Colorado River Colorado Fly Fishing, Camping, Boating

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Colorado River

The Colorado River flows about 1,450 miles from Rocky Mountain National Park to the Gulf of California, but offers some of the best rafting and fishing near Winter Park, Colorado.

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  • The Colorado River offers great rafting and fishing near Winter Park
  • The best times to experience outdoor recreation on the river is from May to August
  • Get on the Colorado River for some thrilling whitewater rafting
  • Fish the Gold Metal waters where the Colorado and Fraser Rivers merge


With headwaters located in Rocky Mountain National Park, the Colorado River is easily accessible from Winter Park. Visitors to the area find it the ideal spot for many activities, from rafting the thrilling whitewater to fishing the Gold Medal waters.

The river journeys from deep in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, exiting Rocky Mountain National Park to flow into Shadow Mountain Lake. After rushing into Lake Granby further along, it moves parallel to Highway 40 to Kremmling, Colorado and finally to the Utah border.

Location & Information

You can get to the Colorado River from Winter Park by taking US Highway 40 west. Access to the river is available at many spots along the way, including west of Granby where the Fraser River merges with the Colorado, at Hot Sulphur Springs and around Kremmling. Taking Highway 34 north takes you to where the Colorado River flows into Lake Granby and Shadow Mountain Lake.

The Colorado River is accessible all year, but the best times for fishing and rafting are from May through August.

Contact information:
(within national park boundaries)
Rocky Mountain National Park
1000 Highway 36
Estes Park, Colorado 80517


  • Whitewater Rafting and Floating
    The Colorado River contains a wide variety of sections for either exciting whitewater rafting or pleasant floating through amazing scenery. Enjoy the colorful canyons, natural hot springs and much more along the way. The upper part of the river has Class I to III rapids, allowing for great adventures. The Colorado River Scenic Byway and the Kremmling area provide access to some great rafting trips.
  • Fishing
    Exceptional fishing can be found all along the beautiful Colorado River. You can fish within the boundaries of Rocky Mountain National Park and other spots as you continue downstream. You can access lakes with incredible fishing along its course, including Lake Granby and Shadow Mountain Lake. Other popular spots are where the Colorado River and Fraser River merge as well as near Hot Sulphur Springs.

Fun Facts

Taking the Colorado River Headwaters Byway is a 90-minute drive of fabulous Rocky Mountain beauty. This 69-mile drive takes you along the river, past sparkling reservoirs and lovely ranchlands, through canyons, all with the Rocky Mountains as a fairytale-like backdrop.