Welcome to the Arkansas River Headwaters, one of the nation's premier recreation areas. It is a treasure trove of things to do. Stretching for 148 miles along the Arkansas River, the area offers abundant and outstanding opportunities for fishing, rafting, kayaking, picnicking, hiking, camping, mountain biking and off road adventures with ATV's or Jeeps. There is sightseeing among deep canyons, broad valleys and towering mountain peaks. The towns of Leadville, Buena Vista, Poncha Springs, Salida, Canon City, Florence and Pueblo along with Cripple Creek, and Florissant and Westcliffe offer fine dining, shopping and lots of western atmosphere. There are many historical areas and fun activities to explore. To help you plan your trip check our event calendar and this list of activities and attractions.
The Arkansas River is number one in river rafting. More than 300,000 boaters took trips down the river in 1996, more than any other river in the U.S. or the world, for that matter. What makes the Arkansas River so popular are the: Number, size and technical nature of its rapids, length of season, length of river available for rafting, and unsurpassed beauty. Outfitters say the Arkansas offers more excitement per mile than any other river in the west. From family adventure to extreme adventure there is a trip waiting for you. Here is a list of local outfitters:
Arkansas River Tours, 800-321-4352 http://www.arkansasrivertours.com
Rock-n-row, 719-942-4125 http://www.rocknrow.com ,also guided rock climbing, horseback riding and overnight trips
Noah's Ark Rafting, 866-525-5706 http://noahsark.com/raft
Journeyquest, 888-623-7939 http://www.journeyquest.org ,also overnight trips and combo adventures
Echo Canyon River Expeditions, 888-755-3246 http://www.raftecho.com
The Salida Hot Springs Swimming Pool provides a variety of activities including lap swimming, water games and hot baths. Temperatures are adjusted for the large lap pool, soaking and kiddy pools. Soothing hot baths offer welcome relaxation after a raft trip, and a massage will relieve sore muscles for mountain bikers and hikers. 719-539-6738 http://www.salidarec.com
Here are other Hot Springs in the area:
Mount Princeton Hot Springs, 719-395-2447 http://www.mtprinceton.com/hot-springs-pools
Cottonwood Hot Springs, 719-395-6434 http://www.cottonwood-hot-springs.com
Trail rides through various stables in the area. Contact outfitters for more information
Royal Gorge Stables, 719-275-1799 http://www.royalgorgestables.com
Mt Princeton Stables, 719-395-3630 http://www.coloradotrailrides.com
Cottonwood Stables, 719-942-4125 http://www.rocknrow.com
Noah's Ark, 866-525-5706 http://noahsark.com. They also have an adventure park, rafting, rock climbing, jeep rentals
Explore the incredible scenery with off road adventures.
Rocky Mountain Jeep rentals, 719-539-3088, cell: 719-221-0757. http://www.rockymountainjeeprentals.com
Noah's Ark, 866-525-5706. They also have an adventure park, rafting, horseback riding, rock climbing and overnight trips.
Adventure parks in the area offer distinctly different experiences
Brown's Canyon Adventure Park. 719-395-2158, Colorado's first aerial adventure course. They have 66 challenges and 4 courses. 7 zip lines, a giant swing, a vertical challenge and a "Leap of Faith" . Located on the banks of the Arkansas River, upstream from Brown's Canyon National Monument. http://brownscanyonadventurepark.com They also have rafting, rock climbing and adventure trips.
Royal Gorge Dinosaur Adventure, 800-209-0062. Experience Colorado's Jurassic past. They offer a unique combination of education, outdoor recreation and family fun. Ropes course, Interactive museum, Full scale animatronic dinosaur park, guided tours. http://dinoxp.com
Book an ATV tour or ride your own ATV on the many off road trails in the area. Trail maps available in the office.
Play Dirty ATV tours. 719-275-7373 http://www.playdirtyatvtours.com
All Season Adventures, 719-530-0651 http://www.allseasonrentals.com . Tours or rentals