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Rafting Upper Colorado River

UPPER COLORADO RIVER SPECIAL RECREATION MANAGEMENT AREA


Map of river - Pumphouse to State Bridge

Map of river- State Bridge to Dotsero

Upper Colorado River Recreation Guide (.pdf)

Annual Parking Pass

River Flow data (USGS Web site)

Private Boater Information

Canoeing the Upper Colorado River


Headwaters to the Blue River

Rating: Class I-II

Land Status: Private, CPW, BLM

Fishing: See Fishing webpage  

Notes:

This section of river is mostly private with a few BLM and Colorado Parks and Wildlife fishing access sites.  Please know where you are and respect private property. *Not recommended for floating- wade fishing only.


Upper Gore Canyon

 

Rating: Class V, Expert

Mileage: 5.5 miles

Land Status: Private, BLM

Designate Launch/Takeout Site:

*Confluence  (BLM, no fee)

     -Restrooms, boat launch

*Pumphouse (BLM, $5 per vehicle- pass good at Pumphouse, Radium, State Bridge, Two Bridges, and Dotsero)

     -Camping: $10 per night, 18 indiv. first come/first serve sites, 2 reservable group sites for $30

     -Restrooms, potable water, boat launches, hiking, fishing, wildlife viewing, picnicking, geocaching

Notes: Boating is not recommended through Gore Canyon due to dangerous Class V whitewater with boulder fields, waterfalls, strong currents, and steep gradients.  The steep canyon sides and cliffs make rescue and portaging nearly impossible.  A few commercial outfitters do offer raft trips down this section of river.  Please contact the Kremmling Field Office for a list of these outfitters at (970) 724-3000.


Pumphouse to Radium

 

Rating: Class II-III, Intermediate

Mileage: 4.5 miles

Land Status: BLM

Designate Launch/Takeout Site: 

*Pumphouse (BLM, $5 per vehicle-pass good at Pumphouse, Radium, State Bridge, Two Bridges, Dotsero)

     -Camping: $10 per night, 18 indiv. first come/first serve sites, 2 reservable group sites for $30

     -Restrooms, potable water, boat launches, hiking, fishing, wildlife viewing, picnicking, geocaching

*Radium (BLM, $5 per vehicle- pass good at Pumphouse, Radium, State Bridge, Two Bridges, Dotsero)

     -Camping: $6 per night, 9 indiv. first come/first serve sites, 2 reservable group sites for $30

     -Restrooms, boat launches, pay phone, hiking, fishing, wildlife viewing, picnicking, geocaching

Notes:

Mainly Class II water, Needle's Eye Rapid is Class III with two large holes above 4000 cfs.  This section is heavily used (about 60,000 visitors annually) by private and commercial boaters.  Recreation Sites are congested at times.

 


Needle's Eye Rapid

Radium to Rancho del Rio

 

Rating: Class II-III, Intermediate

Mileage: 6.5 miles

Land Status: Private, BLM

Designate Launch/Takeout Site:

*Radium (BLM, $5 per vehicle- pass good at Pumphouse, Radium, State Bridge, Two Bridges, Dotsero)

     -Camping: $6 per night, 9 indiv. first come/first serve sites, 2 reservable group sites for $30

     -Restrooms, boat launches, pay phone, hiking, fishing, wildlife viewing, picnicking, geocaching

*Rancho del Rio (private takeout, $1 per person)

Notes:

Mainly Class II water, Yarmony Rapid located in Red Gore Canyon is a Class III rapid.  This section is heavily used (about 60,000 visitors annually) by private and commercial boaters.  Recreation Sites are congested at times.


Above Yarmony Rapid

Rancho del Rio to State Bridge

 

Rating: Class II

Mileage: 4 miles

Land Status: BLM, Eagle County Open Space, private

Designate Launch/ Takeout Site:

*Rancho del Rio (private put-in, $1 per person)

*State Bridge (Eagle County/BLM, $5 per vehicle- pass good at Pumphouse, Radium, State Bridge, Two Bridges, Dotsero)

     -Restrooms, non-potable water, pay phone, picnicking, boat launch, NO CAMPING

 


State Bridge to Two Bridges

 

Rating: Class I/II

Mileage: 4 miles

Land Status: Eagle County Open Space, BLM, State, private

Designate Launch/ Takeout Site:

