Rafting near Westcliffe, CO

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Your Guidebook

Adventures on the Arkansas River — just a short drive away

Whether you’re seeking a scenic float or a pulse-raising adventure, you can find it on the Arkansas River, which boasts some of the most popular whitewater rafting waters in the world. And from Westcliffe, you can be on the water in less than a half hour! Expect spectacular, unforgettable views of the Arkansas River Valley and mountain terrain.

If you have your own kayak or raft, there are many public and private access points to the river, and services exist to shuttle your vehicle to an end point. But if you’re like most people, you might opt for a guided raft trip. Arkansas River Tours, one of the original tour operators, leads trips out of Cotopaxi, with family-friendly and more adrenaline-filled options.

The Arkansas River

Starting high in the Rocky Mountains near Leadville, Colorado, the Arkansas River flows past Buena Vista, Salida, Cañon City, and into Pueblo before heading east and crossing into Kansas. It boats over 100 miles of world-class rafting waters. Popular trips closest to Westcliffe go along the Big Horn Sheep Canyon.

Tour operators

Arkansas River Rafting (Cotopaxi location)

One of the original Colorado white water rafting companies. They lead trips for every experience level and age group.

Journey Quest

Customized Christ-centered wilderness adventures for youth, families, and groups.