Colorado

River County Reach Length (miles) Description Potential Classification ORVs Watershed (HUC Code 8) Year Listed/ Updated Other State
Animas River San Juan, La Plata Mineral Creek near Silverton to Ghost Town Animas City within Durango, CO 48 Excellent scenery, deep canyons, surrounding mountains; popular recreation attraction, including the Durango-Silverton Narrow Guage Railway, float trips; highest-value fishery resource (FWS); very important habitat providing diverse wildlife populations; historic gold and silver mining district, historic Animas City. Fish, Geologic, Historic, Recreational, Scenic, Wildlife Animas 1982
Arikaree River Yuma Alder Creek to NE/KS State line 51 Exceptional fish and wildlife habitat along river, especially wetlands; highest-valued fishery resource (FWS); significant waterfowl use; historic Beecher Island Indian Massacre site; Jones-Miller Hell Gap Paleo Buffalo Kill-Storage site. Cultural, Fish, Historic, Wildlife Arikaree 1982 KS
Arkansas River Otero Entire segment within Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site 3 Within Historic Site, associated with reconstructed fort and river crossing of the Mountain Branch of the Santa Fe Trail. Minor recreational boat use and trail horseback crossings. Recreational Historic, Recreational Upper Arkansas-Lake Meredith 1993
Arkansas River Lake/Chaffee Pine Creek to Buena Vista 14 High mountain stream in rural setting with fisheries, cultural sites, recreation, scenic vistas, etc. with 46% public land ownership. Wild Fish, Geologic, Recreational, Scenic, Wildlife Upper Arkansas-Lake Meredith 1982/ 1993
Arkansas River Chaffee/Fremont Salida to Vallie Bridge 20 Mountain stream in a rural setting with fisheries, recreation, scenic vistas, etc. with 41% public ownership Wild Fish, Geologic, Recreational, Scenic, Wildlife Upper Arkansas-Lake Meredith 1982/ 1993
Arkansas River Chaffee From Buena Vista to the town of Salida 27 High mountain stream in rural/semi-urban setting with fisheries, cultural sites, recreation, scenic vistas, T & E species, etc. with 40% public ownership. Wild Fish, Geologic, Recreational, Scenic, Wildlife Upper Arkansas-Lake Meredith 1982/ 1993
Arkansas River Fremont Vallie Bridge to the west edge of Royal Gorge Park 33 Mountain valley stream in a rural setting with fisheries, recreation, scenic vistas, T & E species, etc. with 70% public ownership. Wild Fish, Geologic, Recreational, Scenic, Wildlife Upper Arkansas-Lake Meredith 1982/ 1993
Arkansas River Lake/Chaffee USFS boundary north of Leadville to Pine Creek 31 High mountain stream in rural setting with fisheries, cultural sites, recreation, scenic vistas, etc. with 46% public land ownership. Wild Fish, Geologic, Recreational, Scenic, Wildlife Upper Arkansas-Lake Meredith 1993
Badger Creek Fremont, Park Headwaters to confluence with Arkansas River 34 Deep canyon with exceptional scenery; popular with recreationists; highest valued fishery resource (FWS). Fish, Geologic, Recreational, Scenic Arkansas Headwaters 1982
Beaver Creek Fremont Skagway Reservoir to west side of Beaver Creek State Wildlife Area 14 High rugged mountain stream in wilderness setting with fisheries, limited recreation, scenic vistas, T & E species, etc. with 100% public land ownership. Wild Fish, Geologic, Recreational, Scenic, Wildlife, Other Upper Arkansas 1993
Big Thompson River Larimer Entire segment within Rocky Mountain National Park 16 Fishery values in upper 11 miles and geologic values in lower 2.6 miles. Habitat for threatened greenback cutthroat trout, beaver, black bear, and endangered peregrine falcon. Wild Fish, Geologic, Recreational, Scenic, Wildlife Big Thompson 1993
