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General Information

Description - The Eagle is a beautiful river especially in the fall. This is a medium-sized, freestone stream that averages 45-50 feet across. The wild trout which are colorful and strong combine with the spectacular scenery creating a magnificent experience.

Recreation - If there is a "meat and potatoes" kind of trout stream in Colorado, its the Eagle River. Much of the 70-plus mile river is open to public fishing. One can wade the Eagle during much of its prime season. It contains all the classic types of challenging fishing water. The hatches are many, varied, and predictable. And Eagle River trout, while not terribly selective, are not pushovers.

The medium-sized, freestone stream averages 45-50 feet across with flows between 275-350 c.f.s. Runoff typically begins mid-May, with the river becoming wade-able again by mid to late July. Floating the Eagle is quite popular during a special period after runoff when the water clears. This is usually from early June until the river drops so low it cant be floated. Be careful: The Eagle is a rocky, technical river with a number of tight, class IV rapids during high water. Hire a knowledgeable outfitter if you plan to float. Plus, there is a lot of private water, so watch for signs.

The Eagle offers exciting raft trips from Interstate 70 at the town of Wolcott. The river flows by colorful canyons of red, yellow and pale brown sandstone dotted with piƱon and juniper woodlands and verdant cottonwood grove. This exciting river trip is eight miles long and takes 3-4 hours to run. Its BLM access point in Wolcott has a boat launch, fishing, camping and toilet facilities for overnight visitors. Much of the river traverses privately owned land and public access sites are limited. Boaters can exit the river on public land at the Eagle City Park.

Climate - The elevation of the Eagle River ranges from 5,000 to 12,000 feet. Persons coming from lower elevations should be aware that time is needed to adjust to the higher elevations.

Warm days and cool to freezing nights can be expected in the mountains during the summer. July and August are usually the warmest months. During this time afternoon thunderstorms are common. Be prepared for both warm and chilly weather, as well as for rain showers.

Being at high elevation and fueled mainly by melting snow, the Eagle is a rather cold river. During the spring runoff the river is full of freshly melted snow, and the temperature of the water is especially cold.
Please make sure that you dress appropriately when participating in whitewater sports. Wear shoes that can protect feet if you bounce off rocks or walk out of a canyon in the event of an accident. Wet suits are mandatory when air and water temperature added together total 100 degrees or less. If total is less than 80 degrees, a full set of waterproof or wool garments on top of the wet suit should be worn.

Location - The Eagle is a freestone river that runs from above Leadville down to the confluence with the Colorado River at Dotsero on Interstate 70. To reach the Eagle, drive west on I-70 (from Denver) to Highway 24, west of Vail. This is also called Highway 6 which parallels the river all the way to Dotsero. The upper sections are reached by going south on Highways 6 & 24, just west of Vail.

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More Information

Additional Information:
Colorado Rivers & Streams - Colorado's rivers and streams are characterized by steep continuous drops in the mountains and slow moving big rivers in the plains. In the west the Colorado river and its many tributaries cut through the desert. Excellent fishing opportunities can be found throughout the state.
Northwest Region - This diverse area encompasses mountains and high desert. The terrain supports a huge variety of recreation opportunities and some of Colorado's world famous resorts.

Vail Portal - Local news and information from Vail, plus links to other local businesses.


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