Pagosa Paddle whitewater races to be held Saturday

Photo courtesy Doug Large

On Saturday, May 11, the San Juan River will have a surge of boaters competing for cash and prizes during the annual Pagosa Paddle whitewater races. 

Races will begin at 9:30 and continue all day, featuring the slalom, sprint, head-to-head and a downriver parade. 

Athletes can compete in one or multiple disciplines: R4 teams, inflatable or hard-shell kayak, and stand-up paddleboards. Community sponsors have donated cash and prizes to honor the top athletes at an awards ceremony to be held at 5 p.m. at The Springs Resort’s special pint-tasting event tent. 

The Pagosa Paddle is sponsored by Friends of the Upper San Juan River (FUSJR), a local nonprofit since 2005. 

FUSJR’s primary mission is to promote environmentally sound, socially beneficial and economically prosperous management of the Upper San Juan River and Pagosa Springs community parks experience through education, recreation and environmental awareness. 

Every year, the vision is to be better stewards of local river, parks and environment while having fun and encouraging others to do the same. 

Hosting competitive fundraising races like Pagosa Paddle in May and the long running CRUISE-A-THONg in July is an example of the groups continued efforts to secure public river access and collaborating on improvement projects relating to the San Juan River and Pagosa Springs community parks.

Not up for paddling? Come out to cheer on the amazing athletes as they go through the downtown water features that make up the whitewater park on the San Juan River through downtown Pagosa Springs. 

Spectators can watch the action from above at The Overlook viewing point, alongside the almost-famous Pagosa Riverwalk or from the healing waters of The Springs Resort in conjunction with its Pints, Pools and Paddles event. 

To support, find out more or how to register, go to