- Kayak and canoe adventures are plentiful on the Eagle, Piney and Colorado Rivers
- Take a scenic floating trip on the Eagle or Colorado River
- The Colorado River is great for families with different skill levels
- Hire a guide for an exciting whitewater trip through the rapids
The Vail area boasts some incredible floating and whitewater kayaking, in fact some of the best in the state. There are varying runs for different levels of skill, but all offer some of the most scenic views in the country.
Where to go Kayaking and Canoeing
With a few mountain rivers located in the vicinity, you have a great choice when it comes to finding that perfect section of water for floating or taking a whitewater trip. You must remember, however, that whitewater kayaking is a tough, demanding sport that can be very dangerous if you aren’t skilled and familiar with the water you will be encountering.
When the river levels drop low, you can float on the Eagle River, and this is a popular water sport during this time period. However, when waters run high, whitewater rafting and kayaking become the top picks for whitewater enthusiasts. The Eagle provides some Class II to Class IV rapids as the waters are fed from the melting snow on the peaks. Experts find whitewater in the Class V bracket if braving the Dowd Chute. The Eagle passes colorful canyon walled dotted with stands of juniper and cottonwood.
This river has Moderate Class I, II and III whitewater rapids making it a wonderful choice for families with different skill levels. For some continuous Class III rapids, you can go to the Shoshone section through Glenwood Canyon. The Gore Canyon section is a Class V and one of the top three most difficult commercial runs.
The Piney River is not for canoes, and only for those whitewater kayakers who are experts. Here there is moderate Class III to technical Class VI rapids. Starting high in the Gore Range, this is an exceptionally scenic river, the banks lined with aspen trees and spruce.
Vail's Whitewater Park is located right in Vail Village along Gore Creek. Its adjustable features offer a unique set of rapids every year. The annual Teva Mountain Games are fun to watch and the whitewater park is open from mid-May through July.