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Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area
Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area
Rafting at AHRA

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​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!

The AHRA – and its avid patrons – follow the beautiful but unpredictable, wild-to-mild river for 150 miles from the historic town of Leadville, through the Sawatch mountain ran​ge 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 b​eginner 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 priv​a​te and commercial rafters and kayakers will challenge the churning rapids or glide through the calmer sections of the Arkansas.

AHRA visitors also enjoy fishing, hiking, camping, 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.

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.

Over the River

The Over The River project is a temporary work of art planned by artists Christo and the late Jeanne-Claude. The artists plan to suspend 5.9 miles of silvery, luminous fabric panels horizontally above the Arkansas River in eight areas along a 42-mile stretch of river between Salida and Cañon City in south-central Colorado. 

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