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Best Kayak Destinations in Colorado

Looking for a weekend kayaking getaway from the Denver heat? There are so many great ways to make your next kayaking adventure into a mini-vacation. Here are our picks for the best kayak destinations in Colorado that are well worth the extra drive!


Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area: Salida, CO 

This recreation area boasts being known nationally as one of the most popular locations for whitewater kayaking. The Arkansas River itself is the most commercially rafted river in the U.S. Located around two and a half hours away from Denver in the spunky and unique town of Salida. There is a river feature along the portion of the river that goes straight through downtown which allows whitewater kayakers and surfers to practice their moves. Along with whitewater kayaking, adventurers can also find world class mountain biking, hiking, and fishing nearby.


Grand Lake: Grand Lake, CO

Grand Lake is a popular weekend getaway among Denver locals. Located around two hours from downtown, this mountain lake has unbeatable views. It is a great place to explore by kayak. The nearby Lake Granby is another, even larger lake that is super fun to discover by kayak. Because it is a well-populated area with calm water, it is a great location for kids to get out on the water. Grand Lake is also close to some amazing hikes and a mere 30 minutes from Winter Park Resort which has awesome downhill mountain biking trails.


Curecanti National Recreation Area Gunnison, CO

For a more secluded destination, Curecanti National Recreation Area provides a perfect getaway. Located about four hours from Denver near Gunnison, this recreation area is a beautiful piece of Colorado wilderness. Composed of a series of three reservoirs connected by the Gunnison River, it contains numerous hiking trails surrounding its shores as well. The waters are deep and calm which make it great for touring around and exploring the wilderness this recreation area has to provide. Gunnison is a classic mountain town with access to all outdoor activities. Bikers can drive only another 30 minutes to experience the amazing trails Crested Butte Mountain resort has to offer.


These are just a few of the best kayak destinations in Colorado. The mountains are calling; plan your kayaking getaway today!

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