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AW in the West

The West may be known for its wide open spaces, yet boaters also recognize that many of the continent's mightiest rivers have their headwaters in this region, including the Colorado River and Salmon. Given the strict water law in these states, it's a wonder that the public is left any water to recreate on and the fish any water habitat to breed. Yet, with our focus on conservation and access, we are trying to protect the environment, rivers, and water that the public adores in this majestic landscape.

Protect Idaho Rivers Through Your Summer Adventures

posted May 9, 2018
by Kevin Colburn
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Paddle for a cause this summer in beautiful central Idaho! The Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest will determine which streams to protect for potential Wild and Scenic designation through their forest plan over the coming year. Many of the streams under consideration are exceptional in part because they are remote and hard to access. That is where you come in. The Forest Service, the public, and politicians need to receive compelling photos, videos, and personal stories featuring these streams. If you are planning a trip into the wilds of Idaho this summer, you can help protect some amazing streams by sharing your experiences. 

2018 Colorado Whitewater Events

posted April 2, 2018
by Kestrel Kunz
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It's that time of year folks! Colorado Event Season is soon upon us. Whether you've been training all winter in preparation or whether you just enjoy a good show and boating with your friends, these classic Colorado river events are not to miss! 

In addition to the many whitewater festivals that American Whitewater partners with in Colorado, we are excited to announce that AW is hosting Gore Fest again this year! We hope to see you at Rancho Del Rio on August 24 - 26. Stay tuned for more details on race registration, entertainment, and volunteer opportunities.

TAKE ACTION: Comment on the Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area Management Plan

posted November 1, 2017
by Kestrel Kunz
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ARKANSAS RIVER, Colo. - The Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area (AHRA) is revising their Management Plan for the first time since 2001. The new Draft Plan was made publicly available in October and the AHRA is accepting public comments through November 10, 2017 (next week!). In order to design effective and productive comments, American Whitewater has thoroughly reviewed the Draft Plan, discussed the Plan with our local Affiliate Clubs, attended AHRA Public Open Houses, and reached out to key members of the local paddling community. To make it easy for you to SUBMIT YOUR COMMENTS, American Whitewater staff have compiled our key concerns and comments for your review. 

Colorado Honors the legacy of Matt Brown

posted October 30, 2017
by Nathan Fey
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Gunnison, Colorado - Last Wednesday, Matt Brown - longtime river guide, adventurer, and pillar of the Gunnison Valley community- passed away tragically after an accident in Moab. Matt was so much to so many.  At the request of his family and friends, contributions in Matt's memory can be made to American Whitewater’s River Access work in Colorado.  Matt was a strong ally and advisor in our work to protect the public’s rights to float and fish in the State.  We miss him immensely.

Comments needed on Upper Colorado River Recreation Area Management Plan

posted August 28, 2017
by Nathan Fey
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Kremmling, Colorado - The Bureau of Land Management has released for public review and comment a set of preliminary alternatives for managing about 40 miles of the Upper Colorado River between Parshall and State Bridge - including Gore Canyon and Pumphouse. This is your chance to weigh in on whether there should be a day-use permit;  a camping permit with designated campsites in the popular stretch between Pumphouse and State Bridge; and expanding the developed Pumphouse Campground.

Gore Fest 2017 is a few weeks away!

posted August 9, 2017
by Nathan Fey
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Bond, Colorado - American Whitewater is presenting Gore Canyon Festival - August 25-27th 2017Online registration is open and there are events for everyone, so sign up today! 

Save The Date: Wild West River Fest (WY)

posted July 3, 2017
by Kestrel Kunz
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Cody, Wyoming - This August 19 & 20 the Wild West Paddle Club is hosting the 2017 Wild West River Fest in Cody, Wyoming. In celebration of the beautiful Shoshone River, the Fest has events for everyone - Slalom Race, Class II Sprint, Shoshone Canyon Boater Cross, and many other fun activities for the whole family! Weekend festivities are free to the public, with the exception of race registration fees for competitors. You can find a full schedule here and all competitors need to register online in advance.  

