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View Full Version : Life Colorado, kayaking, rafting, and camping advice...


BigRichard
06-07-2012, 03:16 PM
Starting a new job in a few weeks and I was thinking about taking a week to go over to Colorado. Never been and hear it is beautiful. I was thinking about doing some kayaking or rafting and some camping. The wife and I have never kayaked before so would you recommend doing this down some rapids? Or would you probably just go with a guide and a raft?

Do you have any suggestions on where to go in Colorado? I don't really have any gear so probably would like to go to something that provides all the gear. But I wouldn't be against purchasing some if need be. Any and all advice welcome.

crazycoffey
06-07-2012, 03:21 PM
Estes park,
Cashe la Poudre river rafting,
hourse tooth canyon

DMAC
06-07-2012, 03:24 PM
Never been and hear it is beautiful.

LMAO That's the word on the street!

scorpio
06-07-2012, 03:26 PM
hourse tooth canyon

No such place.

Iowanian
06-07-2012, 03:26 PM
I have friends who run/work for a rafting company. I'll send you information.

scorpio
06-07-2012, 03:30 PM
Rocky Mountain National Park is nice.

Glenwood Springs is cool.

A lot of the ski towns are pretty fun even in summer, they have ziplining and let you ride mountain bikes down the ski runs and stuff.

Durango is neat. Take the train to Silverton.

Garden of the Gods down the Springs is worth checking out.

It's a big state.

Guru
06-07-2012, 03:31 PM
Just don't go the first week of june. Too cold for rafting we discovered.

BigRichard
06-07-2012, 03:35 PM
Just don't go the first week of june. Too cold for rafting we discovered.

Well this doesn't sound promising. Won't be the first week but second or third.

BigRichard
06-07-2012, 03:38 PM
Rocky Mountain National Park is nice.

Glenwood Springs is cool.

A lot of the ski towns are pretty fun even in summer, they have ziplining and let you ride mountain bikes down the ski runs and stuff.

Durango is neat. Take the train to Silverton.

Garden of the Gods down the Springs is worth checking out.

It's a big state.

Do they have mountain bikes to rent? I have been considering buying a mountain bike just haven't done it yet.

DaFace
06-07-2012, 03:48 PM
Just don't go the first week of june. Too cold for rafting we discovered.

I'd call to check. We had a really early snowmelt this year, so I bet they're going pretty soon if they aren't now.

Rain Man
06-07-2012, 03:51 PM
Yeah, you might want to do some inquiries with other rafters. We had a really bad snow year this winter, which might translate into a bad rafting year. We in Colorado welcome your tourist dollars, but we also want you to have a good experience.

I'm not a rafter, but it seems like I often hear about Canon City when people talk about rafting.

Donger
06-07-2012, 03:53 PM
If you plan on doing any camping up in the mountains, be prepared for cold weather overnight. By cold, I mean near freezing. And, expect it to rain late afternoon and evening.

BigRichard
06-07-2012, 03:53 PM
I was thinking about taking a train instead of driving or flying. Thought it would be cheaper then flying but it looks to be about the same price from Omaha to Denver.

Donger
06-07-2012, 03:54 PM
I was thinking about taking a train instead of driving or flying. Thought it would be cheaper then flying but it looks to be about the same price from Omaha to Denver.

Fly Frontier.

BigRichard
06-07-2012, 03:54 PM
If you plan on doing any camping up in the mountains, be prepared for cold weather overnight. By cold, I mean near freezing. And, expect it to rain late afternoon and evening.

I will probably stay away from that. I am a big old wuss when it comes to cold weather and camping.

Donger
06-07-2012, 03:55 PM
I will probably stay away from that. I am a big old wuss when it comes to cold weather and camping.

Camping really isn't my thing, but we've been pretty miserable every time we've gone. It is fine at lower elevations, but anything above 8,000 or higher, you are going to be cold at night and likely wet.

DaFace
06-07-2012, 03:56 PM
I was thinking about taking a train instead of driving or flying. Thought it would be cheaper then flying but it looks to be about the same price from Omaha to Denver.

