By Rod, Paddle, or Tube: A guide to enjoying Breck’s Rivers

Whitewater Rafting Breckenridge

In the Colorado high country it’s always hard to watch the snow melt off the peaks without a twinge of regret for the passing ski season, but the annual spring melt can be a blessing in disguise. This same snowmelt is what feeds our local rivers, which provide some of the best opportunities for summer recreation in the state. The rivers around the Breckenridge area include the mighty Colorado, the Arkansas, and the Blue River, which runs right through town. They offer something for everyone, from anglers to whitewater thrill seekers to those looking to spend a mellow day escaping the summer heat on the water.

Boating

There are several outfitters in Breckenridge which offer guided rafting trips on nearby rivers. For beginning rafters and families a trip on the Upper Colorado River is the best bet. Beginning in Kremmling, about an hour north of town, a day on the Upper Colorado includes mostly flat water, with some brief sections of class II rapids, as wells absolutely stunning views of the surrounding mountains.

For more adventurous types many local outfitters offer trips on the Arkansas, America’s most popular rafting river, including the moderate class III-IV whitewater of Brown’s Canyon and class V thrills on the Numbers section.

The Blue River provides whitewater closer to home, with consistent but fairly mellow class II-III rapids with excellent views of the remote Gore Range.

For those Kayakers who prefer plastic to rubber, the Blue River Kayak Park is located right in town and is the largest whitewater park in the state, offering fifteen water features for boaters of all skill levels.

Fishing

Breckenridge is also an angler’s paradise, with an abundance of outfitters, guiding services, and a plethora of Blue Fishing BreckenridgeRibbon waters to cast in. The Blue River offers opportunities to catch cutthroat, rainbow, and brown trout, as well as stocked Kokanee salmon, not to mention great views of the surrounding Tenmile mountain range.

Hiring a guide in town can be a great way to take advantage of local knowledge and make sure to hit the best spots. Make sure to obtain a Colorado Fishing License online or from a local outfitter before heading to out to cast.

— Jonathan Gang