kayakingLake Estes is the only location in Estes Park for canoeing and kayaking

  • Rocky Mountain National Park allows kayaking and canoeing on most lakes
  • St. Vrain River has fun rapids for kayakers!
  • Take Trail Ridge Road to Grand Lake, where you can fish and boat


Where should I go Kayak/Canoeing?

Lake Estes:


Sharp peaks surround these 4-shoreline miles. Choose a fishing boat, pontoon, paddleboat, canoe, or kayak to explore!

After boating, go around the lake on a paved path that’s great for running, skating, and biking.

  • Location: Drive into Estes Park west on US 36. The lake is on your right side.
  • Seasons: May-Oct
  • Marina/Boat Launch: Launch your boat at Lake Estes Marina, on the lake’s north side.
  • Boat Restrictions: No jet skis. Wakeless water, unless pulling a water-skier. Noise decibel of boats can’t be above 40.
  • Fishing: Fish from a boat or on shoreline for rainbow trout, brown trout, Kokanee, Yellow Perch, and Walleye.

Grand Lake:
Tremendous Rocky Mountains abruptly appear by Grand Lake and its water.

Sail, water-ski, canoe, kayak, or fish on Grand Lake—the largest natural lake in Colorado!

Shadow Mountain Lake is connected to Grand Lake, so your exploration expands.

  • Location: West on US 36 into Rocky Mountain National Park, through Beaver Meadows Entrance. Take Trail Ridge Road to Grand Lake.
  • Seasons: May-Sep
  • Marina/Boat Launch: Launch your boat at West Portal on the lake’s east end. Marinas include Grand Lake Marina and Trail Ridge Marina.
  • Boat Restrictions: 55 mph speed limit. 32-foot clearance beneath the foot- bridge that crosses above the channel.
  • Camping: Rocky Mountain National Park’s campgrounds are close by. Green Ridge campground is on the south end of Shadow Mountain Lake.
  • Fishing: You’ll find various kinds of trout and land-locked sockeye salmon called Kokanee.

St. Vrain River:
Southeast of Estes Park you’ll find the town of Lyons, and sections of St. Vrain river for tubing and kayaking.

  • Put-Ins: Meadow Park and Bohn Park. For Meadow Park, go west of the intersection of Hwy 7 (5th Ave) and Railroad Ave. For Bohn Park, go south of Park St. off of 2nd Ave.
  • Seasons: April-Oct
  • Rapids: Black Bear drop is a Beginner/Intermediate drop. Downstream is A-hole drop, which is advanced. Enjoy these kayaking playing holes!
  • Fishing: Bohn Park is a popular access for Fly-fishing. Lookout for Brown, cutthroat and brook trout, and rainbows.

Sprague Lake:
Rocky Mountain National Park’s serene lakes are relaxing to paddle through.

Sprague Lake is popular for its beautiful scenery and its accessibility.

  • Location: Take US 36 west through Beaver Meadows Entrance. Turn left on Bear Lake Rd. Continue to Sprague Lake Trailhead.
  • Seasons: May-Oct
  • Boat Restrictions: Canoes and Kayaks only.
  • Camping: Glacier Basin campground is nearby. Some Glacier Basin campsites accept reservations and others do not.
  • Fishing: Sprague is stocked with Trout!

Do I need a permit/license?

A Colorado fishing license and camping permits are required.

Many marinas sell fishing licenses. Contact Rocky Mountain National Park to ask about specific camping permits: (970) 586-1206