Flat water paddling in Colorado?

Hey folks,

Am currently in Boulder till the end of the month. Was wondering where I could hit up for some flat water lovin. Any ideas/thoughts would be highly appreciated.



the Rocky mountain Canoe Club has a list of links that will give you a lot of info. Likewise, CanoeColorado.com. Explore those sites. Plenty of places described - one of the best is Gross Res., just West of Boulder, up Flagstaff Mtn road. Barr lake is nice, Horsetooth Res., etc. Dillon Res, 11-Mile and many others west of the divide are usually for a weekend trip.

How far are you willing to drive?
Right near Boulder, there is Boulder Reservoir, about as boring a place as I’ve ever paddled. But it certainly is close for a Boulderite (I’m not).

Mattt mentioned Gross Res, which looks good. Supposedly it has a shoreline of about 10 miles–a lot better than Boulder Res’s 4 miles. Some of us plan to paddle Gross this weekend.

I’ve paddled Eleven Mile Res (a CO state park) several times. It is uncrowded, clean, beautiful. It is at least 2.5 hrs’ drive from Boulder.

Ditto for Twin Lakes, one of my favorites, and Turquoise Lake. Both are near Leadville.

A little closer to Boulder is Granby Reservoir, one of CO’s largest reservoirs. Very nice, though the Colorado River arm can get more crowded with powerboats than you might expect.

At Dillon Lake, powerboats are allowed but seem to play second fiddle to sailboats.

If you don’t mind a longer drive, Blue Mesa Lake (part of Curecanti NRA) makes a good paddling destination for longer jaunts. I believe this is CO’s largest reservoir.

At any of the mountain lakes, watch out for afternoon thunderstorms this time of year. Some of the lakes, such as Blue Mesa, are famous for strong winds from the west in the afternoon.

Not that close to Boulder, but closer than the mountain lakes, is Aurora Reservoir. This is one of my favorite close-in paddling places. The facilities and water are clean, well-patrolled, and quiet. They do not allow gas-engined boats.

I also paddle fairly often at Chatfield State Park, because it is a decent size and it’s the closest water to my home. This morning, the amount of water drawn down was depressing. It looks like it does in August! But this is another not-too-far option for you. Extremely crowded on weekends, as in motorhead city.