Gore is in and the Colorado flows pretty much year round; Shoshone, West Water ect... There are also several dam controlled runs to keep an eye out for. The Lower Blue usually gets some good fall releases, and if Denver starts sucking water through the tunnel check out some of the South Platte runs.
December and Jan can be tough, but oftentimes Shoshone or Westwater is in play. I often go to Gore until the beginning of November and you can get back on it in the spring mid-late March. Also the Royal Gorge on the Ark is often accessible as early as Feb. You can run slalom gates in Denver pretty much all winter long, if you just want to stay in shape. The best solution is to go to Ecuador or somewhere in South America and you'll forget all about cold dark days and low water.
Personally I embrace the winter, hit up a couple pool roll sessions and wait until the days are longer and the snow starts to melt.
September, October and into November are fun times to run Royal Gorge. Never in my seven years in Colorado has it been too low to paddle - it goes at 269 (my personal low), and there's very rarely less than 350 in there. (Sunshine is nasty at that flow).
The only thing that keeps Royal G from being a year-rounder is the possibility of major ice bridges in December, January and February.
It's really the same story on Gore. That run is honestly very fun at 450. You just have to watch for major ice in the middle of winter.
Bailey is at a great water level right now. I ran that into September last year. It's still fun as low as 200.
The Parkdale section of the Ark has some decent play spots when the flow is in the 300s, and it almost never drops below that. Usually it doesn't ice over. So you can do a nine-mile run with some decent play in December and January.
I ran Brown's Canyon in the 300s a couple times in January of 09, and that was reasonably fun.
When all that is iced over, head a couple more hours south to Taos and run the Racecourse section in January. Some nice little surf waves in there at low flow, and it is pretty much year-round.
this is all great information thanks a bunch, btw I checked out the Royal Gorge on eddyflower, there is a video at the bottom of the run description that has some of the sloppiest/most entertaining paddling I have seen, check it out for a good laugh.
A forum community dedicated to whitewater kayaking, boating, and rafting enthusiasts. Come join the discussion about safety, routes, gear, models, styles, gear swaps, reviews, accessories, classifieds, and more!