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River Safety and Flows
River Safety and Flows

​Knowing the proper safety rules, equipment and Arkansas River levels and flows will help you have a safer and more enjoyable excursion in the Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area.

Throughout the spring and summer there are also a number of Swiftwater Rescue classes occurring on the Arkansas River by agencies and outfitters. Boaters should not be alarmed to see throwbags and "swimmers" during these trainings. Personnel will assist on site in navigating traffic.

AHRA has the following standing advisements regarding high flows:

  1. Pine Creek Rapid: It is recommended that Pine Creek Rapid (within Section 1B) not be run at flows over 1250 cfs at the Numbers/Below Granite gage as read at 7:00 am for full day or morning trips.

  2. The Numbers: It is recommended that the Numbers (Section 1C) not be run at flows over 2400 cfs at the Numbers/Below Granite gage as read at 7:00 am for full day or morning trips and at 12:00 noon for afternoon Numbers trips.

  3. Royal Gorge: It is recommended that the Royal Gorge (Section 5) not be run at flows over 3200 cfs at the Parkdale gage as read at 7:00 am for full day or morning trips and at 12:00 noon for afternoon Royal Gorge trips.

The definition of an Advisement is based on the following Regulation:

#217 – RIVER USE RESTRICTIONS

    1. As used in this regulation:
    1. "Public Advisement" means a formal statement publicly issued or announced for the purpose of informing the public. A public advisement shall not prohibit the use of vessels, whitewater canoes, single-chambered air- inflatable devices, or kayaks. A public advisement may include a recommendation that, in addition to any safety equipment required by law, additional items of safety equipment or precautions are recommended. Such additional safety precautions may include the recommendation that inexperienced or inadequately prepared individuals should postpone the river trip or seek professional services of state licensed outfitters.