Big Thompson River, North Fork Larimer Entire segment within Rocky Mountain National Park 5 Habitat for threatened greenback cutthroat trout. In upper reach, river flows through alpine tundra, and mountain peaks are very accessible due to the open topography of the valley. Wild Fish, Recreational, Scenic Big Thompson 1993
Blue Creek Gunnison Curecanti National Recreation Area boundary downstream to Morrow Point Reservoir 2 Towering canyon walls and undisturbed vegetation provide aesthetic values unequaled in the surrounding area. Wild Scenic Upper Gunnison 1993
Cache la Poudre, North Fork Larimer Headwaters to confluence with Dale Creek 32 Exceptional scenery, varied topography; diverse fishery, highest-valued fishery resource (FWS); exceptional riparian habitat for game and non-game wildlife; Cannibal Phil historic site. Fish, Historic, Scenic, Wildlife Cache La Poudre 1982
Chacuaco Canyon Las Animas Highway 160 to confluence with Purgatoire River 46 Deep, scenic red canyon with intermittent stream, potholes; beautiful sandstone formations and exposed geologic processes; excellent wildlife habitat; dinosaur tracks and bones; Indian paintings, dwellings, camps, and artifacts. Cultural, Geologic, Scenic, Wildlife Purgatoire 1982
Coal Creek Gunnison Curecanti National Recreation Area boundary downstream to Blue Mesa Reservoir 0 Scenic, fishery, and wildlife values. Wild Fish, Scenic, Wildlife Upper Gunnison 1993
Colorado River Grand Entire segment within Rocky Mountain National Park 23 Prehistoric sites, historic mining and lumbering camps, early homesteads, and the earliest transmountain water diversion structure in Colorado. Alpine peaks, talus slopes, and broad glacial valley. Recreational/Scenic Historic, Recreational, Scenic, Wildlife Colorado Headwaters 1993
Colorado River Grand, Eagle State Bridge to Blue River 32 Exceptional mountain, canyon scenery; varied high quality recreation opportunities, notably white water boating; excellent visibility of geologic processes; highest-valued fishery resource (FWS). Fish, Geologic, Recreational, Scenic Colorado Headwaters 1982
Conejos River Conejos From confluence with North, Middle, and El Rito Azul Forks to Platoro Reservoir 6 Recreational/Wild Fish, Geologic, Recreational, Scenic, Wildlife Conejos 1993
Conejos River Conejos Platoro Reservoir to confluence with South Fork Conejos River 15 Recreational/Wild Fish, Geologic, Recreational, Scenic, Wildlife Conejos 1993
Conejos River, El Rito Azul Fork Conejos El Rito Azul Fork from source to confluence with Conejos River 5 Recreational/Wild Fish, Geologic, Recreational, Scenic, Wildlife Conejos 1993
Conejos River, Middle Fork Conejos Middle Fork from source to confluence with Conejos River 5 Recreational/Wild Fish, Geologic, Recreational, Scenic, Wildlife Conejos 1993
Conejos River, North Fork Conejos North Fork from source to confluence with Conejos River 4 Recreational/Wild Fish, Geologic, Recreational, Scenic, Wildlife Conejos 1993
Crystal River Pitkin Confluence with North and South Forks of the Crystal River to Sweet Jessep Headgate 24 Excellent scenery; popular with recreationists; good diversity of fish and wildlife, excellent habitat, possible Colorado cutthroat waters; highest-valued fishery resource (FWS); marble quarry for Lincoln Monument; historic mines, mining towns. Historic, Recreational, Scenic Roaring Fork 1982/ 1993
Crystal River, North Fork Pitkin Headwaters to confluence with Crystal River 9 Excellent scenery; popular with recreationists; good diversity of fish and wildlife, excellent habitat, possible Colorado cutthroat waters; highest-valued fishery resource (FWS); marble quarry for Lincoln Monument; historic mines, mining towns. Historic, Recreational, Scenic Roaring Fork 1982/ 1993
