Arkansas River Tours

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Arkansas River Tours - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

Timberline Tours

  • Arkansas River Rafting: Mountains of Fun

Posted May 1, 2024 by Timberline Tours

Vail Rafting

Arkansas River Rafting: Overview

Arkansas River rafting trips begin at the Timberline Tours boathouse in Granite, Colorado, where you will get outfitted with the essential rafting gear you’ll need for the trip, including personal floatation devices (PFDs), helmets, paddles, and wetsuits, when necessary. Arkansas River rafting trips also have a self-drive discount option if you’d like to drive yourself to the Granite boathouse.

Once you’ve been outfitted for the trip, a Timberline Tours guide will lead an interactive discussion that highlights tips for paddling , common rafting paddling commands , and essential rafting safety advice. Timberline Tours will then take your group to the put-in location on the Arkansas River for the start of your rafting trip. You’ll push off…and then the adventure is underway.

Arkansas River Rafting: Trip Options

Timberline Tours offers three different Arkansas River rafting trips: Browns Canyon , The Numbers , and Pine Creek/The Numbers . Plus, we offer an afternoon-only variation on The Numbers called The Numbers Express. Rafting trips operate according to minimum age and weight requirements outlined on each whitewater rafting trip’s details page for the safety of guests and guides, too, so use this brief overview of Arkansas River trip options to decide which trip best fits your group. For additional information about river class ratings offered below, see our blog post, “River Rafting Class Ratings Explained.”

Browns Canyon (Class III: intermediate, family-friendly): This family-friendly rafting trip will take you through the heart of Browns Canyon National Monument, an area known for its incredible mountain scenery and wildlife. While you’ll get the experience of paddling through some big and splashy rapids, you’ll also have some time to relax and enjoy mountain views and a riverside lunch. Age and weight minimums apply; see the Browns Canyon trip page for more details.

Arkansas River Rafting Timberline Tours offers guided Whitewater Rafting trips down The Numbers on the Arkansas River in Colorado - photography by Doug Mayhew | WhiteWater-Pix.com

The Numbers (Class IV: advanced, high intensity): The Numbers is one of Colorado’s most thrilling sections of whitewater, with rapids so continuous that they’ve been numbered instead of named. The Numbers is an exciting, action-packed and fast-moving rafting trip, making it a good choice for athletic paddlers who want to dig in and paddle hard. Age and weight minimums apply; see the The Numbers trip page for more details.

Timberline Tours Whitewater Rafting The Numbers on the Arkansas River near Vail Colorado - photography by Doug Mayhew | WhiteWater-Pix.com

The Numbers Express (Class IV: advanced, high intensity): The Numbers Express runs the same stretch of river as The Numbers (above), but this rafting trip is an afternoon-only trip. Age and weight minimums apply; see the The Numbers trip page for more details.

Pine Creek and The Numbers (Class IV and V-: advanced/expert, high intensity): Pine Creek/The Numbers combines two of the most exciting and intense sections of whitewater rafting in the state of Colorado. Athletic adventurers who like to paddle hard will enjoy the thrill of this trip that goes through two Class IV stretches of whitewater in addition to the Class IV+/V- (expert, high intensity) Pine Creek Rapid in the Pine Creek section. Following the Pine Creek section, a variety of Class III and Class IV rapids keep the activity level ranging from moderate to intense throughout The Numbers section of the Arkansas River. A deli-style lunch is served at Timberline’s boathouse in Granite following the trip. Age and weight minimums apply; see the Pine Creek/The Numbers trip page for more details.

Timberline Tours Whitewater Rafting Pine Creek & The Numbers on the Arkansas River near Vail Colorado - photography by Doug Mayhew | WhiteWater-Pix.com

Arkansas River Rafting Season

Timberline Tours runs rafting trips on the Arkansas River each summer from mid- to late-June through mid-August, and river dynamics change throughout this seasonal window. The Arkansas River is dam controlled, so in the early season, snowmelt combines with dam flow for higher water volume. Later in the season, the controlled dam flow keeps water levels consistent, which helps ensure the length of the rafting season. Timberline Tours closes its Granite boathouse mid-August when the dam significantly reduces its flow. The Arkansas River shrinks to a near-trickle for the fall and winter season, but it stays beautiful all year long.

Please give us a call if you need help deciding what trip is best for your group: (970) 476-1414 . And if you’re ready to book your trip, go directly our main whitewater rafting trip page, select the trip that interests you the most, and click the BOOK NOW button. Finally, be sure to check out our “What to Wear Rafting” advice ahead of time to know what will increase your personal comfort and safety on the trip.

CONTACT TIMBERLINE TOURS TODAY

Timberline Tours is Vail’s premier whitewater rafting and backcountry jeep tours outfitter. We offer rafting trips on Colorado’s Eagle, Colorado, and Arkansas Rivers, and we also guide duckie river trips . All of our guided trips are open to Vail visitors, locals, families, and corporate groups.

To book your Vail, Colorado, adventure, call Timberline Tours at (970) 476-1414 , or email us at [email protected] .