A Successful River Cleanup on the St. Vrain (Lyons, CO)

posted June 7, 2017
by Kestrel Kunz
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On Sunday, nearly 50 people gathered on the banks of the St. Vrain River to pick up trash from the water and the shoreline. We started the day off with Hotbox Roasters coffee and donuts, and a few words about River Stewardship – the common cause that brought us all together. We found bedframes, rusty nails, lawn chairs, car doors, plastic water bottles, candy wrappers, fast food containers, and it doesn’t stop there. Our findings are likely a combination of leftover debris from the floods, illegal waste dumping along the river, and built up trash from years of careless passers-by. Thank you to all those that came out for the river cleanup! American Whitewater depends on our affiliate clubs, members, and dedicated volunteers in order to tackle our many River Stewardship projects.  

SAVE THE DATE! Join AW for a river cleanup on the St. Vrain, June 4 - Lyons, CO

posted May 4, 2017
by Kestrel Kunz
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Come one, come all! American Whitewater has teamed up with the CAN'd Aid Foundation and Avid4 Adventure to host a river float and cleanup along the St. Vrain during the 2017 Lyons Outdoor Games festival in Lyons, Colorado. Register online to volunteer @ http://bit.ly/2oQNcBvJoin us at Bohn Park at 9:30am for Hotbox Roasters coffee, donuts, and registration. After the cleanup, we'll head to Oskar Blues Grill & Brew for some brews and apps on the patio. Each volunteer will receive one FREE Oskar Blues Brewery core beer. See you there! 


Green River Boat Passage Officially Open! - UT

posted April 6, 2017
by Kestrel Kunz
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American Whitewater staff traveled to Green River, UT in late March to meet with private water users and state agencies, and to participate in the official opening of the new boat passage through the Green River Diversion (Tusher Dam). Completion of the boat passage has freed the Green River from its last in-stream obstruction between the Flaming Gorge Dam and the confluence with the Colorado River – over 400 floatable river miles through iconic canyons and historic landmarks. It has a been a long process, and our work isn’t over yet! As your boating representative, American Whitewater will continue to work closely with the dam operators and Utah’s Division of State Lands (FFSL) to ensure that the boat passage meets the needs of the public during its inaugural year.

Releases to Lower Dolores River certain in 2017.

posted February 17, 2017
by Nathan Fey
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Cortez, Colorado - Last week, American Whitewater met with local water managers, fisheries biologists, an other interests in Dolores River water, to start negotiating releases from McPhee Dam - like we do every spring.  This year, things are looking very good for the Dolores...

Upper Colorado River Access funded by Land & Water Conservation Fund - CO

posted February 6, 2017
by Nathan Fey
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Dotsero, Colorado - A key river access point on the Upper Colorado river, once threatened with closure, has now been permanently protected through a partnership between BLM and Eagle County. 

One more day to submit input on Colorado's Brown Canyon National Monument!

posted January 17, 2017
by Kestrel Kunz
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There is only one more day left to share what you value most in the Browns Canyon National Monument planning area! The Bureau of Land Management, U.S Forest Service, and Colorado Parks and Wildlife are working together to develop a Coordinated Management Plan for Browns Canyon National Monument. In order to design a plan that most benefits citizens and visitors of Colorado, the agencies designed an Online Survey and Mapping Tool to understand how the public interacts with the Browns Canyon planning area and what aspects of the area are most important to the public.


New Report on Impact to San Miguel River From Proposed Reservoirs

posted January 9, 2017
by Evan Stafford
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Colorado - American Whitewater has released a new study on whitewater recreation in the San Miguel River Basin. The Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) requested that Montrose County consult with American Whitewater on recreational needs and future impacts for the San Miguel River. Montrose County acquired conditional water rights to the San Miguel River in hopes of building multiple new reservoirs on BLM land. American Whitewater worked with Montrose County’s agents to assess the impact its conditional storage proposals would have on existing recreational opportunities. 

Proposed Asphalt and Gravel Mine threatens the Upper Colorado River

posted December 6, 2016
by Evan Stafford
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A new proposal to allow the development of a 90- acre open pit mine in Eagle County at the gateway to the Colorado River has local river users asking questions. We encourage everyone to attend an Open House December 6 at 6 PM at the Gypsum Recreation Center, and to make your voices heard at the Town Council meeting where they will discuss the application on December 13 at 7 PM.



