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Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area

Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area, Colorado - BEST Places to Picnic

Park Office
307 West Sackett Ave.
Salida, CO 81201
Phone 719-539-7289

Office Hours
8am-5pm Monday-Friday. Closed weekends.

WELCOME to Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area

The Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area (AHRA) is recognized as one of the nation's most popular locations for whitewater rafting and kayaking on the Arkansas River - the most commercially rafted river in the world! 

Tumbling 4,650 feet in 150 miles, boaters can find anything from roaring Class IV and V rapids, to milder Class II and III sections which are ideal for beginner and family trips. AHRA is also recognized for hosting one of Colorado's premier brown trout fisheries. 

Known for its eddies, ripples and deep pools, the Arkansas River offers excellent angling opportunities along its entire length. Stretching from the loftiest peaks in the Rockies to the plains of eastern Colorado, AHRA also offers abundant opportunities for camping, picnicking, hiking, wildlife watching, horseback riding, mountain biking, OHV travel and sighseeing among the deep canyons, broad valleys and towering mountain peaks found within the upper Arkansas River valley.

The Arkansas Headwaters � or AHRA � gets its unique features from the character of the Arkansas River itself. The AHRA � and its avid patrons � follow the beautiful but unpredictable, wild-to-mild river for 150 miles from the historic town of Leadville, through the Sawatch mountain range and Colorado�s tallest mountains all the way down to Pueblo on the edge of Colorado�s plains.

AHRA visitors enjoy fishing, hiking, camping, picnicking, rock climbing, and even gold panning along the river�s shores, but whitewater boating is king in the AHRA. 

The upper Arkansas River is the most popular whitewater boating river in the United States. On any spring or summer day, hundreds of private and commercial rafters and kayakers will challenge the churning rapids or glide through the calmer sections of the Arkansas.

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