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Old 07-02-2008   #1
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 11
Bailey run on NF South Platte (access)

Maybe I wouldn't call it an access issue, but last week while running with two CKS employees we encountered a local on river right while scouting Four Falls. This gentleman was helping a rafter recover gear, and let it be known to us in a polite way that we were in fact on private property and that other residents in the area are concerned about the amount of traffic on this run. He asked that we be discreet as possible, when scouting until we pass the cable on river right. I never got out of my kayak on river right again so I did not see the cable.

I did not think that this section got rafted, especially at levels high as last week, but as we passed one of the low bridges we noticed an oar vertically pinned under it. Shortly after we encountered the aforementioned gentleman. And I do use the word gentleman because he was polite and insisted that everyone keep it safe by scouting, but be discreet.

FYI: The gauge said the river was running around 650 cfs but it felt like much more water than that, probably around 800 cfs.
Does the gauge only measure what is coming out of the tube?

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Old 07-02-2008   #2
N. Wigston's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 557
Thanks for this info. The guage is in the town of Bailey so it isn't just what's coming from roberts tunnel. There is one creek that comes in on river right below the put in that could have more water. 150 seems like a lot for that creek though. It's always possible that the guage is not calibrated. bailey is fairly narrow, so I would guess it feels pretty full at 650.
Did the rafters run it with frame and oars? or paddles? It's not frequently rafted, but has been done numerous times.

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Old 07-02-2008   #3
Join Date: Feb 2007
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Its funny...we never saw the actual raft, only one oar pinned in one of the bridges. When we ran into the guy I mentioned he had a oar rig/frame in the back of the pickup.

The channel was definitely full at that level, and the action was fairly continuous. Great river, reminded me a bit of the Russell Fork and at lower levels I bet it is a blast. I will post some photo's when I get them so someone with more knowledge can comment on the level.
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Old 07-02-2008   #4
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
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There was a post a while back about raft carnage on the paddle in to bailey. Sounded like a fisherman floated to far, and the locals were pissed about the rescue and people on the private property.

I'm not sure if its the same guy, but I have also met a landowner at 4 falls. He was polite, yet forward in telling us that it was private land and that we are lucky that he was nice, as others were not. We were quick and polite and noted that we only got out of our boats to keep safe and check the rapids for hazards. He seemed to understand.

As for the flows, not sure which gauge you looked at, the NF @ bailey I assume? I paddled bailey at about 800 this year and it seemed like more water than 800 on the gauge last year. Its hard to tell what the flow is in absolute terms though. My guess is that the flow correlation at high flows is off. Last year there were large gauge discrepancies at high flows as well. Who knows. Either way its fun as hell at high flows!
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Old 07-02-2008   #5
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Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
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According to earlier posts, the raft never intended to run Bailey, but got into trouble above the Bailey put in and the debris kept going into the canyon.

(seven two 0)-298-2242
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Old 07-02-2008   #6
oh yeah
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 535
numerous gauges for bailey:

Roberts Tunnel (out flow from Lake Dillon) 405cfs

NFSP at Grant (just below Roberts) 614cfs

NFSP at Bailey (put in) 530cfs

NFSP at Pine (take out) 647cfs

so it looks like the gauges mostly agree. the drop from grant to bailey may be due to irrigation.

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Old 07-02-2008   #7
Golden, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 831
Here is the link to the original "raft in Bailey" thread:

Bad PR in Bailey

As of today, I don't see any exact information in it about how an oar-frame raft ended up on the Bailey run. I'm still curious.

The owner of the Four Falls property sounds like a great person. If I ever see him I'll ask him if he'd like me to come by some time and do some ranch or forestry work for free. I think it would be cool if we could get to know this guy and help him out if he needs it. There are a lot of people using his land to scout that rapid.

Remember to pee in the water, NOT on the land, and move quickly through there.
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Old 07-02-2008   #8
Indian Hills, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 221
i ran into the landowner at four falls sometime last year talked with him for awhile. he did mention that this was private land and thanked us for portaging the first of four falls as he didnt want anyone to get hurt. the only thing he asked is that kayakers did not stop and fish anywhere on the property and pick up any trash whether in the river or on the banks.

he is a very nice man and we need to keep it this way.
Jace Crane
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Old 07-02-2008   #9
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B.F.E., Wyoming
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sounds like a guy you should keep happy. Ture has the right idea.
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Old 07-02-2008   #10
Longmont, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 173
We we in there on Thursday June 19th, we picked up the shuttle vehicle at the put in around eleven am and ran into the guy who's raft it was...I thought it was a cataraft....anyway he was all scraped up and he said that him and his partner had spent the night in the woods, it wasn't clear to me if they had intended to try to paddle the canyon or just unknowingly floated in. The raft was tied off in an eddy just a couple of hundred yards above four falls.

So they were going to try to go into recover the boat that day, we did inform them its all private and they should talk to a homeowner. Didn't have a ton of time to sit there at chat with the guy but he had a firefighter plate on his truck.

don't remember what the guage was reading that day, but I do remember it feeling bigger than it was reading as well. Glad those guys were okay and glad to hear about some possitive pr with at least some homeowners up there.

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access, bailey

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