A LIST OF LAKES / RIVERS IN THE DENVER METRO AREA (updated 4/21/2015)

Here is a list of a few places to paddle on flat water – This list starts with Chatfield Reservoir at the southern end of the Denver Metro area and proceeds in a northern direction to the Boulder and Union Reservoirs.  Let us know if you have any corrections or other sites to add. Notes: Colorado State Parks generally require you to wear a USCG approved personal floatation device (PFD), carry a whistle and have your name affixed to your board. These safety measures are a “best practice” anywhere you choose to paddle.  Be familiar with the Colorado Boating Statues and Regulations. (In Colorado paddleboards less than 16-feet in length are Class A Vessels)

Location / Lake Contact Information Details Comments
Chatfield State Park 11500 N Roxborough Rd Littleton, CO Colorado State Parks Chatfield State park (303) 791-7275 www.parks.state.co.us

Open to boating March 1 through November 30

Main Reservoir Size 1450-acres Water Quality B, year round access with Colorado State Parks Pass. Daily fee required without pass. The main reservoir features two no wake zones. Paddleboards may launch adjacent to but not within the roped off swim beach area. Bring mosquito repellant. (Entrances on both Wadsworth Blvd and Roxborough Rd)
Gravel Pond Size 20-acres? Water Quality A+ Same access as above

 

The gravel pond located at the south end of the main reservoir on the west side of the South Platte River and is open to only non-motorized small boats. Bring mosquito repellant. Hourly SUP rentals.
Evergreen Lake Park 29614 Upper Bear Creek Road Evergreen, CO Evergreen Lake House

(720) 880-1300

www.evergreenrecreation.com

 

 

40-acres with B- water quality. Year round access. $4 daily fee or annual pass required. A beautiful place to paddle. Hourly SUP rentals. 
Bear Creek Lake Park 15600 W Morrison Rd Morrison, CO 80465 (303) 697-6159 www.lakewood.org
Soda Lakes Marina (303) 697-1522
Weather conditions (303) 697-4766
Big Soda Lake Size 100-acres Water Quality B+, Year round access with annual pass. Daily fee required without pass. Big Soda Lake is limited to non-motorized crafts. This is an excellent spot for paddleboarding. Hourly SUP rentals.
Bear Creek Reservoir Size 110-acres Water Quality B Same access as above The main reservoir is open to motorized boats 10hp or less.
Cherry Creek State Park 4201 S Parker Rd Aurora, CO (303) 690-1166 Cherry Creek Reservoir Size 800-acres Water Quality C Year round access with annual pass. Daily fee required without pass. Cherry Creek Reservoir is open to motorboats.
Aurora Reservoir
From Aurora 2.5 miles east of E470 on Quincy Ave
Info (303) 690-0020

Wind Conditions (303) 766-0020

Aurora Reservoir (aka Quincy Reservoir) Annual or day pass required Open to non-motorized boats. Sandy shoreline area.
Boulder Reservoir 5565 51st St Boulder, CO Info (303) 441-3461 www.boulderrez.org

 

Boulder Reservoir Size 600-acres Water Quality B- Gate fee and small craft permit required. A small craft permit for each person requires some paperwork and then it is good for the season. The gate attendant will check boards and boats for zebra mussels.
Union Reservoir 0461 WCR 26 Longmont, CO Info (303) 772-1265 www.ci.longmont.co.us

 

Union Reservoir Size 736-acres Water Quality B- Annual or day pass required. Wakeless boating only. Swimming allowed when lifeguards are on duty. Off leash area beach/swim area for dogs. A great place for paddle boarding. Hourly SUP rentals. 

 

 

A LIST OF RIVERS NEAR THE DENVER METRO AREA (updated 4/21/2015)

Here is a list of a few places to paddle on moving water – Notes: On a SUP, moving water becomes a level or more higher in difficulty compared to using a whitewater kayak. Stick with class I and II whitewater until you are an expert. Always wear a USCG approved personal floatation device (PFD). A helmet is standard on any degree of whitewater. On moving water, leashes should be attached to life vests (not your leg) and have a quick release mechanism. You should have river experience and training before attempting whitewater. These safety measures are a “best practice” anywhere you choose to paddle on moving water. Be familiar with the Colorado Boating Statues and Regulations. (In Colorado paddleboards less than 16-feet in length are Class A Vessels)

River / Location Details Comments
South Platte River

Chatfield State Park 11500 N Roxborough Rd Littleton, CO (303) 791-7275 www.parks.state.co.us

Waterton/Discovery Pavillion to Chatfield Reservoir Length ~2.5 miles Water Quality A Year round access to takeout in Chatfield Park with Colorado State Parks Pass. Daily fee required without pass. Class I moving water. A fun stretch to paddle when there is enough water. Due to numerous diversions between Strontia Springs reservoir and the put-in to this run, the Strontia Springs gauge PLASTRCO (see below) is not a reliable flow indicator for this segment. A visual check might be the best you can do.
South Platte River C-470 to Bowles Avenue Length ~4 miles Water Quality B- From 2013 to May 2015, the South Platte River channel from C470 to Reynolds Landing was significantly re-contoured with excavation equipment to create a narrow and deeper channel that now can be SUP paddled at flows as low as 50 cfs. Several former rocky class II drops above the Mineral Avenue chute have been removed. Now only four manmade Class II “boat chutes” through low head dams remain. The first chute is at the C470 put-in, the second is just before Mineral Avenue and the last two are at Reynolds Landing. All can be easily portaged and a minimum river flow of 200cfs is recommended for those with experience to run the class II drops. All others should portage depending on river flow and your ability. Wear safety gear and good river footwear. You will encounter crowds of “tubers” on summer weekends.  SUP Recommendations: use an inflatable board and pick a day with a flow minimum of 100cfs and maximum of 1000cfs. The gauge for this run on the Colorado Division of Water Resources Department of Water website www.dwr.state.co.us/SurfaceWater/Default.aspx

is PLACHACO. See link listed below to check current data on the S Platte or other Rivers. 

Arkansas and Colorado Rivers Various Class I and II runs suitable for SUPers with moving water experience Check www.americanwhitewater.org

For information of river runs and also the USGS National Stream flow Information Program (NSIP) for current river flow levels on most rivers in any state.

If you have any questions about or corrections to the information in this primer please let me know – Thanks, JB. jb@altitudepaddleboards.com

 

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