Colorado to Possibly Get New WW Park Below Gore Canyon

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Kayakers tackling Class V Gore Canyon on the Colorado might soon be bringing playboats on their racks as well as creekers. Grand County is planning to build a whitewater park on the Colorado River below Gore Canyon, just above Pumphouse and at Inspiration Point. But the movement could still use letters of support…

As part of the project, Grand County is planning two whitewater features: at Pumphouse (at the little island between launch 1 and 2), and a second feature about a quarter mile upstream at a place known as Inspiration Point. The country is also proposing to improve the road and infrastructure at the site upstream/east of Pumphouse, includeing improving the access road, (currently for high clearance 4WD only), and adding new bathrooms, a changing area and parking lot. It is also hoping to add and improve the area’s existing camping spots on BLM land that will be leased to the county for recreational purposes. To access the upstream site, paddlers would take the dirt road down to the river off Trough Road just east of Pumphouse road (though the site is not proposed as another launch for rafts).

As further testament to the county’s seriousness about the park, in December 2010 it filed for a Recreational In-Channel Diversion water right for the Gore Canyon Whitewater Park for recreational use. The new water right is not to exceed 2,500 cfs (conditional), and would serve “all recreational uses in and on the Colorado River, including boating, rafting, kayaking, tubing, floating, canoeing, paddling, and such other general non-motorized recreational uses.”

But the project still needs paddlers’ help.

“We need letters of support from boaters showing that people will use the Gore Canyon Whitewater Park, especially in the fall,” says advocate and kayaker Caroline Bradford, asking kayakers to email her letters of support saying that they’d use the proposed Gore Canyon Whitewater Park, especially during the window from Labor Day to Oct 15. “But the letters need to be emailed to me by March 7.”

Paddlers interested in helping the cause can email letters of support to her at CarolineBradford@wildblue.net

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