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Colorado whitewater, Big Thompson River

Larimer county, Drake to Canyon Mouth section whitewater kayaking, rafting, and paddling information.

 

CLASS III-IV     7.75 miles
  The beautiful scenery of Larimer County and the water flowing gracefully down Big Thompson River have people coming here. This section of Big Thompson River is 7.75 miles long and is rated by American Whitewater as a class III-IV section. You might be into whitewater rafting or kayaking or both, doesn't matter, in this general area you'll find lots of paddling rivers. Getting a good workout and just being out on the river for a while are
    great reasons to come. You might have to settle for a hotel a bit away from the river if you want to stay the night, but do book a room before you come because it is a very popular destination. If you've been whitewater
rafting and kayaking outside this state you might find the rivers here a bit more challenging, so if you're not from around here don't forget that many of the rivers here are not very forgiving. You can pitch a tent or park your RV at a nearby campground. The Front Range scenery is wonderful. The put-in is not too far from Fort Collins-Loveland, please print out a copy of the road map further down the page so you won’t get lost. On this section  
you do get some distance, good for a one day paddling trip. There are a few other sections in this river system that can be paddled as well.

Briefly about the general area:
During your spree to Big Thompson River you'll meet some people from Drake for sure. Have a great hiking adventure along the Round Mountain Trail, and Grouse Hollow is around here, and is a good location. The surroundings of this river have so much to offer. Lory State Park is both good and pretty, and it's close to Big Thompson River, and going for a hike along the Jug Trail will let you absorb the natural beauty of this region.

Big Thompson River, Drake to Canyon Mouth road map
Printable road map with the put-in and take-out locations clearly marked.

   

Map
map
Detailed Map


Stats
map
Stats for this river stretch


Weather
weather
Local weather forecast


OUTDOORS
These outdoors activities are available near Big Thompson River.
 Whitewater Near Big Thompson River:
Big Thompson River, Larimer County, 3 miles away
      Class III-IV - 7.75 miles long (Drake to Canyon Mouth)
Big Thompson River, Larimer County, 5 miles away
      Class II-IV+(V+) - 11.5 miles long (Lake Estes to Drake)
Saint Vrain Creek - North, Boulder County, 11 miles away
      Class III - 6.5 miles long (CR 80 to Lyons)
Saint Vrain Creek - North, Boulder County, 11 miles away
      Class IV(V) - 1.8 miles long (Buttonrock Preserve to CR 80)
Whitewater Outfitter - A Wanderlust Adventure, Larimer County, 13 miles away
      Whitewater outfitter
Whitewater Outfitter - Rapid Transit Rafting, Larimer County, 13 miles away
      Whitewater outfitter
Cache La Poudre River, Larimer County, 14 miles away
      Class IV - 2 miles long (Poudre Park Picnic Gound to below Pine View Falls)
Cache La Poudre River, Larimer County, 14 miles away
      Class III-IV - 2 miles long (below Pineview Falls to Mile Marker 114.7)
Cache La Poudre River, Larimer County, 14 miles away
      Class II-III - 2.4 miles long (below Filter Plant to Picnic Rock Access)
Cache La Poudre River, Larimer County, 15 miles away
      Class III - 3 miles long (Mishiwaka Inn to Poudre Park Picnic Ground)
 Ski Areas Near Big Thompson River:
Eldora, Colorado , 34 miles away, 1600 foot drop, 12 lifts, 53 runs
Winter Park, Colorado , 45 miles away, 3060 foot drop, 26 lifts, 145 runs
SolVista Basin, Colorado , 48 miles away, 1000 foot drop, 6 lifts, 37 runs
Loveland, Colorado , 59 miles away, 2410 foot drop, 10 lifts, 92 runs
Arapahoe Basin, Colorado , 59 miles away, 2270 foot drop, 7 lifts, 105 runs
Keystone, Colorado , 64 miles away, 3128 foot drop, 20 lifts, 135 runs
Breckenridge, Colorado , 74 miles away, 3398 foot drop, 27 lifts, 146 runs
Copper Mountain, Colorado , 78 miles away, 2601 foot drop, 23 lifts, 125 runs
Snowy Range, Wyoming , 80 miles away, 990 foot drop, 5 lifts, 27 runs
Vail, Colorado , 87 miles away, 3450 foot drop, 31 lifts, 193 runs
 Marinas Near Big Thompson River:
Carter Lake Marina, Loveland , 5 miles away
Inlet Bay Marina at Horsetooth, Fort Collins , 9 miles away
Boyd Lake Marina, Loveland , 15 miles away
Boulder Reservoir Marina, Boulder , 19 miles away
 Hotels Near Big Thompson River:
La Quinta Inn & Suites Loveland, Loveland , 10 miles away
Quality Inn & Suites, Fort Collins , 14 miles away
Candlewood Suites FORT COLLINS, Fort Collins , 14 miles away
Fort Collins Marriott, Fort Collins , 15 miles away
Hilton Fort Collins, Fort Collins , 15 miles away
 Campgrounds Near Big Thompson River:
Pinewood Reservoir - Windy Pines, Drake, 3 miles away
Pinewood Reservoir - The Launch, Drake, 3 miles away
Pinewood Reservoir - Blue Mt, Lyons, 4 miles away
 Trails Near Big Thompson River:
Round Mountain Trail, Larimer , 2 miles away
Jug Trail, Larimer , 4 miles away
Crosier Mountain Trail, Larimer , 9 miles away
Storm Mountain Trail, Larimer , 9 miles away
Sheep Creek Trail, Larimer , 11 miles away
 Public Lands Near Big Thompson River:
Rocky Mountain National Park, Estes Park - CO , 17 miles away
Lory State Park, Colorado , 10 miles away
Boyd Lake State Park, Colorado , 16 miles away
Barbour Ponds State Park, Colorado , 24 miles away
 Golf Courses Near Big Thompson River:
Haystack Mountain Golf Course, Longmont , 9 miles away
Cattail Creek Golf Course, Loveland , 11 miles away
Olde Course At Loveland, Loveland , 11 miles away
 Lakes Near Big Thompson River
Lon Hagler Reservoir, Larimer , 9 miles away
Dixon Reservoir, Larimer , 11 miles away
Watson Lake, Larimer , 13 miles away

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Some content, including Reach Name, Class, Coordinates, and Length, comes from American Whitewater with permission.