The many ways to raft Browns Canyon National Monument

Posted on January 7, 2020

Raft Browns Canyon National Monument

Raft Browns Canyon with River Runners

Browns Canyon National Monument is located between the mountain towns of Salida and Buena Vista in Chaffee County Colorado. The Arkansas River winds through this rugged canyon with remnants of a historic railroad, steep cliffs, beautiful mountain views and lots of rapids. It has long been known as a whitewater rafting mecca for beginners and river enthusiasts.

Overnight, full-day and half-day rafting tours in Colorado
There are many ways to raft Browns Canyon, but you should always book with an established river outfitter like River Runners. You can choose from overnight, full-day and half-day rafting tours. Plus, whether you go in spring, summer or fall – each season has a different experience.

Rafting Trips in Browns Canyon
Overnight rafting trips in Browns Canyon
Full-day rafting trips in Browns Canyon (includes lunch)
Half-day rafting trips in Browns Canyon

Launch from River Runners Browns Canyon
Enjoy the convenience of checking in and walking down to the river when you raft with River Runners. You can also check out the Browns Canyon Riverside Grill before or after your trip. At low flows during the shoulder seasons, there may be a short shuttle to the put-in and the Riverside Grill will be closed.

Beginner/Intermediate Rapids at Most Flows
The rapids in Browns Canyon range from class III at low and medium flows to class IV at high water. It is considered a beginner/intermediate section. Kids as young as six years old and at least 50 lbs can participate at most levels, but age limits may go up during high water in mid-June. There are alternate tours for kids during these extreme conditions.

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Online Rafting Sale

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  • Discounts can not be combined


Spring runoff, shoulder seasons and the Voluntary Flow Management Program

Browns Canyon runs year-around, but most rafting companies operate April through September due to weather. Flows are low until runoff begins in Mid-May. The river usually peaks in June, which is the most exciting time to go rafting through Browns Canyon, followed by medium flows through August 15, which is the end of the Voluntary Flow Management Program (VFMP). August through September is usually lower flow, warm weather, and fewer people.

Browns Canyon Rafting Seasons
April – Mid-May (low water – shoulder season)
Mid – May – June (runoff, high water – peak season)
July through Mid-August (medium flows – peak season)
Late-August through September (low flows – shoulder season)

Paddle or Row Boat

Most people choose to paddle along with guide instruction, but some do prefer to have a guide row them down the river, while they hold on and enjoy the views.

High Water Zoom Flume Video