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Low Arkansas River levels should improve in the next few weeks

Kimmie Randall Arkansas River.jpg
River Streamflow at Parkdale.jpg
Mean Streamflow.jpg
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Posted at 10:41 AM, Apr 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-29 12:41:16-04

CANON CITY — The cool and wet weather we've seen over the last few weeks has stalled snowmelt up in the mountains and kept the Arkansas River level running lower than normal.

River Streamflow at Parkdale.jpg

Over the last 8 days, streamflow in the Arkansas River at Parkdale has stayed below 400 cubic feet per second (cfs). The average streamflow for this time is year is closer to 565 cfs.

For a good rafting trip, you really want the water to be moving anywhere from 1000 to 2000 cfs. Anything over 2000 cfs becomes very challenging even for experienced rafters.

Mean Streamflow.jpg

If you want to plan a rafting trip, we probably need to wait at least another two to three weeks for the river levels to start climbing.

Warm and dry weather over the mountains will cause snow to melt and produce run off into the Arkansas River.

Once run off into the river picks up, the streamflow will increase and the height of the river will rise.

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The best times to plan a rafting trip tend to be mid to late May through early July.

June is the absolute best month for rafting trips as it historically has the fastest streamflow and highest depth.

When you go rafting, please remember to wear lots of sunscreen, and drink lots of water!

Click here for rafting company suggestions near Canon City and the Royal Gorge.