Stay informed of news and announcements about the Colorado rivers and community we love.
  • 08/02/2018 12:54 PM | Deleted user

    Colorado Whitewater is excited to invite you to the very first Thirsty Third Thursday. You might ask, what is Thirsty Third Thursday? It’s a way to get to know your fellow kayakers off the river while enjoying a night out. It’s also a way to educate yourself about various river topics. This month’s event will be held on August 16th at 6:30PM at the Mountain Toad Brewery in Golden. The topic for this month- paddles and different paddle shapes and sizes with Nik White. See you there!!!

    If you have a topic you would like covered or ideas please email:

  • 08/02/2018 12:44 PM | Deleted user

    By Brett Jacobs

    On Saturday June 30th, Brooke Smith led a Milk Run + Browns Canyon cruise in celebration of Pride Month to celebrate Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer boaters and allies. The event was a success with 28 LGBTQ boaters and LGBTQ allies participating in the cruise! Many of the participants sported festive Pride themed attire and accessories (check out the photos below!).  The event concluded with drinks and snacks at the take out (thank you Dede!). In leading the cruise, Brooke was supported by a group of LGBTQ boaters who consistently volunteer with CW.  The LGBTQ members of CW who participated in the cruise are grateful that CW is an organization where they feel safe being “out” and being themselves while participating in the river sports that CW members are so passionate about. A big thank you to all the LGBTQ allies who attended the event.  Without the support from allies, the LGBTQ community would not have made the progress it has made toward equal rights and acceptance. The cruise was a fun and festive day and a great way to end June. Internationally June is recognized as LGBTQ Pride Month to commiserate the Stonewall Riots in Manhattan in June 1969.

  • 08/02/2018 12:20 PM | Deleted user

    By Tim Friday

    The 4-mile Peak to Plains Trail officially opened to the public in July 2017 with the final mile introduced in a cable cutting ceremony back in September 2017, making this pathway accessible to Clear Creek Canyon recreationalists for almost a year now.  If you paddled the Upper Clear Creek (Kermit’s) section this year, then you probably noticed some pedestrians, cyclists and/or in-line skaters cruising the river corridor on land.  The paddling community seemed to be somewhat ambivalent about this project in the past, but through the spring I heard positive comments about the trail being there.  It certainly provides easier access for non-boaters, but it also provides an alternative shuttle method for the 4-mile section paralleled by the trail.  It also makes for an easier portage or, in some cases, a great path to run faster than your boat is moving downriver in the event of an unfortunate swim! 

    This project has a number of segments to be completed in order to connect the existing trail to the City of Golden.  Segment 1, next on the list for construction, begins at the mouth of the Canyon and extends to just upstream of Tunnel 1.  A design-build contract recently was negotiated by Jeffco Open Space and design is well underway.  According to Scot Grossman, Jeffco Open Space Projects Team Manager, design should be wrapping up in the spring of 2019 with construction getting underway shortly thereafter.  As far as river navigability goes, Scot advised that they are working on some access agreements now, but the hope is we won’t have any temporary structures in the creek.  This has been a goal of Colorado Whitewater – to ensure boater access and navigability during the paddling season.  Scot is a whitewater boater too and is an advocate for river runners.  We will continue to keep in touch with Jeffco Open Space to monitor the project and provide input at appropriate points during design and construction.      

    To see a map of the entire P2P Trail through Clear Creek Canyon, please click on this link.  To keep up with the latest updates on the P2P Project, click here

  • 08/02/2018 12:17 PM | Deleted user

    The Yampa River is among the most coveted permitted river trips in Colorado. It boasts 72 miles of beautiful canyon, with everything from flat water to class 4. Most boaters spend about 5 days floating down the Yampa, which converges with the Green (downriver of Gates of Lodore) and continues through Split Mountain to the takeout in Green River, Utah.

     This section of the Yampa takes boaters through the spectacular Dinosaur National Monument, meandering along through the “high desert.” With side hikes galore, boaters can pick and choose where to eddy out and explore. You can even hike to the canyon rim, look at petroglyphs, and explore a cave.


    As far as rapids go, this trip includes the notable “Warm Springs” rapid. At the base of this rapid, there is a large hole called “Maytag,” which is known for its washing machine-like qualities as well as its tendency to flip rafts.  Warm Springs is a class 4 rapid. There are a few other class 3 rapids along interspersed between a lot of flat water and class 2 riffles.  After the confluence of the Yampa and the Green Rivers, there is a section called Split Mountain. This contains several bouncy, fun class 3 rapids.


