Arkansas River Valley Information

CRA  22565 HWY 285  Nathrop, Colorado 81236  / Phone 970 930-6688

We are located in Nathrop, Chaffee County, the “Heart of the Rockies.” The Arkansas River Valley area is one of the most popular spots for whitewater rafting in the country. The Arkansas River begins its journey near Leadville and flows south past Buena Vista and Salida. Stretched between theses communities is 21,586 acres of pristine canyons, rivers, and backcountry forests. This area was designated a National Monument in 2015 . Browns Canyon offers a backdrop for stunning views of the Arkansas River Valley and the Collegiate Peaks.

The Collegiate Peaks

The Collegiate Peaks Wilderness Area is named for the many nearby fourteeners of the Sawatch Range. The peaks are named for prestigious universities including Mt. Oxford, Mt. Harvard, Mt. Yale, Mt. Princeton, and Mt. Columbia. Our base camp is located along “The Highway of the Fourteeners” with views of 10 of Colorado’s fourteeners. You can view Mounts Princeton, Yale, Columbia, Harvard, Belford, Oxford, Huron, La Plata, Elbert and Missouri Mountain. The area is filled with many lakes, scenic overlooks and the 13,000′ Buffalo Peaks. Explore these roads off the Collegiate Peaks byway to discover the wilderness area in more depth.

Browns Canyon

Arkansas River Valley Rafting

Browns Canyon is recreation highlight of the monument on the Arkansas River. The canyon features granite walls that stand like a series of a natural cathedral spires that rise above the Arkansas River. This area is an outdoor adventurer’s dream with plenty of opportunity to raft, kayak, bike, horseback ride and nature watch. The Arkansas River has long been considered the most popular whitewater rafting destination in America.  The Arkansas river provides different levels of rafting experiences for all ages and abilities. The canyon includes famous rapids with names like Canyon Doors, Widow maker, and Zoom Flume.