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Old 07-17-2006   #1
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 4
Beginner Trip near Boulder

Hey, does anybody have any suggestions for an easy multi day kayaking trip near Boulder. I have a dog, and don't want to do anything too crazy. I would like to go in early August - is this too late? Any advice would be appreciated.


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Old 07-18-2006   #2
Dave Frank's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,727
The pumphouse run below gore, on the colorado would be one of your only options. Where will your dog ride? Too much privte land to have him run on the bank. Not to mention cliffs.

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Old 07-18-2006   #3
Gnarnia, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 651
the pumphouse is a good suggestion. you can also run below state bridge on the colorado, the section below pumphouse. if you feel like driving, there's always the loma (the colorado river near fruita) but it's about 5 hrs away. easy water though. great for dogs. maybe class II.
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Old 07-18-2006   #4
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 245
yeah, how do you do a multiday with the dog? just curious, not saying you can't or anything....??

were you thinking river or stillwater?
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Old 07-18-2006   #5
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 4
Thanks for the advice! I have a Sea Eagle 420x tandem inflatable kayak with loads of room. My dog is a sheltie (about 25lbs) and will ride with my girlfriend in the rear seat. There is plenty of room in the bow and stearn for lightweight camping gear. I am an avid backpacker so I am used to travelling light. I am semi-new to kayaking and just want something easy. I would like to travel very slowly and see the sights. I'm not so much worried about Buddy getting wet, but I am worried about him falling out. He also has a disfigured front leg (runs very fast, however) and I am not sure how well he swims. He has a puppy life jacket, and does very well on flat water and easy rivers in Illinois. I just thought I would try something with a little nicer scenery.

Would I be better off looking for smaller creeks in this area, or would the water be way too low in early August? After doing some research, I have found that there are a handfull of rivers that seem really popular, and most are located in the Southwest region of Colorado. However, I can't help but think that there are lots of rivers or creeks near Rocky Mountain National Park or Boulder that I could explore. Also, what are the camping regulations along these creeks or rivers. Do I need to worry about private land?

Thanks again for helping me.

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Old 07-18-2006   #6
tellutwurp's Avatar
Longmont, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 260
You definitely want pumphouse to Dotsero...60 miles of class II with some IIIs in there to keep you on your toes. The dog would fine if he fell out in most places. There are only 2 rapids to look out for, 1) Bob's Bridge(pinball) is a railroad bridge on a left bend with water taking you into the abutment, and rodeo rapid, which you will notice from all the flat water paddling you'll be doing just prior. There will be no creeks or other rivers better within the same distance for what you want. There is camping at Pumphouse, Rio de Rancho has camping / cabins, just after State Bridge on river left, some other place, then jack flats... fills up quickly but can wing it, and a couple near Dotsero just after you start seeing more development (as in parks, boat ramp-ish type things).

I have blast doing this run with beginners in canoes.
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Old 07-19-2006   #7
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 245
yeah, the small creeks are going to be way too bony for you. the yampa could be a possiblity to, but the most senic areas are permitted... I did a canoe trip from craig to maybell, it was ok, but lots of cows and pastures, less of the dramatic scenery.

good luck!
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Old 07-19-2006   #8
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 4
Thanks, I appreciate the advice. The pumphouse to Dotsero looks like a nice run, but It's a bit of a drive. I would have to try to convice my friend in Boulder to cruise over three hours to pick us up. Also, from what I have been reading, it is mostly a day trip.

I might just try paddling some lakes in RMNP. Does anybody have any suggestions about this?

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Old 07-20-2006   #9
Gnarnia, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 651
There may be some paddling opportunities in Rocky but dogs aren't allowed except on leash in developed areas.
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Old 07-20-2006   #10
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 4
Looks like I am going to have to go to Arapaho or Roosevelt Forest. They have less restrictive rules I hear. Has anybody been to lake Granby? I heard that Columbine Bay was a nice place for non-motorized craft.


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