    Arguably the most desired time to do this trip is May and June, when spring runoff is occurring. Late season trips into July and August tend to be hotter and have lower water. The Yampa always requires a permit, and these can be difficult to obtain. To apply for a lottery permit for high use season (second weekend in May to second weekend in July), applications are due January 31.


    For more details or to apply for a permit, go to

  • 01/24/2018 6:23 PM | Deleted user

    Dear members of Colorado Whitewater,

    I am honored and excited to be CW’s new board President for 2018! Outgoing President Elizabeth Austen, who has also served as Training Camp Director for the last five years, worked tirelessly to ensure that 2017 was another great year for Colorado Whitewater. Guided by her vision and leadership, and supported by the hard work of our other volunteer board members, instructors, and general membership volunteers, we were able to achieve an INCREDIBLE amount.

    Elizabeth put together a great summary of all the wonderful things with which the club was involved with in 2017, which she read shared at our Fall Dinner. I have included that list here, inserting a few additional accomplishments, and have added kudos to the CW board member or volunteer who was in charge of coordinating the event:

    •  Maintained our status as one of largest (and oldest!) paddling clubs in the country, with 650 active members -  211 of whom joined in 2017 (April Hillman)
    • Published 6 issues of The Spray, CW’s electronic newsletter. Past issues can be found here! (Gene Hakanson)
    • Collaborated with Peter Holcombe to support his New Years’ day paddle of over 100 people on Shoshone, followed by fun at Iron Mountain Hot Springs (Brooke Smith)
    • Hosted a really fun and successful Pizza and Beer social in February (Judy Thomas)
    • Hosted the National Paddling Film festival for our movie night in March (Judy Thomas)
    • Held another successful and well-attended Training Camp with clinics for all ability levels (Elizabeth Austen)
    • Added a swiftwater rescue clinic to Arkansas River Weekend (Pete Bellande)
    • Added a playboating clinic with pro kayaker Mat Dumoulin on the Glenwood Wave at Colorado River Weekend (Dick Alweis)
    • Hosted Spring Dinner with Stephen Wright and Fall Dinner with Tom Martin as our captivating speakers (Judy Thomas)
    • Supported the Golden Rodeo Series and added a free cook out to the event (Dave Holzman)
    • Had volunteers at booths representing CW at a number of whitewater festivals including CKS Paddlefest in BV and the Royal Gorge Festival (Jodi Lee)
    • Sponsored American Whitewater through a donation to Gore Fest (Pete Bellande)
    • Provided insurance for all special events including the Golden Rodeo, Training Camp, Flat Water Moving Water Weekend, which is the CW beginner students first weekend outside of the pool, and Bailey Fest (when there’s water!) (Leslie Tyson)
    • Collaborated with Pete, who did all the preparation for BaileyFest. Even though the flows did not support the event, the prep work still has to happen (Pete Bellande)
    • Collaborated with Daniel Barton, a volunteer board fellow from Leeds School of Business who ran the South Platte River Cleanup project on behalf of CW, where CW donated gloves, trash bags, t-shirts and a ton of volunteer power (Daniel Barton)
    • Maintained critical partnerships with local partners, secured sponsorships from a variety of companies to make CW’s events possible and affordable, and successfully advertised club sponsors and partners to members (Jodi Lee)
    • Donated 100 brand new slalom competition jerseys to the Dawson school canoe and kayak team for use this season when they host races, including the WWOCD (Whitewater Nationals), Wildwater Nationals, and the North American Open Canoe Slalom Nationals (Elizabeth Austen)
    • Made a monetary donation to the Park County Historical Society for the Bailey Put-In and McGraw Park maintenance (Patrick Tooley)
    • Provided input on the conceptual design for the Peaks to Plains trail segments that are to be built in the future, and are continuing to work with Jeffco Open Space on segment 1 from Tunnel one down (Tim Friday)
    • Sent a letter supporting getting grant money to pay for a boat chute on Homestake on the Arkansas River (Tim Friday)
    • Continued advocating for private boaters on the Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area’s Citizens Task Force and providing input on the AHRA Management plan (Mark Robbins and Leslie Tyson)
    • Continued to represent CW on the Upper Colorado River Wild and Scenic Stakeholders Group, helping American Whitewater keep an eye on water resource management from Gore to State Bridge (Steve Dougherty)
    • Represented Whitewater recreation on the South Platte Enhancement Board (Scott Winkleman)
    • Offered a really robust cruise schedule, adding many more trips for all different ability levels (Jessie Gunter)
    • Held several cruises for the “Boating Betties”, a growing women’s paddling group (Elizabeth Austen and Heidi Hass)
    • Held three River Weekends at the Poudre, Arkansas, and Colorado Rivers (Brooke Smith)
    • Our Incredible Volunteer Instruction team taught about 50 total sessions at Meyers Pool between January and May (Dick Alweis and Nicole Harty)
    • Hosted instructional clinics for the Incredible Volunteer Instruction team members, given by Stephen Wright, Mat Dumoulin, Tommy Gram and Mike Mather (Dick Alweis)
    • Showed our appreciation for CW volunteers at Volunteer Happy Hour night, at which volunteers enjoyed free pizza, beer, and a creative and useful gift (Karen Moldenhauer and Judy Thomas)
    • Provided support for the Kids Program, through coordinating instructors and through the purchase of several children’s dry suits for use by Kids Team members, of which there were 22 (Jenny McCurdy)
    • Decided to explore the feasibility of supporting pool classes on the Western Slope through the creation of a new board position, West Slope Regional Coordinator (Laurie Maciag)

