Arkansas River Guide Book - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 04-30-2018   #1
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
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Arkansas River Guide Book

Hello Everyone.
What are the best guide books for the Arkansas river valley? Granite through Royal Gorge. Iím a huge fan of Rivers Maps work, but they unfortunately do not currently make one for the valley. Iím looking to R2 a small raft from numbers launch through royal gorge this summer. Looking for campsites and white water beta. Thank you in advance for any information.

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Old 05-01-2018   #2
 
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Westminster, Colorado
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Colorado Parks & Wildlife - Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area

AmericanWhitewater.org

Floaters Guide to Colorado (Doug Wheat)

The Upper Arkansas River (Frank Staub)
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Old 05-01-2018   #3
 
Denver, Colorado
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Ramptonís guide is solid

https://www.amazon.com/Arkansas-Rive.../dp/0963479970

If you can find the 2nd edition (2006) youíll be all set. Iíd cross reference with an access map from AHRA.
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Old 05-01-2018   #4
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kwagunt2001 View Post
https://www.amazon.com/Arkansas-Rive.../dp/0963479970

If you can find the 2nd edition (2006) you’ll be all set. I’d cross reference with an access map from AHRA.
Yeah, Rampton's guide is the best option out there, but it sucks for anything above Browns Canyon. He gives detailed descriptions of all the rapids in Browns, but for the Numbers it goes like this:

"Number One (IV), located just above Scott's Bridge.

Number One and a Half (III), located near a grove of trees on the left. Swift water follows.

Number Two (III/IV), again followed by swift water."

------------- I mean really? Sounds like it was written by someone that never even boated the Numbers..... ---------------
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Old 05-01-2018   #5
 
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The book Western Whitewater (out of print) has a good section on the Arkansas from Granite to Canon City. Though the information isn't much more detailed than Rampton, I think the presumption is that on their first time, boaters will scout the rapids they describe. The mile by mile guide is broken into sections, with Granite to RR Bridge, RR Bridge to Ruby Mt, Ruby Mt. to Salida, Salida to Parkdale, and then the Gorge.

Example:
Quote:
Mile 6.3 NUMBER ONE (IV; V above 2,500 cfs) begins above the two bridges. Like all the rapids in The Numbers, this one is a boulder choked channel that demands technical maneuvering at low and moderate levels and becomes even more difficult when higher flows turns it into a boiling gauntlet of waves and holes. Not far downstream from this rapid is a big hole at high water, sometimes referred to as NUMBER ONE AND A HALF (IV).

Mile 6.7, NUMBER TWO (IV). A tricky S-turn laced with holes. It leads directly into NUMBER THREE (IV), a short rocky pitch with a big hole in the middle.
or:
Quote:
Mile 4, Browns Creek Enters on the right, just downstream is ZOOM FLUME (III+), where a long chute becomes a ramp and ends in a hole. A boulder garden follows.

Mile 5.2 BIG DROP (III+). As the river bends right. Not far downstream is the STAIRCASE (III+), also called Giant Steps and Seven Falls, a series of drops which get tougher at the end.
Good luck finding a copy. It has sections like this, beautiful essays, photos, and a consistent data sheet with flow info, when the season is, hazards, shuttle and logistics info, average gradient, managing agency and permit info, land ownership, scenary, fishing, camping, and other guides and references and which topo maps cover each run. The book covers just about every river big enough to raft in the Western US.

-AH
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Old 05-01-2018   #6
Pieter Porcupine
 
Salida, Colorado
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I hope someday Whitis/Martin write an Ark Book. I am not a big fan of the way Ramptons is laid out, the maps are not super clear, etc.
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Old 05-02-2018   #7
 
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Thank you for all your input. I went with the Doug Wheat Floaters guide. Found a copy for $5. Looking forward to a great trip
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Old 05-03-2018   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dominicsciole View Post
Thank you for all your input. I went with the Doug Wheat Floaters guide. Found a copy for $5. Looking forward to a great trip
Hope you have a great trip, but fyi Doug Wheat's book was written a very, very long time ago. Like back in the 80's. The river hasn't changed a whole lot since then (although there have been some changes), but access points and private property boundaries have changed quite a bit.


Quote:
Originally Posted by MountainmanPete View Post
I hope someday Whitis/Martin write an Ark Book. I am not a big fan of the way Ramptons is laid out, the maps are not super clear, etc.
National Geographic put out a map in their Trails Illustrated series for the Arkansas River (2 actually, Leadville to Salida, and Salida to Canon City). It is really nice for pinpointing exact rapid locations and access points, as well as hikes in places like Browns and Bighorn Sheep Canyons and for delineating public lands from private.

https://www.natgeomaps.com/trail-map...ver-map-guides
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Old 05-03-2018   #9
 
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My buddy has the Rampton book, so figured I would cross reference data. We just got an REI in Dillon. Hoping they have the Natgeo map, looks perfect for the trip.
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Old 05-03-2018   #10
 
Buda, Texas
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Hint: There is a possibility that RiverMaps will publish an Ark book in 2019 for Hayden Meadows to Canon City. You might even see Tom, Duwain, Hazel, and Barb on the river this summer if you look carefully.
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