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Old 03-09-2009   #1
Franklin, North Carolina
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 2
NC boater visiting Boulder area in May, hoping to creek

Hey all,

It looks like I'm flying out to CO from NC mid-May to look at a grad school with my girlfriend. We'll be mostly in the Boulder area and are looking for some info about recreation in the area. We mainly paddle and ride bikes, so those are most important to us. Hiking, climbing, and winter sports are also of interest. I'm particularly interested in any info about class IV-V+ creeks and boating outfitters nearby, to cut down on driving.

Any info about the area, city, employment for RN's, and opportunities to play is appreciated.


Chan Jones
Team Pyranha


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Old 03-09-2009   #2
kayakfreakus's Avatar
Steamboat, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 887
Boulder should fit your bill, these on Boulder Creek:

The Source
Upper Boulder Canyon

Then on South Boulder Creek:

Alto Alto
South Boulder Creek

Pretty close you have St Vrain sections up in Lyons, and not hard to make it to either Clear Creek in Golden or Poudre up in Fort Collins. People will go on their Boulder rants, but its a cool town with great access. Granted there are a lot of "interesting" people and it is pretty expensive. My .02 cents

Check out Kayaking Information as they list all the runs, ratings, descriptions for Colorado pretty well I think. That and the two bibles, CRCII and Whitewater of the Southern Rockies.

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Old 03-09-2009   #3
Likes it wet.
LiquidGuy87's Avatar
Seattle, Washington
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 295

Hey Chan, it's Mike. I live in Fort Collins with great access to the Poudre... not sure that the flows will look like but the girlfriend and I are totally down with doing some paddling. Do you guys need a place to crash for a bit... if so we have an extra room!


Poudre Valley Hospital is a great place...

one of the top rated hospitals in the U.S.
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Old 03-09-2009   #4
islandertek's Avatar
Rocky Mountain Hooliganz, Rocky Mountain High
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 364
Best time 2 come out!!

You should sign up for Vertical Challenge. It starts May 15, 2009, and ends June 15, 2009. You can enter and paddle from NC or CO, or anywhere!! Check it out!!

It should be a nice time to come out!! Spring Run-off!! Rent a boat from Golden River Sports in Golden, CO, or Confluence Kayaks in downtown Denver. There's actually a few different outfitters, those were my favorites!! Shops in Boulder are "Alpine Sports", and "Boulder Outdoor Center" that I know of, there may be more. Hit up EDDYFLOWER.com for nationwide river flows!! This will give you all the run beta and flow info you need for Colorado or nationwide!!


Also check out out Colorado Kayakers Forum (Another Friendly Community just as Mountain Buzz) Link Below!

Colorado Kayakers



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Old 03-09-2009   #5
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,096
Lots of IV-V+ boating around boulder, mostly creeking. If you check the eddyflower link, look at the runs in south platte drainage, which is the main drainage boulder is located in.

Mid may can be hit or miss with flows. Mid may is generally the time when things just start to run, so levels could still be low (or too low), or you might have to travel further to get something decent. On the flip side, if it gets hot early, things could already be running. If you could push back your trip to sometime in the first two weeks of June, you would be in primo boating time. Its funny how a couple of weeks can make that big of a difference.

In general boulder is a very "outdoorsy" town with tons of things to do. Lots of boating and biking, and lots of people who do them as well. I looked at Boulder for grad school as well, and even though I ended up not going there, I thought it would be a great place to be in school.

One last thought. Many people complain that colorado has too short of a boating season. While this is generally true, the season can easily be extended. The prime runoff is generally from mid may to mid july, so for two months life is great. If you are willing to drive, there are shoulder season opportunities for paddlers though. Escalante creek is a standard creeking season opener in late april / early may, and is on the western slope 4-5 hrs away. New Mexico can go early too if they get a good snow year. Westwater on the colorado is a class III desert float trip in western colorado that can be a good early or late season run in march/april or sept/oct/nov, and is a really nice overnighter. Gore and bailey are both IV/V and can run late season due to dam release in aug-oct, and both are close enough for a day trip. If you are motivated you can be boating most weekends april - october. If you are into biking, the shoulder seasons are good times for biking as the water is harder to find. You will need a winter sport to get you through the winter though. For most folks snowboarding or skiing fit the bill and are lots of fun.

Good luck with your trip.
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Old 03-09-2009   #6
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Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1984
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 1,879
In addition to what others have mentioned, May should be prime time for Bear Creek in Morrison...if there's enough snow pack to get'er going. Great place to meet Front Range creek boaters, share carnage stories, and break boats.

Also- you mentioned bike riding: There's a wealth of mountain bike trails of varying difficulty all along the Front Range; and the road riding west, north, east of Boulder is excellent. Lots of options of both fronts & a much longer riding season than you might expect.

As for options for RNs- my wife was a traveling nurse that never made it out of Denver when she stopped here first in the late 90's. Loves it out here, and has always seemed to have had plenty of work opportunities. There are many hospitals & clinics; including specialty care facilities such as Children's (pediatrics, obviously), Jewish (pulmonary) and a slew of Cancer clinics. My wife still picks up shifts at $34/hour occasionally as an Oncology nurse. They need her 5 days a week, but she only needs a day or two.
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Old 03-10-2009   #7
Franklin, North Carolina
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 2
Thanks for all the great info, everyone! I'll bookmark this thread and use your input to narrow my searching between now and the trip.


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