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Try Arkansas River Rafting in Colorado

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A tourist group engaged in a thrilling kayaking experience on the river

Brown’s Canyon National Monument Half Day Raft Trip

Raft Browns Canyon National Monument, one of the best sections of whitewater in the country. Enjoy the perfect blend of thrilling rapids and calm water—ideal for families looking for a little excitement.

Group of tourists enjoying Browns canyon whitewater rafting

Brown’s Canyon National Monument Full Day Raft Trip

Hold on tight as you surf the rapids on one of the world’s most popular whitewater rafting trips! Our signature Arkansas River rafting adventure offers the perfect mix of Colorado whitewater and calm water as well as a riverside lunch.

Tourists engaged in level 5 whitewater rafting in a fast stream

Numbers Half Day Raft Trip

Set in the headwaters of the Arkansas River, this Colorado raft trip takes you down a series of rapids so jam-packed, they were numbered instead of named.

Tourists enjoy themselves while advanced whitewater rafting

Numbers Full Day Raft Trip

Tourists having fun with whitewater rafting class 4 and 5

Arkansas River Experience Raft Trip

Combine the best of both worlds with this full-of-juice Buena Vista whitewater rafting trip. Raft the Numbers in the morning and Browns Canyon National Monument in the afternoon for a single, thrilling day!

A tour group engaged in class 5 whitewater rafting Colorado

Arkansas River Exclusive Raft Trip

Create a private, intimate Colorado rafting trip for you and your party with KODI Rafting’s Arkansas River Exclusive Raft Trip. Join KODI Rafting and enjoy the luxury, convenience, and personalized service of a private rafting adventure.

Tourists going through rapids while whitewater rafting Arkansas

Brown’s Canyon National Monument Extreme Raft Trip

Rafting Browns Canyon National Monument, with all its famous rapids, is exciting enough. But put yourself in a nine-foot raft with two other people—one of whom is your guide—and you’ll elevate your river experience to a whole new level!

A far away picture of a group engaged in Browns Canyon rafting

Browns Canyon National Monument Overnight Raft Trip

Take your Browns Canyon rafting trip to a new level by making it an overnight experience. Be one of the few to camp along the banks of the Arkansas River in Browns Canyon National Monument.

A couple engaged in zip-lining amid one of our Big Bend river tours

Book our Zip and Raft the Arkansas River trip for a morning of rafting Colorado’s favorite whitewater followed by an afternoon of ziplining. - two fun, quintessential Colorado activities in one easy, incredible day.

arkansas river tours

Raft the Arkansas River and explore Colorado in a jeep rental or side by side rental. Home to the incredible Arkansas River, Four Mile Recreation Area and the Collegiate Peaks. Buena Vista is the perfect home-base to explore Colorado by rafting and ATV rentals. Choose from 2 door or 4 door vehicles.

Tourists enjoying horseriding before class 4 whitewater rafting

Get the best of both worlds with KODI Rafting’s Saddle Paddle. Pair any of our rafting trips with a horseback ride in the Rockies. Make a full day of your adventure or break it up throughout your stay.

Man in a hot spring bath, outdoors; after Arkansas river rafting

Big Bend Half Day Duckie Trip

Go solo or paddle with a friend in an inflatable one or two-person kayak, also known as a duckie. Big Bend, with its calm water and mild rapids, is the perfect section of the Arkansas River to maneuver your own boat.

Many people come from a long distance to experinece rafting in Colorado and create lifelong memories

Big Bend Half Day Raft Trip

Big Bend is a mild stretch of water on the Arkansas River between Buena Vista and Salida. It passes through farm land, open space, and forests. This section is great if you have young children or are looking for a scenic, mild float with a hint of whitewater.

Are your friends and family raving about their summer adventure spent in the mountains while Arkansas River rafting ? If you are curious about exploring river rafting for yourself then look no further! KODI Rafting is your go-to resource. Arkansas River float trips are our specialty and we can help you decide which options are a good fit for your family or group outing. Many travelers choose whitewater rafting in Colorado because the rivers here offer something for everyone, from low-key beginner water to high-adrenaline adventures. 

Plan Your Arkansas River Rafting Adventure!

Arkansas River rafting is a classic example of a quintessential Colorado rafting experience. From its headwaters, the Arkansas River delivers more than 100 miles of whitewater, making it the best river for rafting in the American West. The peak season to run the Arkansas River is mid-May through early September (about Memorial Day to Labor Day). 

Beginning high in the Rockies, Arkansas River rafting begins as melting snow high in the mountains near Leadville, Colorado, a city rich in mining history and famous for its 10,200-foot elevation living. The Ark (as locals like to call it) gains momentum as it flows past some of the biggest mountains in Colorado, benefiting from their abundant snowmelt in the spring and throughout the summer as temperatures increase. The river’s appeal lies in its wide variety of Arkansas River rafting trips and easy accessibility from the beautiful and historic town of Buena Vista, Colorado.

All Arkansas River rafting trips come with incredible views of the Colorado Mountains. You’ll grow to love whitewater rafting on the Arkansas River. This is especially true when you choose our whitewater rafting Arkansas River guiding service. Let us help you plan your next rafting adventure, and we’re sure you’ll want more!

What Makes Arkansas River Rafting Trips with the KODI Family Special?

