Free Things to Do in Pueblo

Multiple people walking along the Arkansas Riverwalk in front of a flowing stone fountain

Here, the spirit of adventure is alive and well, and it’s as free as the mountain air. Whether you’re basking in the golden hues of a high plains sunset or finding inspiration along the winding paths of local parks, Pueblo offers a wealth of experiences that enrich the soul without emptying the wallet. It’s a place where every moment is an opportunity to discover something wonderful, and the best things in life truly are free.

Notice: River and Water Advisories

June 14, 2024

🚨Pueblo, CO: Restrictions Lifted on Arkansas River🚨

The Pueblo Fire Department and the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office announced today that the restrictions on the use of the Arkansas River from the spillway of the Pueblo Dam to the Pueblo County/Otero County line have been lifted. The activities restrictions were implemented on June 11, 2024, due to dangerously fast-flowing and high water along the river. Colorado Parks and Wildlife lifted restrictions Thursday afternoon.

The decision to lift restrictions on the Arkansas River by the Fire Department and the Sheriff’s Office is partly a result of the water flow rate along the affected area dropping to about 4,000 cubic feet per second (CFS). Flows in excess of these have been determined to be dangerous and pose an increased risk to people in the water, as well as emergency responders.

The public is reminded that should conditions change on the river, restrictions may be reinstated. The public should continue to monitor social media channels and official websites of the City of Pueblo, Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office and Colorado Parks and Wildlife for any change in direction, restrictions or updates related to river activity restrictions or cautions.

The public may now resume normal recreational activities, to include tubing, in and around the river. Whitewater canoes and kayaks may now be used, as they were included in the restrictions. A Type III personal flotation device, approved by the United States Coast Guard, is required to be worn when entering the Arkansas River (PMC 11-1-700; CRS § 33-13-110 (2)(a) and (2)(c)).

The public is reminded to remain vigilant of the inherent dangers of entering the waters of the Arkansas River. Please keep the following items in mind:

June 11, 2024

🚨Pueblo, CO: Restrictions on Arkansas River Due to High Water Flow🚨

The Pueblo City Fire Department, Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office, and Colorado Parks and Wildlife have announced restrictions on the Arkansas River. The restricted area extends from the Pueblo Dam to the Pueblo County/Otero County line. These measures are in response to the dangerously fast flowing and high-water levels.

Effective from Tuesday, June 11, the following activities are prohibited on the river:
– Whitewater canoes and kayaks
– Recreational swimming (even with a life vest)
– Use of single-chambered air-inflated devices (such as inner tubes, inflatable mattresses, and rafts)
– Use of multiple-chamber inflatables

Violators will be cited.

Chief Barb Huber of the Pueblo Fire Department emphasizes the importance of water safety during this time of year. While trails along the river remain open for pedestrian and bicycle traffic, users should exercise caution and be aware of river flow. Avoid areas with water on the trail, and remember the adage: “Turn Around, Don’t Drown” when encountering flooded trails and roads.

Sheriff David J. Lucero highlights the hazardous conditions caused by winter snowmelt and recent heavy rains. For public safety, people are urged to stay out of the water until conditions improve. Even the popular tailwaters below the Lake Pueblo dam, known for fishing and tubing, are currently too dangerous to allow river access.

The National Weather Service issued a flood warning for the Arkansas River above Pueblo, affecting Pueblo County. Increased releases from the Pueblo Dam are expected to cause minor flooding downstream. The river is currently flowing at over 6,000 cubic feet per second—approximately four times the normal flow.

The public is advised to avoid the banks of the river and streams, as saturated banks can collapse. Additionally, the cold-water temperature, largely from mountain snowmelt, poses risks. Authorities from Pueblo Fire, Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office, and Colorado Parks and Wildlife will monitor river flows and coordinate the reopening of the river once conditions are safe.

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