By: Zack Wimpsett
Four friends and I went to Colorado for 12 days of kayaking, hiking, and skiing. We left for Colorado Springs on May 9th and came home on the 20th.
We arrived in Colorado Springs on the 10th after an 18hr drive. Our first day in Colorado we hiked 7miles on Barr trail at Pike’s peak up to 11,000 ft elevation and camped, it was a brutal hike. We originally thought we would try for the peak, but after the car ride and the hike, I think the summit would have been near impossible. Day 2 was spent hiking off the Mountain and checking out the Garden of the God’s.
We headed from Colorado Springs to Buena Vista. In Buena Vista I kayaked
the white water park on the Arkansas; we also ran a short class II-III section on the Arkansas. The run and the Whitewater Park were awesome, but I broke my paddle which was not so awsome. Our second day in Buena Vista the group was suppose to go rafting on the class IV-V Pine creek to the numbers section of the Arkansas while I kayaked, but the temp dropped and we were hit with 10 inches of snow. So instead we spent the day exploring the big town of Buena Vista and hit up the local pub and the hot springs, the kayak shop there is awesome; you can demo just about any boat on the market for $15.
We left Buena Vista and headed for Vail were we stayed for 3 nights in my buddy’s girlfriend’s condo, pretty sweet deal. I was able to kayak some on the creek right outside our door in Vail. The play wave that the Teva mountain games is held on was right beside our balcony, the water level was low but still fun. We had originally only planed on skiing for one day while we were out there, but since we had all the snow we decided to take advantage of it and skied for 3 days. Skiing out there is awesome; I think I have to put it right up there with kayaking on my list of favorite things to do now.
One of the guys on the trip had to leave early due to work so we took him to Denver to catch his flight as our last stop. We didn’t do anything outdoors in Denver, but we
did catch a Rockies game and go out, Denver is a pretty cool city.
All in all the trip was a blast, and I look forward to going back sometime in the near future. A mid summer trip out in late June mid July during the peak snow runoff would be awesome for kayaking there is tons of runs all over the place