Flowing through the center of Chaffee County, the Arkansas River is one of the four major drainages that flow out of Colorado. It’s also one of the most popular. The river, fed by snowmelt, runs a bit later than other rivers, but provides a longer season of recreating. It is responsible for an economic boost during the summer months. Kurt Glaser with Riverboat Works says it best, “We are pretty fortunate to have the Arkansas River here in the valley.”
The Arkansas River Sections
The distinct sections of the river provide thrills for the thousands of guests each season on commercially guided trips. The Numbers section above Buena Vista is a continuous class four for maximum thrills. Browns Canyon, between Buena Vista and Salida, is a mostly class three section within the newly appointed National Monument. Downstream from Salida is the Royal Gorge with towering walls and challenging rapids.