Photograph of Colorado Mountain Range
Mesa Autumn Wild Horses oil_rig_OG Boaters Photograph of Ruin
BLM>Colorado>Field Offices>Royal Gorge Field Office>Recreation>Recreation Areas>Arkansas River
Print Page
Arkansas River

Arkansas River

The Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area (AHRA) is a partnership between Colorado Parks and Wildlife and the Bureau of Land Management to manage portions of the Arkansas River. This area is recognized as one of the nation's most popular locations for whitewater rafting and kayaking. The Arkansas River is the most commercially rafted river in the world!

The AHRA follows the beautiful but unpredictable, wild-to-mild river for 150 miles from the historic town of Leadville, through the Sawatch mountain range all the way to Pueblo at the edge of Colorado’s eastern plains.

Boaters can find anything from roaring Class IV and V rapids to milder Class II and III sections, which are ideal for beginner and family trips. The upper section of the Arkansas River is the most popular whitewater boating stretch in the United States. On any spring or summer day, hundreds of
private and commercial rafters and kayakers will challenge the churning rapids or glide through the calmer sections of the Arkansas.

For more information please visit the Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area

307 W Sackett Ave.
Salida, CO 81201


There are plenty of fishing opportunities within the Royal Gorge Field Office ranging from wading in small creeks for brown trout, to running a boat down the Arkansas River. For more information regarding places to go, licenses, and seasons, please visit  Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

SE Region Service Center
4255 Sinton Rd.
Colorado Springs, CO 80907
(719) 227-5200