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5 Day Beginner River Kayaking Series (Lessons #1-5)

Price: $500/person
Age Requirement: 12 and up
Prerequisites:  Able to swim and have fun

Savings of $156 per person

Call 303.988.2943 or
Consecutive Wknds, Lesson 1-5

The ultimate in learning to kayak whitewater, in this series you will go from zero to hero (Whitewater Kayaker). This five day intensive course includes all of our beginner classes from basics in the lake to the finer points of style and safety on the river. Lesson #1 is all about learning the basics of kayaking.  During this course you will learn the wet exit, four main kayaking fundamentals, paddling strokes, bracing, bow rescues and more.  Lesson #2 is how to maneuver your boat on the river by using peel outs, eddy turns and ferrying.  You will spend the day learning all the skills needed to get your way down the river in a controlled manner.  The focus of Lesson #3 is learning how to read the river and figure out where to go.  During this day we do a long river trip learning hydrology and practicing the skills learned.  Now that you know how to move down and read a river it is time to learn about what to do when things don’t go as planned.  Lesson #4 is a basic swiftwater rescue course where you learn basic swimming techniques, how to throw and catch ropes and how to deal with common mistakes made as a beginner.  The final Lesson #5 sets you up for success in paddling with your new found friends.  In this course you will learn everything you need to know about running a trip with friends. By the end of the five day series you will feel solid on class III water and will be ready for more exhilarating kayak adventures!

Lessons run rain or shine, so check out our recommended gear list for suggestions on what to bring to be prepared.

Locations, Dates, and Times:

Please note that lesson 1 now begins at 8:30 am and ends ~2:30pm. Lessons 2-5 begin at 9:00 AM and end around 3:00 PM.


Additional information available on our new website



Lesson 1

Introduction kayaking
- Start time 9:00 am
- Introductions & Logistics
- Equipment
- The Wet Exit
- Fundamentals
- Strokes (Sweep, forward and stern draw)
- Maneuvering
- Hip-Snaps
- Lunch around noon
- Bow Rescues
- Bracing
- Introduction to rolling
- Wrap up
- End Time may vary around 3:00 pm

Lesson 2

Fundamentals of Kayaking
- Start time 9:00 am
- Introduction & Logistics
- Equipment
- Hydrology
- River Safety
- Maneuvering
- Eddy turn
- Ferry
- Lunch around noon
- Peel out
- Swimming
- Boat recovery
- Wrap up
- End Time may vary around 3:00 pm

Lesson 3

River Kayaking
- Start time 9:00 am
- Introduction & Logistics
- Equipment
- Review of previous 2 classes
- Lunch around noon
- Reading river features
- Using the force of the river
- Surfing
- Enjoying what you have learned and pushing your limits
- Wrap up
- End Time may vary around 3:00 pm

Lesson 4

Whitewater Kayaking
- Start time 9:00 am
- Introduction & Logistics
- Discussion on safety and river rescue
- Ferry using waves
- Eddy turns into micro eddies
- Boofing
- Lunch around noon
- Practice 3 types of swimming
- Use of throw bag
- Boat recovery methods
- Over all boater safety
- Surfing
- Expand your limits
- Wrap up
- End Time may vary around 3:00 pm

Lesson 5

Whitewater Kayaking Adventure
- Start time 9:00 am
- Planning: Your first river trip
- Logistics: Boats, gear and people
- Group dynamics: Who is on your team and what can they offer
- Equipment: What do you have to bring and who will carry it
- Order: River traveling positions and roles
- Communication: Audio and visual
- Breaks: Where to stop for lunch and when
- Hazards: Avoidance and danger mitigation
- Rescue: Scenario
- You did it!!!
- Wrap up
- End Time may vary around 3:00 pm this class is known to run late but is well worth it.


What to bring:
- Lots of water
- Waterproof Sunscreen
- Something to get wet in (swimsuit)
- Lunch and Snacks
- Warm dry clothing for when you are off the water

Additional recommended items:
- Fleece or other synthetic clothing (not containing cotton) that can be worn under a wetsuit
- Kayak noseplugs (with a strap)
- A hat
- Sunglasses with retention strap (Croakies, etc.)
- Wetsuit booties or river sandals (must stay on when you swim)

This lesson includes all the kayaking gear you will need including a boat, paddle, skirt, PFD, helmet, splash jacket, wetsuit and booties.   If you have your own equipment, we encourage you to bring it since it is most likely what you will be using outside of this lesson.


Chatfield State Park

Open Directions (Google Maps)

For the 2017 - 2019 seasons, Chatfield is undergoing construction. Please check their website to guarantee that each entrace has access to the gravel pond.

