Suggested River Trips

RMCC Suggested River Trips – Class I to III

RiverStretchClassDaysTime of YearComments    [APR = Avoid Peak Runoff]
ARKANSASFractions (above Buena Vista)III(+)1May-AugAPR
 Buena Vista Town RunIII-1May-AugAPR
 Milk Run (Stone Bridge to Salida)II+1May-AugAPR - Lowhead dam has boat chute on left
 Salida to RinconIII-1May-AugAPR
 Rincon to Vallie BridgeIII-1May-AugAPR
 Florence to Pueblo ReservoirI+1May-AugAPR - twisty with strainers
 Pueblo Reservoir Dam thru townII1May-AugAPR - 1 or 2 dams to portage
BLUEGreen Mtn Res Dam to Spring Creek RoadIII(+)1July-SeptAPR - 2 diversion dam drops and a hopping narrows section; tough put-in is best done with ropes
CHAMAEl Vado Res Dam to Big Eddy Take-out II+(III)3May-June (thru Aug on a wet year)APR - Lottery Permit; Season varies widely by snowpack; weekend releases start late Friday mornings.
COLORADOPumphouseIII-.5May-SeptAPR - often combine 2 of these 3 sections
 Red Canyon (Radium to Yarm.Brg)III-.5May-SeptAPR
 Yarmony Bridge to State BridgeII+.5May-SeptAPR
 State Bridge to Landing StripI to II.5May-OctAPR - usually paired with next stretch to Catamount
 Landing Strip to CatamountI.5May-OctAPR - usually start at State Bridge
 Catamount to Twin BridgesII to III-1May-OctAPR - portage Rodeo Rapid (III+ and sharp concrete) on right
 Twin Bridges to below Swtwtr Rd.III-1May-OctAPR - or start earlier at Pinball put-in
 Below Sweetwater Rd. to DotseroII+.5May-OctAPR
 Dotsero to Hanging LakeI+1May-OctAPR - good beginner run with 3 small rapids
 Grizzly Creek to Glenwood Springs (2 Rivers Park)III-1May-OctAPR
 Glenwood to South CanyonIII-.3May-OctAPR - can get very windy; done with Cemetery or Grizzly runs
 New Castle to SiltI+.7April-OctAPR
 Rifle to Rulison/ParachuteII+1April-OctAPR
 Fruita to WestwaterI to II2-3April-OctAPR - do <12,000cfs; summer's crowded; car vandals at Loma
 Cisco Landing to Dewey BridgeI1April-OctAPR - can do this with next 2 sections
 Dewey Bridge to about Onion CrkII1April-OctAPR - can do this with next section
 Onion Crk to above MoabIII-1April-OctAPR - also called the Day Run; popular with rafts
 Moab to Potash MineII?1April-OctAPR
 Potash Mine to Spanish BottomII?2-3April-OctAPR
DOLORESCahone to Slick RockIII+2-3May-earlyJuneMANY rapids; Portage Snaggletooth Rapid - class IV
 Slick Rock to Bed RockIII3-4May-earlyJunePrior section and this 1 depend on big snowpack
 Bed Rock or last bit of San Miguel to GatewayIII-(2-)3May-JuneRunnable due to San Miguel water, even if the Dolores is not getting a release from McPhee Res.
EAGLEEdwards to below WolcottII+(III)1May-JulyAPR
 Gypsum to Dotsero/BairRanchII+ 1May-JulyAPR - No Eagle R. takeout at Dotsero, so add Colo. R. miles
GREENBelow Fontanelle Dam to I-80II3May-Sept?No camping in Seedskadee Refuge, so 2 segments; camp twice at the first location below the dam
 Flaming Grg Dam to Swallow CynII+(III)3May-earlyOctMust reserve 1st river campsite
 Lodore to end of Split MtnIII+4-5May-midOctAPR - Lottery Permit; can't always get 5th day
 Deso-Gray, ends @ Green R, UTIII 6-9April-OctWant 1500-6000cfs, but can do less
 Labyrinth - Green River,UT or Ruby Ranch to Mineral BottomI+2-4April-Oct 
 Stillwater - Min. B. to Spanish BtmI+4-6April-OctAPR of Colo R last 2 miles; need jet boat up Colo R.
GUNNISONDelta or Escalante Bridge to WhitewaterI-II+2-3April-AugustAPR - usually do a full day of hiking Dominguez Canyon; car vandalism at both ends, so park at motel in Whitewater