Here at KODI rafting we take great pleasure in sharing the opportunity of floating down the Arkansas River . There is more to an Arkansas River rafting trip than splashes and loads of smiles, and we believe that part of what makes your experience memorable is a combination of several WOW factors. We pride ourselves in top-notch staff, quality safety training, personable and entertaining guides, and continuing education for our whole staff. Our guides and office staff come from all walks of life and bring a unique flavor to each tour. No two Arkansas River float trips are the same! When our core values are paired with a hand-crafted Arkansas River rafting trip , you get the perfect experience designed just for you! 

Floating Arkansas River With KODI Rafting

All of our Arkansas River raft trips depart from the Arkansas River Outpost in Buena Vista,  Colorado. KODI Rafting’s trips range from mild, scenic floats to world-famous class III to class IV whitewater. With several options to choose from, everyone will enjoy whitewater rafting on the Arkansas River in Colorado. Check out a few of the half-day and full-day Arkansas River rafting trips brought to you by the KODI Family: 

  • Big Bend – (Class II-III)  is ideal for families with young children. This Arkansas River rafting trip is a half class II-III float suitable for young children as well as guests who are looking for an easy-going, scenic ride.
  • Brown’s Canyon National Monument – (Class III) – Our most popular Arkansas River rafting trips take guests into the gorgeous Browns Canyon National Monument. Designated a National Monument in 2015, this section of the river offers the most whitewater on any of our trips  and is the perfect choice for groups that have a variety of ages and experience levels. Choose from both half and full-day options.
  • The Numbers – (Class IV)  – Another super-fun option for whitewater rafting in the Arkansas River in Colorado. This is an advanced trip with continuous adrenaline and big whitewater – a great choice for folks looking to bump it up a notch! Choose from both full-day and half-day options.
  • Pine Creek (Class V) – The most intense of our Arkansas River rafting trips , this section is for experienced boaters and thrill-seekers only. Swift water, challenging maneuvers, and raging rapids comprise the waters of Pine Creek to the north of Buena Vista. Half and full-day options are available.
  • Exclusive   – Enjoy the convenience and personalization of a private trip hand-crafted just for you on any of our Arkansas River rafting tours in Colorado . You choose the pick-up point, the river launch time, and a private day on the river. This Arkansas River float trip includes professional, memorable photos in a digital format.

* Enjoy a riverside lunch on all full-day tours. Note: lunch spots may be altered to accommodate the health and safety of our guests during COVID19.

Enjoy the Best Whitewater Rafting in Arkansas !

Choose KODI for the best whitewater rafting experience down the Arkansas River in Colorado . Your search for “ Arkansas River rafting near me” is over! Pick your favorite friends and get in touch with the professionals at KODI Rafting to plan a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.

Arkansas River Tours

Photo of Arkansas River Tours - Cotopaxi, CO, US. One of three occupants basically being waterborne by the river while Hannah is having the time of her life on the raft.

Review Highlights

arkansas-river-tours-cotopaxi photo V01bAVpeOxx66ot2HEEqOQ

“ We did the raft and rail, it was well organized and well timed - two things that can break your experience. ” in 7 reviews

arkansas-river-tours-cotopaxi photo UYcH0hL0tNgn6zkXsZCDeQ

“ Our guide, Jack, was an expert and a professional and made the Royal Gorge full day trip exciting, fun, and importantly, safe. ” in 3 reviews

Valerie S.

“ Great experience for first timers, families and everyone looking to have a great time Cole was an incredible guide and really made the experience from gear fitting to arriving back to base. ” in 2 reviews

Location & Hours

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19487 US Hwy 50

Cotopaxi, CO 81223

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About the business.

Colorado whitewater rafting and guided float fishing on the Arkansas River. Experience the best guided tours on the river! We have everything from mild floats to intense whitewater that is sure to get you wet! Smaller company with personalized trip for all groups. Providing amazing experiences since 1973! …

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Photo of Lorena S.

This place was awesome! Definitely made me want to come back and do it again. Our Guide was name Cat and she is amazing! Ask for her if you go! Seriously incredible guide! Place was beautiful. It's a must try if you come to Colorado!

Photo of Valerie S.

What an incredible experience! We had a group of 6 which included 2 kids (6 &10). Both kids we able to participate (especially the 10 yr old who was fully in it),, but also were kept very safe. Don't let that fool you though, we hit some awesome spots and felt the adrenaline for sure! Great experience for first timers, families and everyone looking to have a great time Cole was an incredible guide and really made the experience from gear fitting to arriving back to base. Knowledgeable, fun and engaging! Thanks for an adventure we won't forget!

Photo of Carly B.

we rafted with Kristina in a solo raft and it was fantastic! she is knowledgeable, passionate about rafting and went out of her way to ensure our family (including our 2 kids) had a blast while staying safe. we will be back to try another River with them!

Photo of Meaghan B.

The rapids were fierce, the Royal Gorge walls were closing in on us -- when almost all hope was lost -- Xenia Warrior Princess guided us safely through! Julie made our experience at Arkansas River Tours memorable. She took personal interest in each individual in our raft, was an expert guide, and kept us laughing along the way. Highly recommend.

Photo of Alicia W.

