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Eagle River, Colorado
Report by Marc W. McCord

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SOAR Inflatable Canoes - Somewhere On A River

The Eagle River flows from its source in the White River National Forest in Eagle County of west central Colorado in a westerly direction to its confluence with the Colorado River east of Gypsum. Most of the river is paralleled by IH 70 and SH 6, while the headwaters stretch runs alongsside US Highway 24. Homestake Creek, a tributary of the Eagle River, has a steep gradient of 480 FPM, but most of the river is not quite as steep. The scenery is just gorgeous, and exemplifies Colorado whitewater rivers.

Various sections of the Eagle River, with its short season, range in difficulty from playful Class II to raging Class V whitewater. Gore Creek, a major tributary, flows through the ski resort town of Vail to join the Eagle at Dowd Chute. There are many feeder creeks that, for qualified boaters, offer excellent trips with techncial drops. Other than Homestake Creek, the Eagle is runnable in rafts, as well as kayaks, though some sections are recommended for expert paddlers only. Some sections can be run in canoes, though whitewater outfitting is strongly recommended.

Beginning amid aspen and spruce forests, the river flows to the high desert with its juniper trees and sagebrush. near Edwards, the Eagle begins to widen and the rapids become more "manageable". From Gilman Gorge through the Lower Eagle the river flows about 32.5 miles, though the total length is longer. Campsites can be scarce during the early to mid-summer season, when paddlers vie for space with construction workers that flock to the Eagle Valley every summer.

Click the links below for information regarding the section of the Eagle River and its tributaries where you want to paddle.

[ Gilman Gorge ] [ Dowd Chute ] [ Upper Eagle ] [ Lower Eagle ] [ Gore Creek ]

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© February 15, 2003. All rights reserved.
Last updated September 2, 2015

Copyright © 1998-2015, Marc W. McCord dba CobraGraphics. All rights reserved. Southwest Paddler, CobraGraphics and Canoeman River Guide Services are trademarks of Marc W. McCord dba CobraGraphics. The textual, graphic, audio, and audio/visual material in this site is protected by United States copyright law and international treaties. You may not copy, distribute, or use these materials except for your personal, non-commercial use. Any trademarks are the property of their respective owners. All original photographs on this web site are the exclusive property of Marc W. McCord or other designated photographers and may not be copied, duplicated, reproduced, distributed or used in any manner without prior written permission under penalty of US and International laws and treaties.