Arkansas, Colorado, US
|Usual Difficulty||III (varies with level)|
|Avg. Gradient||31 fpm|
|ARKANSAS RIVER NEAR NATHROP, CO|
|usgs-07091200||300 - 5000 cfs||III-IV||01h14m||1480 cfs (running)|
|Low-moderate to high-moderate. Gauge (1055 sq.mi.drainage) is rather midway down this run, so quite accurately portrays actual flows.|
Brown's Canyon is arguably the best Class III run in the state. Brown's is a beautiful little canyon with lots of smooth rounded granite, up on the hills and in the river too. The only sign of civilization is the railroad on river left. Canyon Doors is one of the first rapids and is generally considered the best playspot on the run. At high water, say 3000cfs, you have to surf it on the fly because there is no eddy. The biggest rapid is Zoom Flume, about 1/2 way down the run, it kinda sorta approaches Class IV in difficulty. I ran this at 1200cfs and it still had a bigwater feel with some swirlies to negotiate, I can only imagine that would be much more pronounced at higher water. Even though I ran it on a weekday, it was June, it was very crowded with guided rafts. If you do run this it is highly reccomended to avoid weekends during peak tourist season.
To Get There: For the put-in at Fisherman's Bridge take Hwy 285 to mile 144.7 and turn east down to the river on County Road 301. Cross the bridge and take an immediate right to the public access downstream river left of the bridge. For the take-out return to Hwy 285 and head downstream. Your first option (generally used when flows are low or if you're looking to shorten the run) is Hecla Junction. The turn-off for this access is at Hwy 285 mile 135.5 where County Rd 194 takes you down to the public access on river right. For the alternate access that gives you a bit longer run, continue to Hwy 285 mile 133.9 and turn onto Hwy 291. Before you cross the river, turn onto County Hwy 191 and follow it to the Stone Bridge public access. The river access is controlled by the State Parks system and requires a day-use fee is required. Considering the massive number of users State Parks collects a lot of money here and the rangers are notorious for being very aggressive in making sure you pay the fee.
Lat/longitude coords are approximate, from TopoZone.
See also Pinecreek (Class
The Numbers (Class IV),
Fractions/ Frogrock/ Milkrun (Class III),
Buena Vista (Class III),
Browns Canyon (Class III),
Salida (Class III),
Rincon (Class III),
Pinnacle Rock (Class III),
Royal Gorge (Class III/IV).
|Mile||Rapid Name||Class||Features (Legend)|
|0.0||Ruby Mountain Campground||II|
|8.0||Giant Steps Rapid||III|
|11.0||Double Drop Rapid||III|
Toxic Mine Drainage Threatens Arkansas River
February 19, 2008
Senator Udall Introduces Browns Canyon of The Arkansas River Legislation
December 10, 2013
Senators Urge President to Designate Browns Canyon National Monument
November 25, 2014
President Obama Designates Browns Canyon National Monument - Colorado
February 18, 2015