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Old 04-04-2011   #1
Seattle, Washington
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 3
If you had 2 weeks in CO in early June, what rivers would you do?

I'm a Seattle-area boater but I'll be in Colorado for two weeks in early June. I'm trying to put together a list of creeks to do and fall-backs in case the levels or road conditions don't cooperate.

We're looking to run mostly creeks in the IV+ to V range. (If you know Washington state runs, Robe Canyon, Upper Upper Cispus and the Ohanapecosh are about the top of my comfort zone).

We'll be in one car, so we have to stick to creeks that we can bike, hitch, or buddy-up on the shuttle.

Other than that, we're pretty much wide-open. I'd love to hear people's suggestions.

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Old 04-04-2011   #2
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1994
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 325
I'd say your best bets are the CB and Durango zones. Really will depend on what the weather does between now and then, but that will give you plenty of options, and there's lots of runs that can be done easily with one car.

Chris Morrison
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Old 04-04-2011   #3
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 2,239
Your timing should be excellent and a good year to do it.Rivers/areas with a lot of boater traffic to aid your hitching include;

Arkansas: lots of III/IV options,IV/V limited to Pine Creek-Numbers[ could probably bike shuttle] or high water Royal Gorge.Camping options fair,good if you drive some.Tribs like Lake Creek[iv-v+] and Clear Creek [v-] nearby .

Cache La Poudre:almost all roadside popular river with good III-IV and 3 contiguous harder sections V/V+ /IV / V- ,tons of riverside camping.Spencer Hieghts[V] and Big South farther up the road.Big South is considered one of the best expert runs in the state and not roadside.

If you go to Denver /Boulder,Clear Creek should be cranking 3 class 4 runs and one class 5 run[Black Rock]. Easy to meet other boaters at Golden play park for partners and shuttles.Boulder Canyon has adjacent segments ranging from 4 to hairball.Both are roadside.Near cities so less camping.

Crested Butte area - creeking mecca several short creeks close to each other.Spectacular part of state.Crystal River equally beatiful runs of varying difficulty.Great camping,shuttles may be harder but there are likely boaters around.

Glenwood Canyon,on the Colorado not a creek but easily bike shuttled[path through canyon] on I-70 Shoshone III[IV crankin'] Barrel Springs 4+ to hair depending on flow.

Durango area ,tons of options ,Swiss alps of US meets the dessert,not too familiar with logistics but it is a boaters haven.

Many other options.
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Old 04-04-2011   #4
ACC's Avatar
dropzone, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 845
Pretty much the whole state will be running. Some runs won't be accessible due to snow/gates (Big South). You guys should get the guidebook if you haven't (has driving info plus run beta). Decide what you want to run and then you can figure out how best to link it up. Its pretty easy to tell from the quality ratings in the book what runs are worth your time.
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Old 04-04-2011   #5
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Leadvillian, Colorado
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 381
probably your best bet is to keep watching on here and make a game time decision

certainly invest in the guidebook then you can make better decisions

2 weeks is enough time to hit quite a few of the watersheds or just a couple at a more leisurely pace

I'd build a strategy, like south to north, as a rough guideline

there are a lot of classic IV+ / V- river running style runs in Colorado that I think are more characteristic of the state's paddling - they aren't as level dependent so I'd plan on hitting the signature run in each watershed and then maybe a steeper creek if the level is optimal

I'd assume there's enough water that almost everything will be going at that time
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Old 04-04-2011   #6
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Bailey,Vanbydriviera, CO, CO/ bingyomoney
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 265
As many as possible, hopefully full on bender style, livin' out the truck. Pm me for beta when you are en route, or call 3oh3-8three8-three 33 three 3oh3-three five nine 2 five one 4
"Those who are willing to trade security for freedom deserve neither."-Ben Franklin
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Old 04-04-2011   #7
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Salida, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 516
Get the bible:

Amazon.com: Colorado Rivers & Creeks (9780964539952): Gordon Banks, Dave Eckardt: Books
No amount of money is worth your free time!
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Old 04-04-2011   #8
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 138
based on the runs you like.... robe, upper upper, and ohany (i love the ohany)....

crested butte is a lock for what you are looking for.... obj, daisy, upper east, and the slate are 4 high quality creeks (slate isn't very high quality) that are right there within 10 minutes of each other. all shuttles can be biked or hiked and you can be sure there will be plenty of other boaters to show you the way as well.

stay there for a week and then head to durango and run the upper a and some of the surrounding creeks there.

cayo 2 has no clue what he is talking about in the denver / boulder area.... if you make it to that area, there are at least 7 class IV - V creeks within an hour of each other that will be running... ssv, boulder creek, south boulder creek, upper south boulder, north st. vrain, clear creek, the source of boulder creek. shuttles and guides for these are a bit more difficult and not as high quality.
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Old 04-04-2011   #9
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 2,239
Sean,Just because I don't run 'the shit' doesn't mean i don't know what is there.I premised the comments as to ease of getting rides.I have run 90% of the 4+ and under runs on the front range,the guy seemed to be asking about 4+ to V not the really gnar stuff you like.Yes SSV and SBC should have been mentioned,and the Source.The stuff I mentioned could be done easily as day runs while you did other stuff in town,thats all i was saying.Bear in mind that Clear will be cranking at that time so the IV runs will be good not 4- like when they are lower.
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Old 04-04-2011   #10
Durango, Colorado
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 21
You couldnt go wrong spending a week in the Durango area. Animas River Days will be june 10-12th. Not much event wise for a creek boater, but you sure cant beat a few evenings of paddler fueled partying. Also heard there might be a gathering of people at Vallecito that weekend trying to see who can paddle the gorge the fastest. Lots of options around Durango, and if your from the NW you probably dont mind paddling some big water if the flows are high. So you cant really go wrong. You should get a few days in up around Crested Butte as well, nothing wrong with a couple OBJ laps, mix in some Daisy Creek, maybe a little Stupid Falls action, might as well take a look at NF Slate. Southwest CO is a good bet for a high concentration of different runs. Have fun

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