That could be cool. It'll be a little more of a pain to get a rental car once you're in Denver (there are millions at the airport, and 20-30 downtown), but you can do it. Aside from that, whatever you're in the mood for.

BigRichard
06-07-2012, 03:59 PM
Anyone ever try kayaking? Just wonder how difficult it is for beginners.

Donger
06-07-2012, 04:00 PM
Anyone ever try kayaking? Just wonder how difficult it is for beginners.

On the river? No. On a lake, yes.

BigRichard
06-07-2012, 04:01 PM
Fly Frontier.

I was thinking it would be pretty neat to ride the train and see the state a little bit. Might just decide to drive if I can't find a cheaper price. It was like $550 for round trip on a train for 2 adults.

Rain Man
06-07-2012, 04:03 PM
I was thinking about taking a train instead of driving or flying. Thought it would be cheaper then flying but it looks to be about the same price from Omaha to Denver.

I'd like to do the train at some point. And if you're coming to Denver, it drops you off right in the heart of downtown, so it's more convenient than the airport, which is located almost halfway to Omaha. You can walk to hotels and then rent a car when you're ready to leave town.

Donger
06-07-2012, 04:04 PM
I was thinking it would be pretty neat to ride the train and see the state a little bit. Might just decide to drive if I can't find a cheaper price. It was like $550 for round trip on a train for 2 adults.

Well, if you are going to have to rent a car if you fly or take a train, take the cost of that into account. If you are going to explore the Rockies, you'll want your own wheels.

Have you ever driven in mountains?

BigRichard
06-07-2012, 04:05 PM
I'd like to do the train at some point. And if you're coming to Denver, it drops you off right in the heart of downtown, so it's more convenient than the airport, which is located almost halfway to Omaha. You can walk to hotels and then rent a car when you're ready to leave town.

That is nice to know.

Rain Man
06-07-2012, 04:05 PM
Anyone ever try kayaking? Just wonder how difficult it is for beginners.

On the river? No. On a lake, yes.



Anyone ever try kayaking? Just wonder how difficult it is for beginners.

On the river? No. On a lake, yes.


Heh.

scorpio
06-07-2012, 04:05 PM
Do they have mountain bikes to rent? I have been considering buying a mountain bike just haven't done it yet.

Yeah they have bikes for rent in town. Unfortunately it looks like they don't start up the mountain biking (at least at Copper) until June 30.

http://www.coppercolorado.com/summer/events_and_activities/summer_activities/copper_summer_activities

I was thinking it would be pretty neat to ride the train and see the state a little bit. Might just decide to drive if I can't find a cheaper price. It was like $550 for round trip on a train for 2 adults.

There's virtually no passenger rail east of Denver (ie, in the mountains). Train is fun but all you're going to see is a bunch of farm land.

BigRichard
06-07-2012, 04:05 PM
Well, if you are going to have to rent a car if you fly or take a train, take the cost of that into account. If you are going to explore the Rockies, you'll want your own wheels.

Have you ever driven in mountains?

No I have not.

Donger
06-07-2012, 04:07 PM
There's virtually no passenger rail east of Denver (ie, in the mountains). Train is fun but all you're going to see is a bunch of farm land.

Yeah, people seem to think that the Rockies start at the Kansas border. They don't. At all. Eastern Colorado is basically Western Kansas.

Donger
06-07-2012, 04:08 PM
Heh.

LMAO

Yeah, I wouldn't recommend kayaking on the Colorado.

Donger
06-07-2012, 04:10 PM
No I have not.

Okay, well, I-70 can be a little hair-raising. It's three lanes each way until just past Floyd Hill, then it goes to two lanes. Do NOT get stuck behind a semi going 35 mph uphill in the right lane, but do NOT stay in the left lane. Locals really don't like it.

Oh, and don't ride your brakes.

bishop_74
06-07-2012, 04:14 PM
You can get bikes everywhere out here. Be prepared to spend a bit of cash for rentals ($40-$80/day). Mountain biking is probably a better bet than Kayaking if you don't have any experience. Stay away from downhilling at the parks unless you are a serious rider. Hit me up if you are interested, and I can point you to all the good trails as I ride/hike 5-6 days out of the week typically.