We went rafting with a group of 7 and had a great time!! This was the perfect start for those that had never white water rafted. Marshall was our guide and he did an excellent job directing us. He did a couple extra things that added a little more adventure. He was friendly and knowledgeable. I think we were paired with the perfect guide for our group!

Photo of Melanie S.

We had our first white water rafting experience and loved every second of it. We had a larger group and the tour guides were very accommodating. Everything was organized and done very well. I also appreciated that everything was clean and sanitized. Our guide was awesome and made the experience that much better. Great value for what we paid as well. We will definitely be taking more guest out here when they visit.

Photo of Mark L.

We did the half day and greatly enjoyed it. Our guides Kat and Cat were amazing. I highly recommend ART and we will most definitely return. Next time we will hit the Royal Gorge.

Photo of Rafa V.

We did the 1/2 day Bighorn Sheep Canyon trip. This was our family's first whitewater rafting experience and we had an absolute blast. Our guide Maggie was great with all of us and was a blast to be around. I wouldn't hesitate to book with this outfitter again and would DEFINITELY ask for Maggie again.

arkansas river tours

Our guide Calvin was great! It was the first time for 4 out of 5 of us. He had good points of interest, gave good direction and made it fun. The thing I didn't like was I paid for the photographer and wasn't told until we were in the raft without a cell phone that there wasn't a photographer. I'm an all about the pictures person.

Photo of Melanie K.

We went 2 wks ago for a 1/2 day down the Arkansas River through Longhorn Sheep's Canyon. Our guide Mike Dunn was so great that we had to come back for a full day, further up river through Brown's Canyon. It was SPECTACULAR-both times. Mike's commands were clear & his communication style solid. He was full of great facts & stories throughout the time we spent with him. Hands down a fantastic guide. We will be back later in the season!

Mike Dunn-awesome guide!

Mike Dunn-awesome guide!

arkansas river tours

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Whitewater Rafting Denver Colorado | Geo Tours Guided River Rafting Trip

Arkansas River

Arkansas river whitewater rafting class iii – iv rapids. the arkansas river is approximately 2.5 hours from denver. ride with us and forget the hassle.

The Upper Arkansas River Valley is nestled at the base of over a dozen 14,000+ ft. mountain peaks. As a result, the swift water has, over eons, cut scenic canyons into the bedrock and created some of the “best” whitewater rafting in Colorado. Most of Geo’s Arkansas River Raft Trips launch in/near Buena Vista, Colorado. Many guests choose to ride with Geo Tours, from the Denver area, for a small surcharge and let us do the driving! Geo Tours has been outfitting Arkansas River Rafting Trips since the early 1980’s and offers One-Day, Overnight and Two-Day expeditions on this way cool river. Experience the finest rafting on the Arkansas River. You will not regret this opportunity. It is wet, wild and the thrill of a lifetime memory, book your whitewater rafting on the Arkansas River trip today.

Let us customize the perfect trip on the Arkansas River for your whole group’s technical ability and take advantage of Geo Tours whitewater rafting expertise. Meals, rafting equipment, spray jackets and, most importantly, guides are include in your price. Wetsuits and boots are available for rent as well as camping gear for Overnight excursions. Call us for more information!

RESERVATIONS & DEPOSITS – Reservations are required. An advance deposit of 50% is required when making reservations.  All trips go rain or shine. Cancellations made 8 days or more prior to departure will receive a refund subject to applicable credit card fees and handling fees. Trips cancelled 1-7 days prior to departure will be charged a $10.00 per person per rafting day fee. No Shows and cancellations made within 24 hours of departure receive no refund. Geo reserves the right to cancel or reschedule a trip due to conditions beyond our control (weather, water conditions and etc.)

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Geo accepts VISA, MASTERCARD, DISCOVER.  All prices subject to change without notice.

*Minimum age requirements may vary with water flows and conditions.

* Minimum age requirements may vary with water flows and conditions.  ** Prices subject to change without notice

Brown’s Canyon

Brown’s Canyon has recently been named one of America’s newest National Monuments! This run is a whitewater classic with rapids such as Zoom Flume, Pinball, Staircase, Widow Maker and Raft Ripper, one of Geo’s most popular trips. Your heart will pound as your raft careens through narrow boulder-filled rapids, while calm stretches of the river afford spectacular views of the Collegiate Peaks.

Whitewater rapids on Brown's Canyon, Colorado

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Arkansas River Video Tour

Arkansas River Outfitters Association

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arkansas river tours

Welcome to the AROA

The Arkansas River Outfitters Association (AROA) consists of knowledgeable, experienced and licensed professionals who are dedicated to offering world-class whitewater adventures on the Upper Arkansas River in Colorado. AROA members offer a wide range of Colorado whitewater rafting and kayaking trips for all ages and adrenaline levels, and are truly committed to providing exceptional service on and off the river.

Whether you want mild or wild whitewater, kayaks or rafts, day trips or overnight rafting expeditions – experience Colorado’s best whitewater on the Arkansas River with a member of the Arkansas River Outfitters Association.

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Let us help you find the right fit for you from our list of highly qualified outfitters. Start Planning Today »

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Everything you want to know about Colorado's best whitewater destination. Learn More »

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Canon City

Arkansas River Tours

Royal gorge rafting is one of colorado’s top whitewater experiences.

