Gore Canyon

Last updated
Gore Canyon near one of the shorter tunnels on the track. The alarm fences located along the track in this area are visible DSCN1900 gorecanyon e 600.jpg
Gore Canyon near one of the shorter tunnels on the track. The alarm fences located along the track in this area are visible

Gore Canyon, elevation 6,985 feet (2,129 m), [1] is a short isolated canyon on the upper Colorado River in southwestern Grand County, Colorado in the United States. The steep and rugged canyon, approximately 3 miles (5 km) long, was carved by the river as it passed the northern end of the Gore Range southwest of Kremmling. The Colorado descends from approximately 7,300 ft (2,200 m) to approximately 7,000 ft (2,100 m) over the length of the canyon. The steep walls ascend approximately 1,000 ft (300 m) on either side. The canyon effectively marks the southwestern end of the Middle Park basin in north central Colorado.


The canyon is roadless and inaccessible by most traffic, except for the Union Pacific Railroad's Moffat Subdivision and whitewater boats. Despite the short length, the canyon presented a formidable obstacle for the railroad, and the building of the line through it was considered a monumental engineering achievement in its day. Although the canyon is not directly accessible by roads, it is possible to view part of the canyon from the Grand County road (CR 1, or Trough Road) that passes along its southern rim, as part of the Colorado Headwaters Scenic Byway. The California Zephyr also travels through the canyon.

Gore Canyon is also famous for its wild class V whitewater. "Captain" Samuel Adams considered it unnavigable by boat during his expedition in the 19th century. The construction of the railroad has added boulders and other hazards that have since made the river even more difficult.

Today, expert kayakers and rafters frequent the canyon, and now even hold a river festival including races and other river celebrations. The Gore Canyon Whitewater Festival is held every year on the third Saturday of August and is also the host of the US National White Water Rafting Championship. Gore Canyon was first rafted in the 1970s, and now is even available as a commercial river raft trip. Most outfitters agree that Gore Canyon's whitewater is the wildest commercially available whitewater rafting in the state of Colorado, and perhaps in the nation. Those who are brave enough to raft or kayak Gore Canyon will run rapids such as Pyrite, Tunnel Falls, and Gore Rapid. This is true wild water, so for those who are not expert river runners, Gore Canyon is considered a very dangerous section of the Colorado River. [2]

Coordinates: 39°59′26″N106°30′28″W / 39.99056°N 106.50778°W / 39.99056; -106.50778

Related Research Articles

Kayak Light boat that is paddled

A kayak is a small, narrow watercraft which is typically propelled by means of a double-bladed paddle. The word kayak originates from the Greenlandic word qajaq.

Rafting Recreational outdoor activity

Rafting and whitewater rafting are recreational outdoor activities which use an inflatable raft to navigate a river or other body of water. This is often done on whitewater or different degrees of rough water. Dealing with risk is often a part of the experience.

Whitewater Turbulent and aerated water

Whitewater forms in a rapid context, in particular, when a river's gradient changes enough to generate so much turbulence that air is trapped within the water. This forms an unstable current that froths, making the water appear opaque and white.

Snoqualmie River

The Snoqualmie River is a 45-mile (72 km) long river in King County and Snohomish County in the U.S. state of Washington. The river's three main tributaries are the North, Middle, and South Forks, which drain the west side of the Cascade Mountains near the town of North Bend and join near the town of Snoqualmie just above the Snoqualmie Falls. After the falls the river flows north through rich farmland and the towns of Fall City, Carnation, and Duvall before meeting the Skykomish River to form the Snohomish River near Monroe. The Snohomish River empties into Puget Sound at Everett. Other tributaries of the Snoqualmie River include the Taylor River and the Pratt River, both of which enter the Middle Fork, the Tolt River, which joins at Carnation, and the Raging River at Fall City.

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park National park in Colorado, United States

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is an American national park located in western Colorado and managed by the National Park Service. There are two primary entrances to the park: the south rim entrance is located 15 miles (24 km) east of Montrose, while the north rim entrance is 11 miles (18 km) south of Crawford and is closed in the winter. The park contains 12 miles (19 km) of the 48-mile (77 km) long Black Canyon of the Gunnison River. The national park itself contains the deepest and most dramatic section of the canyon, but the canyon continues upstream into Curecanti National Recreation Area and downstream into Gunnison Gorge National Conservation Area. The canyon's name owes itself to the fact that parts of the gorge only receive 33 minutes of sunlight a day, according to Images of America: The Black Canyon of the Gunnison. In the book, author Duane Vandenbusche states, "Several canyons of the American West are longer and some are deeper, but none combines the depth, sheerness, narrowness, darkness, and dread of the Black Canyon."

Whitewater kayaking Type of water sport

Whitewater kayaking is a recreational outdoor activity which uses a kayak to navigate a river or other body of whitewater or rough water.

Youghiogheny River River in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Maryland, U.S.

The Youghiogheny River, or the Yough for short, is a 134-mile-long (216 km) tributary of the Monongahela River in the U.S. states of West Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. It drains an area on the west side of the Allegheny Mountains northward into Pennsylvania, providing a small watershed in extreme western Maryland into the tributaries of the Mississippi River. Youghiogheny is a Lenape word meaning "a stream flowing in a contrary direction".

