Places: Colorado

Favorite paddling locations to share

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Places: Colorado

Post by CaptainKlepper »

Colorado: I once read an E-bay statement about why the seller was selling his folder: "Colorado is a vertical state, not liquid." This sadly misinformed individual (no disrespect intended) supposedly lives only 25 miles from me. I have to wonder if there is some other "Colorado" he is refering to. Among my top places for lake kayaking are Dillon and randby. Both are nestled on the Shoulders of the Continental Divide offer miles of low traffic paddling. The scenery vaguely reminds me of lakes in the Alps or the sea kayaking around Kodiak Island Alaska. Both are w/in short driving distance of Denver. The wind is usually stiff on Dillon and the lake is home the the highest yacht club in North America. If you come here, Look Out Island has a hawk sanctuary on it's north side. You arn't allowed to land here, but kayaks make a great way to get very close without disrupting them. The same island has a lagoon w/ a narrow entrance opening to the west. The south end of the island has no landing restrictions and is great for picnicing & exploring.
Navajo Resevoir (Not Navajo lake at the base of Mt. Wilson) looks to offer some sandstone "fjords". Interestingly, I've only snorkled there. That's just the tip of the iceberg w/ lakes.
With rivers, finding "floats" that are less than class III is somewhat of a challenge. I recommend the Colorado from just above Anderson Ranch to Eagle River, possibly further. Careful, the mid portion of the Glennwood canyon is ranked as unrunnable for obvious reasons! Several miles of the Colo below Grand Junction appear to be a cake walk with just a couple class III's here and there. In that region there is also the lower Delores as it joins the Colo that has been recommended to me.
The portion from Almont to Gunnison on the Gunnison is also very good. It should be good on down to the Blue Mesa Res., but I've never run this lower portion.
The San Juan River just below Navajo Res. I once ran in my Folbot, to Mexican Hat, Utah. This starts in NM, comes back to Colo. and then into Utah. The portion before Sand Island is much milder than the portion after. The scenery is brilliant. This area around "Island in the Sky" is high on my itenerary and I'll write about that some other time.

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