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About Us

Our Story

We’re a family-owned local company nestled in the beautiful Arkansas River Valley between the towns of Salida and Buena Vista. Independent Whitewater has been running the Arkansas River for 45 years, and our safety record is impeccable.

Our CPR- and first-aid-certified guides are skilled professionals who love their jobs and are dedicated to having fun and providing you with the safest trip possible, no matter what stretch of the river you are running. Plus, with over 50 years of combined rafting experience, owners/guides Mike and Wiley can answer any question you might have about any aspect your trip.

Because we are a small company, we run fewer boats, and our trip sizes are kept at a manageable level. At Independent Whitewater, you will never be herded about with hundreds of other people waiting to go rafting. Unless it is specifically requested, we won’t run more than five boats on a trip. Not only do we maintain smaller trip sizes in order to give you a more personalized experience, but we also give you more rapids and a longer trip through Browns Canyon National Monument than any of the other companies.

Our private take-out allows us to run Seidel’s Suckhole and Twin Falls on these trips. These are two of the most exciting rapids on the river, and you won’t see them with the other companies unless you take an all-day or modified half-day trip at a much higher price.


After a day of rafting with us, you can arrange to camp or hang out on our property by the river, where we have a, riverside tiki bar and grill, fire pit, and fishing. Even without our generous group discounts, our trips are the most affordable on the river. Compare our prices, trip lengths, and number of rapids, and you’ll realize that there is no reason to go with anyone but us.*

See our prices for Arkansas River trips and take advantage of our early season and group discounts

*We will meet or beat any of the other company’s regular, advertised price and still give you more rapids. Have a nice day!