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Old 05-31-2015   #1
Castle Rock, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 321
Ark multi-day trip?

We are all assured that the Ark is over 100 miles of great water. Most days on the Ark are one day, or if it's a weekend, maybe laps on Browns, etc., but you spend the day boating, and then head back to camp.

Has anyone tried it as a multi-day trip? Put in BV/Salida, take out at Canon. If so, how did that go, and what month did you do it in?

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Old 05-31-2015   #2
Andy H.'s Avatar
Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,909
I've long wanted to do a continuous multi-day trip from the Fractions to Canon City and have floated and camped different sections all along the way but only camped as overnights. Here's my take on it; I'd love to hear what anyone else has found about this section and be corrected if I'm wrong.

It can be done but once you get below the campsites in Brown's Canyon, good campsites get pretty scarce unless you camp at some of the AHRA developed sites like Vallie Bridge (which isn't bad, actually). Camping at Rincon sucks because the sites are 20 feet from the road on gravel pads. You'll be camping across from and likely in plain view of the road pretty frequently. You also may have some very long days on the water due to distance between decent (or any) campsites. There are sites in Bighorn Sheep Canyon you can get to through the culverts under the RR track but you'll be hard pressed to find a good tent site with any privacy from the road that's not at risk of being taken out by flash flooding so keep an eye on the weather if you camp at these sites. The outfitters offer multi-day trips from Johnson Village to Canon City but I think they must have agreements with landowners for decent campsites along the way below Brown's. There's a commercial campground down below Vallie Bridge that may be an option.

You can also stop in Salida and restock groceries and beer in walking distance from the river...


Nothing in the world is more yielding and gentle than water. Yet it has no equal for conquering the resistant and tough. The flexible can overcome the unbending; the soft can overcome the hard. - Lao Tse
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Old 05-31-2015   #3
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 177
We did a 3 day trip a couple of years ago, mellow float from Salida to Pinnacle Rock. Just two of us and we camped just below Tin Cup rapid and then at Loma Linda. Neither was great, but useable. The tin cup spot was a small beach and the Loma Linda spot is nice but busy with folks coming up from Canon to hang at the river. There are spots elsewhere along the river but you have to hunt them out. As Andy said, the AHRA campgrounds are available and nice, we just didn't want to organize/pay to stay there. The floating was great and it was probably mid July - 700cfs ish...
Whiskey's for drinkin' and waters for fightin'
- Mark Twain
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Old 05-31-2015   #4
behind the 2nd flatiron, Colorado
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 33
Wouldn't do it under 2000cfs. Numbers to pink house. Might happen this year.
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Old 05-31-2015   #5
Castle Rock, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 321
Thanks. Figured I wasn't the only one thinking about this. Three days, or an overnight, etc. sounds more practical. Light gear, one dry box, small cooler, if any. Maybe even have a camp set up in a state cg instead of hauling stuff.
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Old 06-01-2015   #6
lmyers's Avatar
Buena Vista, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 4,207
Day 1 Granite to S turn at the end of the Miracle Mile.

Day 2 S turn to Browns

Day 3 (long day) Browns to Cottonwood camp near Cotopaxi

Day 4 Cottonwood to Centennial Park in Canon.

GARNA’s mission is to foster stewardship of the resources of the greater Arkansas River region through education, volunteerism and experiences.
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