    And this list doesn’t even recognize the contributions of the board members who worked behind the scenes to help us function as a board and as a club: Heidi Hass, who kept the website up to date and running; Jeremiah Krayna, who managed the club’s finances and budget; Daniel Lundberg, who organized each board meeting and recorded minutes; Karen Moldenhauer, who stored all of our merchandise and sold it at events; and Patrick Tooley, who provided legal support.

    I would be remiss not to mention my gratitude towards the countless member-volunteers who lead cruises, teach or assist at the pool and at training camp, run check-in and help clean up at events, mentor newer boaters in an unofficial capacity, and spread the word about our awesome club.

    We are beyond excited to welcome the following new board members in 2018:

    • Terra Hoover, Training Camp
    • Ruth Eipper, Cruise Director
    • Gail Tubbs, Treasurer
    • Lindsey Lavender, Spray Editor
    • Laurie Maciag (past President), West Slope Regional Coordinator

    The rest of the board members will stay on to continue the amazing work they did in 2017. I am so grateful for each of these individuals and the time they dedicate to CW!

    Suffice it to say, our members were involved with nearly all aspects of whitewater boating in Colorado and beyond in 2017. As President, I hope to help CW continue on this incredible trajectory. I feel immense pride at the quality and quantity of CW’s accomplishments over just the last year. Beyond the statistics about events and membership, countless friendships were formed and strengthened on and off the water as a result of members’ shared love of the river. We are truly a community, and I look forward to continuing to build community around our sport with your help!

     Colorado Whitewater is 100 percent volunteer powered. If you’d like to become more involved, feel free to email the board member in your area of interest (you can find their email addresses in the member directory on the website) or watch our social media profiles for news about upcoming events. Volunteers are ALWAYS needed.


    Follow us on:

     Facebook (GROUP): Colorado Whitewater

    Facebook (PAGE): Colorado Whitewater Association

    Instagram: @coloradowhitewater


     Jessie Gunter, President, Colorado Whitewater


  • 01/24/2018 6:20 PM | Anonymous

    By Judith Thomas

    If you missed it, Tom gave a fascinating presentation with film footage from the archives of quirky Grand Canyon Historian Otis “Dock” Marston. Tom has mined the tens of thousands of documents and film footage of early Colorado River pioneers that Dock preserved in his California archives. Some of this footage and documents have never been shown publicly before Tom unearthed them.

    CW also received over $600 from Tom’s generous donation of half of all his book and map sales at the event. Good River Beer and Wine Sellers Ltd. generously provided beverages. We love our sponsors.  Please show them your appreciation. Thank you Tom, Preston, and Brooke for your support!

    In keeping with CW’s mission of conservation, members also learned details of the proposed Arkansas River Management Plan and had a chance to discuss the potential impacts of the proposal, as well as make written comments that were submitted as part of the public comment period.

    Outgoing President Elizabeth Austen highlighted the very busy year CW had with classes, events, river weekends, cruises, training camp, and advocacy. She also conducted our annual membership meeting and the elections of new and returning board members.  

    Many CW members stepped in to volunteer with set-up, check-in, book sales, and clean-up. Your help was very much appreciated. Volunteers are the heart and soul of CW. Sherri Spenser, Sarah Mass, Terry Standlee, Ross Norm, Barbera Aimes, David Claire, and Laurie Maciag you were a huge part of making this event a success. 

  • 09/08/2017 8:54 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has released for public review and comment preliminary alternatives for managing about 35 miles of the Upper Colorado River between Parshall and State Bridge.  Alternatives range from no changes to current management to requiring a day-use permit; adding a camping permit with designated campsites in the popular stretch between Pumphouse and State Bridge; and expanding the developed Pumphouse Campground. The preliminary alternatives and more information about the management plan update are available here.   Comments must be received by September, 25, 2017 and may be e-mailed to or mailed to Bureau of Land Management, Attn: Shane Dittlinger, P.O. Box 68, Kremmling, CO 80459.  Now is your chance to provide input in a public process for how this area will be managed.