A s one of the original Colorado whitewater rafting companies in 1973, Arkansas River Tours has been committed to providing the safest, highest-quality river trips available.

We have a strong background in experiential education which transfers into the personable trips we offer.

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49311 US Hwy 50 Unit B Cañon City, CO 81212

(719)966-1264

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arkansas river tours

Arkansas River Tours is a leader in many aspects of the rafting industry in Colorado. Our guide training is well recognized by our fellow outfitters.

We have provided rescue courses and trained guides from other companies in proper techniques of paddle boat guiding. Many of the high standards we set for ourselves have become guidelines for others.

arkansas river tours

We were the pioneers in running the Royal Gorge in paddle boats. In fact, ART was the first company to include swim tests at certain water levels and to mandate the use of helmets in the Royal Gorge.The Arkansas River is one of the most popular whitewater destinations in the United States. Its legendary whitewater, dependable water flows, and various trip options provide the perfect setting for families and adrenaline junkies. Whether you’re looking for the perfect Colorado family whitewater rafting trip or gunning for an adrenaline-filled adventure of rafting the Royal Gorge, Arkansas River Tours will provide you with memorable and unparalleled Arkansas River rafting trips.

arkansas river tours

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Royal Gorge Route Railroad

330 Royal Gorge Boulevard Cañon City, Co 81212

T:  719.276.4000 E:  [email protected]

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Multi-Day Family- Friendly River Trip

Spend your days on the arkansas river and night beneath the stars., book your trip.

Departures at Cotopaxi location

One day just isn’t enough

Starting at $469 per person

Arrival time: 8:15am, duration: 4 to 5 hours on the water per day, tours end around 4pm on the final day.

When you really need to unplug

Starting at $649 per person

Trip details.

Don’t miss out on the best rafting Colorado has to offer! This is the perfect trip for families looking for a longer experience on the river.

This Arkansas River multi-day rafting adventure combines Brown’s Canyon rafting and Bighorn Sheep Canyon rafting with camping at our riverside location in Cotopaxi. Each section provides a unique Arkansas River experience of varying scenery and rapids. The easy accessibility we have to these canyons from our location allows us to customize our trips to your group’s needs . We have a spectacular setting at our camping area below the Cotopaxi Cliffs for the exclusive use of our guests . We commonly view bighorn sheep coming down to the water to drink. We provide scrumptious meals and do all the cooking while you enjoy fishing, horseshoes, or relaxing around the fire with river tales. Camping equipment rentals are available. You’ll get adventure, excitement, quality time with your group and much-needed time in the outdoors.

Location: Arkansas River with departure at Cotopaxi location

Requirements: Minimum age requirement 8+. Weight requirement 50 lbs

Adventure Level: Class III-IV rapids. Some paddling required

Our all-time favorite trip

Arrival Times: 8:30am

Duration: 5-6 hours per day, based on water levels, arrival times: xxx, duration: xxx, what to expect.

arkansas river tours

HASSLE-FREE BOOKING GUARANTEE

Trip information & faqs.

Ages 8+ years old and at least 50 lbs. Swimming ability is not required but recommended.

We offer this trip daily from the beginning of May through June 30th. We will run select dates in July and you can call for details (1.719.942.4362).

We can fit 6 to 7 guests in a raft depending on the group’s size, plus your guide.

Transportation to and from the river, meals, PFD/life jacket, helmet and splash jacket. Wetsuits and camping gear are available for rent.

No, we use camp to store all of your personal gear and do not need to bring it on the river unless you have a necessary item. This makes the day easier and allows for more time out on the river.

arkansas river tours

Trips for all ages & experience

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Reprise | Samuel Ellis, Rock Town River Outfitters Up in Your Business with Kerry McCoy

  • Society & Culture

Aired 5/21/2020 Today on Up In Your Business with Kerry McCoy, you’ll hear from a young man who is leading a double life, Mr. Samuel Ellis. Mr. Ellis is an environmental scientist by day, a fiddler in a country band by night and has turned his passion for rivers into a business by founding Rock Town River Outfitters, in Little Rock’s River Market District, on the Arkansas River. Rock Town River Outfitters rents bikes and kayaks for experiencing the Arkansas River from above on the 15-mile River Trail or afloat in the Arkansas River’s current (it is not as dangerous as it sounds). Today we’re going to dive (LOL, pun intended) into the risks and rewards of kayaking on the big river, talk about the downtown tours his company offers, get his take on the environmental impact we humans are having on mother earth and find out where his band The Cons of Formant play.

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Arkansas Times

Travelers put up 49 runs and four wins in six games against Hooks

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The paradox of being a fan of a minor league baseball team is, the better the players on your team perform, the less time you are likely to have them on your roster. After all, the point of the minor leagues is player development, and good players move up the ladder as the major league parent team decides a player is ready for the next level of competition.

Arkansas Travelers fans are all too aware of this. Current Mariners center-fielder Julio Rodriguez arrived in North Little Rock at 20 years old, already looking like a major leaguer. Forty-six games later, he was gone, promoted to Tacoma. Mariners right-handed pitcher Matt Brash made only ten starts with Arkansas in 2021 before being moved to Triple-A, while RHP George Kirby made only 11 starts before being moved up. Angels center-fielder Mike Trout stayed but a season in Double-A in 2011, as did Mike Napoli in 2005.

