This photo needs editing.
Difficulty II-IV
Length 18 Miles
Gauge TAYLOR RIVER AT ALMONT, CO.
Flow Range 400 - 3000 CFS
Flow Rate as of: 4 months ago 115 [CFS] ℹ️
Reach Info Last Updated 06/30/2018 9:57 pm

River Description


The Taylor River is stunning and beautiful with alpine scenery, a boulder-strewn course through the pines offering up whitewater at different levels.

Another great thing about the Taylor River is options:

The top reasonably boatable section, there are serious access problems above here, begins at Lottis Creek Campground.

The first rapid; Lottis Creek, appears immediately. It is a long Class IV boulder garden. Next comes several miles of rock gardens alternating with more placid sections.
Todd's Slot is the best known drop on the river and is a technical Class IV / IV rapid. It is a bit complex and has killed so take a look at this rapid.
Below Todd's Slot are miles of beautiful continuous Class III mountain water to the takeout by the Bridge right above a the Three Rivers resort.
Below this bridge to Almont the river steadly decreases in gradient until it is a placid Class II stream where it meets the East River at Almont to form the Gunnison River.
The top miles below Lottis Creek drop at about 80 FPM with the gradient steadly decreasing to 20 FPM at Almont.
 This is a trophy trout stream with constant releases all summer to maintain the fishery. Watch for wood, especially given the fast pace of the water. The Taylor River is known for being woody, its Colorado.

There are serious access issues because of all the big trout fisherman homes along the banks but access is certainly possible at several good locations. This is 'Merika!

The Taylor is a superb Beginner (near Almont), Intermediate (below Todd's slot) and Advanced (from Lottis Creek) river and will have water when most everything else is dry.

For best gauge see: The gauge below the dam:

 
[The one linked is at Almont which also includes Spring Creek, which comes in below the South Bank takeout.]

Rapid Descriptions

The Slot

Class - N/A Mile - 2
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

constricted bend in the river with strong hydraulics

Comments

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Colton Bryant
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5 years ago

The taylor is an amazing river. Lottis Staircase, the uppermost rapid on the river begins right below the Lottis Creek Campground. This rapid is boney and technical at low flows, and has powerful hydraulics forming at higher levels. This rapid can be run by itself by taking out at Lodgepole campground about 3 miles below the put in, or as the beginning of a longer run by continuing down to the lower river access points. After Lottis the river flows through private property and can be very difficult to run in low water conditions. The next serious rapid is Todd's Slot several miles downstream. SCOUT!!! This rapid is very tricky as has several hazards including a river right strainer, a large undercut rock, and a nasty sieve following the most technical part of the rapid. The line at low water is to hit the left to right slot and then backpaddle hard around a large center river rock where the water is piling up. Next on the river comes initiation rapid. Initiation is standard class III with a couple tricky moves. Try not to swim because its the longest rapid on the run. Next is left hand move. Enter right of the river left rocks and move downstream until you come to the boulder field that appears to block the river. At this point charge river left to hit a small gap in the rocks. Several straightforward class III's follow left hand. At low flows these can be tricky to read but pose no serious problems. The next serious section is known as Tombstone. This section of the river has several class III rapids in quick succession. First is narrows about a mile below left hand. follow the current and you'll be fine. Then comes toilet bowl, a right to left spinning drop that sends you right towards tombstone. Tombstone is a massive rock blocking most of the rivers that will flip boats easily. Stay river left of tombstone and be ready to set up for the next move, the goalposts. The goalposts are two rocks with a narrow gap in between them. Hit the gap and stay off left goal post. It can flip boats quickly and send you for a nasty swim. After goalposts are several more class III moves but none of them pose any particular hazards. From here down the river has a few tricky rapids but consists mostly of straightforward read-n-run class III. The last really tricky rapid is Vito's spin move. This rapid is easily recognizable by the boulder field that appears to block the entire river. Two lines exist at normal flows. The easiest is to run left to right hitting a tight gap in the middle of the river to squeeze through the rapid. The other line is to run river right and spin through the rapid to make some tight turns and tight gaps in the rocks. This rapid can flip boats at high flows. Continue to the takeout a few miles downstream at South Bank or continue down into the middle taylor. If you continue down past Harmel's resort, the river gets tricky. Its all private property on the middle and the several man made rapids make this section tricky. Use caution if you decide to boat past south bank and don't get out of your boat. The landowners have cameras on the river and banks.

