Hi everyone, by way of introduction my name is Mike. The funny part is that I know next to nothing about boating, but I am involved in a sport called canyoneering here in Colorado. Basically, like all of you, we look for various creeks that we can "descend" - we generally look for creeks with low volume that are in deep gorges, preferably with waterfalls. Instead of using a boat, we use ropes and swimming to descend the creeks - hence our preference for low flow. I check in on this site every so often and have found some great ideas of places to scout. Thanks for the info
I finally decided to join and post because a few creeks that have been canyoneered for years have been mentioned in this thread, so hopefully I have some information that you'll find useful, but keep in mind that I really don't know what would make a run 'runnable' or not. The streams I'll describe are usually descended around August, long after the runoff is over, and when the flow is quite low (too low to boat), so any photos will be really low conditions. But the spring may be a different tale...
Wolf Creek: There are 2 gorges that have been descended for years by canyoneers. What we call Upper Wolf Creek is in the area where Camp Creek meets up with it, and Lower Wolf Creek starts at the highway hairpins, right at the Tunnel of Love. Both are classic, but both contain drops whose landings are very shallow, which I assume is bad for boating.
Descriptons are to be had here at:
Another one is the North Fork of the Snake, just below A-Basin ski resort. We descend the short gorge that starts at the lowest ski resort parking lot, and ends with Snake River Falls. There are 2 drops where we need ropes, the first is only 5 or 6 feet high. The landing is about waist deep, but some years enough rock and debris was in there to make it only a foot deep in spots, so we use ropes instead of jumping it. The second is Snake River Falls itself, the landing is only knee deep. There are a few logjams here and there in the gorge, but very manageable. You can also easily access the river below Snake River Falls (5 min hike from your car), thus avoiding the big drops, but I don't know anything about the river downstream from that point. Info on the gorge at:
We've done a lot of exploration of similar creeks around Colorado, particularly in the San Juans, though we've found a few along the Front Range as well. I'm not sure if any of you are interested, but I'd be happy to to share some info on others ones (particularly in the san juans, because they are just so cool). I imagine at least parts of some of them are runnable via boat in the spring, though getting to those parts with a boat might be tough logistically.