Point is, you have to appreciate the good ones as much as you can while they are here, because they ain’t gonna be here long.

The latest example of this is Travelers’ first baseman Tyler Locklear . In 41 games for Arkansas, the big righty put up a 933 OPS, eight homers, 12 doubles, a triple, 26 RBI and four stolen bases, while driving in 26 runs and scoring 30.

Yesterday, the Mariners promoted Locklear to Tacoma .

In the short term, the Travelers are likely to fill first base with a combination of Jared Oliva , Ben Ramirez , and Grant Witherspoon . None of them have put up numbers even close to Locklear’s, unfortunately, so Tyler’s departure will be felt in the lineup. With any luck, however, this move might clear the way for outfielder Victor Labrada to bring his big lefty bat to Arkansas from High-A Everett.

Then the “how long will he be here?” cycle will begin again, just as it always does.

Series recap:

Tuesday (5/21) saw Travelers’ right-handed pitcher Juan Mercedes take the mound to open the series against the Corpus Christi Hooks . Last week, we noted Mercedes has pitched well with little to show for it because of a lack of run support. This week, the Travs still opted to waste two Mercedes starts, but in a completely different way. Reigning Arkansas Times Player of the Week Harry Ford homered in the top of the first to make it 2-0, and it was 3-1 when Mercedes left after allowing only one run over five innings. Arkansas scored three in the top of the sixth to make it 6-1. Then the wheels came off. Righty reliever Kyle Hill promptly allowed five runs in the bottom of the sixth without recording an out before he was relieved by righthander Reid Morgan , who allowed another five runs before he got out of the inning. The Hooks plated two more in the bottom of the seventh to make it 13-6, and a Travelers’ ninth-inning rally fell well short of salvaging the game. Hooks 13, Travelers 10.

I would love to say the Travs immediately righted the ship after Tuesday’s debacle and the bullpen looked better on Wednesday, but I don’t want to lie to you. Right-handed pitcher Blas Castano started for Arkansas and threw five innings of one-run baseball, leaving the game with a 3-1 lead headed into the sixth inning. Righthander Luis Curvelo entered the game in relief and gave up a solo homer in the sixth and then balked in the tying run in the seventh. Southpaw Peyton Alford surrendered a run in the eighth to give up the lead, triggering a couple “Alford plea” jokes that aren’t worth repeating, but he ultimately got the win as 20-year-old shortstop Cole Young hit an oppo taco in the top of the ninth to tie the game before the Travs scored two in the tenth to squeak out the win. Former Bentonville High School QB and Bella Vista native Kasey Ford took the loss. Travelers 6, Hooks 4.

Logan Evans is quickly nearing must-watch status, at least if you want to see him before he’s promoted. The 22-year-old righty was terrific again on Thursday, throwing six scoreless innings while striking out eight, walking none and scattering four hits. Utility man Morgan McCullough tripled in the top of the third, then scored on a wild pitch to give Arkansas a 1-0 lead. 3B Ben Williamson , who was called up to Arkansas from High-A Everett during the previous series, singled in a run in the top of the fifth, and the Travs added two more that inning on a Hogan Windish groundout and an error. A sixth inning tater by Oliva gave Evans a 5-0 lead, which was more than enough, even after Curvelo gave up a two-run shot in the bottom of the seventh. Travelers 6, Hooks 2.

If the “ Stop! Stop! He’s already dead! ” meme was a baseball game, it would look a lot like Friday’s tilt. Young singled in a run in the first. An RBI single by Young, a two-run bomb from left-fielder Spencer Packard and an RBI double from Williamson made it 4-0 in the third inning. The Travs added single runs in the fourth, fifth, and seventh innings as well, before putting up three in the eighth to make it 10-1. After Corpus scored once in the bottom of the eighth, Arkansas’s offense exploded for seven runs in the top of the ninth to take a 16-run lead. Every Travs starter had at least one hit, and all except Rodriguez had at least two. Young and Locklear homered. Starting pitcher Jimmy Joyce threw four scoreless innings, while relievers Danny Wirchansky and Jarod Bayless allowed four runs over the final five frames. Travelers 17, Hooks 4.

If Friday’s game was a fun, offensive explosion, Saturday’s contest is what decrepit baseball fans who still whine about the designated hitter picture when they talk about the “good ol’ days.” Williamson got his first Double-A homer with an inside-the-park scamper in the top of the fifth to tie the game. In the sixth, Ramirez added his first Double-A homer – this one of the wall-clearing variety – and Ford scored from third on a wild pitch to make it 3-1. Corpus got back one in the bottom of the sixth with a solo homer off Travs’ starter Reid VanScoter (6IP, 2R), but the Arkansas bullpen slammed the door with three scoreless innings to finish the game. Travelers 3, Hooks 2.

