The DIY Expedition
Gunnison River, Colorado
As far as river trips go, the Gunny, as those in the know call it, may be the perfect combination of rollicking whitewater, lazy floats through soaring canyons, and remote campsites on sandy banks. It’s also great for doing on your own, without a guide. That’s because the whitewater is relatively tame, even for rowing novices. Plus, a huge part of the river’s appeal are the big trout chasing oversize flies in it; floating it sans guide allows you to fish at your own pace, preferably taking two or three days to raft the 14 miles. To do it on your own, you’ll need to know the basics of rigging a boat and leave-no-trace camping, but the reward is a self-reliant float through one of the most spectacular canyons in the West.
BOAT RENTALS: Plenty of guides operate on the Gunny, but to float it yourself, you’ll need a raft. You can rent one from Gunnison River Pleasure Park, which is located at the takeout and offers a shuttle service to the put-in. It also rents all the river gear you’ll need. —R.K.
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