The Upper Colorado River is located just outside Kremmling, Colorado. This upper region features about 54 reservoirs and mixed public and private lands used for camping and water sports.
Located in the Rocky Mountain Region about 120 miles northwest of Denver, Colorado, the Upper Colorado River starts high in the Rocky Mountain National Park. Stretching about 1,450 miles, it goes down through Colorado, Utah, and Arizona. It empties in Northern Mexico, specifically at the Golf of California.
To get to the Upper Colorado River, travelers can start from the put-in found along the I-70 at Silverthorne, Colorado. Heading north on Hwy 9, they turn west off Hwy 9 towards Trough Road, which is about half a mile south of the Hwy 9 bridge crossing the state. After about 10 miles down Trough Road, they turn right at the road marked “Pumphouse” and they continue another 1.5 mile towards the river.
A take-out from the I-70 near Wolcott, Colorado requires travelers to head north on Hwy 131 through Wolcott going to State Bridge. The take-out is where the bridge crosses the river. There are access points available on both sides of the river.
Aside from Kremmling and Silverthorne, more than a dozen of areas in Colorado are near the Upper Colorado River. These include: Breckenridge, Dillon, Eagle, Frisco, Glenwood Springs, Golden, Grand Junction, Grand Lake, Keystone, Leadville, Minturn, Steamboat Springs, Vail, and Winter Park.
Best Seasons for Canoeing and Kayaking
Doing water sports along the Upper Colorado River generally feels like travailing in a large meandering river through farm land. Most of its rapids are considered anywhere from Class II to Class III, as referenced from the International Rapid Rating Scale.
The best seasons for canoeing and kayaking in the river are from April to October. It is also possible to do winter runs if the cold water and environment is amenable for interested adventurers. No permit is required to go canoeing and kayaking.
People are warned for a number of bridge abutments along the river and some big waves and holes forming at high water.
The Upper Colorado River showcases magnificent natural sceneries including cinematic meadows, spectacular valleys, jagged cliffs, and steep slopes. Traveling down the river allows adventurers to explore many sites like dinosaur tracks, old stagecoach trails, and many other scenic views. It is also known for many points of interest like the Little Gore Canyon and the Red Eye and Screaming Left Turn rapids where visitors can try many outdoor recreation activities.
There are many campgrounds and campsites available near the Upper Colorado River. Most of these areas feature outhouses, picnic tables, and fireplaces.
“Upper Colorado Whitewater Kayaking & Canoeing Trip on the Colorado River,” AllAboutRivers.com.
“Upper Colorado River,” ColoradoDirectory.com.
“Upper Colorado River,” U.S. Department of the Interior – Nureau of Land Management.
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