In the nerdiest of online baseball circles, there’s something known as a TOOTBLAN . It’s an acronym that means “thrown out on the bases like a nincompoop,” and it applies to outs such as pickoffs, getting thrown out while taking an extra base, being tagged after oversliding a base, etc. It is objectively not a good thing, and the Travelers had two in the first three innings on Sunday: in the second inning, catcher Jake Anchia was thrown out at the plate trying to score while center fielder Kaden Polcovich was in a rundown after a pickoff throw to first, and an inning later Packard was thrown out by roughly three miles while trying to stretch a double into a triple. Nevertheless, behind another strong start from Mercedes (6IP, 0R), the Travs were up 6-0 heading into the bottom of the eighth. Relievers Raul Alcantara , Hill and Travis Kuhn then proceeded to surrender seven runs in the eighth. Arkansas tied the game in the top of the ninth, but the Hooks walked it off in the bottom of the ninth against Kuhn. Hooks 8, Travelers 7.

Random fact about Corpus Christi, Texas:

The Corpus Christi sea wall was created in 1928 by Gutzon Borglum, who would later become famous for sculpting Mount Rushmore.

Travelers’ current record:

25-19. First place in the Texas League North , 0.5 games ahead of the slumping Springfield Cardinals .

Three things to be optimistic about:

  • The standings. Despite wasting Mercedes’ last four starts, despite a brutal series in Wichita earlier this month and despite having a losing record (4-5) against the Cardinals so far this year, the Sons of Dogtown currently sit a half game ahead of Springfield for first in the division. (Reminder: to make the playoffs in the Texas League, a team has to finish in first place in their division in either the first or second half of the season.) The Travs’ remaining first-half opponents and the team’s record against each are: Amarillo Sod Poodles (0-0), Springfield (4-5), Tulsa Drillers (5-1) and Wichita (2-4). That might not look great, but Amarillo currently sports a -49 run differential, Springfield has lost 13 of their last 23 games, Tulsa is five games under .500 at home this year, and Wichita has to come to Dickey-Stephens this time . Not saying it will be easy, but sitting atop the table this late into the first half is definitely a good thing.
  • The left side of the infield. Third baseman Ben Williamson has not missed a beat since arriving in North Little Rock from Snohomish County, Washington, slashing .355/.429/.548 with a homer, three doubles, five RBI and two steals in his first seven games for the Travs. Shortstop Cole Young has been good from the start of the season, but over the past 15 days, he sports a 985 OPS to go along with a .279 ISO, three homers, three doubles, 10 runs, and 8 RBI. Oh, yeah, and both happen to be smooth with the leather on defense as well.
  • Spencer Packard. It’s easy to overlook Packard some weeks because he’s been the most consistent hitter on the team going back to the second half of last year. Packard has 24 hits in May, including 3 homers and 2 doubles, along with 14 RBI. He hasn’t gone more than two consecutive games this season without at least one hit, and he only has two two-game stretches without a hit. Consistency rarely makes headlines, but you can’t win without it.

Current area(s) of concern: 

  • Travis Kuhn. Honestly, the entire bullpen continues to be a concern as it has been much of the year. Yet, despite that, Kuhn’s struggles still stand out. Following scoreless innings on May 19 and May 23 in non-pressure situations, it looked like maybe Kuhn was turning the corner, only for him to give up the walk-off loss on Sunday in his first high-leverage situation since nearly costing the Travs the win in extra innings on May 16. Notably, it was newcomer Troy Taylor who got both save opportunities against Corpus Christi, which might be a sign that Kuhn is not long for the closer’s role.
  • Jake Anchia’s batting eye. The Travs’ part-time catcher currently sports an anemic .230 batting average. Due to having zero walks on the season, however, his on-base percentage (.224) is even lower than his average. Williamson, who has appeared in one-third as many games as Anchia, already has four walks. Witherspoon, in only five more games than Anchia, has 12 walks and a .280 OBP. At some point, it becomes hard to justify giving plate appearances to a guy who can’t draw a walk and doesn’t get on base even a quarter of the time.

Arkansas Times Player of the Week:

Ben Williamson. I’m a simple creature. I like a good cheeseburger, a loyal hound dog, a proper dive bar and third basemen who can hit and field. In Williamson’s first full series as a member of the Travelers, he hit .455 (10-22) with a home run, three doubles, four RBI, four runs, three walks and a stolen base. He had at least one hit in every game against the Hooks.

Honorable mention: Juan Mercedes. If you throw 11 innings over two starts, allowing only one run total, you deserve better than two no-decisions (and two team losses). Poor Juan can’t catch a break right now.

If you haven’t seen the Travelers this season, you have two straight weeks of home games to get out to DSP and rectify that moral failing. Arkansas starts a six-game series at home tonight against the Amarillo Sod Poodles , followed by a day off on June 3 before the Cardinals come to North Little Rock for six games.

First pitch for tonight’s game is at 6:35 p.m., and everything will be under the lights for both series except the two Sunday games, which start at 1:35. Games are available on 106.7 Buz2 in Central Arkansas.

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Tulsa Film Collective bringing 2024 Sundance Institute Indigenous Film Tour to Tulsa

Jimmie tramel.

  • May 29, 2024
  • May 29, 2024 Updated 7 hrs ago

Sterlin Harjo and Ethan Hawke pose together in Circle Cinema's lobby at a past Tulsa Film Collective event. A Harjo film will be one of eight films shown when the Tulsa Film Collective screens the 2024 Sundance Institute Indigenous Film Tour.

