Whitewater rafting outfitters and enthusiasts have plenty of splash to look forward to this upcoming rafting season. The Arkansas River, one of the most popular whitewater destinations in America, is expected to deliver top-notch rafting conditions this summer.

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) released its May forecast regarding the availability of water for the Arkansas River Voluntary Flow Management Program and projected a minimum of 10,000 acre feet of water will be available for recreational purposes. The Voluntary Flow Management program helps maintain flows of at least 700 cubic feet per second (cfs) from July 1 to Aug. 15, the peak of the summer vacation season. A minimum flow of 700 cfs guarantees fun flows, with plenty of splash for thrill-seekers and families alike.

“This is great news after a winter where much of the state experienced lower-than-average snowfall and snowpack,” said Rob White, park manager for Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area (AHRA).

Browns Canyon Rafting Colorado Family Rafting
Rafting through Browns Canyon National Monument in Buena Vista, CO with Performance Tours Rafting.

“Luckily, the Upper Arkansas River Valley and the Fryingpan-Arkansas Project area received some of the best snow in the state. This means there should be plenty of water for rafters, kayakers, anglers and all the people who enjoy the Arkansas River,” White said. “It should be a great summer on the river.”

The source of the Arkansas River begins 11,000 ft above sea level on the east side of Freemont Pass and flows about 50 miles south from its source to reach Buena Vista, CO. In 2017, more than 225,000 guests experienced the mild-to-wild rapids that stretch the length of the Upper Arkansas. Many of these guests were brought with Performance Tours Rafting, one of the largest and most experienced outfitters in Chaffee County.

Family-friendly float trip on the Mild & Scenic stretch of the Arkansas River.

Performance Tours Rafting, Breckenridge’s first rafting company, began in 1986 by Kevin and Mary Jo Foley. To this day, the Foley’s can be seen running day-to-day operations in one of our four offices and escaping to the river as often as possible. Though a lot has evolved in the past 32 years, a few things will never change; Our dedication to safety, pride in our crew and our love for the river.

Performance Tours Rafting offers a variety of rafting adventures, including half day, full day and overnight options in Buena Vista, CO. Beginning May 1, 2018, Performance Tours Rafting operates daily trips through the family-friendly class 3+ rapids of Browns Canyon National Monument, the ‘Mild & Scenic’ family float, and the adrenaline pumping class 4+ Numbers section on the Arkansas River.

As spring temperatures increase, snow begins to melt and the Arkansas River rises, creating optimal conditions for whitewater rafting. We hope you join us for what is sure to be the highlight of your summer!