BigRichard
06-07-2012, 04:15 PM
LMAO

Yeah, I wouldn't recommend kayaking on the Colorado.

I was thinking some of the beginning to intermediate rapids ;)

Guru
06-07-2012, 04:17 PM
Well this doesn't sound promising. Won't be the first week but second or third.
The closer to the end of June the better.

Iowanian
06-07-2012, 04:22 PM
Canyon City.

Call Echo Canyon Rafting.

Frazod
06-07-2012, 04:23 PM
Okay, well, I-70 can be a little hair-raising. It's three lanes each way until just past Floyd Hill, then it goes to two lanes. Do NOT get stuck behind a semi going 35 mph uphill in the right lane, but do NOT stay in the left lane. Locals really don't like it.

Oh, and don't ride your brakes.

Coming out of the Eisenhower tunnel going west was a little disconcerting. Slick, snowing, huge drop and semis everywhere. I'm sure you get used to it, but that was white knuckle time. Didn't seem so bad going east.

Iowanian
06-07-2012, 04:25 PM
Other places I enjoy in Colorado

If you're out that way, and up for a difficult hike....go to Hanging Lake near Glenwood Springs.

you won't regret that.

I like the Bucksnort Saloon in the boonies outside of Conifer near Pine, co for a nice burger experience

If you end up in the Alma-Fairplay area near the pass over from Breckenridge, find the Bristlecone pine forest.

mr. tegu
06-07-2012, 04:25 PM
Anyone ever try kayaking? Just wonder how difficult it is for beginners.

Rivers during this time of year in Colorado are no place for a beginner kayaker. I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't let you anyways. We were on the Arkansas River in August a few years back and were still hitting class 3-4 rapids. Great river btw for it.

Donger
06-07-2012, 04:25 PM
I'll throw in the other stuff that I normally do for people coming here in the summer:

1) Drive to the summit of Mt. Evans.

2) Hike to Hanging Lake (just outside of Glenwood Springs).

3) Maybe do the Pike's Peak Cog Railway (outside of Colorado Springs).

Donger
06-07-2012, 04:26 PM
Coming out of the Eisenhower tunnel going west was a little disconcerting. Slick, snowing, huge drop and semis everywhere. I'm sure you get used to it, but that was white knuckle time. Didn't seem so bad going east.

It's always fun in snow. Try going over Loveland Pass in snow and 60 mph winds. In a VW GTI. Without snow tires.

Donger
06-07-2012, 04:27 PM
If you're out that way, and up for a difficult hike....go to Hanging Lake.

you won't regret that.

It really isn't that difficult technically, but I've seen flatlanders having real issues. My kids run up that friggin trail.

mr. tegu
06-07-2012, 04:31 PM
I just did a quick check of Hanging Lake. Very nice. The first site said it was a relatively easy hike though.

Iowanian
06-07-2012, 04:31 PM
It really isn't that difficult technically, but I've seen flatlanders having real issues. My kids run up that friggin trail.

It's not impossible or technical climbing....but it's a hump up there. Worth every step.

https://encrypted-tbn2.google.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcR-4M1a2cipB38b1n6qQmBrRdaRTItccMkNsxxHgSZRP_Cf5Utv

Rain Man
06-07-2012, 04:33 PM
There's virtually no passenger rail east of Denver (ie, in the mountains). Train is fun but all you're going to see is a bunch of farm land.


You mean east or west?

Either way, Amtrak is the only option, but it goes through the whole state east to west. It may actually come in through Nebraska in the northeast, but it then goes all the way west to Utah.

At some point I want to go to Salt Lake City on the train. I've heard it's a beautiful ride. If I can find a race that I like in Salt Lake City I'll do that instead of flying or driving at some point.

Frazod
06-07-2012, 04:33 PM
It's always fun in snow. Try going over Loveland Pass in snow and 60 mph winds. In a VW GTI. Without snow tires.

I'm thinking..... no.

Donger
06-07-2012, 04:33 PM
I just did a quick check of Hanging Lake. Very nice. The first site said it was a relatively easy hike though.