Tulsa Film Collective announced it will screen the 2024 Sundance Institute Indigenous Film Tour, an 83-minute short film program featuring selections from past editions of the Sundance Film Festival and alumni of Sundance Institute’s Indigenous Program.

The screening will take place June 28 at Philbrook Museum of Art.

A news release said the Indigenous Film Tour curates vibrant works by Native filmmakers, providing audiences with a glimpse into the present and future of Indigenous cinema. The 2024 program will include eight short films from Indigenous filmmakers — four from the 2024 Sundance Film Festival program, three from the 2023 Sundance Film Festival and one short film from the 2005 Sundance Film Festival.

“These eight shorts include narrative and documentary projects, some from Native storytellers outside the U.S., and they’ve all resonated with Sundance Film Festival audiences in the past — it’s our pleasure to take such a diverse cross-section of Indigenous cinema on tour,” Adam Piron, director of the Sundance Institute Indigenous Program, said.

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The Sundance Film Festival and Sundance Institute Indigenous Program have a long history of supporting and launching talented Indigenous directors, including Erica Tremblay, Blackhorse Lowe, Sky Hopinka, Taika Waititi, Caroline Monnet, Fox Maxy, Shaandiin Tomem and Tulsa Film Collective co-founder Sterlin Harjo. Support for screenings is provided by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

“We are thrilled to bring these remarkable films to Tulsa,” Jessica McEver, co-founder of Tulsa Film Collective, said. “Sundance’s commitment to amplifying voices from independent storytellers aligns perfectly with our mission to amplify voices within our own community. This program showcases the incredible talent of Indigenous filmmakers and highlights the importance of diverse storytelling in cinema. We believe these films will resonate deeply with our community and spark meaningful conversations about Indigenous cultures and experiences.”

Tulsa Film Collective programming is made possible by support from Tulsa Film Music Arts and Culture. For more information and to purchase tickets to the Sundance Institute Indigenous Short Film Tour, visit tulsafilmcollective.com .

In order of screening, the program includes:

• “Bay of Herons” (Director: Jared James Lank): Calling on the strength of his ancestors, a young Mi’kmaq man reflects on the pain of bearing witness to the destruction of his homelands. Fiction.

• “Winding Path” (Directors: Alexandra Lazarowich, Ross Kauffman, Producer: Robin Honan): Eastern Shoshone M.D./Ph.D. student Jenna Murray spent summers on the Wind River Indian Reservation helping her grandfather any way she could. When he suddenly dies, she must find a way to heal before realizing her dream of a life in medicine. Nonfiction.

• “Headdress” (Director, screenwriter and producer: Taietsarón:sere ‘Tai’ Leclaire; producer: David Spadora): When an act of casual racism confronts a queer Native man, he retreats into his mind to find the perfect clap back from various versions of his own identity.

• “Ekbeh” (Director: Mariah Eli Hernandez-Fitch): While learning to make gumbo, the creator shares personal stories about grandparents as a way to honor and preserve Indigenous history and life. Nonfiction.

• “Baigal Nuur – Lake Baikal” (Director, screenwriter and producer: Alisi Telengut): The formation of Lake Baikal in Siberia is reimagined, featuring the voice of a Buryat woman who can still recall some words in her endangered Buryat language (a Mongolian dialect). Animation.

• “Hawaiki/New Zealand” (Director and screenwriter: Nova Paul; producer: Tara Riddell): At the edge of the playground close to the forest, the children of Okiwi School made a refuge they call Hawaiki. Hawaiki has spiritual and metaphysical connections for Māori as the children create a space for their self-determination. Fiction.

• “Sunflower Siege Engine” (Director, screenwriter and producer: Sky Hopinka): Movements of resistance are collapsed and woven together, from reflections of one’s own body in the world today, to documentation of Alcatraz, the reclamation of Cahokia and the repatriation of the ancestors. Fiction.

• “Goodnight Irene” (Director: Sterlin Harjo): Three Seminole patients share some laughs and poignant truths as they wait for treatment at the local Indian hospital. Fiction.

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  1. Rafting the Arkansas River in Colorado

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  22. Small craft advisory lifted for Arkansas River

    FILE — A boat cruises along the Arkansas River near Maumelle Park in Little Rock in this 2020 file photo. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Little Rock District recently lifted a small craft ...

  23. Reprise

    Rock Town River Outfitters rents bikes and kayaks for experiencing the Arkansas River from above on the 15-mile River Trail or afloat in the Arkansas River's current (it is not as dangerous as it sounds). ... into the risks and rewards of kayaking on the big river, talk about the downtown tours his company offers, get his take on the ...

  24. Travelers put up 49 runs and four wins in six games against Hooks

    The latest example of this is Travelers' first baseman Tyler Locklear. In 41 games for Arkansas, the big righty put up a 933 OPS, eight homers, 12 doubles, a triple, 26 RBI and four stolen bases ...

  25. Sundance Institute Indigenous Film Tour comes to Tulsa

    Jimmie Tramel. Tulsa Film Collective announced that it will screen the 2024 Sundance Institute Indigenous Film Tour, an 83-minute short film program featuring selections from past editions of the ...