*State Bridge (Eagle County/BLM, $5 per vehicle, pass good at Pumphouse, Radium, State Bridge, Two Bridges, Dotsero)

     -Restrooms, non-potable water, pay phone, picnicking, boat launch, NO CAMPING

*Two Bridges (Eagle County/BLM, $5 per vehicle, pass good at Pumphouse, Radium, State Bridge, Two Bridges, Dotsero)

     -Restrooms, boat launch, NO CAMPING

Notes: State lands are public accessible


State Bridge boat launch

Two Bridges to Catamount

 

Rating: Class I/II

Mileage: 10 miles

Land Status: Eagle County Open Space, BLM, private

Designate Launch/ Takeout Site:

*Two Bridges (Eagle County/BLM, $5 per vehicle, pass good at Pumphouse, Radium, State Bridge, Two Bridges, Dotsero)

     -Restrooms, boat launch, NO CAMPING

*Catamount (BLM, No fee)

     -Restrooms, boat launch, camping


Two Bridges boat launch

Catamount to Pinball 

Rating: Class I/II/III

Mileage: 9 miles

Land Status: BLM, private

Designate Launch/ Takeout Site:

*Catamount (BLM, No fee)

     -Restrooms, boat launch, camping

*Pinball (BLM, No fee)

     -Boat launch, Camping & Restrooms 1/2 mile upriver of take-out along Colorado River Road

Note:

Mainly Class II water with a Class III drop over large boulders at Rodeo Rapid; scouting is advised.


Pinball to Horse Creek River Access 

Rating: Class II

Mileage: 6 miles

Land Status: BLM, Eagle County Open Space, private

Designate Launch/ Takeout Site:

*Pinball (BLM, No fee)

     -Boat launch, Camping & Restrooms 1/2 mile upriver of take-out along Colorado River Road 

*Horse Creek River Access (Eagle County Open Space, No fee). Eagle County constructed a new boat launch/river access site at the south end of the Colorado River Ranch under the railroad tressle.  Restrooms, NO CAMPING

Notes:

Hazardous bridges below Pinball Point Rapid and at Twin Bridges below Jack Flats.


Horse Creek River Access to Cottonwood Island

 

Rating: Class I/II

Mileage: 8 miles

Land Status: Private, BLM, Eagle County Open Space

Designate Launch/ Takeout Site:

*Horse Creek River Access (Eagle County Open Space, No fee). Eagle County constructed a new boat launch/river access site at the south end of the Colorado River Ranch under the railroad tressle.  Restrooms, NO CAMPING

*Cottonwood (BLM, No fee)

     -Boat launch, picnic area, NO CAMPING, porta-potty may be provided by outfitters


Horse Creek Section

Cottonwood Island to Lyons Gulch

 

Rating: Class I/II

Mileage: 2 miles

Land Status: Private, BLM, Eagle County Open Space

Designate Launch/ Takeout Site:

*Cottonwood (BLM, No fee)

     -Boat launch, picnic area, NO CAMPING, porta-potty may be provided by outfitters

*Lyons Gulch (BLM, No fee)

     -Camping, Restrooms, boat launch


Lyons Gulch to Dotsero

 

Rating: Class I/II

Mileage: 4 miles

Land Status: Private, BLM, Eagle County Open Space

Designate Launch/ Takeout Site:

*Lyons Gulch (BLM, No fee)

    -Camping, Restrooms, boat launch

*Dotsero (Eagle County Open Space/BLM, $5 per vehicle- pass good at Pumphouse, Radium, State Bridge, Two Bridges, Dotsero)

     -Restrooms, boat launch, NO CAMPING


Dotsero Landing

Dotsero to Bair Ranch

 

Rating: Class I

Mileage: 6 miles

Land Status: Private, BLM, Eagle County Open Space, Colorado Department of Transportation

Designate Launch/ Takeout Site:

*Dotsero (Eagle County Open Space/BLM, $5 per vehicle- pass good at Pumphouse, Radium, State Bridge, Two Bridges, Dotsero)

     -Restrooms, boat launch, NO CAMPING

*Bair Ranch (CDOT, No fee)

     -Restrooms, picnic tables, boat launch for boats that can be hand carried only.  No motoized access to boat launch.


For more information on stretches above State Bridge see the Kremmling Field Office.