It isn't hard, as long as you are relatively fit. You'll see old ladies climbing it.

This shot doesn't do it justice. The water is absolutely clear and almost turquoise. You can walk out on that fallen tree, too, and the water is full of little fish.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d1/Glenwood_Canyon.jpg

If you go, MAKE SURE that you also go up to Spouting Rock, which is the source of the lake.

DaFace
06-07-2012, 04:34 PM
I was thinking it would be pretty neat to ride the train and see the state a little bit. Might just decide to drive if I can't find a cheaper price. It was like $550 for round trip on a train for 2 adults.

I like that as a concept, but the reality is that eastern Colorado is about as exciting as western Kansas. Enjoy the "scenery" out there if you wish, but don't hold that part against the rest of it.

Frazod
06-07-2012, 04:34 PM
It isn't hard, as long as you are relatively fit. You'll see old ladies climbing it.

This shot doesn't do it justice. The water is absolutely clear and almost turquoise. You can walk out on that fallen tree, too, and the water is full of little fish.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d1/Glenwood_Canyon.jpg

If you go, MAKE SURE that you also go up to Spouting Rock, which is the source of the lake.

Damn, that's nice. I need to add that to the list.

DaFace
06-07-2012, 04:35 PM
It isn't hard, as long as you are relatively fit. You'll see old ladies climbing it.

This shot doesn't do it justice. The water is absolutely clear and almost turquoise. You can walk out on that fallen tree, too, and the water is full of little fish.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d1/Glenwood_Canyon.jpg

If you go, MAKE SURE that you also go up to Spouting Rock, which is the source of the lake.

That damn lake is the bane of my existence. The first time we tried to do it, it was too early and the trail was still snowpacked (and I hadn't yet figured out the whole yaktrax/snowshoe option). The second time, the trail was under construction. And the last time, the road was under construction and the exit was closed off.

I'll do it someday, but man, that's a lot of effort to never do the damn hike.

Iowanian
06-07-2012, 04:36 PM
After that hike, go soak your ass in the hot sulfur springs at Glennwood.

Donger
06-07-2012, 04:38 PM
That damn lake is the bane of my existence. The first time we tried to do it, it was too early and the trail was still snowpacked (and I hadn't yet figured out the whole yaktrax/snowshoe option). The second time, the trail was under construction. And the last time, the road was under construction and the exit was closed off.

I'll do it someday, but man, that's a lot of effort to never do the damn hike.

LMAO

We last went about two years ago and I think they had just finished the new walkway and deck around the lake, but yeah, the exit was still under construction.

Ace Gunner
06-07-2012, 04:43 PM
I'm a white water freak, have owned my own river rafts, w/w kayaks. it's a dangerous sport for beginners unless you are up for it and use a guide service. you'll have teriffic fun on class II & class III rapids, the guide will put you in and take you out the right areas of the river for this type fun.

w/w kayak i recommend taking the class where you'll learn to roll etc in water. you need to know how to do this if you want to ww kayak or you are asking for trouble.

river rafting is fun too, with a guide until you have navigational experience. need big water for the good fun, but it's a great "group" experience. y'all learn to "team" it. and, of course it is a drier experience than w/w kayaking is.

Donger
06-07-2012, 04:44 PM
After that hike, go soak your ass in the hot sulfur springs at Glennwood.

I had great memories of the springs from my childhood, so we went one weekend trip. My daughter took one step outside and puked from the smell.

Ace Gunner
06-07-2012, 04:46 PM
It isn't hard, as long as you are relatively fit. You'll see old ladies climbing it.

This shot doesn't do it justice. The water is absolutely clear and almost turquoise. You can walk out on that fallen tree, too, and the water is full of little fish.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d1/Glenwood_Canyon.jpg

If you go, MAKE SURE that you also go up to Spouting Rock, which is the source of the lake.

is that matt cassel in a buddha position by that tree?

Easy 6
06-07-2012, 04:46 PM
I was thinking it would be pretty neat to ride the train and see the state a little bit. Might just decide to drive if I can't find a cheaper price. It was like $550 for round trip on a train for 2 adults.

