Arkansas River Weekend 2024

  • 07/12/2024
  • 07/14/2024
  • The Meadows, Buena Vista, CO


  • This registration is for members who live in the area, are staying elsewhere for the weekend, or making a day trip. If you select this registration type you cannot camp at the site.
  • This registration is for members camping in the group camping area. All people camping must be registered under their own name regardless of whether they are boating or not. Camping sites are first come, first served. Please do not arrive before 3:00 on Friday.

Registration is closed

Arkansas River Weekend - July 12 - 14, 2024!

Get ready for Arkansas River Weekend 2024! We're planning to have cruises on Saturday and Sunday for most skill levels, ranging from easy runs like Big Bend to Salida to the more challenging runs like the Numbers. (Let us know if you're willing to lead or sweep a cruise!) Camping will be at the beautiful Meadows in Buena Vista. As always we need volunteers so please email Ryan Ness at if you are willing to lead or sweep a cruise. In the email, please let us know what sections of river and days you're interested in. If you're willing to help with registration or other needs during the event email Noelle Wilhite at  

We will be meeting at 9:00 Saturday and Sunday mornings to divide into cruise groups. Each group will then sort out their shuttles. Day attendees should arrive at the site by 8:30 to check in and sign up for cruises. Don't be the hold up! You don't have to be in your pfd yet but be prepared to leave to go boating shortly after the meeting.

As a reminder, river weekends are not instructional events and are not suitable for those who have not had instruction or experience in whitewater kayaking or rafting. For those of you who are interested in instruction, our friends at Rocky Mountain Outdoor Center (RMOC) offer classes. Sign up directly with RMOC.

CAMPING / REGISTRATIONS: We'll have group camping at The Meadows on the West side of Buena Vista this year.  We'll be in a great location near the pond, which is where we were in 2018 and 2023. Participants should register as either planning on the group camping area or staying elsewhere as a day participant so that we can monitor how many people will be camping. We are limited to 150 people in total including campers and day participants. Unfortunately, the land owner is charging us for the site again this year. Although the club is still be subsidizing the event camping will cost $30/person for the weekend. Note this is per person, not per site, and applies to everyone present including children and significant others.

Upon arrival you'll need to check in as usual so your registration, membership and release can be confirmed. You'll receive a wristband, which will be different colors depending on whether or not you're camping. There will be opportunities to sign up for cruises in the evening as well as in the morning before the meeting. CW will be providing porta pots, hand wash stations, and a dumpster for trash but beyond these you must plan on being self supported and bring whatever water you need. Do not arrive at the camping area before 3:00 Friday afternoon. You can camp at the site Sunday night but everyone must vacate the camping area by noon on Monday.

The entrance to The Meadows is at approximately 15284 County Road 350, Buena Vista, CO 81211. There isn't an actual street address. County Road 350 is also known as Crossman Avenue at the intersection of US 24. This is one of the three stop lights in Buena Vista, right by the Super 8 motel. From that intersection head West approximately 3/4 of a mile and the entrance is on the left. Look for a CW banner. Once in, drive straight ahead and you should see the pond towards your left. 


  • Membership: Every person on the land must be a current member of Colorado Whitewater and must have registered prior to the event. We are able to have this event in part because we didn't have to get a special event permit from Chaffee County. The only way we could avoid getting a special event permit is by representing that this is a private event for members only and is not open to the public. This membership requirement applies to everyone on site regardless of whether they are boating, not boating, camping, not camping, etc. and includes significant others and children. Memberships will not be sold at the event.
  • Noise: We could not have this event at South Main last year or this year because of noise complaints in 2022. Quiet hours at The Meadows are 9:50 pm to 8:00 am. Our rental agreement prohibits amplified sound or speakers. Although the location appears remote, it is surrounded by residential neighborhoods. If there are complaints we risk forfeiting our entire $1,000 security deposit and perhaps more importantly also losing this potential site for Arkansas Weekend in 2025. 


  • Release Forms: Upon check-in you will be asked to sign the a release form for the entire weekend. This will be required for camping as well as participating on any cruises. You will receive a wristband so that cruise leaders know you have registered and signed all paperwork. You can also save time and sign your waiver online ahead of time at this link:
  • Skills / Gear: As a reminder, river weekends are not instructional events and are not suitable for those who have not had instruction or experience in whitewater kayaking or rafting. Although we're all there to support one another, plan on boating within your skill level. Minimum necessary equipment for all boaters includes helmet, river shoes, type 3 or type 5 personal flotation device, and appropriate dry top or other layers. Kayakers should also have their float bags and skirt. Inflatable kayaks and rafts must be intended for whitewater use - not the vulnerable ones from department or sporting goods stores. Cruise leaders have ultimate discretion as to whether you can be on a cruise.
  • Dogs: Dogs must be on leash and under your control at all times. You cannot leave your dog tied up or in your tent while you go boating. Obviously, you have to pick up after your dog, too.
  • Fires: Subject to any fire restrictions, we plan on having a group campfire by the pond. Besides this, no open wood fires are allowed in the camping area. Subject to any fire restrictions at the time, you can have propane fires and stoves at your individual campsites so long as they can be switched off if needed. You can find current fire restrictions here: Chaffee County Fire Restriction

Questions? Email Noelle at and include "CW Arkansas River Weekend" in the subject line. 

Note: Registration for Arkansas River Weekend is non-refundable.

 Colorado Whitewater is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.  1312 17th St #76767, Denver, CO 80202

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