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Old 05-06-2012   #1
boulder, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 1
Kayaking this season?

Hey guys, im beginning my whitewater kayaking career this summer. While im sure most of y'all are bummed about the low water levels, I'm hoping it could be a great season to learn (trying to stay optimistic here). I really have no reference point for the cfs of rivers and this low water year is making it even trickier. As far as this season goes, what rivers/creeks/whatever would you recommend? I live in boulder, and would prefer to not have to drive unreasonable far... Any advice is appreciated


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Old 05-06-2012   #2
Nessy's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 255
You should probably start your kayaking career this week. The only flows you'll find this summer will be out on the western slope and they won't be much to write home about. Check out the Clear Creek whitewater park in the next few weeks. If it's at 100cfs or higher there will be other boaters in the park. Chat some of them up and ask if you can run the park with them.

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Old 05-07-2012   #3
lmyers's Avatar
Buena Vista, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 4,207
This is going to be a good season to spend time on the Arkansas. There are several beginner friendly stretches that will have enough water for you to boat all summer. Most of these runs are located around Salida. Just above and below town.

You should also look at the the Upper Colorado. Pumphouse to Radium or State Bridge is a good place to start. As is Grizzly to Glenwood Springs.

Close to the Front Range your most reliable beginner whitewater will be on the North and South Forks of the South Platte. The Deckers stretch is a good one to start with, and then move up to Foxton below the boulder gardens when comfortable with Deckers.

There are also a couple of Front Range paddling clubs you may want to hook up with. These include Colorado Whitewater and the Pikes Peak Whitewater Club.

Hope this helps. Welcome to the Mountain Buzz and kayaking!
GARNA’s mission is to foster stewardship of the resources of the greater Arkansas River region through education, volunteerism and experiences.
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Old 05-13-2012   #4
behind your mom, Colorado
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 678
Hey William,

I'm new also and in Boulder. Taking the tuesday night pool sessions with confluence starting this week. I've messed around in flat water, and did the town run through steamboat. Let me know if you want to get out, I don't know any beginner paddlers. My cell is 773-269-eight five six two. My work schedule is a little crazy in may, but I should have a couple days a week open. In june (if there's still water) I'll only be working 3 days a week so trips west are cool with me.

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Old 05-14-2012   #5
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2009
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 15
I live in Boulder as well, still consider myself new but have been at it a couple of years.

The Clear Creek WW park in Golden is the best place to go. Plenty of folks there to paddle with all of the time, after work and on the weekends.

While it is still low, I have been out in Boulder WW park (at Eben G. Fine park) the past two weekends. You can't run it top to bottom, but can play around in the pools and do a few of the smaller drops.

lmyers is right, the Grizzly to Glenwood section of the Colorado is pretty mild and a good place to start.
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Old 05-14-2012   #6
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Indian Hills, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,448
Foxton is one of the finest beginner stretches I can think of. It's close, relatively free of hazards (boulder garden excepted), and has some fun classic lines. That's where I'd recommend you cut your teeth this year.
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Old 05-14-2012   #7
hojo's Avatar
Lakewood, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1989
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 1,234
Originally Posted by DanOrion View Post
Foxton is one of the finest beginner stretches I can think of. It's close, relatively free of hazards (boulder garden excepted), and has some fun classic lines. That's where I'd recommend you cut your teeth this year.
I agree with Dan (mostly) though the water down stream of the T intersection, at these levels, makes for a very bony flip so be sure to scout as it's really easy to broach just above a rapid because you're looking at the rapid and wander into a too-shallow section and get hosed. On the other hand, some of the drops are indeed good drops to lap for practicing your beginner creeking moves.
On the river, I can abandon who I am and what I've done. However brief it lasts, while on the river I am nothing important and everything insignificant. I am flotsam, and happy to be so.
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Old 05-14-2012   #8
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 2,239
You have some great beginner runs in your back yard, can' t gaurantee good flows this year, but Boulder creek town run is very fun 2-3, Applewood-Lyons class 2 with playpark and 3 more park and playspots,and Shelly Cottages to Applewood bridge easy 3.

Filter Plant above Ft.Collins II, Confluence /Union /So.Platte Town Run, Idaho Springs :Outer Limits to Kermits, 119 to Black Rock put in on CLear Creek, tunnel 1 to Golden, are all II -III. Decker's 2(3), last 2 or 3 miles of Foxton 2 -3. Then move up to Waterton,Boulder Garden and mid.Foxton, and easier Poudre runs 3-4 minus type runs.
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Old 05-14-2012   #9
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 2,239
Apple Valley not Applewood, there is a. bridge with parking a few miles above Lyons.
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Old 05-14-2012   #10
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 2,239
Beginer runs not on the Front Range but not too far:

Lower Blue 2-3-
Lower Snake near keystone to lake 3
Upper Gore Creek. 2-3 play
Edwards to wolcott. 2
Avon to Edwards 2-3 low (playpark and Edwards Mile harder high)
Minturn above Dowds Chute 3-/3
Wolcott to Eagle 2-3. (Trestle Rapid 3 plus with big hole high and harder drops just past early take out)
Statebridge. to Dotsero 1-2 (3)
Northgate. 3 ( one or two slightly harder rapids) low
Arkansas several 1-3 sections or Browns, Fractions, Parkdale, and BV to Johnson Village are much more beginner friendly low.Playparks too.

Lower Tenmile 3 with play Mexican Restaraunt to lake

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