Cossatot River State Park Natural Area


Cossatot River is known as the best whitewater float in mid-America. At the falls, the river drops 33 feet within a third of a mile. During peak whitewater season (late winter to early spring), the river has class 3-5 whitewater. It’s one of the only places in the state to find whitewater that “extreme.”

Cossatot means “skull crusher” and one area of the river is known as the “washing machine” because of its tendency to pull rafters in and under, spinning them like a washing machine.

There’s also fishing, hiking and camping on the Cossatot.


The Cossatot River is located just south of Mena, Arkansas. The visitor’s center is located in Wickes. Google Map


Camping at Cossatot is low on frills but high on scenery. In the falls area, you fall asleep to the sound of rushing water, and perfect access for rafters.

The Cossatot campsites have no hookups and no running water. They do include picnic sites and a nature trail. There is also restroom access and access to hiking trails.


The 15,000-square-foot visitor’s center offers programs almost every weekend. The center features a large exhibit gallery, two classroom/lab rooms, a wildlife viewing area and a gift shop. They have a great staff too. It’s worth stopping in if you’ll be in the area.


1980 Highway 278 West
Wickes, AR 71973
Rafting info: 870-387-3141

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