Above Average August on the Arkansas

Above Average August on the Arkansas

The monsoons have arrived, extending the “peak” of rafting season! The headwaters of the Arkansas River have been getting pounded with heavy rain the past few weeks, and that has made for some incredible late-summer flows! The river’s flow pulses each day with the cycle of rain, which keeps guides and paddlers challenged and excited.

If you rafted last year around this time, you might have experienced the slower moving version of the Arkansas, where you paddle through bony sections of exposed rocks. You didn’t need a jacket and certainly not a wetsuit in the sweltering high mountain heat. Last year, the water was so crystal clear from a lack of floods, you could see the big trout in the deep pools. This year, each day is different depending on the weather.

With the heavy rain, the water level rises, and some of those rocks you dodged last year will be face-slapping waves. Last year was h-o-t everywhere. This year in Buena Vista, it’s not uncommon to have cool bluebird mornings followed by breezy afternoons with building clouds, which bring thunderstorms later in the day.

One more fun thing about these monsoons. Be sure to bring the kids because Willy Wonka might have moved into the valley as the river sometimes looks more like chocolate milk because of upstream flooding!

RMOC offers guided rafting trips for all abilities, beginners to advanced. If you want to paddle yourself, you can go on your own in a rented inflatable kayak, hard-shell kayak, or SUP board. We also offer lessons at all levels.

We are proud to still be paddling the following reaches on the Arkansas River:

  • BROWNS CANYON (Beginner/ Intermediate)
    Paddling Colorado’s newest National Monument should be on your bucket list if it isn’t already.
  • SALIDA TOWN RUNS (Beginner/ Family Friendly)
    A great first trip for anyone wanting a mellow ride with some of the most scenic views you can imagine.
  • THE NUMBERS (Advanced)
    This run is perfect for the thrill-seekers who are ready to paddle some technical rapids.
  • PRIVATE TRIPS (All levels)
    Let’s tailor a trip just for you. Our experienced staff will guide you at your pace and at your desired level of expertise.
    With spectacular views of Mount Princeton, beginners can learn the SUP basics while all levels can enjoy a day on Trout Creek Reservoir.
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