Surf Colorado! Whitewater fans rejoice as there are numerous options for getting wet right around Denver. Luckily for all of you that have spent winter wishing they can go kayaking, we have multiple spots within minutes of DU that are always raging in the spring.
Golden Kayak Park
Overview: Good little park to get some practice in at with a variety of features. This class III course is about a 1/4 mile long so it gives you some good riding time overall. Divided into three different sections focusing on unique features makes this a great park to practice drops, pools, and fast eddies. Free to use.
Best Times for Visit: When the water is flowing above 300 CFS. Anything less then that and you will be stuck on rocks.
Directions: From DU: Take I-25 North and exit West on 6th avenue (exit 209). Head west on 6th past the I-70 exit as it wraps around towards the City of Golden. At the major stoplight in Golden hang a right on HWY 58. Immediately take the exit for 8th Avenue following it and take a right on Illionis St. At 10th take a right and park near Maple near the park and ballfields. 10th St & Maple St, Golden, CO 80401. Drive time from DU: 25 Minutes.
Resources: Park Website: http://ci.golden.co.us/Page.asp?NavID=203
Confluence Kayak Park in Denver
Overview: Located in the heart of Denver, this park is more for show then for real kayaking. The park is at the confluence of Cherry Creek and the S. Platte and is right by the REI flagship store. While the park is pretty good the water quality is not the greatest due to the rivers passing through some industrial areas, however hard to beat considering how close it is. Free to use.
Best Times for Visit: When you are desperate for some kayaking. Otherwise Spring when the water is running high and fast to flush all of those chemicals out.
Directions: From DU: Take I-25 North and exit on 23rd street (exit 211). Merge onto Water st and continue down to the area before the underpass. Park anywhere around here or in REI’s lot if you can’t find anything else. Drive time from DU: <10 Minutes.
Overview: When the flows are good this is the best spot in the Denver Metro area for kayaking. With multiple play holes on the roughly 300 yards of Class III water, this spot is great to get in a lot of practice in the Spring before you get into bigger water.
Best Times for Visit: When water is at least 700 CFS, 900+ is ideal. Flows are highly unpredictable do to the way the dam system is set-up.
Directions: From DU: Head west Evans Ave and then head South (left) on Santa Fe Blvd. Drive for about until Union Avenue and exit to the West (right) (if you hit Belleview you have gone too far). Cross the south Platte and look for the parking area on the north river-left. Drive time from DU: 15 mins.
Kayaking is a dangerous sport that requires years of experience and knowledge to do safely. Please always make sure that you are using proper safety gear such as a PFD and helmet. Always use the buddy system and understand the river before getting into it.