Serious kayakers run the slaloms in Clear Creek, Lefthand Canyon, and the South Platte, but Boulder Creek—from within Boulder Canyon midway into the city—is one of the locals’ favorites. Water in the creek can create Class II–III rapids when summer conditions are right.
Boulder Reservoir. If calm waters are what you want, you can rent a canoe, kayak, or stand-up paddleboard at the Boulder Reservoir, a 700-acre recreation area with photo-worthy Flatirons views. 6 miles northeast of downtown. Drive northeast on Hwy. 119 and turn left at Jay Rd. Turn right immediately onto 51st St. and follow it to a sign that marks entrance station, 5565 N. 51st St., Boulder, CO, 80301. 303/441–3461. www.bouldercolorado.gov. $6.25. Sept.–Apr.
Boulder Outdoor Center. Sign up here for group rafting trips to rivers on the Front Range as well as canoeing and kayaking instruction. 2525 Arapahoe Ave., Suite E4–228, Boulder, CO, 80302. 303/444–8420 or 800/364–9376. www.boc123.com.