    The plan will direct how recreation and natural resources will be managed by the BLM, along a 35-mile corridor of the Colorado River from Parshall to State Bridge. This includes Gore Canyon and the popular stretch of river from Pumphouse to State Bridge.  The management plan addresses the management of a variety of recreational sites and facilities from dispersed use areas to defined day use sites and campgrounds.  In addition, the plan manages activities such as floatboating, fishing, camping, hiking, extreme Jeeping and other activities within the Special Recreation Management Area (SRMA) boundary. The plan also administers commercial and public use of recreation sites and resources.  Ultimately, the plan will balance ever increasing recreational needs and pressure from the public with protection of the natural resources along the river corridor.

    The need for the action is a requirement of BLM to balance public need and interest with preservation of natural resources in compliance with the multi-use and sustainable yield mandate of section 302 of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act and resource objectives as defined in the Kremmling Resource Management Plan of 2015.

    Based on the analysis contained in this Environmental Assessment (EA), the BLM will decide which of the proposed alternatives to approve, and under what terms and conditions.  Under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the BLM must determine if there are any significant environmental impacts associated with the Proposed Action warranting further analysis in an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The Field Manager is the responsible officer who will decide one of the following:

    • To approve the preferred alternative with design features as submitted;
    • To analyze the effects of the preferred alternative in an EIS; or
    • To modify the preferred alternative.

    The goal is to produce a diversity of quality recreational opportunities that support outdoor-oriented lifestyles and add to participants’ quality of life while, at the same time, contributing to the local economies. 

    If you have an interest in this stretch of the Colorado River, please take the time to read this relatively brief 24-page document and submit your comments to BLM by September 25, 2017 in order for them to be considered in shaping the management plan for this valuable resource.  

  • 09/01/2017 3:06 PM | Anonymous

    You may have enjoyed their beer at past CW events—the 2017 spring dinner and the 2017 South Platte Cleanup. If not, Good River Beer is a company that all beer-drinking-boaters (and that’s pretty much all of us, right?) should know about.

    Those three words—Good River Beer—encapsulate what the company is all about: “sharing their beer, following the adventure, and protecting and conserving rivers.” The company donates 2 percent of gross revenue to river conservation organizations, such as American Whitewater and Colorado Water Trust. The founders of Good River Beer, who met on a kayaking trip, have paddled and fished thousands of miles of rivers and creeks and are committed to protecting rivers so everyone can enjoy them.  

     “Our focus is a purpose-driven craft beer company—there’s meaning behind every single beer we sell,” explained co-founder Adam Odoski. Recently, Odoski, along with the other owners, Preston Hartman and Eric Zarkovich, and Matt Knippenberg officially launched 2% for Rivers (, the official nonprofit organization tasked with the handling the charitable mission. The nonprofit has partnered with for-profit businesses, such as Down River Equipment (a CW sponsor!) and Patagonia.

    Good River Beer, which will be celebrating its second anniversary of brewing and selling beer in September 2017, has secured a location for their new brewery. The new brewery will include a fifteen-barrel brewhouse, a taproom with an outdoor beer garden, and a restaurant or food concept.

    By drinking Good River Beer, you are helping conserve rivers too. And soon you will be able to take Good River Beer with you on your river trips. On October 1, the company will begin offering its beer in cans. Their Class V (a Colorado-style IPA) and American (an authentic pilsner) will be able for sale in cans in liquor stores across Denver. Soon to follow will be the Gunny (a black lager) and River Dog (a brown ale).  Check out their website (, Facebook page (, or email them directly at for specific locations.

  • 08/14/2017 4:46 PM | Anonymous

    The USDA Forest Service, San Isabel National Forest, Leadville Ranger District is seeking public comment on a proposal to relocate the Numbers Launch Site on the Arkansas River to a new location south of existing site.  “The new launch site will provide for improved aesthetics, access, and safety,” according to the August 7, 2017, public scoping document.

    The proposed action is to restore the old launch site to a natural setting by removing all improvements (signs, kiosks, fences, etc.) and rehabilitating the access road and parking area.

    Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPAW) will construct a new launch site with a new access road, parking lot, loading zone, fee station, restroom, and stairs with a boat side. The loading zone will be location on CPAW property, but the proposal is to locate the other facilities on adjacent National Forest land.

    The Forest Service is seeking public comments to the proposal in person, by phone, and by e-mail by September 1.

