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        Colorado River Canoe & Kayak Trip Info

River Between Bair Ranch and Hanging Lake Rest Area


This stretch of the Colorado River is located 115 miles W of Denver right off of I-70.
Map of Colorado River at Bair Ranch Rest Area


   This part of the Colorado river runs right along the interstate so there is some traffic noise and the views would be better off without it of course. The scenery is worth putting up with the interstate noise though. The put in is very easy access and the take out is easy access. You will see other canoe and kayaks on this stretch of the river occasionally, but if you go on a weekday, you can often have the river to yourself.

If you don't have a second vehicle, portage from the take out to the starting point is very easy with a bicycle. There is a really nice bike path that runs from Dotsero past the Hanging Lake rest area. It's an easy ride. This is one of those places that pictures can never really do justice, especially in the fall.

Warnings, Tips, & Other Details

At 1900 CFS this trip takes about two hours at a relaxed pace. The last 1/3 of this trip the current slows to almost a crawl as you get near shoshone damn. If you park at the Hanging lake rest area and take a bicycle on the bike path to get to the put in at Bair Ranch, the ride is very easy and will take about 35 minutes at a good speed. There are no rapids in this section and no difficult obstacles in the Colorado river. Winds in the afternoon here can pick up out of nowhere so it is best to be off the river before noon or be prepared.

Real time river gauge for this part of the Colorado River

Where to Park

Put In - Take I-70 to the Bair Ranch rest area just past Dotsero as you're heading west.
Take Out - You can only get to the Hanging lake rest area by approaching it from the west. You will need to head west from Bair Ranch and go to the next exit in order to turn around and head eastbound on the interstate. Once you are headed eastbound hanging lake rest area will be the second exit.


Colorado River

Colorado River going through Glenwood Canyon

My mother and father. I put my father in one of the inflatable kayaks and hooked him up with a battery and electric trolling motor. I put my mom in the "hard shell" clear canoe with a 5 hp gas motor on it.