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Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area
Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area

Current Water Temperatures & Daily Averages

The Water Temps & Daily Averages tab below is currently under construction but you can still view the updated water temps and daily averages for Buena Vista, Salida, Cotopaxi, and Parkdale.

CPW urges: Be kind to trout (The Mountain Mail newspaper article)

Arkansas River Diversion Reconstruction 

The Cities of Aurora and Colorado Springs will be reconstructing their Arkansas River Diversion located at river mile 16, approximately 2 miles south of Granite, Colorado.  Construction work will occur between July 2018 and December 2019 with a portage provided for downriver users throughout the project. The Clear Creek North Recreation Site will be closed to the public during the project; however, Clear Creek South Recreation Site will remain open. Construction of this project is supported by Colorado Parks and Wildlife, the Colorado Water Conservation Board, and the Board of Water Works of Pueblo, CO.  Project questions, please call 719-668-8850.

The Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area (AHRA) is recognized as one of the nation's most popular locations for whitewater rafting and kayaking on the Arkansas River - the most commercially rafted river in the United States - and is noted for its world class fishery, which provides an excellent opportunity for anglers to test their skills at catching brown and rainbow trout.

AHRA visitors also enjoy camping, hiking, picnicking, wildlife watching, mountain biking, rock climbing, and even gold panning along the river’s shores, deep canyons, broad valleys and towering mountain peaks found within the upper Arkansas River valley.

Whitewater Boating in the AHRA 

The AHRA – and its avid patrons – follow the beautiful but unpredictable, wild-to-mild river for 152 miles from the historic town of Leadville, through the Sawatch mountain range and Colorado’s tallest mountains, all the way down to Pueblo on the edge of Colorado’s 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 Arkansas River is the most popular whitewater boating river 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 River.

Fishing i​n the AHRA

The Arkansas River, within the AHRA, offers fishing opportunities for every type of angler, from the bank or from a raft. There are many public fishing areas easily accessible from the highway, as well as some requiring more of a hike. If you're looking for a day of fishing with the family, AHRA provides sites with access to some of Colorado’s best fishing along with picnic tables, grills, and views of the river and mountains.​


​Whitewater Rafting

Many people use a river outfitter to enjoy the whitewater of the Arkansas River. Look up an AHRA river rafting or fishing outfitter, photographer or shuttle service in the Outfitter List.​