The train is a GREAT way to see country that you never will on the interstate or at 30,000 feet, its hassle free, big comfortable chairs that lean back nicely for sleeping, go down to the bar car for a few drinks, the longer trips get a smokers car which basically turns into a nightclub in the evening... its great.

For rafting, i know that Royal Gorge has several different places that offer trips.

Donger
06-07-2012, 04:46 PM
Although I'm starting to feel like a Tour Guide Barbie, I also recommend the hike to Devil's Head. It's a very short drive from Denver and has great views. It's also not very difficult at all. Well, at least until the climb up the steps to the ranger hut.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/2b/Devil%27s_Head_Stairs.jpg

Guru
06-07-2012, 04:55 PM
Adam's Falls is a nice little item to see on your way to Rocky Mountain National Park as well. Just went up there yesterday.

mr. tegu
06-07-2012, 05:14 PM
It isn't hard, as long as you are relatively fit. You'll see old ladies climbing it.

This shot doesn't do it justice. The water is absolutely clear and almost turquoise. You can walk out on that fallen tree, too, and the water is full of little fish.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d1/Glenwood_Canyon.jpg

If you go, MAKE SURE that you also go up to Spouting Rock, which is the source of the lake.

So is it a small little stream that fills the lake and then the stream continues on after the lake? Also when is the best time of year to go? Summer I assume.

We are eventually going to do a outdoorsy vacation which may also include the trains which can give you uninstructed views unlike any other form of transportation.

Donger
06-07-2012, 05:17 PM
So is it a small little stream that fills the lake and then the stream continues on after the lake? Also when is the best time of year to go? Summer I assume.

We are eventually going to do a outdoorsy vacation which may also include the trains which can give you uninstructed views unlike any other form of transportation.

Spouting Rock is a short hike above the waterfall you see. The water comes flying out of the rock above, forms a stream that flows to the waterfall above. You can walk around, under and through the water, both at Spouting Rock and also the waterfall above at the lake. There's a walkway all the way to it on the right of that picture.

Yes, the stream continues down from the lake. You basically follow that stream up all the way to the lake along the trail. There are a bunch of little bridges that criss-cross the stream all the ay up (7, IIRC).

Yes, do it in the summer, not winter. It is a block of ice in winter.

Donger
06-07-2012, 05:20 PM
Here's a picture of Spouting Rock. It's about 40 feet high.

http://www.takemytrip.com/colo/448_IMG_3815.jpg

Donger
06-07-2012, 05:20 PM
<iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/sVnjmaeZdEw" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

mr. tegu
06-07-2012, 05:23 PM
Hanger lake hike looks pretty sweet. But it's a paved trail? Not exactly what I'm thinking if I want to go to Colorado for a hike.

Donger
06-07-2012, 05:27 PM
Hanger lake hike looks pretty sweet. But it's a paved trail? Not exactly what I'm thinking if I want to go to Colorado for a hike.

Hanging Lake. If you see it, you'll understand the name.

It depends on what you mean by paved. The start of the hike is really quite rough, with huge granite blocks that you have to climb over. After that, it's pretty much a dirt trail until you get to the ascent up to the lake, which is now Trex decking stuff. Only a few hundred yards of that.

But, no, you aren't hacking down pines or anything. It's a very well-traveled hike.

crazycoffey
06-07-2012, 06:14 PM
No such place.

oops. Horse tooth

BigRichard
06-07-2012, 06:28 PM
I'm a white water freak, have owned my own river rafts, w/w kayaks. it's a dangerous sport for beginners unless you are up for it and use a guide service. you'll have teriffic fun on class II & class III rapids, the guide will put you in and take you out the right areas of the river for this type fun.

w/w kayak i recommend taking the class where you'll learn to roll etc in water. you need to know how to do this if you want to ww kayak or you are asking for trouble.

river rafting is fun too, with a guide until you have navigational experience. need big water for the good fun, but it's a great "group" experience. y'all learn to "team" it. and, of course it is a drier experience than w/w kayaking is.

Excellent information. Thanks.

scorpio
06-07-2012, 07:21 PM
oops. Horse tooth

I wasn't picking on your spelling. There is no Horsetooth Canyon. Maybe you mean Rist Canyon? Or Poudre Canyon?

