Arkansas rafting can be done throughout the state, and those adventurers bound for this beautiful region will find something for everyone, particularly in the mountains around the Ozarks and along the White River. The various waterways that course through the countryside range over all levels of rapid difficulty in Arkansas whitewater rafting, from the serene setting of Class I to the challenging and rough waters of Class V. Arriving at your adventure prepared is an essential part of planning for an enjoyable experience, so be sure to pack plenty of the necessities for the trip, however long or short it may be. Traveling alone or in a group, guided or unguided Arkansas river rafting, paddlers will certainly marvel in the natural wonders while coasting through this part of the country.
All of the waterways and rivers are typically open for use throughout the entire year; however, choosing the best time of year for Arkansas whitewater rafting varies from individual to individual. Many adventurers will go whenever the opportunity arises, but if there is time to plan, spring is often the most ideal season for Arkansas river rafting, when the water is warmer but the weather isn’t at its most hot and humid. In spite of this, whatever season paddlers arrive, be sure to bring extra warm clothes for overnight trips, and in the event of an emergency, these may come in really handy.
There are sufficient rivers and streams that course through the state, allowing visitors to choose the best location for their own level of experience. Beginning at Class I, where paddlers can essentially relax and watch the passing scenery as the water is relatively peaceful, there are Big Piney, Caddo River, Saline River, and several others. In addition, these rivers have stretches that go into the more difficult levels, including several Class II spots and few Class III as well.
If you’re looking for the most difficult rapids, the Cossatot River and the Little Missouri dominate the more difficult levels. The Cossatot flows begins in the Ouachita Mountains and flows through Ouachita National Park, one of the best parks in Arkansas; its best rafting section is the Cossatot River State Park-Natural Area, which includes Cossatot Falls and several sections of Class III, Class IV, and Class IV+ rapids. The Little Missouri also flowers through Ouachita National Forest, with the roughest stretches of water being above Lake Greeson. Here the river descends more than 1,000 feet over 29 miles, and a 4.4-miles segment is classified as a wild river, with the Winding Stair Rapids designated as Class IV.
For those in search of something to suit every level of expertise, the Buffalo National River in northern Arkansas is a great option. The upper section of the river has most of the whitewater rapids and features some difficult features, with the section of the Buffalo that’s upriver from the town of Boxley known as the most challenging. In the lower sections, however, the water is calmer and suited to less experienced travelers.
From Arkansas rafting to canoeing to kayaking to tubing, adventurers and vacationers alike will find ample ways of traversing the rivers of the various landscapes of the state. Canoeing and kayaking are excellent choices for individuals and small groups of paddlers, and inflatable kayaks, considered a good choice for beginners and often referred to as duckies, are a stable option to toss about over mild rapids. Tubing is great for the level one courses; these are something that families will enjoy, especially those with energetic children who love to splash around. Arkansas river rafting is a great choice for families and friends traveling in a fairly large group, allowing everyone to enjoy an adventure together.