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Old 04-04-2011   #11
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crested butte, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1990
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....give a hoot when here in cb...can offer floor space/showers and beta....do you have good hearing?....i'll just run along the creeks yelling out beta...."HEY DUDE, STAY LEFT AT THE CORNER".......or maybe...."HEY BRO, THIS IS THE BIG ONE"......or maybe......"DUDE, NICE ROLL...YOU OK?....perhaps even "BOOF IT OR PLUG IT, JUST DON'T GO RIGHT"....get the picture?....with my 5-10 canyoneer booties i'll be able to keep up.....milozapuss wishecouldboof 420 cb.......

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Old 04-04-2011   #12
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1901
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 110
If you had 2 weeks in early June, what would you do?

Drive to California.

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Old 04-04-2011   #13
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Wolcott, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 432
Definately invest in the book.

If you come thru Vail: Homestake thru Gilman, Gore Creek thru dowd. All fun and super fun at high water.

Aspen: Upper Fryingpan and Castle Creek thru Slaughterhouse. Then head to CB or BV.

Will be boating daily in June if you want to hook up a shuttle. 970-331-5380 JD
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Old 04-04-2011   #14
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,097
Lots of folks are saying to invest in the book. I would get whitewater of the southern rockies. Whitewater of the Southern Rockies Its the updated guidebook with a 5 star quality rating and difficulty by flow. Definitely a big help for a CO trip. If you want to splurge, get the old guidebook, colorado rivers and creeks too. Its got some great stories. Don't forget the CO gazetteer either.

First two weeks of June is prime and you will have tons of options. Key is to keep and eye on the flows and go with the flow. Its not unusual for a hot spell to get a few things uncomfortably high, or for a cold snap to shut down high elevation creeks. Watch flows and weather and adjust plans accordingly.

Durango and Crested Butte are two excellent hubs. Camp at Oh Be Joyful Campground (right at OBJ) and there will be boaters to hook up with for shuttles etc. CB has a coffee shop to get internet access if you need it. OBJ is a great run, and tons of fun. Durango has several classics as well.

I would shoot for the most quality runs you can, and figure out a way to hitch shuttle or hook up with other boaters. The new guidebook has a hitching likelihood (great feature in a guidebook), which could help. Colorado is a traveling boater destination in June, so you could potentially hook up with other crews looking for the same runs as well.

I wouldn't shy away from hooking up with folks from mountainbuzz to share shuttles with etc. I have taken many an out of town boater down the river, and CO boaters in general are friendly and willing to paddle with boaters from out of state. If you really need some shuttle help or a guide for a run you want to get, post on here and see what you get. Its rare for folks to offer to hook up with out of state boaters who aren't legit, but a quick conversation will weed out those not ready for prime time.

While you can get from any drainage to the next in a couple of hours, and colorado is relatively small, its a long drive (7ish hours) from durango to the front range, so plan your travels to optimize boating and traveling. I'd look at the drainages you want to hit, and plan your road legs with google prior to coming out.

Bring the drysuits and cold weather camping gear. While June is summer in CO, it gets cold camping at high elevation, and the high altitude creeks are generally super cold water. I paddled OBJ in june when it was snowing and my hands were almost frozen.

If I were going to do a trip, I'd spend 3-4 days in Durango (upper animas, 3rd gorge lime, 1st gorge lime), 3-4 days in CB (OBJ, daisy, upper east, slate), a couple of days in the ark valley / roaring fork valley (clear creek of the ark, lake creek, castle creek into slaughterhouse), and 3-4 days on the front range (bailey, blackrock, SSV, big thompson, joe wright / spencer heights). If you did them in this order, you wouldn't have any huge drives between drainages, but check flows to make sure that the order works.

Also, do some searches on the buzz to dig up some old info. Lots of good info on camping, runs, beta etc.

Another good resource is www.eddyflower.com Its basically and online guidebook with run descriptions, pics, and flows links. Good to plan your trip, and good to check flows while traveling.

Have a great trip.
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Old 04-04-2011   #15
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Bailey,Vanbydriviera, CO, CO/ bingyomoney
Paddling Since: 2004
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Posts: 265
Wow, Ian, that sounds like a great itinerary! Nice, I want to go! Now!!!!
"Those who are willing to trade security for freedom deserve neither."-Ben Franklin
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Old 04-04-2011   #16
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Lyons, Colorado
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Creek SSV
Gear = a mug that holds plenty of PBR with a slice of lemon
Go Dawgs!!!
Happiness is a way of travel not a destination
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Old 04-04-2011   #17
Fort Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 03
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 51
If you are looking for my favorite V- to V+ here it goes:

Crested Butte- Oh Be Joyful and the rest of the quad crown. You won't be disappointed and you hike the Oh Be Joyful Run anyway.

Durango area:
Vallecito- You may want a guide for this one
Gorges Lime- nice.

If you are looking for a challenge you may be able to catch the Crystal Drainage and Yule Creek near Glenwood. (Oh and the Glenwood wave may be really big and fun)

Teva Games- If you are into that sort of thing. Homestake and the Gilman Gorge can be pretty fun.

Big South (you could pair it up with a day on a great 4+ run on Spencers Height). This run generally opens 4th of July weekend. If you go on any weekend in July you are bound to run into tons of boaters since this is a great run with a narrow window to run it at the good med-high flows. Oops you'll be there in june-so you might miss it... Don't bother to the drive to this part of the state if the gate isn't open yet.
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Old 04-05-2011   #18
Seattle, Washington
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 3
Hi again guys. There's some really good responses in here. I definitely appreciate the detailed and thoughtful replies.

There's a lot of information in here, it'll take me a few days to go through the rivers mentioned and figure out which ones are up my alley, where they are in the state, and their respective seasons (I don't know about CO, but in WA we have a progression in snowmelt runs. If Money creek is too low, we run the Foss. If the Foss is too low, we run the Rapid. If the Rapid is too low...).

It sounds like CB is probably the place to go.

As for difficulty, I mentioned the WA-state runs as the top end of what I run because just saying "class V" is really not descriptive. From what I've seen of Yule creek, it's probably more than I want to tackle. We're also prioritizing fun over "gnar." If there's a class IV that's super fun in creek boats, then hell yeah.

Someone brought up another good point. What are the campgrounds that are good for meeting boaters? Also, where can we find public showers in CB and the Vail area?
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Old 04-05-2011   #19
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 728
Arkansas River, 100 miles of class 2-4 plus and some great play too
Buena Vista Playpark
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Old 04-05-2011   #20
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Bailey,Vanbydriviera, CO, CO/ bingyomoney
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 265
Sounds like you may want to check out Pine Creek IV -V-& Numbers IV-IV+ in Buena Vista and if possible Castle creek into Slaughterhouse(Numbers hot sister) over Independance Pass in Aspen (about 1 1/2 hrs or less apart) and you get to scope Lake creek on the way. Pine Creek & Numbers & Slaughterhouse are some of the funnest IV runs in the state.

"Those who are willing to trade security for freedom deserve neither."-Ben Franklin
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