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Upper Colorado River

The Upper Colorado River offers rafting, kayaking, canoeing and drift boating opportunities with whitewater that is easy to moderately difficult for the beginner to intermediate boater. The character of the river corridor landscape varies from natural to rural, and the scenery includes a variety of features of geological, ecological and historic interest. A variety of trips are possible due to the many river access sites available. The following summarizes the segments between river access sites available for public use.
 

RIVER SEGMENT
WHITEWATER CLASS
LENGTH (River Miles)
TRIP LENGTH (Hours)
State Bridge to Catamount
II
14
7
Catamount Bridge to Burns
I / II
5
3
Burns to Pinball
II / III
4
2
Pinball to Cottonwood
II
14
7
Cottonwood to Lyons Gulch
I
2
1
Lyons Gulch to Dotsero
I
4
2
Dotsero to Burnt Tree Ridge
I
4
2

SEASON
High water typically occurs between June 1 - 15, making the whitewater more challenging and difficult during this time of year, and decreasing the trip time from those shown above. Generally, the river remains floatable throughout the summer and fall. The water is very cold early in the season and risk of hypothermia is high. State Law requires boaters to wear lifejackets while on the water.

ACCESS
Many access sites along the stretch. Most commonly used are State Bridge, Catamount Bridge, Pinball Point, and Lyons Gulch.

NOTES
July and August weekend mornings are peak time activity. Campsites are semi developed and are easy to find. Permits are not required for private, non-commercial recreations use of BLM land along the river.

Although floating through private land is legal, private lands are not open for public use so please do not walk, camp or otherwise cross private land without the owner's permission. State Bridge is a river access site on private land and fees are required by the owner/operators for camping, parking and boat launching/takeout.

MAPS 
A river booklet "The Upper Colorado River Recreation Area" is available for download in Adobe PDF format. WARNING! LARGE FILE SIZE! (2.7 MB): The Upper Colorado River Recreation Area Guide    

MORE INFORMATION
A website developed through Mesa State College called the Colorado Canoe Trails River Guides is a useful tool to find details of the Colorado River.  

For information on other rivers in Colorado, you may contact other BLM offices , or the Colorado River Outfitters Association (CROA) , P.O. Box 1662, Buena Vista, Colorado, 81211 (303) 369-4632.