NewChief
06-07-2012, 08:59 PM
I wasn't picking on your spelling. There is no Horsetooth Canyon. Maybe you mean Rist Canyon? Or Poudre Canyon?

I think he's just talking about the Horse Tooth formation just west of Fort Collins. No rafting there, but there is nice hiking and climbing. Could also kayak on the reservoir, I suppose.

crazycoffey
06-07-2012, 09:37 PM
I think he's just talking about the Horse Tooth formation just west of Fort Collins. No rafting there, but there is nice hiking and climbing. Could also kayak on the reservoir, I suppose.

I remember calling it horsetooth canyon, it's actually called horsetooth reservoir, a beautiful area to visit, hike, camp fish in colorado. I was 14 when I was last there, but I forgot it's more important to cherry pick technicallities on CP. And since I was talking to the OP here's more information. I am sooo sorry scorpio, sorry you have nothing better to do.....

http://www.co.larimer.co.us/parks/Horsetooth.htm

NewChief
06-07-2012, 09:52 PM
I remember calling it horsetooth canyon, it's actually called horsetooth reservoir, a beautiful area to visit, hike, camp fish in colorado. I was 14 when I was last there, but I forgot it's more important to cherry pick technicallities on CP. And since I was talking to the OP here's more information. I am sooo sorry scorpio, sorry you have nothing better to do.....

http://www.co.larimer.co.us/parks/Horsetooth.htm

Give him an infraction. :p

scorpio
06-07-2012, 10:12 PM
I remember calling it horsetooth canyon, it's actually called horsetooth reservoir, a beautiful area to visit, hike, camp fish in colorado. I was 14 when I was last there, but I forgot it's more important to cherry pick technicallities on CP. And since I was talking to the OP here's more information. I am sooo sorry scorpio, sorry you have nothing better to do.....

http://www.co.larimer.co.us/parks/Horsetooth.htm

Not sure why you're getting butthurtt, just don't want to send OP on a wild goose chase looking for the fictional Horsetooth Canyon.

I can see why people don't like you.

crazycoffey
06-08-2012, 01:26 AM
Not sure why you're getting butthurtt, just don't want to send OP on a wild goose chase looking for the fictional Horsetooth Canyon.

I can see why people don't like you.

Right, cause I typed a search for horsetooth Colorado and saw just what I wanted to find. Big wild goose chase. Calling you an idiot is not me being butt hurt, and only idiots don't like me.

And newphin, I laughed....

BigRichard
06-08-2012, 01:03 PM
I just wanted to thank everyone for their suggestions and advice. Thanks.

Guru
06-08-2012, 01:10 PM
Just got back from zip-lining at Devil's Thumb Ranch. Had fun but I guess I was expecting a bigger rush than what I got.

BigRichard
06-08-2012, 01:19 PM
Just got back from zip-lining at Devil's Thumb Ranch. Had fun but I guess I was expecting a bigger rush than what I got.

Not to hijack my own thread but when I visited Mexico a couple of years ago we did some zip lines over some water that had crocs or alligators in it. I don't remember which. I fucked up when I jumped off the launching point and flipped over backwards. Here I am hanging upside down over a bunch of reptiles hoping the harness holds. Luckily I got myself upright but I lost my brake so I came in the other side just flying. They had to deploy some sort of cushion thing on the line so I didn't snap my neck. Needless to say I had to clean out my shorts a little bit.

Guru
06-08-2012, 01:25 PM
Not to hijack my own thread but when I visited Mexico a couple of years ago we did some zip lines over some water that had crocs or alligators in it. I don't remember which. I ****ed up when I jumped off the launching point and flipped over backwards. Here I am hanging upside down over a bunch of reptiles hoping the harness holds. Luckily I got myself upright but I lost my brake so I came in the other side just flying. They had to deploy some sort of cushion thing on the line so I didn't snap my neck. Needless to say I had to clean out my shorts a little bit.

It helps to actually hold on to your harness before you jump you know. :thumb:

Glad you came out without injury.