Crystal River, South Fork Pitkin Headwaters to confluence with Crystal River 8 Excellent scenery; popular with recreationists; good diversity of fish and wildlife, excellent habitat, possible Colorado cutthroat waters; highest-valued fishery resource (FWS); marble quarry for Lincoln Monument; historic mines, mining towns. Historic, Recreational, Scenic Roaring Fork 1982/ 1993
Curecanti Creek Gunnison Curecanti National Recreation Area boundary downstream to Morrow Point Reservoir 1 Scenic and fisheries values. Scenic Fish, Scenic Upper Gunnison 1993
Dolores River Montezuma, Dolores, San Miguel, Montrose 1.3 miles below McPhee Damsite downstream to point 1 mile above Colorado Highway 90 bridge near Bedrock 110 Challenging white water boating and rafting during spring and early summer. Archeological values. Rec/Wild/Scenic Cultural, Geologic, Recreational, Scenic, Other Upper Dolores 1993
East River Gunnison Headwaters to confluence with Gunnison River 37 Exceptional scenery, varied topography; diverse fishery, highest-valued fishery resource (FWS); excellent riparian habitat important to many wildlife species, including the wintering bald eagle, a federally listed endangered species; historic mining area, town of Gothic. Fish, Historic, Scenic, Wildlife East-Taylor 1982
Elk River Routt Headwaters to confluence with South Fork Elk River 3 Scenic/Wild Fish, Recreational, Scenic, Other Upper Yampa 1993
Elk River, Middle Fork Routt Headwaters to confluence with North Fork Elk River 4 Scenic/Wild Fish, Recreational, Scenic, Other Upper Yampa 1993
Elk River, North Fork Routt Headwaters to confluence with Middle Fork Elk River 8 Scenic/Wild Fish, Recreational, Scenic, Other Upper Yampa 1993
Elk River, South Fork Routt Headwaters to confluence with Elk River 14 Scenic/Wild Fish, Recreational, Scenic, Other Upper Yampa 1993
Encampment River Jackson Headwaters to Wyoming state line 15 Wild Fish, Wildlife, Other Upper North Platte 1993
Encampment River, West Fork Jackson Headwaters at West Fork Lake to confluence with Encampment River 8 Wild Fish, Wildlife, Other Upper North Platte 1993
Fall River Larimer Headwaters of Fall River to Fan Lake near Horseshoe park (within Rocky Mountain National Park) 4 Excellent recreational and scenic opportunities. Wildlife is visible to visitors. Self-guided auto tour teaches about historic, geologic, and recreational features. Wild Recreational, Scenic, Wildlife Big Thompson 1993
Gunnison River Montrose Entire segment within Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Monument 13 Outstanding scenic canyon resources, wilderness values, and geologic features. Scenic/Wild Geologic, Scenic, Other Upper Gunnison 1993
Gunnison River, Lake Fork Gunnison Curecanti National Recreation Area boundary downstream to Blue Mesa Reservoir 1 Primarily fishing and rafting. Good breeding population of brown and rainbow trout, a small herd of bighorn sheep, and refuge for migrating bald eagles. Remnants of temporary railroad camps for construction crews. Recreational Fish, Historic, Recreational, Scenic, Wildlife Upper Gunnison 1993
Gunnison River, Lake Fork Gunnison Sloan Lake to Wager Gulch 14 Spectacular scenery important for recreation. Recreational Scenic Upper Gunnison 1993
Huerfano River Pueblo Huerfano Cucharas Ditch diversion to Cucharas River 9 Excellent scenery with steep-sided canyon, various geological formations; scattered pinyon-juniper at upper end; prehistoric occupation, petroglyphs, artifacts. Cultural, Scenic Huerfano 1982
