Description - The "mighty" Colorado is one of the most varied rivers in the state. Although most people think of the lower section of the river which is famous for its whitewater opportunities, the Colorado actually starts out rather small. Although normally thought of as a destination for whitewater sport, it can fish exceptionally well and gets relatively little pressure.
- The Colorado is one of the longest and most varied rivers in the state. It provides some of the finest fishing and whitewater opportunities available in the West. The Colorado varies from spectacular Class VI rapids to gorgeous flat water pools for the fly fisherman. Although popular with many different outdoor enthusiasts, there is more than enough room for everybody. The Colorado River delivers an amazing experience for those who explore it.
Recreation - The different faces of the Colorado make it a popular venue for fishermen, rafters, kayakers, canoeists and swimmers. The Colorado river is a great example of a large and long Western-type fishing stream. Many of the sections of this river receive relatively light fishing pressure so there are many large fish to be had. The Colorado fishes well year round except for the period of discoloration during the spring runoff.
The Colorado is also one of the most popular water ways in the state for river sports. The river varies from placid flat water to nearly impossible whitewater. This river has spectacular whitewater and gorgeous scenery which combine to make it one of the premier destinations for rafters, kayakers and canoeists.
Climate - The Colorado River runs through some rather high elevations. 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 Colorado is a rather cold river. During the spring runoff the river is full of freshly melted snow, and the temperature of the water is rather 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.
The Colorado River headwaters begin in the mountains west of Rocky Mountain National Park (two hours northwest of Denver). The river flows southwest through Dotsero, Glenwood Springs, Rifle, Grand Junction and Fruita before it leaves the state and enters Utah.