About Us



Colorado River School (CRS) is a 501c3 that provides transformative growth through whitewater kayaking and outdoor recreation, education, and adventure.

We seek to change lives through instructor-directed outdoor experiential education. By giving students tools designed to encourage them to push their comforts and overcome obstacles, Colorado River School offers people a chance for change within themselves and their lives, while also providing them with technical hard skills in paddlesports and other outdoor pursuits. CRS offers professional training and job opportunities to graduates so they can take part in changing lives of others.

CRS was born out of work conducted by founders Lyle Phetteplace and Katie Crites through Renaissance Adventure Guides. Lyle and Katie saw the personal growth and self-empowerment of individuals who learned to kayak. They wanted to continue working with groups who have not had access to the required equipment, permits, and insurance necessary for learning to kayak. Thus, CRS was born in 2017 to help serve the community's needs

Board of Directors 2018


Katie Crites

Lyle Phetteplace

Tim Feikert

Terry Wolk

Bowen Mechigian

Lindsay Forbes

Kelsey Bracewell

Groups Served


Colorado River School has partnered with a number of groups to provide transformative outdoor experiences including whitwater kayaking, sit on top kayaking, duckying, stand up paddleboarding, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and many more activities.

Through its partnership with Renaissance Adventure Guides, CRS has worked with the following organizations:

First Descents

Epic Experience

Make A Wish Foundations

I Have a Dream Foundation

National Sports Center for the Disabled

Team River Runners

Boy Scouts of America

Girl Scouts of America

Rocky Mountain Camp


and many more