The first signs of spring in Colorado serve as a signal to those who love the outdoors: the snow in the high country is about to start melting and come rushing down to many of our rivers and lakes. That fact of gravity means it's time to book a Colorado whitewater rafting trip, begin mapping out fish-flush waters and dust off the family motorboat, canoe, kayak or jetski.
Colorado is the headwaters for nearly two dozen major rivers, including the Colorado River, Rio Grande, Animas River and Arkansas River. Whitewater rafting is one of the most exciting ways to enjoy our magnificent rivers. Colorado rafting companies offer plenty of options for your trip, ranging from mellow, family-friendly floats to challenging, weeklong excursions and the ability to combine rafting rips with other adventures, like train rides, winery tours and fly-fishing trips.
Colorado is also home to more than 2,000 lakes and reservoirs, including the watery playgrounds of Grand Lake, Blue Mesa Reservoir, Lake Dillon, Lake Granby and the dozens of lakes and reservoirs in 42 Colorado State Parks. Fill a Colorado vacation boating, water skiing, canoeing and exploring the fingers, coves and wide-open water of Colorado lakes — from crystalline alpine lakes to the beautiful oases found on the eastern plains.
Fishers are another group who eagerly await perfect Colorado river and lake conditions. With more than 35 species of warm- and cold-water fish, they've got plenty of variety to choose from, including trout, kokanee salmon, walleye and largemouth bass. Colorado is also home to 322 miles of Gold Medal streams, hotspots for flyfishers seeking large trout populations. Be sure to pick up a Colorado Fishing License before dropping your fishing line in any Colorado lakes, rivers or streams, and check out the articles below for more Colorado vacation ideas.