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Old 06-18-2007   #1
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 95
Foxton vs. Waterton

So, I've never run either of these and am looking to do one or the other (or both) this weekend with a friend who is learning to kayak. Looking at the websites it is very difficult to discern which of them is the tougher section.

Which is it? Eddyflower indicates Waterton is III+ and Foxton is IV- but AW indicates it's the opposite. My buddy is a SOLID III paddler with a 50/50 roll. He's taken on some IV in the past, too, and handles it pretty well with the occasional swim and the occasional clean.

I think both would be possibilities, and if we have time we'll run them both, but we would like to focus on the easier of the two if we only have time for one.


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Old 06-18-2007   #2
mr. compassionate's Avatar
conifer, Colorado
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 937
I've live up in Conifer and go down there often, judging from flows I would say it's III+ at these flows and due to the crux only which is the bouler garden a couple miles up from Foxton Rdd, easily scoutable and portagable.

If not comfortable with this then below foxton is a little easier in my opinion. I've done as a beginning kayaker with no roll at 400 cfs swam three times my first two attempts at kayaking this section.

Very easy portgage on any rapid. Waterton on the other hand is more sheer volume due to after the confluence on N and S Platte and therefore in my opinion harder the Foxton. Also portage out of run to put-in.

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Old 06-18-2007   #3
KSC's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,032
Good question. Waterton is generally considered more difficult because it's steeper and more continuous. That's probably especially true right now since it's running pretty high.

However, the primary section that makes Foxton difficult is the boulder garden near the beginning of the run and that seems like it's a little more technical than anything on Waterton.

In my opinion, they're both usually III+ runs, but at current levels they're closer to IV-
Probably the best call would be to do Foxton (if for no other reason than it's a longer run) and he can walk the boulder garden section if he's feeling uncertain.
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Old 06-18-2007   #4
DanOrion's Avatar
Indian Hills, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,448
They are really differnt character at this level. (500 fox, 1400 waterton)

Foxton is bony, at any level. 200 cfs- bony. 500 cfs - bony, 800 cfs, starting to fill in, but you still scrape.

Look closely at the boulder garden before running it. Some lines do not go gracefully and some lines just don't go at all. From river level it can be decieving which is in and which is out. Good to scout.

The rest of foxton is plain old class III, stay upright, cuz the rocks are shallow. There is some great play on Foxton at levels above 400.

Foxton has many putin-takeout options, but it can be run from boulder garden through waterton in, say 4 hours ish at levels above 600 on the Pine gage.

Waterton is a differnt run with more water, more of a Browns Canyon feel. Bigger features, holes to acutally punch. Just when it got fun, you're in a reservoir.

Waterton is probably harder because it's bigger, pushier and the features are much bigger, but Foxton is more technical.
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Old 06-18-2007   #5
teletumbler's Avatar
Golden Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 185
I would recommend doing them both water adds a nice bigger water feel at the end of a fun technical run and is definitly worth the mile walk back out. Everything is easily scoutable/portagable so if you are unsure walk the road a bit. I ran Foxton last year and the boulder gardens are one of my favorite rapids.

Have fun!
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Old 06-18-2007   #6
Join Date: Nov 2005
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It's easy to cut out the boulder gardens from Foxton. That way you also cut out a bunch of flat water. Put in 200 yards upstream from the Foxton Rd.

There is one III+ section of Foxton about half way down that is right against the road. You can't miss it. It boats easier than it looks.

I don't think you really need a roll on Foxton since you shouldn't flip much on that. It's better to have a good brace. And 350 cfs on Foxton covers nearly all of the rocks.

Waterton is a short run and you have to haul your boat. Not much fun.
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Old 06-18-2007   #7
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 480
I would agree with basil... put in about 200 yds. above the Foxton road intersection and run to the Waterton put in. If you have never run the Boulder Garden, find someone who knows the lines to take you through. The water gets going pretty good down Foxton run and you will have a good time. A few places where you have to make some moves but you can road scout when you run your shuttle. Enjoy!
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Old 06-18-2007   #8
Silverthorne, Colorado
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 32
Everyone I know who was paddling Foxton and Waterton as progression runs all paddled Foxton a time or two before paddling Waterton. Waterton seemed pushier to me and might be more intimidating to many progressing boaters. Both are easy to scout, Foxton from the road (top boulder garden being most important as stated already), and Waterton with an easy hike.

I found it worthwhile to hike in and look at everything on Waterton, but that was back when Waterton was a little more imposing for my skill level.

Foxton was paddled on my 46th and 47th days of paddling and is documented fairly throughly on these links with photos and video.
I have already been advised a long time ago that Foxton is just called Foxton, not Foxton Creek (even though it seems like a creek). I will correct that on site with new revisions this season.
Foxton - Paddle Day 46
Foxton - Paddle Day 47

It is fun to reread Paddle Day 46 for me. That is the day I met Ivan, my current main paddling partner. You never know when you will hook up with the right paddlers to help you progress and move forward. That was an important day. Ivan and I ended up being at the same skill level and both wanted to progress further than others we were paddling with at the time. I made it to Gore Canyon and other fun big water much faster as a result.

As I get back into paddling this year after shoulder surgery last August, I am finally getting around to updating my other long overdue journal entries. Equally detailed Waterton Canyon photo/video entries are almost ready to be uploaded and will be available on the site before this season is over.
__________________ - Home of the Internet's Only (so far) Photo/Video Kayaking Progression Journal documenting Day 1 as an Absolute Beginner all the way to Advanced Big Water Paddler.
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Old 06-18-2007   #9
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 95

I have to say I love your site. I spent half a day reading through your entire kayaking epic during calls the other day. Quite a story! I definitely look forward to more.

Waterton looks like it might be extremely pushy for my bud at these levels. I guess we'll see how Foxton goes and if we're up to it we'll run Waterton.

Thanks all! If anyone else is interested I believe we'll be going there on Saturday a.m.
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Old 06-19-2007   #10
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The Road, Colorado
Paddling Since: '07
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Posts: 612
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Hey, I made my first Foxton run last weekend. I want more! I would be up for another foxton run Sat. a.m. I assume someone is going that knows the lines?

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