Added by Eric Schuette
Float through two beautiful canyons along the Colorado River on this 26 mile float. The float is leisurely with only class I (and in some water conditions class II) rapids making it ideal for kayaks, rafts, or canoes. In addition to the canyons along the river, there are multiple canyons you can get out and explore on foot (some containing ancient rock art).
To do the entire 26-mile float, put in at the Loma River access, several miles west of Fruita and just a short drive from I-70. From the Loma access there is no other easy access point until 26 miles later, at Westwater in Utah.
Once on the water you will be able to relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery around you. This is because during most water levels it is a very tame float throughout with mostly riffles and class I rapids (there are class II in certain flows). Expect is to take 8-15 hours, depending on flows, wind, and your effort.
There are several canyon systems along the float that make for very good side-adventures so be sure to look at a map and explore a bit. You may also enjoy spending a little time in the black rocks area - the rock here is different than the rest of the canyon (the same as in the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park), and creates some really interesting currents and deep pools for jumping.
Most of the float goes through BLM land, and they now run a permit system for camping throughout (due to there being too many people leaving too much of mess). Campsites can fill up fast, especially during July and August, so be sure to make reservations early. There are no toilets in the canyons and there can be fire bans, so check before you go. Lastly, be wary of mosquitos as some campsites can be quite intense at times.
A map of the float is available here.
- Camping: tent, sleeping bag, food, water and water treatment system, permit, and bug spray
- River: kayak/raft/canoe, sunscreen, waterproof camera, and a map
Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.
Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More
ReviewsLeave a Review
Have you done this adventure? Have something to add? You could be the first to leave a review!
More Adventures Nearby
Hike Mt. Elbert via Black Cloud Trail
Colorado / Black Cloud Trailhead
Directions: Heading south from Leadville from U.S. 24: West on CO 82 for 10.5 miles to a hidden right turn that leads to a trail head. If you make it to the Mt.
Backpack to Dragon's Back via Horsethief Trail
Colorado / Horsethief Trailhead
The Uncompahgre Wilderness stretches out through the mountains and forests of southwestern Colorado, with worn trails lingering beside abandoned 19th-century mines and crossing old alpine sheep pastu.