Shuttle Service on the Arkansas River
SHUTTLE SERVICE ON THE ARKANSAS RIVER
Let DVK shuttle your vehicle for you, with or without a trailer, so it’s waiting for you at the takeout.
Hecla Junction Shuttle
Hecla is the busiest access point in the world! The Hecla Road is accessed via Hwy 285. There are lots of buses, vans, and private vehicles driving the winding road, so please drive carefully and efficiently as to keep the flow moving on busy days. This is the half day take out for Browns Canyon National Monument. There is a very large boat ramp with room for multiple commercial trailers and vehicles. The private boater access beach is just downstream of the large ramp right next to a number of parking spaces and picnic sites. This keeps commercial trips from interfering with private boaters and grinding elbows. This site has a lot of parking, but can often be totally full on busy days, be aware that vehicles may end up parked past the changing and restrooms if the close to river spaces are already full. There are very nice paid campsites up the hill away from the hubbub and chaos. There is also a river right trail that goes all the way down to Seidels Suck Hole Rapid but be aware it quickly turns to private property after that.
Stone Bridge Shuttle
Stone Bridge access point is a good half day to full day float away from Salida, and has a large parking lot and easy access boat ramp (no backing required). Located off of county road 291 this site has changing rooms, restrooms and picnic sites.
Big Bend Shuttle
Big Bend is located off of Hwy 285 and is an our most popular access point for for a short duration float to Salida. There is a small boat ramp that requires expert trailer backing skills, as well as a pull up next to the river launch if you are willing to carry your craft a few feet to the river. There are changing rooms, and restrooms as well as a medium-sized parking lot. Be aware at certain times of the year the biting bugs can be bad here and it is recommended that you limit your time standing around if at all possible.
Salida Boat Ramp Shuttle
The Salida boat ramp is the in-town access point for the town of Salida, conveniently located in downtown near the park, restaurants, bars, and shops. It also has a river path that is over a mile long and perfect for doing laps in the Salida River Park. There are public restrooms adjacent to the boat ramp. Parking is in short supply, and backing a trailer or vehicle down the ramp to the river requires precision backing technique when the parking spaces are filled up.
Salida East Shuttle
Located outside of town limits, but not too far this is a great access point to use for a short float from the Salida Boat Ramp or as a not far away alternative and easy way to avoid the parking and backing issues of town. Salida East is a newly AHRA (Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area) developed site with a large ramp, and parking area. There are adjacent paid campsites, changing rooms, and restrooms.
Rincon is a popular access point downriver from Salida. It can be used as a half day point or a possible full day if you put in further up the river and use Salida as a mid point. Located off of Hwy 50 this site has paid camping, changing rooms, restrooms, and a steep but manageable boat ramp to access the river. Parking is available, but fairly limited and spread out.
Vallie Bridge Shuttle
Vallie Bridge is a good full day float from Salida, or a good point to access the middle parts of Bighorn Sheep Canyon. Located off of Hwy 50 it is a quick turn so keep your eyes peeled. There are changing rooms, restrooms, and paid campsites. Parking is limited, but often not an issue.
SALIDA BOAT RAMP TO VALLIE BRIDGE
SALIDA BOAT RAMP TO SALIDA EAST
SALIDA BOAT RAMP TO RINCON
BIG BEND TO SALIDA EAST
BIG BEND TO SALIDA BOAT RAMP
FISHERMAN’S BRIDGE TO HECLA JCT.
FISHERMAN’S BRIDGE TO STONE BRIDGE
Major airports are Denver International or Colorado Springs; rental car or van from there to the Arkansas Valley. Car rentals are available in Denver or Colorado Springs. There are "limited" jeep and domestic rental vehicles available in the Arkansas valley by prior arrangement. Salida and Buena Vista, Colorado have small aircraft facilities and charter flights only are available with adequate numbers for charter. Arrive in Salida or Buena Vista, Colorado the day prior to the tripBY CAR
To reach our Browns Canyon/Nathrop Base, 17921 US Hwy 285, Nathrop, CO 81236.
FROM DENVER: You will follow Hwy 285 out of Denver all the way to the Base located 5 miles south of Nathrop. It is approximately 160 miles from Denver Airport to the Nathrop Base (4 hours). Mtn road driving is slower but, a beautiful part of the Rocky Mountains and you should allow extra driving time to sight-see. FROM COLO.SPRINGS: use Hwy 24 west connecting with US Hwy 285 north & south towards Buena Vista. Turn south on Hwy 285-11 miles, you will see on the west side our sign just north of the Gas station and Prospector Rock Shop on Hwy 285. Royal Gorge and BigHorn Sheep Canyon has an optional meeting location for groups: FROM COLO. SPRINGS: take Hwy 115 and Hwy 50 west through Canon City. Meeting @ Parkdale Launch site is about 10 miles west of Canon City on Hwy 50.
FROM JOHNSON'S VILLAGE: take Hwy 285 through Nathrop which joins with Hwy 50 east, via Hwy 291 through Salida. Travel @ 60 miles to the Parkdale launch site (Arkansas Headwaters Rec. Area).
Arrive at the appropriate arranged meeting location @ confirmed time (depending on trip) on the first day. You will meet your guides at either DVK Nathrop base or Parkdale launch site. The travel time to the river by bus/van varies with each canyon and start point. Confirm prior to start date. There is a secure private parking area at the Nathrop base for you to leave your vehicle and belongings. AHRA ‘Parkdale’ launch site will require a state park parking pass in your vehicle $7-10.TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS AT TRIPS END
At the end of your day or the final day of your trip, Dvorak's van or bus will either deliver you to the place where you left your car or return you to your lodging or arranged drop off point. "River Time is unpredictable." Please keep this in mind when you make final day commitments.ACCOMMODATIONS
Check our helpful links page for recommended lodgings pre- and post-trip.