridge
Take-out:  Fisherman's Bridge
Difficulty:  Class II
Length:  6 miles
Browns Canyon
 photos of Browns Canyon  videos of Browns Canyon  map of Browns Canyon
Put-in:  Fisherman's Bridge
Take-out:  Stone Bridge
Difficulty:  Class III-IV
Length:  12 miles
Salida West
 photos of Salida West
Put-in:  Stone Bridge
Take-out:  Salida Whitewater Park
Difficulty:  Class II, III
Length:  9.3 miles
Salida East
Put-in:  Salida Whitewater Park
Take-out:  Rincon
Difficulty:  Class II, III
Length:  9.4 miles
Salida Whitewater Park
 photos of Salida Whitewater Park  videos of Salida Whitewater Park  map of Salida Whitewater Park
Put-in:  Salida Boat Ramp
Take-out:  Riverside Park
Difficulty:  Class
Length:  .25 mile
Rincon to Pinnacle Rock
Put-in:  Rincon
Take-out:  Pinnacle Rock Recreation Area
Difficulty:  Class II, III
Length:  27.9 miles
Pinnacle Rock to Parkdale
 photos of Pinnacle Rock to Parkdale  map of Pinnacle Rock to Parkdale
Put-in:  Pinnacle Rock Recreation Area
Take-out:  Parkdale Recreation Area
Difficulty:  Class III-IV
Length:  7.7 miles
Royal Gorge
 photos of Royal Gorge  map of Royal Gorge
Put-in:  Parkdale Recreation Area
Take-out:  Centennial Park
Difficulty:  Class III-IV
Length:  11.5 miles
Pueblo Whitewater Park
 photos of Pueblo Whitewater Park  map of Pueblo Whitewater Park
Put-in:  Top of Park
Take-out:  Bottom of Park
Difficulty:  Class
Length:  .5 miles
Granite Gorge Granite Gorge Lake Creek Tributary Lake Creek Tributary Clear Creek Tributary Clear Creek Tributary The Numbers The Numbers Narrows-Frog Rock Narrows-Frog Rock Buena Vista Whitewater Park Buena Vista Whitewater Park Buena Vista Town Run Buena Vista Town Run Milk Run Milk Run Browns Canyon Browns Canyon Salida West Salida West Salida East Salida East Salida Whitewater Park Salida Whitewater Park Rincon to Pinnacle Rock Rincon to Pinnacle Rock Pinnacle Rock to Parkdale Pinnacle Rock to Parkdale Royal Gorge Royal Gorge Pueblo Whitewater Park Pueblo Whitewater Park
Map of the Arkansas River
The Mighty "Ark"

The Arkansas River stretches across America for 1450 miles from the Continental Divide in Colorado to the mouth of the Mississippi River at the Mississippi-Arkansas state line. From its source below Mount Elbert (14431ft), the highest peak in the state, the Arkansas drops a satisfying 1500 ft in the first 125 miles as it courses through Lake, Chaffee and Fremont Counties. This mountainous section of clear water creates a playground for paddlers as they make their way down some of Colorado's best known whitewater -- Granite Gorge, the Numbers, Browns Canyon and the Royal Gorge.

Yet before it became a paddling destination, the Arkansas already had a colorful history as big and wild as the American West itself. The first European to see the river was a Spaniard named Juan de Ulibarri who came across the river in 1706 near present day Canon City. He arrived during the spring runoff when the river filled its banks with a swirling mass of chocolate brown water carried down from the mountains above. He quickly dubbed the river "Napestle" -- a Native American word that means "red water".

Nearly a century later Zebulon Pike and his men traveled the rugged upper reaches of the Arkansas Valley on their mission to explore the southern sections of the Louisiana Purchase.

Written by Nathan Taylor Ward