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Old 11-01-2005   #1
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 137
Little D waterfall

just got off of a westwater trip and all of the rain really had the little d crankin. Just curious if anyone had boated it before especially the falls. i would have done it but it was getting late.


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Old 11-01-2005   #2
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Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
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Posts: 2,909
Did you notice the high water marks and debris from the recent flash flood that went through there? If you thought it was cranking when you saw it, just think what it would've been like when the water was 10 feet above the creekbed!


Nothing in the world is more yielding and gentle than water. Yet it has no equal for conquering the resistant and tough. The flexible can overcome the unbending; the soft can overcome the hard. - Lao Tse
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Old 11-01-2005   #3
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Eagle County, Colorado
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Andy, did you get those photos? Our little disposable camera hasn't turned up.

Surely someone on the Buzz must have seen it when it was going off a few weeks ago.
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Old 11-02-2005   #4
Join Date: Mar 2005
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You guys talkin' 'bout the Little D by Westwater ,or up higher where that dude drowned early last summer?I checked out the upper falls ,it was sweet ,a sort of miniature poor mans version of Dry Meadow Crk.,five small falls into pools about 3 of them looked runnable ,but youd be commited to running the whole thing and the biggest one has a fang hangin' down that would be about impossible not to bonk your head on.The bottom one looked like a good ender spot { i know ,archaic terminology} and a run from there down to the road might be interesting.To run it all the way to westy would be ,at a minimum,an adventure thru spectacular geology.
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Old 11-02-2005   #5
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Eagle County, Colorado
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By Westwater. There was flood debris and the grass and tree branches were bent downstream as far as 10 ft or more above the creek in there. Looks like the creek there must have blown out 2000 cfs or more one day in the recent past. That is what Andy was talking about.
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Old 11-02-2005   #6
Join Date: Nov 2003
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All of Little Dolores creek has been run, most of it multiple times, and very little of it was worth it.

The only easily accessible section with routinely enough water is the Glade Park Potholes, about 25 miles south of Junction. Its a fun entrance to 8 footer, then a tricky lead in to an 18 footer. The more water the better. But its solely park and huck. First descented by Chamberlain bro's and company in 95 or 96, and I ran it in high school probably 10 different trips (only one of which was the flow really good).

Below that is another section with a couple of small gorges. Again, it never really has enough water. I've run it, and the drops are crunchy 5-footers that land on rock. We portaged a 30 foot slide/cascade thing that just didn't have enough flow. Not worth it because it never runs enough to clean out the brush, and the creek bed is only about 5 feet wide (literally, you can't turn sideways) most of the time. Add that to the fact that it's all on private land and we were confronted by a not very happy 6'3 220+ rancher at the takeout it is safe to conclude that I will never go back to that place.

Below that was first descented by Tom Chamberlain and another (I don't remember who) back in 96 or 97. They made it through the stuff that I just mentioned, and then through miles and miles of windy cow patty land. Then, the action picked up, and Tom dropped over a 20' lip into a beautiful deep and smooth walled pool, with water pouring over another horizon line immediately below him. His partner fortunatly stayed above the first horizon, and was able to rope Tom out above the next drop, a 60-80 footer thing on to rock. I don't know if they ran the last set of falls that everyone hikes too, but they eventually made it to Westwater and to the takeout. I think they did the run in two or three days.

Some runs just aren't worth it. Glade Park potholes are fun, and I'm guessing hiking up to the hiker's falls could be worthy, but nothing else on that creek is worthwhile. If you could access it from the top better, it might be worth checking out again, but you want to start at the ridges above Westwater. Idaho shuttle style would be an under statement.
Kyle McCutchen
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Old 11-02-2005   #7
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 373
On a recent trip I heard about this hike/falls (I am usually wearing myself out on little D). Anyone have a pic of the hiker's falls? How far of a hike, how tall? Thanks.

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Old 11-02-2005   #8
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Join Date: May 2004
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The hiker falls looks to be unrunable to me.... Lands on shelf rock. Mabey with super flow it might go. We ran from the hiker falls to Westy. Short fun and shallow at peak spring runoff.
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Old 11-03-2005   #9
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Englewood, Colorado
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What about Cottonwood Wash where it enters the Colorado? IIRC there is some gradient in the mile or so before the river. The bits I've seen would be tight and perhaps questionable given the flora, but has anyone explored it when it is flashing?

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