Counting down to the 2016 Gore Canyon Festival!

posted August 2, 2016
by Nathan Fey
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Colorado - American Whitewater is excited to host this year’s Gore Canyon Festival - building on the 30+ year legacy of the Gore Canyon downriver race, with a freestyle rodeo, SUP races and demos, and family floats this year. Register as a competitor, or volunteeer to help with logistics or safety today!

Federal Land Managers Improve Boater Access for Dolores River - CO

posted February 14, 2012
by Nathan Fey
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A big thank-you goes out to the Dolores Public Lands Office in SW Colorado, for coordinating work on the Gypsum Valley boat launch site on the Dolores River.    The Bureau of Land Management and the US Forest Service's "Service First" program took the lead on this project and coordinated with the Army Corps of Engineers. The project demonstrates a growing partnership between local boaters and federal land managers.

River Access Task Force Submits Recommendations to Colorado Governor

posted February 2, 2011
by Nathan Fey
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Colorado - On December 23, Governor Bill Ritter issued a report outlining a series of proposals for resolving disputes between landowners and rafters in Colorado. He also signed an executive order creating the River Access Mediation Commission to provide a way for some of the most contentious conflicts between boaters and property owners to be addressed. The Governor’s River Access Dispute Resolution Task Force was a 17-member group created in July of 2010 to help craft ways to sort out conflicts on Colorado rivers on a stretch-by-stretch basis as those disputes arise.

October Volunteer Of The Month - Presented By Kokatat

posted September 28, 2010
by Nathan Fey
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American Whitewater is pleased to recognize Ian Foley as our Volunteer of the Month!

Ian invested an immeasurable amount of personal time and resources in coordinating releases on the North Fork of the South Platte River in Colorado. Ian worked closely with staff at the Denver Water Board to provide an additional 300cfs for the first annual Bailey Festival.


Thanks Ian! In recognition of his efforts, Ian will be receiving a custom OuterCore Long-Sleeve Shirt from Kokatat!

Take Action-Protect Your Right to Float in Colorado!

posted February 11, 2010
by Nathan Fey
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Whether you are a Colorado Resident, or someone who travels to Colorado to hit the peak paddling season each year, we need your help to ensure all boaters have safe access on all Colorado rivers.  AW asks that you Contact Colorado's State Legislators and Urge them to Add Private Boaters to the “River Outfitter Bill”.

Draft EIS released for Denver Water's Moffat Collection System

posted November 2, 2009
by Nathan Fey
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To meet their projected future water needs, Denver Water proposes to develop 18,000 acre-feet per year of new water from the Upper Colorado River basin.  Denver Water's  prefered project, currently being evaluated by the Army Coprs of Engineers (ACOE), includes raising Gross Reservoir on South Boulder Creek in Boulder County to store an additional 72,000 acre-feet of water from the Fraser River and Upper Colorado basin.

AW is evaluating how severely the project will impact paddling opportunities in the Upper Colorado and Boulder Creek drainages.

For more info, attend one of three public hearings announced by the ACOE.

Comment Period Extended for Regional Watershed Supply Project (CO/WY)

posted August 27, 2009
by Nathan Fey
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Public Notice - Regional Watershed Supply Project proposed by Million Conservation Resource Group.

The U. S. Army Corps of Engineers announces the scoping comment period for the Flaming Gorge/Green River Pumpback has been extended to September 28, 2009.

AW Preserving Boating Opportunities on the Upper Colorado River

posted August 25, 2009
by Nathan Fey
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By the end of September, the Upper Colorado River Stakeholders Group will submit a local resource management plan alternative for the US BLM's Kremmling and Glenwood Springs Field Offices.  American Whitewater has worked for over two years to represent paddlers in the negotiations, ensuring the plan explicitly protects flows that support a range of outstanding boating opportunities in Gore Canyon, Pumphouse, and Glenwood Canyon. The alternative plan crafted by the group seeks to balance permanent protection for recreational values in the Colorado River; water project yield; flexibility for water managers; and certainty for stakeholders.

