Planning on a white water rafting trip on the Arkansas River. Can anyone suggest some great camping spots in the area. I don't mind going in on gravel roads as long as its less than 5 mi. I would even consider a decent pay site but not a fan of the local RV parks. I have a 26' Class A.
You did not say when you are planning to go rafting. Be aware that with the low snow pack this year the rafting season will be short. Possibly only one month by some estimates. And it will be early as well as short.
This is the exact opposite of last season where the snow pack was higher than average and in some areas had record snow pack levels.
The Arkansas River starts near Leadvile on the west side of Fremont Pass. You might do some research on the snow pack conditions for that area. One estimate I saw was the river flow at Salida on the Arkansas would only be 50% of average. The snow pack in another central mountain location is only 37% of average.
Depending on when you are going, you might find the temperatures a little better in the Salida/Buena Vista area. Plus, there's a variety of guide services in that area. In the immediate area of the Royal Gorge, things are drier and more desert-like. For info on camping opportunities, see here and here. The boondocking locations above Salida and Buena Vista both get busy on the weekends, so arrive by mid-day Thursday.
Here is a current update on the snow pack this year.
They just showed on one of the Denver television stations the current snow pack for the state of Colorado. The Arkansas basin which is going to effect Salida and the Royal Gorge areas is at 28% of average.
The last two days the front range areas have been 80 degrees plus. Leadville at 10,000 feet has been 60 degrees. The forecast for Leadville for the next 10 days is in the 50s every day. The headwaters for the Arkansas River is a little east of Leadville.
One white water forecast has the peak river flow at the end of May. Much sooner and a lot less than an average year.
Planning on mid June. Was hoping something west of Royal Gorge but east of Salida. Heck I would even take a campground if it had some spacing and privacy. I would be doing this in the middle of the week.