10 Best Places for Kayaking in Colorado – Rivers, Reservoirs, Whitewater, Creek

Kayaking in Colorado is one of the most popular water activities performed by outdoor enthusiasts. This amazing state is blessed with many beautiful rivers, reservoirs, waterways, lakes, and more. As the weather here gets really hot during the summer, people love to hit the water with their kayaks, paddleboards, or canoes. No matter if you are a beginner kayaker or a seasoned paddler, there’s something for everybody to do here in Colorado. We will share some of Colorado’s best kayaking spots featuring the Colorado river & lakes, reservoirs, and other famous places. Besides kayaking, you can also do different outdoor activities in many of these places. Where to go kayaking in Colorado? Let’s start the list!

lake dillon colorado

Lake Dillon

Lake Dillon is one of my most favorite kayaking places for its pristine water. Although this is a cool place for kayaking in Colorado, not many people know about this gem, and you could kayak with fewer crowds. The best time to kayak in the lake Dillon is in the morning. The funny thing is it is called a lake, but it is actually a reservoir. You can take your kayak or paddleboard or rent it over there. Besides kayak fishing, you could even go camping, biking, picnic, and more. There are guided kayak tours available on Lake Dillon, and you can book in advance.


Sylvan Lake '16

Sylvan Lake, Colorado

Sylvan lake is famous for its incredible mountainside views. With its picturesque scenic views, one will surely enjoy kayaking on the Sylvan Lakes’ freshwater. This lake is surrounded by the White River National Forest, making it a secret gem. There are year-round activities to do here; for instance, kayaking, canoeing, camping, biking, cabin rentals, and more. Besides kayaking, you can also hike on the 2.3 kilometers long Sylvan Lake loop trail. You can either take a walk with your pet or bring a fishing rod to catch some fishes. Rainbow, cutthroat, brook, and brown trouts are common types of fishes found on the lake. If you are tired of seeing the vas wildlife and kayaking, you can also try skiing over there. In a nutshell, this is a great place for kayaking in Colorado.


IMG_1046 Eleven Mile Reservoir

Eleven Mile Reservoir in Colorado

Eleven Mile Reservoir in the park is a great place for paddlers looking for a relaxing session. This six-mile-long reservoirs system is the second largest of its kind in the Denver water system. Besides paddlers, a lot of other like-minded people like anglers, boaters, hikers, and more visit this place round the year. The park day pass is around seven dollars, and you can even rent kayaks from the spot. You will find two boat ramps and a Mariana in this park. There are a dozen small to large islands in the reservoir to check. Some of those islands come with campsites, but it’s better to call the park to check the availability. Besides the abundant wildlife, there are many other picturesque spots and mountain backdrops to check. Overall, it is a great place for paddling, camping, or taking your family for a picnic.

Kayaking the Arkansas River

Arkansas River

Arkansan river flow through some major U.S. states like Colorado, Kansa, Oklahoma, and Arkansas, of course! Arkansas River starts from the Colorado Rockies and ranks high among the best kayaking spots in Colorado. Besides the easy accessibility and scenic areas, Arkansas River is famous for its class III-IV browns canyon section, royal George or pine Creek for whitewater challenges. There are class I to class IV rapids available on Arkansas River, making it an excellent place for both newbies and seasoned paddlers. The best time of the year to visit the Arkansas River is from May to the end of September. It is a great river for kayaking, but prepare yourself with all the necessary kayaking accessories, and don’t do choppy water if you can’t handle it. Read more about rapid classification.

Evergreen Lake

Evergreen Lake, Colorado

If you search Evergreen lake on Google, you will find that it has an astonishing 4.7 rating out of 5. The city and country of Denver own this fifty-five acres lake with gorgeous mountain views. It’s an excellent place to relax and catch sunsets outside the city. You can rent different types of watercraft at a reasonable price on the spot. If you are lucky, you will be able to get a glimpse of the local deers on the 125 miles long hiking trail. The authority of the lake allows trout fishing, but you need to have a state fishing license. It’s a great place for kayaking in Denver Colorado.

Pueblo Reservoir, Pueblo West, Colorado copy

Pueblo Lake / State Park

If you are a newbie who just wants to learn kayaking, Pueblo Lake is a great place to start. With over sixty miles of shoreline, 10,000 acres of land, and 4,600 surface acres of calm water, Pueblo Lake is a heaven for beginners to learn kayaking. You will have to pay a $7 fee to get into the Lake Pueblo State Park. You will find two boat ramps on the lake and also in the marina. Besides kayaking, you can also go hiking, fishing, picnic, and more. If you are not bringing your own kayak, they have a kayak rental over there. You can also try sailing, moto-boating, waterskiing, prime fishing, canoeing, river tubing, and more. If you are tired of paddling and want to explore by walking, I highly recommend checking the 200-year-old Juniper trees. There are some fire ban policies that I suggest you check before going there. I also suggest you check the views of splendid pikes peak to the north. As you can imagine, this is a popular spot, so if you want to paddle calmy without a lot of water vessels around, I recommend going there during the weekdays.


Elkhead Reservoirs State Park

Elkhead Reservoirs State Park is an excellent place for beaches, boat ramps, amazing wildlife viewing, 15 basic campsites, and more scenic places. Besides that, Elkhead Reservoir stake park also has a new trail system if you like hiking. This 900-acre reservoir comes with a lot of recreational activities and many scenic points. You will have to pay seven dollars for daily passes and more if you want to camp. Besides renting kayaks, you can also get paddleboards and windsurfers. While the Elkhead reservoirs might not be the largest place for kayaking, it is surely a great place for spending some quality time. As it is inside the Yampa river state park, there are around 900 Northwest Colorado acres that are worth exploring. You can come here with camping equipment and spend the time near the reservoirs and do other recreational activities. Note: Due to Covid-19, the authority has closed the place for the rest of the season.


Glenwood Springs Whitewater Park

We Couldn’t Make This List without Including Glenwood Springs Whitewater Park, One of The Best Places to Kayak in Colorado. if You Are Looking for Kayaking in Colorado Springs, Glenwood Whitewater Park Is a Great Start! No Matter if You Are Into Kayaking or Stand up Paddleboarding, You Will Love This Place. as You Can Already Imagine, This Is the First Human-Made Whitewater Feature Built on Any Stretch of The Colorado River. the Primary Signage Feature of The Are Is the Standing Web, Knows as A G-Wave. It Can Flow from 4,000 to 22,000 Cubic Feet per Second. There Are Other Cool Features Like Rafting, Playboating, Duckies, and More. Please wear appropriate kayak helmets.


First Drop

Boulder Creek Whitewater Park Colorado

Boulder Creek is a top-rated destination in Colorado for different water activities like tubing, kayaking, swimming, and more. Even though it is mainly famous for tubing rides, kayak beginners can also do fun kayaking practices. There are renting places where you can rent tubes and kayaks. Please note that the park was built before the modern-day playboats. So, some of the drops and places maybe a little dangerous than you assume. The three-mile-long Eben G Fine Park to CU Greenhouse Creek in Colorado is classified as a whitewater class II-III section.

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An avid kayaker, trying to find the meaning of life by paddling and exploring!

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