Outdoors blog


Top 17 Kayak Spots in Colorado – Must Try, Class 1-4

No matter which part of the state you plan to travel to, you can easily find some exceptional water bodies perfect for kayaking with views that will certainly leave your jaw wide open and good fishing too.


  1. Arkansas River

The Arkansas River is a popular spot for anyone who fancies a bit of whitewater in their lives. On any given day, you’re bound to find a sea of kayakers, rafters and canoers paddling downriver – this stretch of water is known to be one of the busiest in the country!

allows for year-round paddling, even in the winter and fall, where it surprisingly gets more.popular – we’re guessing it’s the changing colors of the seasons that amplifies the beauty of the surroundings, making for an absolutely breathtaking whitewater kayaking experience.

Large granite boulders line the riverbank, while pine forests and native shrubs in varying shades of green calm the eyes as you paddle downriver into the town of Buena Vista.

  1. Dillon Reservoir

This reservoir is huge – it boasts almost 27 miles of shoreline with interesting features that will be sure to keep you paddling all day. Because of its calm waters, this is one of the most ideal places for learners to get some kayaking experience, and against the spectacular backdrop of mountain views such as the Ten Mile Range – the Dillon Reservoir promises a truly enjoyable day out on the water.

Located in Summit County, this reservoir borders the towns of Frisco, Dillon and Silverthorne. Kayak rentals are available at the Frisco Bay Marina, so you can literally arrive empty handed and rent a kayak for a full day of aquatic fun with your friends and family.

If you’re a fan of spotting wildlife – you won’t be disappointed here. Birds such as ospreys and bald eagles are common sightings while on land, mule and whitetail deer roam the forests surrounding the reservoir. If it’s your lucky day, you might even see a black bear and it’s baby cubs having a stroll along the shoreline!


  1. Lake Pueblo

Located in a popular state park, Lake Pueblo doesn’t exactly boast the same kind of magnificent views as the rest of the spots on this list, but it does have a lot of history behind it. With around 130 prehistoric archeological sites located in and around Lake Pueblo State Park, you’ll be paddling through history as you take your kayak across the 60 miles of shoreline and 4,600 surface acres of water that make up Lake Pueblo. It is popular among fishermen, who either cast their lines from the shore or take to the water as kayak anglers.

Because it is such a popular spot, there is basically everything a beginner kayaker needs to get started. Access to the lake is through one of the two marinas (aptly named North Shore and South Shore marina), and kayaks are available for rent at said marinas – meaning you won’t have to worry about lugging around your kayak around in your truck or car as you travel to and fro.

One slight thing to note is that it can get pretty busy, especially in the summer months when you’ll share the lake with waterskiiers, jetskiiers and boats of all shapes and sizes – make sure you stay in your lanes or areas to avoid any unnecessary accidents from happening!

  1. South Platte River

This really cool spot is located just minutes away from downtown Denver, offering bikers, sunbathers, kayakers and all manner of water splashing enthusiasts a place to enjoy an aquatic day out. Because Denver was built around it, city dwellers get to enjoy all kinds of recreational activities in what some would call the best urban river in the state of Colorado.

Most people start their journey from the top of the South Platte river, right in the middle of downtown. This is where the most activity happens, with learner kayakers having lessons with their guides and fly fishers honing their skills before heading out to the wilder parts downriver. Kayak rental companies are easy to find both downtown and near the Chatsworth Marina to the south, promising you a great kayaking experience without the hassle. Plus, if you’re planning on getting your hair wet, there is a Starbucks with views of the river that you can be a spectator in; having a coffee while looking at people paddling about in the water.


  1. Glenwood Springs Whitewater Park

During the summer months, Glenwood Springs Whitewater Park attracts throngs of boating, rafting and paddling enthusiasts to the town to enjoy some fun in the water. Situated along the Glennwood Canyon, this section of the Colorado River boasts some incredible and spectacular views that are even better enjoyed while paddling downriver.

For the whitewater adrenaline junkies, Class IV and V rapids are plentiful here, and offer a challenge for even the most experienced kayakers. Thanks to the Glenwood Whitewater Activity Area – a thriving kayak culture has formed in Glenwood Springs, and has created a community of kayakers of all skill levels that know all the best spots and put-ins for a thrilling ride.

If you get a little exhausted from the challenging rapids, there are flat sections where you can paddle leisurely on your kayak whilst enjoying the great views, and stopping at riverside hot springs lets you chill out after a tiring day. Guided kayak trips are also available, for those who want to just enjoy your day out with your friends and family without the hassle of doing all that research on the best spots to visit.


6. Sylvan Lake


7. Upper Colorado River


8. Chatfield Reservoir


9. Navajo Reservoir


10. Elkhead Reservoir


11. Harvey Gap


12. Rifle Gap


13. Shadow Mountain Lake


14. Colorado River


15. Bear Creek Lake


16. Eleven Mile Reservoir


17. Lower Colorado River


Beautiful Colorado, The Centennial State

There’s no doubt about it – Colorado boasts some of the best views this side of the U.S. With its towering snow-capped mountains, majestic waterfalls, and aspen tree forests holding up the horizon of blue skies as far as the eye can see. Colorado also goes by the nickname “the Centennial State” after it was recognized as a state of the U.S 100 years after the signing of the declaration of independence.

Colorado’s Climate and terrain

The combination of high elevation and continental interior geography of Colorado is what gives it a cool, dry and refreshing climate. The annual average temperature measured in the state is about 45 degrees F and the state gets an annual rainfall of 17 inches.

The significantly varied terrain in Colorado results in distinct weather patterns across the state, with the mountainous areas of central and western Colorado regularly experiencing strong winds (called Chinook Winds), while the plains are characterised by features such as low humidity, hot summers (up to 95 degrees F) and an abundance of sunshine.

One of the things that Colorado is most well-known for is its mountains. The Rocky Mountain National Park is the most famous (in fact, there’s even an ice cream flavor named after it!), followed by the snow capped mountains of the Aspen snowmass, a popular resort destination known for world-class skiing and snowboarding.

Kayaking in Colorado

All year round, the beautiful views of Colorful Colorado provide an excellent backdrop to the many lakes and rivers where people flock to for their kayaking fix. Whether you’re planning to take it slow with a laidback paddle in the flat waters of a calm lake, or go full-on thrill seeker mode down rigorous whitewater, you’re bound to find the perfect kayaking experience right here in the heart of the Rocky Mountains.

From its soaring mountain ranges and snow-capped peaks, to the rolling green hills, clear blue skies and quirky rock formations (in which one was turned into a live music venue – Red Rocks), Colorado sits right on a truly stunning area in the heart of the American Frontier.

And especially for kayakers, the reflections of the Rocky Mountain range or the snow-capped mountains of Aspen as you paddle across the alpine lakes is a truly magical experience, and one that is hard to replicate anywhere else.

If you prefer somewhere that’s close to creature comforts, you can even kayak right smack in central Denver, on the South Platte river, against the backdrop of the city skyline. With this much variety in terms of terrain and activity, there’s no shortage of experiences that kayakers can enjoy in the Centennial State, throughout all seasons of the year.

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