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Chris Kelly
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8 months ago

The Taylor is a stunning river; beautiful alpine scenery, a boulder strewn course through the pines and lots of whitewater at different levels. The great thing about the Taylor is that you can pick your poison. The top reasonably boatable section (there are serious access problems above here) begins at Lottus Creek Campground. The first rapid; Lottus Creek, appears immediately. It is a long class IV boulder garden. Next comes several miles of rock gardens alternating with more placid sections. Todd's Slot is the best known drop on the river and is a technical class IV- or IV rapid. It is a bit complex and has killed so take a look. Below Todd's slot are miles of beautiful continous class III mountain water to the takeout by the Bridge right above a resort (can't remember the name). Below this bridge to Almont the river steadly decreases in gradient until it is a placid class II stream where it meets the East River at Almont to form the Gunnison. The top miles below Lottus Creek drop at about 80 fpm with the gradient steadly decreasing to 20 fpm at Almont. I have been paddling it for about 15 years. My sense of the river in the early days was often: &;oh damn! If this gets any harder I am screwed; but it just never got above that point. This is a trophy trout stream so it has constant releases all summer to maintain the fishery. Watch for wood, espicialy given the fast pace of the water. Most of my runs have involved at least one portage because of lumber in the river. The Taylor is a superb Beginner (near Almont), intermediate (below Todd's slot) and advanced (from Lottus Creek) river and will have water when most everything else is dry. Chris Kelly

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Jon Vick
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7 months ago

The River Description for the Taylor has some serious mistakes in its milestones and needs to be revised. The locals divide the Taylor into the Upper Taylor and Lower Taylor sections. The Upper Taylor is an 8 mile section that begins at Lottis Creek Campground and ends at Southbank R.A.P, just above a highway bridge that is just above Scenic River Tours upper shop (the lower one being in downtown Gunnison. The folks at Scenic were very cool in helping us set up our shuttle when my vehicle broke down. The locals call "Todd's Slot" The Slot. IT IS NOT AT MILE 2. It is at mile 4, at the commercial rafting put-in. I am a class III+ IK boater who ran the Upper Taylor two weekends ago in mid July It is a beautiful gem of a class III river at around 250 cfs. After starting just down the road from Lottis Creek Campground, I immediately encountered a fun boulder garden warm-up before hitting the constricted series of fun drops known as Lottis Staircase. After some fun class II+ whitewater below through mile 2.5, I then entered into Diversion Jungle, a stretch of river modified with at least twenty boulder-constructed low-head dams to provide prime fly fishing for the customers of the private retreat owners of the banks encapsulating the river in that section. I expected to be confronted by property owners who do not understand boating easement law, but did not encounter any, even though I was clearly visible in my orange AIRE Force for over a mile. Upon exiting the private stretch, the natural bouldery drops of the river resumed. Then I hit The Slot. I was very fortunate to meet a local hard shell boater named Jay at this point, and I followed him through the final 3.9 mile section below The Slot, which commercial raft companies do not run. One can definitely see how The Slot becomes a IV/V in bigger water. I would call it a class III+ at 250 water when scouted, an a IV if not scouted. The Upper Taylor is very easy to scout from the road. The final 3.8 miles down to Southbank is a super-fun, nicely channelized class II/III run at low water with many continuous whitewater sections and numerous chutes. It was a little scrapey in a few places at 250. Jay says his favorite level is 500 cfs, with 1000 being fun but short. There are a few logs to watch for, but all of them were old, river-worn and out of the channel. I did encounter one riverwide Douglas Fir above The Slot, but was able to easily step over it at river's edge at 250 cfs. After the take-out at Southbank (mile 8) the river flattens out and heads into Harmel's fishing resort. The owner says he will tolerate small parties of private boaters who are considerate to the anglers vacationing there. I looked at Harmel's section of river and didn't consider it worth bothering the fishermen. I say live and let live and don't bother with this section of the river. After that the river continues on into very unwelcoming private property for the next several river miles, with cables stretched across the river and rumors that the owners have made citizens arrests of any and all they consider trespassers. Again I say live and let live and leave these crusty old curmudgeons be. Below this hostile stretch is the put-in for the Lower Taylor, called Five Mile put in. From here, a very fun class II stretch is available all the way down to the highway take-out just below Three Rivers Resort and the Taylor/East River confluence. At this point the Legendary Gunnison River begins, and intermediate boaters can enjoy a long ride all the way to Gunnison Whitewater Park and beyond on safe levels of water. The whole Gunnison/Almont/Crested Butte area is a wonderful place for a whitewater vacation and so many other activities, and I would highly recommend it as an affordable family vacation or as an introduction to paddling for beginners at safe water levels.

