Best time to visit Colorado

Kayaking in Colorado

Colorado whitewater rivers and crystal clear lakes with beautiful surroundings are perfect for adrenaline rides and peaceful puddling

Best time: May–September


With 158 rivers, Colorado has everything for kayaking and boating adventures. Colorado’s kayaking season usually starts in May and lasts through September, with the best rides available in May and June. August is more suitable for relaxing kayaking trips.

One of the most popular spots is Cache la Poudre River near Fort Collins. It has some exciting Class V rapids and narrow passages. Other attractive places include Gore Creek near Vail and Colorado River near Grand Junction.

If you really enjoy whitewater kayaking you must visit Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area. There are Class IV and V rapids, not for the faint-hearted or beginners.

If you are looking for more laid-back kayaking, check out Navajo Reservoir in Navajo State Park. The reservoir is big and kayaking is an excellent way to get around and enjoy its natural beauty.

Lake Pueblo is an easy kayaking spot for newbies and has rentals and plenty of facilities.

Practical info

When is the best time to go kayaking in Colorado?

May to September is the ideal kayaking season in Colorado. Whitewater enthusiasts can experience adrenaline rides in May and June, while August is recommended for relaxed trips. The kayaking season generally begins in May and ends in September. Show more

Where are the top kayaking spots in Colorado?

Cache la Poudre River, Gore Creek, and Colorado River are popular kayaking spots in Colorado. Those searching for a thrilling experience can visit the Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area, perfect for Class IV and V rapids. Navajo Reservoir and Lake Pueblo are also ideal for kayaking. Show more

What level of experience is required to handle Class V rapids?

Navigating Class V rapids requires advanced skills, experience, and preparation. Prior whitewater kayaking experience and intermediate skill level are recommended. Safety gear like helmets, life jackets, and drysuits or wetsuits is a must. Beginners and those faint at heart should avoid Class V rapids. Show more

When does the kayaking season end in Colorado?

Typically, the kayaking season ends in September in Colorado. Even though temperatures may still be hot during this time, water can be too cold for kayaking. After September, kayakers usually switch to other activities, such as snowboarding or skiing. It is important to monitor water and weather conditions before going kayaking. Show more

Where can beginners go for easy kayaking in Colorado?

Lake Pueblo is an excellent option for beginners in Colorado who are open to kayaking activities. Rentals are readily available, and families can enjoy a variety of facilities. However, it is imperative that beginners avoid Class IV and V rapids as they necessitate advanced skills and experience. Show more

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin