Kayaking, Rafting and Canoeing Vacations in Arkansas
Looking for canoeing sites in Arkansas
? The streams and rivers of The Natural State lend themselves perfectly to canoeing, rafting and kayaking in Arkansas
. Though several waterways can be used year-round, spring is the best time for good water levels. Best known of all the Arkansas streams is the Buffalo National River, federally protected to stay just as it is for generations to come. The great thing about the Buffalo is that there is a section of the river which suits all levels of expertise. The upper is considered the wildest part especially after a rain, while the middle portion is good for those with some experience, and the lower is just right for beginners. The Spring and Eleven Point have the distinction of being the best year-round float streams because they are spring-fed and not totally dependent on rainfall for water levels. And the ones that provide thrill-a-minute-rides are the Mulberry, the Cossatot, and the Little Missouri, all of which are for the very experienced.
We have divided the 18 major Arkansas waterways by level of difficulty for your ease of use. Just click on the river name below to find in-depth information. Some of the rivers will qualify for more than one classification because of different sections of difficulty found along the river. The description will help you decide if it's right for you.
Information on outfitters by river can be found on this Web site.
Class I: EASY
Moving water with few riffles and small waves. Few or no obstructions. Correct course is easy to determine.
Class II: MEDIUM
Fairly frequent, but unobstructed rapids. Course generally easy to recognize. Some maneuvering is required.
Class III: DIFFICULT
Numerous rapids with high and irregular waves. Narrow passages that often require complex maneuvering. Course not always easily recognizable.
Class IV: VERY DIFFICULT
Long rapids characterized by high and irregular waves with boulders directly in swift current. Course often difficult to recognize requiring some scouting from bank.
Class V: EXCEEDINGLY DIFFICULT
Continuous rocky rapids with high and irregular broken water which cannot be avoided. Extremely fast flow, abrupt bends, and strong cross currents. Difficult rescue conditions. Frequent inspections from bank necessary.
Water levels for most of Arkansas's major streams can be found on this Web site.