Summary of Gauge Readings

Per Blaine P:
The gauge below the dam is the correct gauge for the Taylor run.
See::
 
The one linked is at Almont which also includes Spring Creek, which comes in below the South Bank takeout. Significant differences.
 

 

https://waterdata.usgs.gov/co/nwis/dv/?site_no=09109000&PARAmeter_cd=00060

Gauge NameReadingTimeComment
TAYLOR RIVER AT ALMONT, CO.
AW Gauge Info
115 cfs ℹ️ 126d03h00m The Taylor River below Taylor Park Reservoir gauge is at: https://waterdata.usgs.gov/co/nwis/dv/?site_no=09109000&PARAmeter_cd=00060
;

Permits

NA

Directions Description


We have no additional detail on this route. Use the map below to calculate how to arrive to the main town from your zipcode.

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Date Flow Result Factor  
2017-06-21 High Fatality High Water Read More

Alerts

   

News

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2013 Gunnison Flow Survey is live. Share your thoughts & protect rivers!

2013-04-30 18:18:00-04
Chris Menges

American Whitewater (AW) is pleased to announce the launch of our 2013 Gunnison River Basin Flow Survey. By participating in the survey, you can help us define recreational flow needs thoughout the Basin, and protect flows in the future. Your participation is incredibly valuable; the more responses we get, the more robust our findings will be which will strengthen our represention of paddler interest.

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Gunnison and Crested Butte, CO paddlers meetings - May 21 and 23

2013-05-16 14:32:00-04
Chris Menges

AW will be hosting public meetings for local boaters in Gunnison, CO on May 21 and in Crested Butte, CO on May 23. These ‘regional paddlers dialogues’ are a part of our efforts to define and protect recreational flow needs throughout the seven-state Colorado River Basin, including many stream segments throughout the Gunnison Basin.

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Flow Updates: Taylor, Black Canyon, Gunnison Gorge

2013-06-19 17:53:00-04
Chris Menges

The Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) recently circulated updated information on dam releases that will affect regional whitewater runs, paddling opportunities and environmental flows on the Taylor River and on the Gunnison RIver in the Black Canyon and Gunnison Gorge. This post contains information on these updates.

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Action Alert: Take the Gunnison River Flow Survey, win KEEN shoes

2013-06-21 15:13:00-04
Chris Menges

If you have ever paddled Gunnison Basin Runs like Oh-Be-Joyful, the Taylor, the Uncompahgre, the Black Canyon or Gunnison Gorge, please help us protect flows on these western Colorado gems by completing the Gunnison River Flow Survey. When you do, we'll enter you in a drawing to win a free pair of KEENS!

