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Gunnison River, Colorado
Report by Marc W. McCord

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SOAR Inflatable Canoes - Somewhere On A River

The Gunnison River forms in Almont at the confluence of the Taylor and East Rivers in the Gunnison National Forest in Gunnison County, then flows generally south to the Town of Gunnison. From there, the river flows generally west where it is dammed to form Blue Mesa Reservoir. Flowing out of Blue Mesa Reservoir it starts a series of zigs and zags that take it north through Black Canyon in Montrose County past the South Fork to its junction with the North Fork, where it turns west, flowing through the Town of Delta in Delta County, then turning north again, where it flows through Grand Junction to its confluence with the Colorado River in Mesa County. Along the way the Gunnison cuts through a diverse cross-section of Colorado topography and offers a wide variety of runs to fit the skills and paddling interests of canoeists, kayakers and rafters, from beginner to expert level. The Gunnison River is fed by a number of major and minor rivers, creeks and streams including the Taylor, East, Uncompahgre, Smith Fork, Big and Little Cimarron, Lake Fork and North Fork Rivers, as well as Escalante, Henson, Cebolla, Tomichi, Cochetopa, Daisy and numerous other creeks, many of which are exciting boating runs unto themselves.

While most of the Gunnison River is boatable, this review will highlight sections that are popular because of their characteristics, proximity to access points and campgrounds, and flows that are navigable. The full length of the Gunnison River is much longer than the sum of the sections discussed.

Click the links below for information regarding the section of the Gunnison River and its tributaries where you want to paddle.

[ Lake Fork Box to Gateview ] [ Black Canyon ] [ Gunnison Gorge ] [ Gunnison Forks to Escalante ]
[ Escalante to Whitewater ] [ Whitewater to Grand Junction ] [ Big Cimmaron ] [ Ruby Fork ]
[ North Fork ] [ Cebolla Creek ] [ Taylor River ] [ Kannah Creek ] [ Henson Creek ]

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Last updated September 2, 2015

Copyright © 1998-2015, Marc W. McCord dba CobraGraphics. All rights reserved. Southwest Paddler, CobraGraphics and Canoeman River Guide Services are trademarks of Marc W. McCord dba CobraGraphics. The textual, graphic, audio, and audio/visual material in this site is protected by United States copyright law and international treaties. You may not copy, distribute, or use these materials except for your personal, non-commercial use. Any trademarks are the property of their respective owners. All original photographs on this web site are the exclusive property of Marc W. McCord or other designated photographers and may not be copied, duplicated, reproduced, distributed or used in any manner without prior written permission under penalty of US and International laws and treaties.