    For more information contact:
    The Leadville Ranger District, 810 Front Street, Leadville, CO 80461, 719-486-0749, 

  • 07/17/2017 12:46 PM | Anonymous

    by Elizabeth Austen

    Friends were made, lessons were learned, fun was had! It’s what we do.

    I am so grateful for all the people who come together and contribute—in countless ways—to make this event a success. It is, by far, our largest annual event, our biggest fundraiser, and it takes a village to make it happen. 

    Fortunately, we have an incredible village of kind, smart, fun, giving folks who help in so many ways, and this boat surely wouldn’t float without them. Most importantly and probably most obviously, the CW Instruction Team members who lead classes. CW instructors are certified to teach for the club via the American Canoe Association’s training guidelines and the training is paid for with club funds.

    Instructors are then beholden to give forty hours annually to teaching for CW for five years, at which point they can opt to recertify. These people are particularly selfless. They teach at the CW-sponsored pool sessions throughout the winter at Meyers Pool in Arvada, conduct flat water moving water weekend for the newest kayakers just prior to Training Camp, and then top it off with Training Camp itself. Never mind that most of them also lead cruises and mentor people outside of the CW structure. If you’re a solid class III+ boater with a mentoring mentality and an interest in joining our Instruction Team, contact CW Instruction Director Dick Alweis at for a private conversation. 

    CW is also fortunate to have about a zillion terrific mentors who are not trained as instructors, but are strong boaters with good rescue skills and a desire to help with the on-water activities.  And then there are so many folks who help at the event with the logistics of things, like checking people in, selling raffle tickets and conducting the raffle itself, taking video for classes, setting up tents and tables and technology and moving things, bringing tablets for video, lanterns and lights and tents and whiteboards. 

    Behind the scenes was CW Webmaster Heidi Haas, putting together the big puzzle of information and class registrations in a way that made sense. Treasurer Jermiah Krayna handled refunds and vendor payments efficiently, and Membership Director April Hillman assisted in making sure all registrants were current members and therefore insured—which is actually a very important component. Additionally, a key piece that most people don’t even know about is the safety plan and event insurance facilitated by our Insurance Director, Leslie Tyson. That’s a big headache and a vital piece. I’m so very relieved and thankful that Leslie is willing to take on those Pain-In-The-Arse tasks!

    We had 200 people in attendance at our 2017 event. The camp sites were full and people HAD to make friends with their camp neighbors. Which is a big part of the event, anyway, and if you’re not interested in connecting with other people, this is NOT the event for you! If you met fun people at Training Camp and don’t know how to contact them now, you can find them via the CW member directory on line. Log in at  and go to the RESOURCES tab, then click on member directory.

    On Friday night, we had kayak porn and social time while volunteers manned the check-in table.  Saturday morning, we got things moving with a quick safety talk by the wild and wonderful Jon Baskin. You know, the 6’8” tall guy wearing a onesie decorated with ducks? Allison Piper White led us through some good stretches to get us ready to hit the water, and a volunteer from Colorado Parks and Wildlife was present to sell state park passes and encourage us to participate in the river cleanup that Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area (AHRA) hosts the same weekend every year. They have a terrific safety brochure with maps of the area available here:

    Instructors came forward to claim their groups, and everyone began to prepare for the on-water fun. We had a wide range of classes and abilities from brand-new kayakers who just completed pool classes and their first time on moving water to next level—getting to the next level, complete with video playback. We had high attendance in the Level B Intermediate Fundamentals classes (had to add more!), and not as many people in the level C and D groups. Of course, the Intro to Playboating class with Mat Dumoulin of Team Jackson / Jackson Kayak was a big hit. We also had terrific guest instructors Holly McClintock from Four Corners Rafting in Durango, and Josh Aronow from River Runners in BV. RMOC also loaned us instructors, along with 4 Corners and River Runners. We appreciate the assistance and sponsorship from these companies and their bright and shiny instructors!

    Saturday evening, we had great food provided by our own Brian Sweeney and his lovely wife Silvia Schuhmann, followed by live music from Chain Station Mountain Music, which got a ton of people to their feet with bluegrassy originals and covers of everything from Tom Petty to Johnny Cash.

    Sunday morning, we had our awards and the big deal—the RAFFLE! We had so many terrific prizes provided by friends and sponsors, it was quite a spectacle and our Events Director Laurie Maciag ran her tukus off handling the presentation, culminating with the grand prize of the Jackson 4Fun Kayak.

    Thanks to everyone who participated in yet another wildly fun event, and we’re gonna do it again next year, so mark your calendar now for May 18–20, 2018!

 Colorado Whitewater is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.  1312 17th St #76767, Denver, CO 80202

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