If you’re looking to make a splash on your next trip to the Rocky Mountains, try kayaking in and around Granby. What better place to test your paddling skills than at the headwaters of the Colorado River? Surrounded by natural beauty and reflections of sunshine and mountains in the water, experienced kayakers and rafters visit from all over, and can’t help but to come back for more. Keep in mind, most of the kayaking spots near Granby are not suitable for beginners.
Rocky Mountain National Park is the starting point of the mighty Colorado River. Thrill seekers come here to test their skills and enjoy spectacular whitewater challenges. Best experienced May through September, kayaking on the Colorado River can give you an adrenaline rush like you’ve never experienced before. The river in Grand County offers mostly intermediate and expert sections, with easier floats found further west, past Kremmling.
Just east of Granby you’ll find the Fraser River, which originates near Winter Park then flows northwest to its confluence with the Colorado River. The Fraser River offers great adventure for paddlers with intermediate or advanced whitewater skills and is best experienced in late May to early June.
A More Peaceful Experience
If you’re less experienced or you’re looking for a more low-key way to float, take a kayak out onto Lake Granby. With three boat launches and many other primitive places to put in, you won’t have a hard time getting started.
Spending a full day out on the water will be easy when you have islands to paddle to and explore, wildlife to spot on the shores and in the skies, and the Colorado sunshine to enjoy, all while surrounded by awesome mountain backdrops. If kayaking isn’t for you, try your hand at canoeing or test your balance with stand up paddleboarding (SUPing). For calmer waters where no motorized boats are allowed, check out Willow Creek Reservoir located about 2 miles west of Lake Granby.
If you don’t have your own, you can rent kayaks, canoes, or SUPs at retailers throughout the area. Beacon Landing Marina rents out canoes on Lake Granby and Grand County Kayaks offers one and two-person kayaks for rent, as well as SUPs, which they’ll deliver to the body of water of your choice. If you’re exploring Grand Lake or Shadow Mountain Reservoir, Trail Ridge Marina rents out kayaks and SUPs and Mountain Paddlers rents out kayaks.
Whether you’re looking for a blood pumping rush or a peaceful, relaxing experience, getting out on the water will no doubt feed your need for floating freely among the mountains.