Gore Canyon Festival 2020 Virtual Event September 1 at 7pm MST

Gore Fest has been a great opportunity to celebrate another Colorado river season and all the stewardship work AW does in the region. The festival has brought in world-class kayakers, families, and river enthusiasts from all over the country to enjoy the iconic downriver race through Gore Canyon and the annual freestyle rodeo and SUP races. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have had to make the difficult decision to cancel our usual in-person Gore Fest. While this is disappointing, we are pleased to announce that we have been hard at work creating a virtual Gore Fest for this year and we invite everyone to join us on September 1st at 7pm MST! Gore Fest 2020 will be held over Zoom. To register for Gore Fest 2020, follow this link. Event registration is free so we encourage everyone to attend. However, the event will be recorded and placed on our website. 

There will be three different drawings where we will be giving away amazing prizes. Use this Gore Fest membership form to join or renew to enter. See below for drawing rules. 

  • Participant Drawing: AW branded items like hoodies, hats, mugs, and pin kits
  • Standard, Family and Affiliate Club Membership Drawing: $250 Yakima gift card, Hala SUP board, Pyranha kayak, Kokatat Rogue drytop
  • Ender Club and above Membership Drawing: a full raft set up from Down River Equipment and Rocky Mountain Rafts

We will hear from some amazing panelists that will share their experiences with extreme racing, Gore Canyon and beyond. We will also watch clips from Yaw the Movie and hear from the paddlers and filmmakers behind the most epic raft footage.

Leading up to the event you can participate in a photo contest to keep the competitive spirit of Gore Fest alive. You must be a member to participate - join or renew here. The photo contest will have three separate categories and participants may submit one entry per category. Winners of each category will receive a $400 Gift Card to Kokatat! All photos must be submitted by 5pm MST on Friday, August 28th.

Category 1: Best Gore Photo

  • Photos taken in Gore Canyon of kayaking, rafting, wildlife, scenic landscape shots or anything else you can think of.
  • To enter the Gore Canyon photo contest, upload your photo to Facebook or Instagram and follow and tag @americanwhitewater and @gorecanyonfest and use the hashtag #gorecanyonphotocontest. 

Category 2: Best Groover Photo

  • We want to see your best groover setups anywhere in the world and will use the judging criteria of uniqueness, beauty, and photo quality.
  • To enter into this contest, follow and tag @americanwhitewater and @gorecanyonfest and use the hashtag #bestgrooverphotocontest. 

Category 3: Photo that represents 2020 

  • We’re leaving this category fairly open-ended, so get weird and creative! Entries can include but are not limited to: creative shuttle tactics, beatering, or other river representations of the unprecedented year we are having.
  • Photos will be judged on creativity, social distancing measures, and overall photo quality.
  • To enter this contest, follow and tag @americanwhitewater, and @gorecanyonfest and use the hashtag #recreateresponsiblyphotocontest. 


  • Required to be an AW member to enter 
  • Use the appropriate hashtag for each category
  • Follow and tag @americanwhitewater and @gorecanyonfest
  • One entry per category per person
  • Original content only. You must own the rights to your submission.
  • Entries will be judged by our virtual panelists

Prize Drawing Rules: 

  • Drawing 2: General Membership Drawing
  • Renew or join your American Whitewater membership at the Standard, Family or Affiliate Club level using the Gore Fest Membership Form to receive one entry into the General Membership Drawing.
  • Prizes for this drawing include a $250 Yakima Gift Card, a Hala Stand Up Paddle Board, a Pyranha kayak, and a Kokatat Rogue Drytop. 
  • Do not need to be present to win
  • Drawing 3: Ender Club or Above Raft Drawing
  • We will be giving away a fully outfitted oar frame and raft from our friends at Down River Equipment and Rocky Mountain Rafts!
  • There will be several levels of entry into this drawing. To enter the drawing at any level, use the Gore Fest Membership Form. All Ender Club and above membership will also get you one entry in the General Membership Drawing.
  • Ender Club membership: 1 entry in raft drawing
  • Platinum paddler membership: 2 entries in raft drawing
  • Explorer/lifetime membership: 5 entries in raft drawing
  • Do not need to be present to win
  • Must be available to pick up raft in Denver, Colorado
  • Winner will be responsible for submitting a W-9 form to American Whitewater before receiving the raft package

Package Includes: Rocky Mountain Rafts 14ft Self Bailing Raft Lime Green; eDown River Gunnison 4-Bay Diamond Plate Raft Frame XD; Down River Captain’s Chair: Poly Deck with Hinges; Engel 65 Cooler; 2 Blue Cataract SGG Oars with Cataract floating blades

While we, unfortunately, cannot be together on the Upper Colorado River, we still want this year’s virtual Gore Fest to be an opportunity to reflect on this iconic stretch of whitewater as well as the important stewardship work that American Whitewater has done for the Upper Colorado River. American Whitewater is heavily invested in the protection of the Colorado River and actively participates in long-term streamflow protection through the BLM and Forest Service management planning, and played a critical role in securing the Gore Canyon whitewater park Recreational In-Channel Diversion (RICD), which gives boating flows on the Colorado River legal protection under State water law. AW is also the leading representative of the recreational community on the Upper Colorado River Wild and Scenic Stakeholders group where flows for the Colorado River are negotiated by AW and our stakeholders. American Whitewater is presenting this year's virtual Gorefest to celebrate this beautiful place we work hard to protect, and as an opportunity for paddlers, industry, and partners to enjoy and support our cooperative stewardship efforts.   American Whitewater is a non-profit corporation recognized by the Internal Revenue Service under Section 501©3 of the Internal Revenue Code with its principal place of business located in Cullowhee, North Carolina. All drawings will be conducted in accordance with North Carolina Law GS 14-309.15.