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Old 05-15-2006   #1
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,097
Looking for mellow section of the ARK???

Heading to paddlefest this coming weekend. I am looking for a good run to take my mom down in an IK on sunday. Looking for easiest section that would have good scenery and some fun easy water(II-III-). The least amount of obstacles would be good. Took her down pumphouse this weekend and she loved it. Looking for something similar or easier. I have heard folks talking about the "milk run", is this the BV town run? Any help with sections, put ins, take outs etc would be greatly appreciated.


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Old 05-15-2006   #2
kayakArkansas's Avatar
In this bullshit three-ring circus sideshow of freaks, Arkansas
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If you put in upstream of Salida at Stone-Bridge, it actually makes for a nice float down into town (take-out at the F-street Hole). There are a couple somewhat bigger rapids that you may want to be wary of, one of which is towards the end of the run and you want to be careful. The one I'm talking about is a boater's shoot around a low-head dam. You really want to make sure noone goes over that dam as it looks pretty nasty (as in won't ever let you go)...but the shoot ain't too bad. There are signs that you can read on the river that will warn you about the upcoming dam (STAY RIVER LEFT) etc. Otherwise if memory serves there is one more class III-/II+ ish rapid that I fail to remember the name of that is about 1/2 way through the run or so. I've only been down this section once guiding a fishing trip for my boss but it would probablly make for a nice run in the experience level you listed. Good luck and enjoy!

--Zach W

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Old 05-15-2006   #3
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 335
pretty much everything between Salida and Parkdale putin is 2 to easy 3,they say Cottonwood is 4 but i think that is exaggerated. Salida to swissvale is easiest ,like 1 class 3.I think between BV BASEBALL FIELD AND 285 THER MAY BE SOME TOUGH DROPS FOR A TOTAL BEGINNER,285 to putin for Browns canyon is 1-2.That run above Salida is non threatening.
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Old 05-15-2006   #4
Join Date: Jun 2004
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The Milk Run is downstream from the BV town run. It starts at Johnson Village and you can go a few miles to either Fisherman's Bridge or Ruby mountain. I've never done it, but I think it is pretty much all class 2.

Stone Bridge to Salida is probably the other alternative for what you are looking for, but it's further from BV.

The BV town run has a low head dam that I have not seen, so if you're interested, you might check with CKS at PaddleFest and they can advise you. If the dam is not a problem that would be a good way to extend the Milk Run and tour the new South Main playpark at the same time.

Have fun at PaddleFest.
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Old 05-15-2006   #5
Join Date: Aug 2004
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I usally take people from Johnson Village to Ruby Mountain. On the easy end of what your looking for. sj
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Old 05-15-2006   #6
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Not a river guide, Ft. FunK
Join Date: Feb 2004
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"Your mom goes to college!"

I think you wanna stay river RIGHT on the dam. Three of us idiots made the mistake of all going over the dam (river Left) and getting pretty scared and worked (at least i did). There's re-bar and nasty shit in there, i got lucky though.
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Old 05-15-2006   #7
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Wheat Ridge, Colorado
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I'm not sure which dam Gapers is referring to but I'd recommend that you do NOT take your mom down the run between the BV park and Johnson Village. there's a low head dam there with about a 5' drop on river left and a very crappy boat chute with lots of rocks in it on river right. Its also marked private property though there's supposed to be a scouting/portage easement on river right. The landowner is very unfriendly to boaters from what I understand.

Johnson Village to Ruby Mt. is a pleasant run that's all Class II. You'll have to pay a few bucks per boat to launch at Wilderness Aware Rafting.

Another reach that's a bit more interesting is Stone Bridge to Big Bend though its pretty short.


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 05-15-2006   #8
Denver, Colorado
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Thanks folks! Johnson village to ruby mountain sounds like a plan.
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Old 05-15-2006   #9
Join Date: Nov 2005
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One heads up on the Milk Run, Johnson's villiage to Ruby Mountain: For people looking for an float stretch, it starts a bit tough. It starts as a class II+ and then mellows into a class II- run. At high water, it starts as a class III- run. But, if you are using 2 people IK's with a competent person in back, this stretch is no problem, but the people in front will get wet a lot and cold if they don't have good gear on.

Also doing the run from Stone Bridge to Salida is nice because then you can hit Bongo Billy's at the end of the run for hot tea or a beer while others run shuttle. It's a nice ending.

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Old 05-15-2006   #10
Join Date: Feb 2005
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Second basil's remark. The Milk Run is fun but the first 1/2 mile is pretty continuous and can be an intimidating start for a novice.

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