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Q&A with KEEN raffle winner Amanda C

2013-10-08 14:33:00-04
Chris Menges

Last week, a random run of Gunnison River Flow Survey respondents revealed that Amanda Crosby of Gunnison Colorado was the lucky winner of a free pair of KEEN's. Since we always like to know our members and volunteers better, we asked her a few questions. Here's what she had to say...

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Gunnison Flow Study: Success, Next steps underway

2013-10-14 13:51:00-04
Chris Menges

American Whitewater is pleased release a full report on the results of our summer 2013 Gunnison River Flow Survey, in addition to recommendations for regional water managers. This data will enable the management community to better evaluate opportunities to protect recreational flows in the Gunnison Basin now and into the future. Please read the post for full results and how we are using them.

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AW Comments on Colorado Nat'l Forest Wilderness Process

2018-09-05 10:00:00-04
Kestrel Kunz

Today, September 5, marked the close of the public review process for the DRAFT Wilderness Evaluation Report. The Evaluation Phase is the second step of 4 different steps required in the assessment of lands that may be suitable for inclusion in the National Wilderness Preservation System (NWPS). American Whitewater thoroughly reviewed the DRAFT Wilderness Evaluation Report and submitted our comments to the Forest Service on September 4, 2018. Overall, we found that key paddling reaches throughout the GMUG area were greatly under-represented in the Polygon narratives and thus weren't acknowledged as contributing factors to the Polygon's respective Wilderness Ratings. We let the Forest Service know this, highlighting specific paddling reaches that should be added to each Polygon and which Polygons we believe should have a higher Wilderness Rating based on the high-quality recreation opportunities that each area has to offer. 

Please stay tuned as we continue to report on the GMUG Land Management Revision Process and in the meantime you can learn more about the GMUG here. (Photo of Josh King by Nick Spitzer)

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Support Colorado River Access on Colorado Gives Day!

2018-11-29 17:02:00-05
Kestrel Kunz

Colorado Gives Day is on December 4 this year and is fast approaching! Go here to schedule your online donation to support American Whitewater's Colorado River Access Program. All donations made to American Whitewater on Colorado Gives Day (December 4) will be put towards our River Access Program in Colorado. American Whitewater works to improve river access and public safety throughout the state by working with landowners and managers, paddlers, law enforcement, and lawmakers to understand Colorado's river access laws and the ongoing threats to public safety. Thank you for your support!

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Help Protect Crested Butte Area Rivers and Creeks under Wild and Scenic Act

2019-02-26 12:09:30-05
Kestrel Kunz

The Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, and Gunnison National Forests (GMUG) are conducting a Wild and Scenic River Eligibility Evaluation as part of the current Forest Plan Revision process. While the Forest Service is mandated to conduct an Eligibility Study as part of the Plan Revision process, this opportunity only happens every 15-20 years and we need to ensure that the Study is comprehensive and robust. We need YOU to share your love and knowledge of these rivers with the Forest Service! We've put together an easy-to-use tool for you to submit comments here. Please consider personalizing your comments and take the time to review the Forest Service's Story Map of the Eligibility Evaluation. 

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Flow Survey Announced For Rio Grande And Conejos Rivers (CO)

2019-01-07 16:45:00-05
Evan Stafford

Alamosa, Colorado - American Whitewater needs your help to define streamflows that support the full range of recreational boating opportunities on the Rio Grande and Conejos Rivers in Southern Colorado. Information provided by you will help set goals for flows and physical conditions to protect and enhance streams, and inform multi-objective projects to improve ecological, recreational, and community values. Please participate in our survey today!

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AW releases Saint Vrain and Lefthand Creek Recreational Flow Study - CO

2018-12-14 12:19:00-05
Nathan Fey

Longmont, Colorado - As part of a comprehensive Stream Management Plan for the St Vrain Creek Watershed, American Whitewater is collecting and compiling data on recreational uses, and identifying projects and strategies to improve stream health, recreation, and environmental conditions in the region. You can help with this extensive effort. Please participate in the Recreational Flow survey.

