Canoe Day Trips2019-01-11T21:39:10+00:00

St. Vrain River Canoe Day Trips

Perfect for family adventures or group outings, our guided canoe day trips run along the Meanders or the Kurtz Ranch stretches of the St Vrain River. Each canoe day trip starts outside of Boulder and Longmont, following calm current that just about anyone can canoe! Both stretches offer opportunities to swim, view wildlife and improve your canoe paddling skills. Find the perfect day trip for you!

Meanders Canoe Day Trip

Along with bridges, thickets of willow enclose this stretch, drawing fox, mule deer and the occasional bobcat and coyote, who leave hundreds of tracks in the banks! As we float down the river, we may spot hundreds of cliff and barn swallows nesting, pelicans and herons soaring and even the rare Great Horned Owl perched in a tree. There is nothing like this beautiful stretch!

Kurtz Ranch Canoe Day Trip

Just East of Longmont, nature mingles with the open range of the high prairie. From your canoe meet a family of bald eagles. Can you spot their colossal nest? Further downriver,  a sprawling Heron Rookery hangs in a Cottonwood grove. Meanwhile, keep your eyes out for mink slipping into the water. Stopping for a snack and swim, you’ll likely see their star-shaped tracks along the bank.


  • No canoeing experience is necessary.
  • We will provide basic instruction and orientation at the beginning of every trip, including learning river safety, paddle strokes, and how to read the river and work with the current.
  • A gentle four to eight mile guided canoe trip on the St. Vrain River, with a snack and photo break halfway.
  • Various bird watching and wildlife viewing opportunities.
  • All of your river gear (boat, lifejacket, & paddle) will be provided. We also provide dry bags for your belongings.

Please Bring:

•  non-cotton clothes

• shoes that can get wet

• an extra layer for warmth in case the weather changes

• raincoat

• sunscreen

• bug spray

• a hat

• snacks and a lunch

• a water bottle

• a camera and binoculars would be good too! (Please remember that if these are not in the dry bag they can get wet.)

*Disclaimer: There is a learning curve and it may take a bit to get your rhythm. Guides are there to help, instruct, and support you! Canoes can tip over. It’s not a problem, as the river is small and shallow, so the shore is always nearby. Clothing and personal belongings can and do get wet. Please do not bring expensive items that you do not want to lose in the river.


We run trips every day from April to October, 2019

Half day price: $89 per person.
*Group of 4 or more: $79 per person

Full day price: $109 per person.
*Group of 4 or more: $99 per person


Up to 20. Most groups have 8-12 participants. We maintain a maximum ratio of 1 guide for every 6 participants.

Canoe River Guides
Lauren Bond Kovsky, Kathy Beadle, Dawn Desell, Amanda Loughlin, Diane Laughlin, Juliana Statius-Muller
Pinar Sinopoulos-Lloyd, So Sinopoulos-Lloyd

How to Get To Us 

The meeting spot where our river adventures begin is right outside the Starbucks in Firestone. Participants customarily park in the plaza parking lot and meet us on the Starbucks patio. After our rendezvous, we will car-pool a short distance to our put-in site.

The address is 11169 E I25 Frontage Rd, Firestone, CO 80504.

Travel Distances to the Starbucks in Firestone:

15 min from Longmont
35 min from Boulder
40 min from Denver
25 min from Loveland
45 min from Fort Collins
40 min from Greeley

Driving Directions:

From Denver: Follow I-25 North to CO-119 in Weld County. Take exit 240 from I-25 N. Go east on 119 and take a left on the I-25 Frontage Road. The plaza containing the Starbucks will be just after this on your left.

From Ft. Collins and points north: Follow I-25 South to CO-119 in Weld County. Take exit 240 from I-25 S. Go east on 119 and take a left on the I-25 Frontage Road. The plaza containing the Starbucks will be just after this on your left.

From Longmont or Boulder: Take CO-119 (Diagonal Highway) northeast through Longmont to Firestone. Go under I-25 and take a left on the I-25 Frontage Road. The plaza containing the Starbucks will be just after this on your left.

Reserve Your St. Vrain Canoe Day Trip

Available In Half-Day Or Full-Day Options


Common Wildlife Seen On A Canoe Day Trip

Throughout your canoe day trip on the Meanders stretch you will see cliff swallow colonies, red-tailed hawk nests, and american mink. Choose the Kurtz Ranch canoe day trip and you will see a bald eagle’s nest and a great blue heron rookery. On either trip, you will become more familiar with the following species as well:

  • Great Horned Owls
  • American White Pelican
  • Snapping Turtles
  • Many songbirds, e.g. Western Tanagers
  • Beavers
  • Muskrats
  • Killdeer
  • Cliff and Bank Swallows
  • Kingfishers


The waters that flow through the St. Vrain and its tributaries begin coalescing mostly as drainage from snowmelt in the Rocky Mountains. Water gathers from Long’s Peak and Wild Basin, Indian Peaks Wilderness Area, and the James Peak Wilderness Area and flows through Jamestown, Nederland, and Allenspark. This watershed includes several creeks that eventually flow together to officially form the St. Vrain in the vicinity of Lyons. The St. Vrain River flows east from Lyons through Hygiene to Longmont. Soon after Longmont it passes under Interstate 25, and heads toward Greeley. The St. Vrain joins the South Platte, and then the South Platte eventually heads northeast to Nebraska. From there its waters travel hundreds of miles, by various names, down through Missouri, Mississippi, and finally Louisiana to meet the Gulf of Mexico.

Human and Cultural History of The St. Vrain

Humans have inhabited Colorado’s Front Range for thousands of years. Actually, one of the oldest archaeological sites in Colorado is in Weld County, near the town of Milliken, which the St. Vrain flows past. Stone Clovis points and mammoth bones between 11,000 and 12,000 years old were found here in the 1930’s, providing some of the earliest evidence of mammoth hunting in North America.

More recently, the Front Range has been a crossroads for many tribes, including the Ute people, the Apache, Comanche, Cheyenne, and Arapaho.

The St. Vrain River is named for Ceran St. Vrain, a fur trader of French descent who helped establish the Old Fort St. Vrain around 1837. The fort was situated on the east side of the South Platte River in Platteville, just north of the St. Vrain Creek, and functioned as a key trade center and stopover for wayfarers on the historic Santa Fe Trail. Trade with and between the Cheyenne, Arapaho, Ute, Sioux, and Shoshone peoples was a key activity at the fort. Buffalo hides traded from Plains peoples were one of the most sought-after items.