Entering the park from Wadsworth Blvd.:

After leaving the gate house off of take a right at the first stop sign.  Follow the main road about 1.8 miles south. You will pass a road on your right that goes to the horse stables.  The road will curve to the left and you will see the gravel pond on your right.  Take the next right turn on to a dirt road and follow it to a large parking lot. Class meets next to the large pond on the right.

Entering the park from N. Roxborough Park Rd.: 

After leaving the gate follow the main road for about 2.2 miles. You go past a campground and go over a river. After you cross the bridge make a left turn on to a dirt road and  follow it to a large parking lot. Class meets next to the large pond on the right.

The reservoir has a gate fee of: $8.00 or have a Season Pass. Due to parking issues at the gravel pont, this class begins at 8:30 am.

Dotsero, CO

Open Directions (Google Maps)

From Denver: Take I-70 to the Dotsero exit (exit 133), about 130 miles. After taking the off ramp, turn right onto the frontage road going west for about 100 yards. The meeting place is in a dirt lot on the right of the road named Dotsero Landing, immediately before you get to the Colorado River. If you cross the river you've gone too far. The dirt parking lot is on the upstream side of the frontage road next to the river. This class begins at 9am.

All hotels and campgrounds are based solely on proximity to the class.  We have no affiliation to any of the following hotels or campgrounds. We do not offer any accommodations. These are only a few of the many option available.

Camping options near Dotsero, Co:
Deep Creek Camp Sites
Directions from Denver: Take I-70 Exit 133 at Dotsero and turn north onto County Road 301 (Colorado River Road). Follow for approximately 2.5 miles. Turn at the National Forest Access sign onto Deep Creek Road. Go through private property for the first 2 miles until enter BLM. Campsites are marked along the road, as well as walk-in sites at the Coffeepot trailhead. White River National Forest access is further up the road. Be careful of trucks on road. Located 4.5miles from Dotsero, CO

Upper Colorado River-Lyons Gulch Camp Site
Directions from Denver: Take I-70 Exit 133 at Dotsero and turn north ontoCounty Road 301 (Colorado River Road). Follow road for 3.8 miles until site on right side with two parking areas. Located 4 miles from Dotsero, CO

Hotel options near Dotsero, Co:
The Hotel Glenwood Springs - Great for kids
52000 Two Rivers Plaza Rd
Glenwood Springs, CO 81601
(970) 928-8188

Holiday Inn Express Hotel Eagle
0075 Pond Road Eagle, CO 81631
(970) 328-8088

AmericInn Lodge & Suites Eagle
0085 Pond Road Eagle, CO 81631
(800) 634-3444

Hotels near Glenwood Springs 

Quality Inn and Suites on the River

2650 Gilstrap Ct

Glenwood Springs, CO 81601

(970) 945-5995


Best Western Antlers

171 W 6th St

Glenwood Springs, CO 81601

(970) 945-8535


Hotel Glenwood Springs

52000 Two Rivers Plaza Road

Glenwood Springs, CO 81601

(970) 928-8188


Courtyard Glenwood Springs

125 Wulfsohn Rd

Glenwood Springs, CO 81601

(970) 947-1300


Camping near Glenwood Springs, CO


Ami’s Acres

50235 Highway 6

Glenwood Springs, Colorado 81601

Phone:    970-945-5340



Avalanche Campground

Avalanche Creek Rd, Redstone, CO 81623

White River National Forest

Phone:(970) 945-2521


Bogan Flats Campground

White River National Forest

Carbondale, CO


Aspen-Basalt Campground

20640 Highway 82

Basalt, CO 81621


Thompson Creek Campground

50629 Hwys 6 & 24

Glenwood Springs, CO 81602



Hideout Cabins and Campground

1293 County Road 117

Glenwood Springs, CO 81601



Ruedi Marina Campground

White River National Forest

Carbondale, CO

South Canyon:

From Glenwood Springs, head west on I-70 to exit #111, South Canyon. It is the first exit after the town of Glenwood Springs. From the exit ramp, turn left (south) and head under the interstate. The road will quickly dead end at a T intersection. Take the dirt road to the right (west). Follow the dirt road until it forks. Take the right (north) fork and head to a gravel lot. Restrooms are available where the two dirt roads merge back together.

Renaissance Adventure Guides is an equal opportunity service provider.

Renaissance Adventure Guides operates under special use permits from the White River National Forest.

All or part of this operation is conducted on Public Lands under special permit from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

About Renaissance Adventure Guides
Renaissance Adventure Guides

Denver, Colorado 80209 USA

© 2011 Renaissance Adventure Guides

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