Arkansas River, Colorado
Credit: Gareth Mccormack / Getty Images

The Arkansas rumbles more than 100 miles from the fourteeners surrounding Leadville, Colorado, down through the towering Royal Gorge near Florence, Colorado. Along the way, it plunges through five distinct day-rafting stretches ranging from thumping Class V in Pine Creek to splashy fun in Brown's Canyon, making the Arkansas the nation’s most diverse whitewater destination. Check out Arkansas Valley Adventures raft trips on the upper sections or take a kayak or stand up paddleboard lesson on some of the milder Class I-II sections near the town of Salida. As of April 1, the Arkansas basin's snowpack was right on the historical average, meaning the river should run its regularly rollicking way – cold and pushy in June and tapering off throughout the summer.