Colorado’s Rocky Mountains rise to a height of 14,443 feet (Mt Elbert) and form the crest of the Continental Divide, known as the “Backbone of the Continent” stretching 3000 miles from Montana to Mexico.
Denver, Colorado, population 554,636, is Colorado’s largest metropolitan area established in 1858 after gold was discovered at the confluence of Cherry Creek and the South Platte River.
Colorado Springs was settled in 1871 as a resort town where rich easterners and Englishmen seeking adventure could enjoy life in tranquil comfort. West of Colorado Springs, the Arkansas River begins its 1450 mile journey from its headwaters in Leadville, Colorado through the San Isabel National Forest containing the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Sawatch Mountains and world-renown Browns Canyon and the Royal Gorge.
Big Bend National Park in Texas contains 118 miles of the Rio Grande River, a Wild and Scenic designated river with the popular Colorado and Saint Elena canyons.
Rocky Mountain National Park is home to grassy valleys stretching from 8,000 feet to 14,259 feet at summit of Long’s Peak in Estes Park containing herds of elk, mule deer, moose, bighorn sheep, black bears, coyotes, cougars, eagles, hawks and other wildlife and Little Gore and Gore Canyon and the upper flows of the Colorado River.
The Black Canyon of Gunnison National Park, Colorado’s newest national park established in 2000, is home to the malachite green Gunnison River overshadowed by towering volcanic cliffs 2800 feet high and containing “Gold Medal” fishing for anglers of all types.
River Rapid Rating System
“Scale on Class I to VI”
Class I: Easy float
Class II: Medium with clear passages
Class III: Difficult waves, narrow passages
Class IV: Very difficult, long, boiling rapids
Class V: Extremely difficult, big violent drops
Class VI: Unrunnable!