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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys,
My husband and I are coming out from NY and were planning on 2 days on the North Platte to fish but I am getting worried that it will be too low and wanted a back up. So, I just reserved 2 nights at the Railroad Bridge campsite where it looks like we'll stay before heading north to do the Upper C.
We have never been on the Arkansas and would like a 1-3 class section. We will have a 16 ft. cat and a narrower 10 ft. raft with us (meeting up with family later in the trip to do flatwater floats).
So, here are my questions: good float suggestion? Figure we could do a long day float. Would we need our wetsuits?
Good shuttle company?
Which boat would be better suited to the river?
I would so appreciate any help. Thanks in advance, Kristy
 

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Abron Cabron
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The Ark valley is awesome...! You will love it. there are very clear maps of the sections at all the put-ins, and there used to be stickers of the rapids names for browns and Royal gorge at CKS.

Best Class III = Brown's canyon to Hecla junction (to Stonebridge takeout adds one Class IV,Seidel's Suckhole.)
III-III+ = Fractions into town from RR bridge= (put-in right from camp!)
Fractions is very continous for the first section (miracle mile, then mellows out, down further watch for Frog Rock sieve and House Rock Rapid...) total is about seven miles.
to make a long run, you could keep going all the way to River Runners (shuttle..!)

For Class I-II floats there is the
Milk Run (Portage at silver bullet boat chute (NR):[
& Lots of miles of moderate stuff class I-III below salida all the way to parkdale. Stone bridge to Salida is also a good float, with one bad diversion dam to avoid (see other post on that)
Class III-IV = Royal Gorge and Numbers.
Class V= Pine creek.

In Buena Vista you got to check out the Evergreen for Breakfast, and Deerhammer Distillery, ( best Gin Bloodymary evah) and the Asian Palate for dinner. and CKS of course, right next door to deerhammer, and across the street from AP.....
wish i lived up there. for serious. :mrgreen:
boat size is all relative, but at lower water i would rather be in a 10-12' raft cause the ark is pretty technical...

10' better suited for fractions/numbers with a strong crew.
16' better for Browns and Royal Gorge, and honestly everything at higher water...

Cheers!
 

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Abron Cabron
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Also shuttles are easy to arrange with other paddlers most of the time.. ask around at CKS, or at the get-in.
 

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Roaring Fork is just coming good- and should fish for quite a while longer. Class II. The Blue below green mtn reservoir....or push a little further west from BV Salida and hit the Gunnison near the town of Gunnison or Almont. From a fishing standpoint, everything is just starting to happen.

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Sounds to me like you would probably like the Ark downstream of Salida more than around RR Bridge. The water around RR is generally 3-4, while Bighorn Sheep Canyon is primarily 1-2 with a few isolated class 3 rapids, and the fishing is generally better....but I would avoid Salida to Rincon unless you feel like floating it with about 50 other boaters...

Dvorak's for shuttle.

I would bring the wetsuits along. You may or may not need them depending on the weather. The water is still relatively cold.

When are you coming? You can float any size boat you want currently, but if the flows drop under 1000 you might want the 10'er if you boat above BV, but generally the 16' cat will work fine.

If you want a pretty float with a little action and great fishing I would suggest Trading Post to Pinnacle Rock. A few other choices include Stone Bridge to Salida, and Johnson Village to Ruby Mountain. If you want a class 3 run through a proposed wilderness then look at Browns, but be aware it sees A LOT of commercial raft traffic.

Hope that helps.
 

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Forget Dvoraks for the shuttle, just stick your thumb out with a PFD or paddle in the other hand.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the help and suggestions!

I only wanted to get a campsite, not necessarily launch from RR Bridge, but definitely am not interested in class IV, or boating with a zillion folks.

LMyers...where is that float (Trading Post to Pinnacle Rock)? Cant find Pinnacle Rock on my CO atlas and assuming Trading Post is a store. Any idea how many miles?

Downstream of Salida sounds good...any opinions of there to around Cotopaxi or so?

Thanks again!
 

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If you're looking for mellower boating on the Ark, see if you can change your reservation to the "walk-in" camping at Vallie Bridge. About 15 miles (?) downstream of Salida, riverside camping, you have to walk your stuff about 100 feet from a drop-off point and park about 300 feet from the campsite. There's also a boatramp right there. Trading Post / Pinnacle Rock are both between Salida and the Royal Gorge. You'll have to check out the Cotapaxi Tube while you're down there! :) Here's the AHRA map to get your bearings.

Enjoy!

-AH
 

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Hitchability is excellent on the Ark right now, but if you don't want to mess with that Dvorak's shuttles are reasonable.

Trading Post is just upstream of Cotopaxi. Pinnacle Rock is shortly downstream from Texas Creek. Another good option would be Rincon to Trading Post or Bighorn Campground if you don't want to deal with Cottonwood Rapid (3+/4-).

Here is a link to the CPW/AHRA river map showing all the access sites:

http://cpw.state.co.us/placestogo/p...RecreationArea/Documents/ArkansasBrochure.pdf
 

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I would just run from Stone bridge to Hecla. Minor class 3 stretch IMO. To avoid the commercial crowds put on before 9am, or from 11am-1, or after 3pm. fun stretch, bring the smaller boat. Very hitch-able since Hecla is pretty much a international harbor now a days. you could probably even have a commercial buss drop you at River runners (across river from stone bridge put in).
 

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I would just run from Stone bridge to Hecla. Minor class 3 stretch IMO. To avoid the commercial crowds put on before 9am, or from 11am-1, or after 3pm. fun stretch, bring the smaller boat. Very hitch-able since Hecla is pretty much a international harbor now a days. you could probably even have a commercial buss drop you at River runners (across river from stone bridge put in).
Stone Bridge is below Hecla..... I am assuming you mean Fisherman's Bridge....
 

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A mellow 3 is a bit of a stretch. Id call oarts of bighorn sheep canyon a mellow 3- but Browns is pretty technical.

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