best places to kayak in colorado springs

Manitou Lake Recreation Area

Manitou Lake is a great place to paddle in the summer, and it’s an excellent way to see the mountains meet the water. The lake is perfect for experienced kayakers and beginners alike.

quail lake

This is a beautiful lake with excellent views of COS. The boat loading is clean, accessible and there is room for parking a kayak trailer. The lake has a lot of areas to fish or relax.

The reservoir itself is large enough (about 500 acres) that you can spend an entire day just exploring and enjoying yourself – but not so big that paddling becomes exhausting.

Rampart Reservoir

North Slope Recreation Area

There are plenty of opportunities for kayaking at North Slope Recreation Area. Crystal Creek Reservoir, South Catamount Reservoir, and North Catamount Reservoir are open for paddling and boats with electric motors (no gas motors).

Desert Botanical Garden

Visitors can enjoy swimming, sunbathing, surfing, fishing, and searching for shells.

Eleven Mile Reservoir

It’s about 12 miles to paddle from end to end, making it long enough for an extended outing. There are also granite rock formations to explore and plenty of wildlife.

Bear Creek Lake

Bear Creek Lake is easy to get to and is an excellent spot to kayak and fish. Be wary, though. There are lots of humans in this area :).

Lake Pueblo

The lake offers all sorts of activities so people can enjoy nature year-round. There is access to many trails for hiking, mountain biking, fishing, and kayaking.

Shadow Mountain Lake

The water is calm, and there are many shallow areas to keep larger boats out of your way. You might even find yourself spotting wildlife such as deer or elk grazing on the shoreline.

Rifle Gap

The reservoir, which has a surface area of 350 acres, is one of Colorado’s best watersports spots. The reservoir is long and narrow, with plenty of space to paddle.

Arkansas River

An Arkansas River paddle can be thrilling for both novice and expert paddlers. The waterway offers a wide range of conditions, from easy Class I rapids to strong Class VI whitewater.

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