12 miles of awesome whitewater, private river access and two bonus rapids! We take you all the way through the Browns Canyon National Monument, navigating thrilling rapids like Zoom Flume, Big Drop, Widowmaker and our two bonus rapids Seidel’s Suckhole and Twin Falls!
Call us now for our amazing early season specials
Independent Whitewater: Your Local River Connection in Salida, CO
Independent Whitewater is a local, family owned company located right on the Arkansas River just upstream of Salida, CO. Our mission is simple: Bring “more miles and smiles” to you and your crew! Our private river access lets us offer “more miles” on every adventure, including our Browns Canyon whitewater ½ day. After the trip, relax at The Drift In, our tiki-themed bar and grill, for more smiles.
Come check out the best whitewater rafting in Colorado with us and see why we’ve been Salida’s favorite for 45 years.
Our most popular Arkansas River Raft Trips
Whitewater rafting on the Arkansas River offers experiences for all ages and skill levels. The most popular family whitewater rafting trip in Colorado is the Browns Canyon 1/2 day. This exciting rafting trip is suited for families with kids 7 and older. Because of our private river access we are able to offer more rapids and miles than any other company including Seidel’s Suckhole and Twin Falls.
Looking for a more mellow experience, try our scenic class II Arkansas River float trips which raft through awesome scenery as well as historic downtown Salida. These trips are suited for families with kids as young as 2 and can be done in our standard half day trip of 2.5 hours or a shorter 1 hour trip for those who want a little less time on the river.
Our most popular advanced whitewater raft trip is on the river section called the Numbers which offers the most continuous whitewater and excitement on the Arkansas River. If you are an intermediate, advanced or even beginner rafter that is looking maximum thrills, this is the trip for you.
The Independent Whitewater Difference
When you choose Independent Whitewater, you’ll get:
- The longest Browns Canyon ½ day trip on the Arkansas River
- Family float trips launch directly from our private riverside property and float through historic Downtown Salida
- Free wetsuits, booties and splash gear provided on all trips
- The Drift In, a riverside bar and grill for food and drinks before and after your rafting adventure
- 45 years of experience rafting the whitewater of Browns Canyon and the Arkansas River
- Smaller trips. Our average trip size is about 2-4 boats, making for a more personal experience
- Fun, friendly and helpful office staff
- Owners on site daily
Looking for More Things To Do in Colorado?
We got you covered on all things adventurous. On top of hosting a wide range of rafting adventures in Salida, Colorado, you can also add on zipline adventures. Located in the “Heart of the Rockies”, you’ll find that recreation, arts, and cultural activities are endless in Salida. Other nearby destinations like the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Browns Canyon National Monument allow for an abundance of fun things to do in our region. Find more trip ideas and activities below.
See Why We're Rated the #1 Tours in Salida on TripAdvisor
Jump on in… the water’s fine! Come check out the view through our Arkansas River Webcam. Live from the shores of the Drift In Bar & Grill—our riverside restaurant located at the end of our trip route—you can get a glimpse of the Arkansas River’s real-time conditions.
Have a glimpse into your next whitewater rafting adventure by cruising around our blog: The Arkansas River Roundup. Dive in to find travel tips, insider rafting information, and more to prepare yourself for an unforgettable trip.
Salida, CO, January 10, 2023 – Independent Whitewater, a leading river outfitter is thrilled to announce some of the most exhilarating white water rafting adventures on the Arkansas River. Embarking on a mission to redefine the best family white water rafting in Colorado, Independent Whitewater introduces a series of expeditions that combine heart-pounding rapids with…
If there’s one thing we cultivate at IW, it’s smiles. We’re lucky enough to be in the whitewater rafting business which means we get to help people have fun all summer long. It’s a pretty amazing job, really. Maybe that’s why we’re so proud of the fact that we float more miles on our Browns…