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Colorado whitewater, Rio Grande

Mineral Rio Grande county, Wagon Wheel Gap to South Fork section whitewater kayaking, rafting, and paddling information.

 

CLASS II     12 miles
  The nature scenery of Colorado and the playfulness of the water are in themselves reasons enough to come here to paddle. 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. The starting location is a short drive from Durango, there's a road map further down the page with
    more info on that. A bit of exercise and just being out on the river for a while are sure to keep you coming back for more. The Wagon Wheel Gap to South Fork stretch of Rio Grande is 12 miles long and has been determined
by American Whitewater to be a class II section. If you have the time you can make this a two day trip, so pack your camp stove. The nearby hotels are a bit away from the river, but if you donít have reservations you might end up sleeping in your car. The beauty of the San Juan and Jemez Mountains is a great plus for this river. There are some good sections to paddle in this river system, the Wagon Wheel Gap to South Fork section is one of  
them. And of course, there are campgrounds nearby. Some people prefer whitewater rafting and some kayaking, either way this is an area with not too many other rivers for that.

Briefly about the general area:
Rio Grande Palisades is something you shouldn't miss since you're here at Rio Grande, and the Farmers Creek Trail is a wonderful hiking trail nearby. Yeah, come up here to the San Juan and Jemez Mountains for a wonderful time. Here at Rio Grande there are plenty of folks from South Fork, and on a good day you can take a hike along the Lake Fork National Recreation Trail. This river is so good.

Rio Grande, Wagon Wheel Gap to South Fork 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 Rio Grande.
 Whitewater Near Rio Grande:
Rio Grande, Mineral/Rio Grande County, 6 miles away
      Class II - 12 miles long (Wagon Wheel Gap to South Fork)
Wolf Creek, Mineral County, 18 miles away
      Class IV+ - 0.25 miles long (Downstream from Highway 160 Bridge)
San Juan River - East Fork, Archuleta County, 21 miles away
      Class III-IV - 4 miles long (East Fork to 160 Bridge)
Conejos River, Conejos County, 29 miles away
      Class II-IV - 6.4 miles long (Platoro Reservoir to South Fork Conejos)
 Ski Areas Near Rio Grande:
Wolf Creek, Colorado , 14 miles away, 1604 foot drop, 7 lifts, 77 runs
Monarch, Colorado , 51 miles away, 1162 foot drop, 7 lifts, 63 runs
Irwin Lodge, Colorado , 64 miles away, 2100 foot drop, 3 lifts, 15 runs
Kendall Mountain, Colorado , 65 miles away, 400 foot drop, 1 lifts, 3 runs
Silverton, Colorado , 65 miles away, 3200 foot drop, 1 lifts, 1 runs
Crested Butte, Colorado , 66 miles away, 2775 foot drop, 16 lifts, 121 runs
Purgatory, Colorado , 76 miles away, 2029 foot drop, 11 lifts, 85 runs
Telluride, Colorado , 79 miles away, 3845 foot drop, 18 lifts, 115 runs
Snowmass, Colorado , 79 miles away, 4406 foot drop, 21 lifts, 84 runs
Aspen Mountain, Colorado , 80 miles away, 3267 foot drop, 8 lifts, 76 runs
 Hotels Near Rio Grande:
Allington Inn And Suites, South Fork , 6 miles away
AppleLodge Bed & Breakfast, Del Norte , 26 miles away
Elkwood ManorLuxury Bed Breakfast, Pagosa Springs , 32 miles away
The Springs Resort And Spa, Pagosa Springs , 32 miles away
Springs Resort And Spa, Pagosa Springs , 32 miles away
 Campgrounds Near Rio Grande:
Palisade Campground, Mineral County, 3 miles away
Hansons Mill, South Fork, 5 miles away
Aspen Ridge Cabins and RV Park, South Fork, 6 miles away
 Trails Near Rio Grande:
Lake Fork National Recreation Trail, Mineral , 9 miles away
Farmers Creek Trail, Mineral , 11 miles away
Farmers Creek Trail, Mineral , 11 miles away
Highline Trail, Mineral , 11 miles away
Wolf Creek Stock Driveway, Rio Grande , 14 miles away
 Public Lands Near Rio Grande:
Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park, Gunnison - CO , 41 miles away
Curecanti National Recreation Area, Gunnison - CO , 41 miles away
 Golf Courses Near Rio Grande:
Rio Grande Club, South Fork , 6 miles away
 Lakes Near Rio Grande
Lost Lake, Rio Grande , 11 miles away

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