Kicking Horse River

The Kicking Horse River is in the Canadian Rockies of southeastern British Columbia, Canada. The river was named in 1858, when James Hector, a member of the Palliser Expedition, reported being kicked by his packhorse while exploring the river. Hector named the river and the associated pass as a result of the incident. The Kicking Horse Pass, which connects through the Rockies to the valley of the Bow River, was the route through the mountains subsequently taken by the Canadian Pacific Railway when it was constructed during the 1880s. The railway's Big Hill and associated Spiral Tunnels are in the Kicking Horse valley and were necessitated by the steep rate of descent of the river and its valley.

Chattooga River River in the Southeastern USA

The Chattooga River is the main tributary of the Tugaloo River.

Curecanti National Recreation Area

Curecanti National Recreation Area(Pronounced or .) is a National Park Service unit located on the Gunnison River in western Colorado. Established in 1965, Curecanti National Recreation Area is responsible for developing and managing recreational facilities on three reservoirs, Blue Mesa Reservoir, Morrow Point Reservoir and Crystal Reservoir, constructed on the upper Gunnison River in the 1960s by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to better utilize the vital waters of the Colorado River and its major tributaries. A popular destination for boating and fishing, Curecanti offers visitors two marinas, traditional and group campgrounds, hiking trails, boat launches, and boat-in campsites. The state's premiere lake trout and Kokanee salmon fisheries, Curecanti is a popular destination for boating and fishing, and is also a popular area for ice-fishing in the winter months.

U.S. National Whitewater Center Sports venue in North Carolina, United States of America

The U.S. National Whitewater Center (USNWC) is an outdoor recreation and athletic training facility for ice skating, whitewater rafting, kayaking, canoeing, rock climbing, mountain biking, and hiking which opened to the public on November 4, 2006. The Center is located in Charlotte, North Carolina on approximately 1,300 acres (530 ha) of land adjacent to the Catawba River, with more than 45 miles (72 km) of developed trail.

Jarbidge River River in Nevada and Idaho, United States

The Jarbidge River is a 51.8-mile-long (83.4 km), high elevation river in Elko County, Nevada and Owyhee County, Idaho in the United States. The Jarbidge originates as two main forks in the Jarbidge Mountains of northeastern Nevada and then flows through basalt and rhyolite canyons on the high plateau of the Owyhee Desert before joining the Bruneau River.

Pacuare River River in Costa Rica

The Pacuare River, or the Río Pacuare, flows approximately 108 kilometres (67 mi) to the Caribbean. It is a popular location for white water rafting, whitewater kayaking and riverboarding. The rainforests that surround the river are home to exotic animal species such as jaguars, monkeys, ocelots, and a very large number of birds. Also it was considered one of the 5 nicest rivers to practice rafting.

Clearwater River (British Columbia)

The Clearwater River is the largest tributary of the North Thompson River, joining it at the community of Clearwater, British Columbia. The Clearwater rises from glaciers in the Cariboo Mountains and flows in a mostly southerly direction for 201 km (125 mi) to the North Thompson. Its entire course, except the last 5 km (3 mi), is within Wells Gray Provincial Park. Its confluence with the North Thompson is protected by North Thompson River Provincial Park.

Rio Chama

The Rio Chama, a major tributary river of the Rio Grande, is located in the U.S. states of Colorado and New Mexico. The river is about 130 miles (210 km) long altogether. From its source to El Vado Dam its length is about 50 miles (80 km), from El Vado Dam to Abiquiu Dam is about 51 miles (82 km), and from Abiquiu Dam to its confluence with the Rio Grande is about 34 miles (55 km).


Packraft and trail boat are colloquial terms for a small, portable inflatable boat designed for use in all bodies of water, including technical whitewater and ocean bays and fjords. A packraft is designed to be light enough to be carried for extended distances. Along with its propulsion system and safety equipment the entire package is designed to be light and compact enough for an individual to negotiate rough terrain while carrying the rafting equipment together with supplies, shelter, and other survival or backcountry equipment. Modern packrafts vary from inexpensive vinyl boats lacking durability to sturdy craft costing over US $1,000. Most weigh less than 4 kg (9 lbs) and usually carry a single passenger. The most popular propulsion systems involve a kayak paddle that breaks down into two to five pieces. Most often they are paddled from a sitting position, although kneeling can be advantageous in some situations.

Bee Cliff (Tennessee)

The Bee Cliff is a prominent northeast Tennessee geological limestone feature with high caves that overlooks the Watauga River and the Siam community of Carter County, Tennessee.

Grand Canyon of the Stikine Valley in British Columbia, Canada

The Grand Canyon of the Stikine is a 72-kilometre (45 mi) stretch of the Stikine River in northern British Columbia, Canada. It has been compared to the Grand Canyon of the Colorado. The canyon is home to a large population of mountain goats and other wildlife. Officially the canyon is described as unnavigable by any watercraft, however there have been numerous successful descents made by expert whitewater paddlers since the first attempt in 1981. Since it was first attempted, the Grand Canyon of the Stikine has maintained a legendary reputation among whitewater experts as the 'Mt. Everest' of big water expedition whitewater boating against which all other navigable rivers are measured.

Cataract Canyon Section of the Colorado River

Cataract Canyon is a 46-mile-long (74 km) canyon of the Colorado River located within Canyonlands National Park and Glen Canyon National Recreation Area in southern Utah. It begins at the Colorado's confluence with the Green River and its downstream terminus is the confluence with the Dirty Devil River. The lower half of the canyon is submerged beneath Lake Powell when the lake is at its normal high water elevation of 3,700 feet (1,100 m).



  1. "Gore Canyon". Geographic Names Information System . United States Geological Survey. 13 October 1978.
  2. "Gore Canyon Warning sign at put in".