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Where to Kayak in Colorado Besides the Colorado River


The famed Colorado River makes almost everybody’s ten best places to kayak list. There’s 1,450 miles of beautiful scenery stretching and winding through seven states. Each with their own stunning and unique offerings. It is in fact the river that carved out the eighth wonder of the world, and if it’s not on your kayaking bucket list it really should be. But Colorado is home to the headwaters of nearly 20 other rivers. So if you love kayaking and you love Colorado, be sure to check out these other must-paddle places in the state.

Places to Kayak in Colorado

Colorado is considered the go-to place for kayaking and whitewater rafting. And the Colorado River gets most of the attention, as it rightfully should. It’s a magnificent river that all levels of paddlers can enjoy and really is an experience of a lifetime. But Colorado has a long kayaking season, typically May through September, giving you plenty of time to check out some other must-see sights and rivers.

Here are five other places, beside the Colorado River, where you should kayak in Colorado.

  • The Arkansas River

This river starts in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado and flows through Kansas, Oklahoma and Arkansas for 1460 miles before joining the Mississippi River. It is one of the most popular rivers for water sports in Colorado offering stunning views of the state’s massive mountains as well as the ultimate water rafting experience.

  • Rifle Gap State Park

This is another remarkable kayaking destination with it’s crystal-clear waters. Rifle Gap is known for boating, fishing, jet skiing and kayaking. The waterways of Rifle Gap Reservoir make for a terrific paddle, plus there are plenty of fish if you enjoy kayak fishing.

  • Shadow Mountain Lake

Explore the beauties of nature from this gorgeous man-made lake. Shadow Mountain Lake offers a beautiful and serene setting with amazing views of the Rockies. It’s deep blue waters make for a very tranquil experience and the lake is vast enough to never feel overcrowded.

  • Cache la Poudre River

Wild Poudre, as it’s known, offers epic, challenging rapids, everything from Class-II to Class-V whitewater. Plus, excellent scenery with granite corridors and falcons soaring overhead. When you think of Colorado whitewater rapids, this is it.

  • Tarryall Reservoir

Finally this medium-sized reservoir is just about as quiet and peaceful as it gets. Perfect for a peaceful day on the water or fishing. Bonus, the pristine body of water is surrounded by 17 free, first-come, first-served campsites.

Store Your Kayak Between Trips

We understand it’s hard to put the kayak away, but you can’t always be on the water. The best way to keep your kayak in top condition and make sure it’s ready for your next adventure is with proper storage. We offer custom log kayak storage racks that can hold up to eight kayaks or canoes, paddle boards and other small recreational water sport vehicles. View our standard kayak racks online or call us at 1-715-543-2006 for custom orders.