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Old 05-19-2015   #1
Dallas, Texas
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 5
Bailey or Clear Creek - looking for a raft guide for June 5

Looking for one or two (or three) raft guides with knowledge of Bailey Creek and/or Clear Creek to guide a raft plus 4-5 guys down one of these runs on June 5th (undecided about which run and looking for beta as well). Our group is twenty guys, early to mid-thirties, all in good to great shape, coming into Colorado for a weekend guys' trip to raft one day and hike two fourteeners the next day. We're able to pay $225 to each guide for the day and need people with outstanding river skills and knowledge of the runs. Bonus if you can help arrange logistics - raft rental and shuttle.

I'm a longtime class V paddler with significant experience in wwk instruction, guiding (kayak and rafting) and swiftwater rescue. Also a NOLS semester grad, solid technical rock climber (also with experience as an instructor), and generally solid outdoor skills. Our group has one other guy who's confident steering a raft so we need two or (ideally) three more.

No disrespect to the raft guide companies. We prefer to guide our own rafts. If we can't find a couple of good people to steer boats, we'll scramble to find a raft company that can accommodate us.

Need to figure this out asap so if you're available, please PM or text me at 415-672-9280. Crossing my fingers that we can find some folks to help us out and looking forward to a great visit to Colorado.

Also, if anybody wants to be a safety boater/photographer, we'd love that too.



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Old 05-19-2015   #2
All over, Colorado
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 37
That's called black guiding! Call Underwater connection in Colorado Springs.

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Old 05-19-2015   #3
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 505
Bailey will be going off natural flows which could be decent but Clear Creek should be getting juicy on the Lawson stretch. Ark valley should have great flows and might be your best bet for finding guides. Although you prefer guiding your own rafts.
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Old 05-20-2015   #4
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Phuoc My, Da Nang, THE 'NAM
Paddling Since: 1845
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,988
how often does Bailey's Creek get run in a raft anyway?
"Don't f$&@ing eddy out, just run it! Whaddya doin??" -LMyers
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Old 05-20-2015   #5
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Buena Vista, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 4,207
Your going to have to guide yourselves, or go with a commercial outfitter. It is illegal for a private boater to guide you down for $. This is why commercial outfitters are required to have permits and insurance...
GARNA’s mission is to foster stewardship of the resources of the greater Arkansas River region through education, volunteerism and experiences. https://garna.org
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Old 05-20-2015   #6
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Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 690
So you're saying we should stay off baileys/clear creek on june 5? Or show up to watch the yard sale?

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Old 05-20-2015   #7
oh yeah
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 535
maybe lake creek will be running. that's a fun run that has been rafted before.
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Old 05-20-2015   #8
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 586
Bailey is no fun.
There really aren't any real rapids. It's all hype.
All the women there have small boobs and brown hair.
They serve salsa from New York City.
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Old 05-20-2015   #9
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 808
Bailey is rafted plenty frequently, when it is running, which it isn't.

Odds are that no one is going to bust you for running a unsanctioned commercial trip, but taking a bunch of yahoos from Texas down whitewater with no insurance seems like an awfully risky way to spend a day.

It sounds like your group does not have the skills to do the runs that you want to do, but you still want to do it on your own. I would suggest that you find a run that you can handle without a guide (like most anything on the Arkansas), or shell out for a commercial trip.
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Old 05-20-2015   #10
Andy H.'s Avatar
Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,909
Originally Posted by jmack View Post
I would suggest that you find a run that you can handle without a guide (like most anything on the Arkansas), or shell out for a commercial trip.
As much respect as I've got for Josh, what he says about the Ark needs a little qualification. There are definitely some runs on the Ark (Pine Creek, Numbers, Gorge) that you'll want both some experience and a guide for, more runs in early June (if it ever warms up) that'll have plenty of munch factor during runoff. There are also plenty of sections of the Ark you guys would have a fun time on your own but they will not have the excitement factor and big hits you're looking for. Or you could go ahead and hit the serious whitewater on your own and you may get a little real adventure. The kind with a good chance of ending in the ER lobby while your buddy gets stitched up, or paying full replacement cost for a heap of shredded hypalon, or both.

Or, recommended, you could shell out for a commercial trip like Josh suggests. Commercial outfitters will be running just about anything you want. If you're considering something as rad as Bailey (are you really aware of what Bailey entails?), an outfitter will be the way to go and can take you down plenty of runs (Pine Creek, Numbers, the Gorge, maybe even Gore) that'll be plenty of adventure.

Have fun & be safe!


Nothing in the world is more yielding and gentle than water. Yet it has no equal for conquering the resistant and tough. The flexible can overcome the unbending; the soft can overcome the hard. - Lao Tse
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