Upcoming Events

Calendar Control Date:
Calendar by Date by Title

August 2018

Gore Canyon Festival
11:46 am -11:46 am est
1500-750 cfs

Gore Canyon Festival
11:46 am -11:46 am est
1500-750 cfs


Swan River Releases Bigfork,MT runs 07/04/07 - 08/30/17
[+] favorites
Dolores River Releases Delores,CO runs 04/01/08 - 06/30/08
[+] favorites
Bear River Releases Oneida,ID runs 05/03/08 - 05/06/18
[+] favorites
CKS PaddleFest Buena Vista,CO runs 05/27/16 - 05/29/16
[+] favorites
Dolores River Releases Dolores,CO runs 04/01/17 - 04/01/17
[+] favorites
Ogden GNARrows Down River Race 2017 Ogden,UT runs 09/23/17 - 09/23/17
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Ogden GNARrows Down River Race 2017 Ogden,UT runs 09/23/17 - 09/23/17
[+] favorites
Gore Canyon Festival Bond,CO runs 08/24/18 - 08/26/18, next 08/24/18
[+] favorites

Associated News

2010 Gore Canyon Race
August 17, 2010

Associated Projects

  • Bear River Restoration (ID)
    Hydropower relicensing on the Bear River offered an opportunity to restore aquatic resources and recreational opportunities on this river.
  • Boundary Creek (ID)
    AW lead the charge to stop a dam and diversion project from being built on Northern Idaho's stunning and remote Boundary Creek.
  • Clean Water Act
    American Whitewater's advocacy to protect water quality.
  • Colorado River Access (CO)
    The decades old debate over public use of waterways in Colorado continues, and AW is working to protect the rights of all paddlers to enjoy Colorado's Rivers.
  • Colorado SWSI (CO)
    Colorado's Statewide Water Supply Initiative may very well determine the fate of Colorado's whitewater rivers by dictating how much water can be removed from rivers to serve a growing population.
  • Conservation System
    The National Landscape Conservation System represents the crown jewels of BLM lands and rivers.
  • Dolores River (CO)
    American Whitewater is working to conserve and restore a dynamic, healthy Dolores River by leveraging recreational water needs to enhance and support in-stream flows.
  • Grand Canyon
    American Whitewater has long worked on the Grand Canyon of the Colorado River. From fighting dam proposal decades ago, to advocating for equitable access in the recent development of a new management
  • Green River (WY/UT/CO)
    A private firm in Colorado has identified the Green River in Wyoming as a potential source of new water supplies for Colorado's growing East Slope. The proposal to divert more than 250,000 acre-feet o
  • Lower Salmon River (ID)
    The Lower Salmon River offers a wonderful multi-day river trip managed by the BLM, yet us under-protected compared to most other multi-day destinations. AW has worked with the BLM on recreational man
  • Milltown Dam Removal (MT)
    AW participated in this landmark dam removal process throughout the FERC process.
  • Milner Whitewater (ID)
    AW supports the efforts of local paddlers who have advocated for whitewater recreation on the Milner Mile.
  • Montana Headwaters
    The Montana Headwaters Campaign is a creative grassroots approach to conserving some of Montana's and the continents most incredible rivers. American Whitewater is one of the champions of this issue,
  • Say Thanks for Designating Browns Canyon
    Stub description
  • Snake Headwaters (WY)
    American Whitewater joined a coalition of partners to designate the Snake Headwaters as Wild and Scenic.
  • Swan River, Bigfork Hydro (MT)
    AW negotiated scheduled recreational releases, flow information, public access, and land protection as part of a new hydro license on the Swan River in Montana.
  • Upper Colorado River (CO)
    American Whitewater is working with various stakeholders to develop a resource management plan for the BLM, as an alternative to "Wild and Scenic River" management.
  • Virgin River (UT)
    AW advocates for paddling opportunities and stewardship of the Virgin River.
  • West Rosebud (MT)
    AW is working with Beartooth Paddlers on the relicensing of the Mystic Lake Hydroelectric Project on West Rosebud Creek
  • Windy Gap Firming Project (CO)
    American Whitewater is working to protect outstanding paddling opportunities in Colorado, and a healthy Colorado River system from future water development.
  • Yampa River (CO)
    AW is working to preserve the free-flowing character of the Yampa River, while multiple interests set their sights on the Yampa as a new source for clean, high quality water supplies for Oil and Gas d
  • Yellowstone and Grand Teton
    AW has advocated for opportunities to experience the incredible rivers of Yellowstone National and Grand Teton National Parks through paddling.