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When the snow starts to melt from the high peaks, colorful kayaks with helmeted paddlers begin to dot the rivers around Basalt. Kayakers love to play during the extended Colorado runoff in spring and summer, whether it’s for a river descent—or playboating and surfing on the waves at the new Basalt Whitewater Park.

The Basalt water feature is on the Roaring Fork River, a quarter-mile upstream from its confluence with the Fryingpan River. It has two features, each with a calmer pool just downstream. The first is for advanced paddlers, the lower feature is gentler and geared to intermediate boaters.

Depending upon the flows, the season, and the waterway you choose to run, rapids range from Class II to Class IV on the Roaring Fork, Colorado and Fryingpan Rivers.

Expert guides and outfitters can consult on trip conditions and equipment. And if you’re a novice or intermediate kayaker, we recommend a guided tour.

Check out these sources for gear rentals and guides:
Aspen Whitewater Rafting
Aspen Kayak & SUP Academy
Blue Sky Adventures
Elk Mountain Whitewater