 

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Voluntary River Closure Proposed On the Slate River (CO)

2018-11-02 13:33:00-04
Kestrel Kunz

Crested Butte CO - Alleged disruption to a Heron Rookery and concerned private landowners have led to a "Voluntary Closure" of the Slate River from the Gunsight Bridge to the Town of Crested Butte between March 15 and June 21 for the 2019 season. The Slate River between Oh Be Joyful Campground and Skyland Bridge, a 10.5 mile stretch, provides an incredibly scenic and unique flatwater paddling experience in the Gunnison Valley. The Voluntary clsoure is a product of the Slate River Floating Management Plan, created by a Working Group convened by the Town of Crested Butte and the Crested Butte Land Trust. The Working Group was created in direct response to pressure from the local community including conservationists and private landowners adjacent to the river, who are concerned that a recent increase in boating activity is disturbing a Heron Rookery that straddles the Slate River. 

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2018 Colorado Whitewater Events

2018-04-02 08:39:00-04
Kestrel Kunz

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.

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

2017-11-01 19:24:00-04
Kestrel Kunz

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. 

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Colorado Honors the legacy of Matt Brown

2017-10-30 14:17:00-04
Nathan Fey

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.

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Comments needed on Upper Colorado River Recreation Area Management Plan

2017-08-28 12:10:00-04
Nathan Fey

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.

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Gore Fest 2017 is a few weeks away!

2017-08-09 12:45:00-04
Nathan Fey

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! 

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

2017-06-07 16:25:00-04
Kestrel Kunz

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.  

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Releases to Lower Dolores River certain in 2017.

2017-02-17 12:33:00-05
Nathan Fey

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...

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

2017-02-06 14:14:00-05
Nathan Fey

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. 

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

2017-01-17 15:47:00-05
Kestrel Kunz

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.

 

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New Report on Impact to San Miguel River From Proposed Reservoirs

2017-01-09 00:00:00-05
Evan Stafford

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. 

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Proposed Asphalt and Gravel Mine threatens the Upper Colorado River

2016-12-06 11:10:00-05
Evan Stafford

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.

 

 
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Lyons Outdoor Games and Burning Can to Support AW

2013-05-15 16:14:00-04
Nathan Fey

Lyons, Colorado - For the second year in a row, Oskar Blues Brewery is hosting the Burning Can Festival at this year Lyons Outdoor Games.  Burning Can, which takes place under the backdrop of Rocky Mountain National Park and the St. Vrain River, is a celebration of good beer, served in a can.  This year, All money raised from Lyons Outdoor Games recycled cans will be donated to American Whitewater. See you there!

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AW launches Flow Study for Yampa River

2011-03-03 00:00:00-05
Nathan Fey

Colorado - American Whitewater is conducting a study of flow-recreation relationships for the Yampa Basin, and identifying specific metrics for use in the Watershed Flow Evaluation Tool. This study is intended to inform local, state, and federal planning efforts as to the full range and quality of recreational boating opportunities for the Wild and Scenic suitable Yampa River, as well as the Elk and White Rivers, and their tributaries. Your participation in the flow survey is requested.

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River Access Task Force Submits Recommendations to Colorado Governor

2011-02-02 00:00:00-05
Nathan Fey

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.

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Help Protect the Yampa River - Colorado

2010-09-30 00:00:00-04
Nathan Fey

Colorado - Last month, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released their proposed management plan for the Little Snake Resource Area, encompassing over a million acres of soaring plateaus, wild and scenic rivers, and sweeping sagebrush basins.  Special interests are trying to overturn the Bureau of Land Management’s plans to protect portions of the Yampa River – one of the nation's last free flowing rivers.    Let BLM know that protections for these rivers are important to you!

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Molly Buirgy

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Kestrel Kunz

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Nathan Fey

Colorado Stewardship Director

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Craig Irwin