Are you ready to jump headfirst into the mighty Colorado River? Before you do, you may want to stick a toe in the water and check the temperature.

Better yet, you can save a little time and effort by checking out the information provided here. What is the current temperature of the Colorado River?

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Monitoring the Temperature of the Colorado River

Northern Water collects real-time water temperature data at three locations along the Colorado River:

  • Downstream of Windy Gap Reservoir (CR-WGD)
  • Upstream of Hot Sulphur Springs (CR-HSU)
  • Upstream of Williams Fork (CR-WFU)

The Northern Water webpage reads, "Real-time temperature data are collected at a 15-minute frequency and transmitted instantaneously. These data are processed and the seven-day and two-hour averages are calculated on a real-time basis to compare to the state standards."

Yesterday's Temperature For the Colorado River (Sept 25, 2023)

I'm a very analog mind living in a very digital world, so I still think in terms of Fahrenheit. Looking at the data from Northern Water, the average temperatures for the Colorado River for Monday, September 25, 2023, were:

  • High - 56 degrees
  • Low - 43 degrees

According to waterdata.usgs.gov, as of 9:45 a.m. on Tuesday, September 26, 2023, the water temperature of the Colorado River just above Glenwood Springs was 54.14 degrees Fahrenheit.

Looking Back to August 2023

In early August 2023, Northern Water recorded a temperature of approximately 71 degrees upstream of the Hot Sulphur Springs portion of the Colorado River. After a short dip, the temperature reached its next highest peak of approximately 69 degrees on August 17, 2023.

How Are These Temps For The Swimmers?

The National Center for Cold Water Safety suggests water temperatures below 70 degrees should be treated with caution. They report water temperatures between 50 and 60 degrees can make it difficult to control your breathing. Temperatures below 40 degrees can be "painfully cold."

How Is This When It Comes To Trout Fishing?

According to Coheadwaters.org, Trout are cold-water fish that function best in 50 to 60-degree waters. They add when temperatures exceed 70 degrees, the fish stop feeding.

What Is The Average Temperature of the Colorado River in September?

Have you ever taken a swim in the Colorado River at the end of summer? Smart money says you were probably a little chilly. The temperature of the Colorado River can get well down into the 60s and even the upper 50s in September.

While this may be a bit on the cold side for people, the trout love it. Here's a look at the day-to-day high temperatures for the Colorado, measured at three locations by Northern Water, for the month of September 2023.

Gallery Credit: Waylon Jordan

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