NIOBRARANear Valentine, NebraskaI+2May-SeptSpring fed river keeps fairly constant cfs
N. PLATTESix Mile Gap CO/WY line to Treasure Island Rec SiteII+(III)3midMay-midJuneAPR when BIG snowpack; only runs for a week or less in low snowpack years
 Saratoga to I-80I+(II)(2-)3May-earlyJulyPut in at hot spring or Foote camp ground; great beginner overnighter except for difficulties at diversion dam
 Wendover Cyn - Glendo 2 GuernsyI+(II)1May-midSept 
POUDREBridgesIII+.5May-AugAPR - 2nd bridge is dangerous/fatal at higher water
 Filter PlantIII-.5May-AugAPR - Very popular
RIO GRANDEAbove CreedeIII(+?)1May-JuneWant around 500cfs; River Hill Campground to private trailhead
 Wagon Wheel Gap to S. ForkIII-?1May-June 
ROARING FKCemetery - S. Glenwood to Colo RIII-.7May-JulyAPR - Usually combine with Colo R to S. Canyon
SAN JUANSand I. (Bluff, UT) to Mexican HatII(III-)(2-)3lateApr-midOctAPR - Lottery Permit; extreme wind can add 1 day; flash floods
 Mexican Hat to Clay Hills CrossingII(III+)(4-)5lateApr-midOctAPR - Lottery Permit; extreme wind can add 1 day; flash floods
SAN MIGUELLedges - final miles before DoloresIII1May-JuneAPR?
S. PLATTEBelow Deckers - Bridge Crossing Picnic Ground to Pine Creek Rd.II+1May-July?APR - Water depends on Cheeseman Res. Release; can start at Scraggy View PG (mid of this run) and continue thru Chutes 
 Chutes and a few miles downIII+.4May-July?APR - Chutes are very scary; car portage them to a bad put-in
 C470 to Union ChutesII-III-1April-Oct?APR - river is easy, but man-made drops/chutes are trickier
 Brighton to Ft. LuptonI+1April-Oct?APR - cfs varies; 1 dam portage when gate is down 
 Evans to Kersey/KunerI+1midMarch-Oct?2 dam portages
WHITERangely/Bonanza 2 Enron GasWlsI-II3May-June(July)Several put-ins to manage long mileage; shuttle is a maze
YAMPACraig to Duffy Mtn RampI2(-3)midJune-earlyJulyWant <9000cfs; tough to catch Duffy ramp at >6000cfs; may need to go extra flat/windy miles/half-day to Juniper Hot Spgs
1) This document puposefully is not listing class III+ to IV day trips such as Brown’s, Shoshone, Westwater, and Numbers which are 
 usually done by the “A” Team (A = Adrenaline-addicted).
2) Information given (especially in the Comments) are parameters designed to help decide if you want to lead a trip. Good points and 
trip description are left out due to space considerations. They are all good.
3) All trips listed are within a medium day’s drive of the Front Range; 455 miles to the San Juan is the longest distance. To go further 
afield, consider:
a. Montana – Smith River (lottery permit) or Missouri River
b. Teton/Jellystone N.P. region – Snake and Yellowstone Rivers
c. Minnesota – Boundary Waters or Quetico (Canada)
d. Texas – Rio Grande – several sections in and near Big Bend N.P. and see Texas Paddling Trails for many other paddling options in Texas
e. Arkansas – Buffalo River
f. CANADA – Endless possibilities
4) The class rating and other details are subject to variation based upon water levels and many other factors. Other information in this 
listing is subject to change as well; so do your own research prior to selecting a trip to lead.
Version 2 of this document as of May 6, 2009. Created by Karen Amundson.

Poudre Paddlers has a nice list of lakes and rivers in the Colorado area at