|The Colorado River is a major water source for the states of Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, California, Arizona and Nevada, draining a significant amount of snowmelt water all along the western half of Colorado. The river begins at an elevation of about 10,000 feet MSL in the Rocky Mountains of Grand County, Colorado near Silver Creek on the western edge of Arapaho National Recreation Area northwest of Denver. From its headwaters the Colorado River flows west through Glenwood Springs and Grand Junction, into Utah then down to Lake Powell on the Utah-Arizona border, where it begins to cut the Grand Canyon. The river then flows through the Grand Canyon to Lake Mead on the Arizona-Nevada border before heading south along the Arizona-California border to its mouth at the Sea of Cortez. Along the way, the Colorado River flows more than 1,400 miles, mostly through three deserts.
Click the links below for information regarding the section of the Colorado River and its tributaries where you want to paddle.
In the State of Colorado, the river flows through an area of very heavy snowfall that creates a great paddling stream with several tributaries, many of which are excellent flatwater and/or whitewater runs including the Roaring Fork, Fryingpan, Crystal, Parachute, Gunnison, East Salt and West Salt Rivers, among others. For all its water, many sections of the Colorado have very short paddling seasons due to diversions for residential, commercial and industrial uses above and below the river from Denver to the Utah border west of Grand Junction. Some sections offer easy flatwater paddling that anybody can enjoy, while other sections feature raging, expert-level whitewater. The Colorado River offers many side trips in canyons, rivers and creeks that join the river along its journey across Colorado. The scenery ranges from beautiful Rocky Mountains covered with tall aspen, spruce and other trees to the high desert of western Colorado and eastern Utah. If variety is the spice of life, then the Colorado offers a taste of whatever moves you.
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