Los Pinos River Hinsdale Confluence of North Fork and Rincon La Vaca downstream to northern boundary of Granite Peak Ranch 22 Tributaries are Lake Creek, Flint Creek, Rincon La Vaca, Rincon La Osa, Snowslide Canyon Creek, and Sierra Vandera. Within Weminuche Wilderness. Wild Geologic, Recreational, Scenic Upper San Juan 1993
Los Pinos River, North Fork Hinsdale From headwaters to confluence with Los Pinos River. 4 Tributaries are Lake Creek, Flint Creek, Rincon La Vaca, Rincon La Osa, Snowslide Canyon Creek, and Sierra Vandera. Within Weminuche Wilderness. Wild Geologic, Recreational, Scenic Upper San Juan 1993
Los Pinos River, Rincon La Vaca Hinsdale From headwaters to confluence with Los Pinos River. 5 Tributaries are Lake Creek, Flint Creek, Rincon La Vaca, Rincon La Osa, Snowslide Canyon Creek, and Sierra Vandera. Within Weminuche Wilderness. Wild Geologic, Recreational, Scenic Upper San Juan 1993
North St. Vrain Creek Boulder Entire segment within Rocky Mountain National Park 9 Alpine meadows, talus slopes, and nearly unmodified subalpine and montane forests. Habitat for golden eagles, bighorn sheep, cougar, elk, deer, and threatened greenback cutthroat trout. Scenic/Wild Fish, Wildlife, Other St. Vrain 1982/ 1993
North St. Vrain Creek Boulder Rocky Mountain National Park Boundary to high water mark of Ralph Price Reservoir (Sec. 18, T.3N., R.71W., 6th PM.) 10 Steep incised canyon of granite rock with ponderosa pine on south facing slopes and Douglas fir on north facing slopes. Recreational/Scenic Fish, Recreational, Scenic, Wildlife St. Vrain 1993
Piedra River Archuleta, Hinsdale, Mineral Headwaters to confluence with Indian Creek to boundary between Sec. 8 and 9, T.36 N., R.3 W. Middle Fork from boundary between Sec. 10 and 15, T.37 N., R.3 W. 32 Scenic/Wild Fish, Geologic, Recreational, Scenic, Wildlife Piedra 1993
Purgatoire River Bent, Otero Smith Canyon to Arkansas River (continues upstream to Trinchera Creek in Section 13g) 41 Deep, scenic canyon at upper end; good flow; excellent fish and wildlife values; heavy prehistoric use in adjacent flats and canyon walls; petroglyphs; dinosaur tracks. Cultural, Fish, Geologic, Scenic, Wildlife Purgatoire 1982
Purgatoire River Otero, Las Animas Trinchera Creek to Smith Canton (continues downstream to Arkansas River in Section 13f) 81 Deep, scenic red canyon with good flowing stream; beautiful sandstone formations and exposed geologic processes; excellent fish and wildlife habitat; dinosaur tracks and bones; Indian paintings, dwellings, camps, and artifacts. Cultural, Fish, Geologic, Scenic, Wildlife Purgatoire 1982
Rio Grande River Costilla/Conejos Boundary Lobatos Bridge to New Mexico state line 10 Vertical rock walls. Uplifting, faulting, and volcanic action. Raptor nesting sites. Wild Cultural, Geologic, Recreational, Scenic, Wildlife Upper Rio Grande 1982/ 1993
Rio Grande River Costilla/Conejos Boundary Lasauses to 1/4 mi. north of Labatos Bridge 17 Rugged landscapes, scenic vistas. Scenic Geologic, Historic, Scenic, Wildlife Upper Rio Grande 1993
Rio Grande River Costilla/Conejos Boundary, Alamosa Alamosa Wildlife Refuge to Lasauoes 7 Wetlands, cultural sites, scenic vistas. Scenic Cultural, Recreational, Scenic, Wildlife Upper Rio Grande 1993
San Juan River Rio Grande, Mineral, Archuleta Confluence with East and West Forks of the San Juan River to confluence with Fourmile Creek 7 Excellent scenery through varied topography; diverse fishery, highest-valued fishery resource (FWS); very important habitat providing for diverse wildlife populations; route of first trans-continental telephone lines. Fish, Historic, Recreational, Scenic, Wildlife Upper San Juan 1982
