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Gunnison River (Lower) in Colorado

Trip Overview

The Gunnison River, between the towns of Delta and Grand Junction, offers a very scenic and gentle float. The river flows through beautiful slick rock canyon country interspersed with small ranches and fruit orchards. Cottonwood stands in the area hold Great Blue Heron rookeries and the area is an April breeding ground for Canada Geese.

Canoe, kayak, and raft floats can be made in one day or longer overnight trips.


There are BLM campsites along the river (free, first come first served). The only accommodations on this 55 mile stretch of river is what you bring along.


No fees or permits are required for private use. BLM asks everyone to sign in at the Escalante boat launch for use numbers and emergency information.


Highway 50 between Grand Junction and Delta parallels the river 3 to 7 miles to the east, but is not visible from the river past the Delta put-in.


Confluence Park - in Delta behind City Market.

Escalante Bridge - approximately 15 miles northwest of Delta. Turn west off Highway 50 and drive approximately 3 miles on gravel to the put-in on the right.

Dominguez Canyon (At Bridgeport)- 12 miles South of Whitewater, CO and 1 mile North of the Delta/Mesa County Line. Turn West off Highway 50 and follow the gravel road several miles down to the river. Access is under the railroad bridge to the Northwest of the parking area.

Whitewater- Public access off of Highway 141 on Desert Rd.

Redlands Dam - just South of the Colorado River in Grand Junction turn south on 26 1/4 rd. Proceed through the cemetery; turn right on B 3/4 rd. The boat take-out is just upstream of the Redlands Dam.


BLM Offices in Montrose (Uncompahgre Field Office) 970-240-5300 or in Grand Junction 970-244-3000.


book: Wheat, Doug "The Floaters Guide to Colorado" Falcon Press 1983.

website: has maps, river flow, shuttle info. and trip descriptions. Has maps, river flow, shuttle info. and trip descriptions.

  • Skill Level: Intermediate
  • Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)
  • Group Rates: No

Locations on this Trip