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Old 06-28-2011   #1
GearDog's Avatar
Fort Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 397
Bailey scouting beta?

My wife and I are planning on camping near the Foxton area over the long 4th weekend. Not planning on running Bailey at this time but would love to possibly hike/scout as much as possible. I have ran Foxton numerous times so I am familiar with the Foxton area, but have never been any closer to the Bailey run. Here are a few questions I have, hopefully someone knowledgeable of this run and area can easily answer them.

What is the possibility of scouting/hiking the entire stretch of Bailey? Slim I'm sure, but is there a trail that runs along the river that would not upset the private landowners?

Most interested in scouting the following drops (and any others that I may have missed);
The Steeps
1st Falls
Super Max

I see by the EddyFlower Run Description that there is a trail, "The trail on the old railroad grade". What is the best way to access this trail and can ALL the major rapids be scouted from this trail.

Thank you in advance for any response. Happy 4th of July.


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Old 06-28-2011   #2
bobbuilds's Avatar
x, x
Paddling Since: x
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 1,634
your most legal option is to hike up from the takeout. drag ot carry your boat because you will want to paddle out. It is an easy walk to deer creek then it gets tougher the closer up to 1st falls you can get. It is a long walk maybe 6 miles one way. its the best option i can think of.

It would be easyer to boat down from the put in, but it commits you to the run, and long portages take a while, there is a lot of stuff inbetween the steeps and deer creek that take awhile to get around.

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Old 06-28-2011   #3
Mad Scientist/Creeker
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 803
Lenny just run it with someone u trust and who is willing 2 spend the time scouting portaging with u.
Evan Stafford
Cub boater: "What do the spiders mean?" Old fart boater: "Trust your intuition." CRCII
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Old 06-28-2011   #4
El Flaco's Avatar
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1984
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 1,879
Yeah, IMO the best way to scout Bailey is to actually run it. Even if you walk up from the bottom (which I think would take 5+ hours if you actually stopped to look at anything for a reasonable length of time), you'd run out of railroad grade just upstream of 4 Falls and would have to set a shuttle.

My advice is to wait until flows get to about 300 or a bit lower, find a guide who knows it, start early in the day, and float down from the top. The stuff in between will be bony but still fun, and you can get a sense of what everything looks like. 95% of the run at those flows won't be much more difficult than Foxton's boulder garden at a reasonable level. Other than the Steeps, scouting and portaging is easy for all the main drops. Steeps #1 and #2 are a pain to portage, but doable, and they aren't all that hard to run at low flows anyway (as long as you have your guide).
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Old 06-28-2011   #5
DanOrion's Avatar
Indian Hills, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,448
You can hike down to Crossons (39.39977, 105.38584) from FR553 , which is off of FR549 (I think these FR's are right; check a map). Crossons is just a quarter mile or so below Deer Creek Rapid. Unfortunately: (1) The river-side railroad grade trail is on the north side of the river and Crossons access would be on the south side. There is some easy slack water you could swim at Crossons to cross the river if you wanted. (2) You would be trespassing when you cross the river, so if you get caught, you had better claim to be a fisherman and not a boater. If you made it upstream to Deer Creek, you could continue on the trail to trashcan and supermax. I think the trail crosses to the south side of the river right near the steeps and it kind of cliffs out on the north side in places. This is not a place to "swim across." Accordingly, dreams of hiking to all the steeps and 4-falls may come up short. Be aware that your wife may never forgive you if you drag her for an 8-mile bush-wack rock-climbing mosquito-bite poisen-ivy sprained-ankle scouting mission on Bailey.

You could boat from Crossons down to Pine Valley Ranch (PVR) and enjoy the "Granite Dome" portion of Bailey which is similar to the Foxton Boulder Garden, but a notch harder and more consequencey. It's about a 2 mile hike from FR553 to Crossons, so hiking down with a boat would be a weird adventure with all the good stuff that's running.

I don't recommend hiking up from PVR because you will cross private land and will piss off the landowners who are usually sipping lemonade on their porches.

The best way to see Bailey is to boat Bailey! It's not hard at all to scout Steep 1, 2 and Trashcan if you have a patient guide. If you do take the "floating tour" of Bailey, remember: It's cold even if it's 80 degrees out, dress appropriately. It's far from your car, bring first aid and a breakdown paddle. It can be a long day, bring food and water.
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