San Juan River, East Fork Rio Grande, Mineral, Archuleta Headwaters to confluence with West Fork San Juan River 10 Excellent scenery through varied topography; diverse fishery, highest-valued fishery resource (FWS); very important habitat providing for diverse wildlife populations; route of first trans-continental telephone lines. Fish, Historic, Recreational, Scenic, Wildlife Upper San Juan 1982
San Juan River, West Fork Rio Grande, Mineral, Archuleta Headwaters to confluence with San Juan River 11 Excellent scenery through varied topography; diverse fishery, highest-valued fishery resource (FWS); very important habitat providing for diverse wildlife populations; route of first trans-continental telephone lines. Fish, Historic, Recreational, Scenic, Wildlife Upper San Juan 1982
South Platte River Douglas, Teller, Park, Jefferson Beaver Creek to Lake George 6 Wide flat canyon bottom with ponderosa pine and Douglas-fir on slopes. Recreational Fish, Geologic, Recreational, Scenic, Wildlife South Platte Headwaters 1982/ 1993
South Platte River Douglas, Teller, Park, Jefferson Cheesman Lake to Beaver Creek 11 Rocky outcrops in defined canyon with interspersed forest cover and scattered meadows. Used primarily for fishing. Wild Fish, Geologic, Recreational, Scenic, Wildlife South Platte Headwaters 1982/ 1993
South Platte River Douglas, Teller, Park, Jefferson Lake George to Elevenmile Canyon Reservoir 10 Wide flat canyon bottom with ponderosa pine and Douglas-fir on slopes. Fish, Geologic, Recreational, Scenic, Wildlife South Platte Headwaters 1982
Taylor River Gunnison Headwaters to Illinois Creek 18 Fish, Historic, Recreational, Scenic East-Taylor 1982
West Elk Creek Gunnison Curecanti National Recreation Area boundary downstream to Blue Mesa Reservoir 0 Free-flowing and possesses outstandingly remarkable scenic values. Wild Scenic, Wildlife Upper Gunnison 1993
White River, North Fork Rio Blanco, Garfield Headwaters to confluence with White river 29 Excellent scenery, deep canyon heavily forested with aspen and conifers, unusual and varied geologic features; very popular with recreationists; excellent game and non-game wildlife habitat; highest-valued fishery resource (FWS). Fish, Recreational, Scenic, Wildlife Upper White 1982
White River, South Fork Rio Blanco, Garfield Headwaters to confluence with White river 39 Excellent scenery, deep canyon heavily forested with aspen and conifers, unusual and varied geologic features; very popular with recreationists; varied wildlife habitat provides for diverse game and non-game populations; highest valued fishery resource (FWS). Geologic, Recreational, Scenic Upper White 1982/ 1993
Yampa River Moffat The segment within the boundaries of the Dinosaur National Monument. 47 This river is under Congressional study for designation to the Wild and Scenic River System. It is currently under the full protection of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act pursuant to Section 7 (b) of the Act Cultural, Fish, Geologic, Recreational, Scenic, Wildlife Lower Yampa 1982/ 1995
Yampa River Moffat Williams Fork to Little Snake River 84 Excellent varied scenery through largely natural environment, open areas, canyons, precipitous rock walls through Cross Mountain, in canyon areas; Colorado squawfish, humpback chub, bonytail chub, all federally listed endangered species; highest-valued fishery resource (FWS); excellent wildlife habitat for numerous species; walls of Cross Mountain contain notable Indian rock art site. Cultural, Fish, Geologic, Recreational, Scenic, Wildlife Lower Yampa 1982

Last updated: November 30, 2016

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