Sunday was a picture-perfect day here in Colorado. Vibrant blue skies, 65-70 degree temps, and not a care in the world! The perfect conditions to explore the Colorado River and Gore Canyon.
Gore Canyon showed up on every “Best views in Grand County, Colorado” list I found online, so I had to check it out. Sunday afternoon I drove about an hour from my place in Grand Lake to the Gore Canyon Whitewater Park and Pumphouse Recreation Site.
I plugged the location into my phone and headed south past Hot Sulphur Springs and Kremmling, crossing the Colorado River—which begins a few miles north of Grand Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park—several times. I drove down Byers Canyon south of Hot Sulphur Springs, and if the Gore Canyon views were anything like the Byers Canyon overlook, I knew I was in for a real treat.
After my GPS took me past the Grand County Fairgrounds in Kremmling, I found Trough Road (Grand County #1), a 10-mile partially-paved, mostly dirt-packed road. Almost immediately after turning onto the road, my phone no longer got reception. “Oh boy, Eric Gets Lost!” crossed my mind a few times. I’m thankful the tires on my Civic are fairly new. I only saw a couple of other vehicles during those 10 miles, so I was unsure what to expect when I got to my destination.
The Gore Canyon Whitewater Park and Pumphouse Recreation Site is great! Several parking lots, restrooms, and picnic areas. There are about 20 large campsites sprinkled throughout the parking areas, each within steps of the Colorado River’s shore.
I wish I would have worn hiking pants instead of jeans. It was very sunny (aka you will get hot and sunburn quickly if you don’t have appropriate hiking gear!) and I didn’t want to hike too much to places unknown, so I stayed near the lots and campsites. There were hiking paths by the river’s edge.
When researching Gore Canyon after I returned home, I realized this 3-mile stretch of the Colorado River is a whitewater rafter’s paradise. In fact, some say Gore Canyon has the wildest commercially-available whitewater rafting in all of Colorado—and perhaps the nation. Gore Canyon is often the home of the annual U.S. National Rafting Championships.
I might have to return yet this month to find some whitewater—from the dry comfort along the shore, of course!
I’ve created a photo gallery of my favorites from my afternoon at Gore Canyon. Enjoy!