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Old 03-30-2008   #1
Charlottesville, Virginia
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 38
Need help planning my trip to Colorado

Hi all-
I am thinking about coming out to Colorado this spring for a few weeks of class 4-5 creeking. I have 5/12 - 5/25 off. Is this a good time to be out there? Will I have good water then?

Thanks for your help!

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Old 03-30-2008   #2
N. Wigston's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 557
that should be a great time to come. I'm guessing you'd be best off in the san juans (Durango area). New mexico creeks will be going off then too and are not too far from the durango area. crested butte may be running well too, but the weather is finicky there. it gets cold a lot during the summer and messes with the flows. it will be cranking one day, then a cold front moves in and the creeks go down to measley flows.

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Old 03-30-2008   #3
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Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 747
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Should be pretty ideal; your location will probably depend a lot on weather. I've got a long weekend in there too; and I'll probably be boating from wed-sun.
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Old 03-30-2008   #4
Fluid Dreams's Avatar
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 55
What an Awesome time to come!


You'll be in Colorado right in time for the CKS Paddlefest in Buena Vista! Tons of fun... we celebrate at the beginning of the season to get into gear and start the summer with a blast, reconnecting throughout the Colorado kayaking community. The dates are 5/16-5/18. Check out the events & festivities@

This is a great place to join in w/ groups & run fun Arkansas sections: Pine Creek, the Numbers, Brown's Canyon, maybe even down to Parkdale & the Royal Gorge South of Salida; as well as Lake Creek if it's running. This is also a great weekend to find a crew to explore areas all over Colorado, from East Creek to OBJ.

If you're gonna be in Colorado, you gotta get the guidebook, Whitewater of the Southern Rockies! You might getta meet the author & friends there, and throw down with the pros in paddle with the pros!

Love to see ya there ~ & that goes out to all river folk!
The river is a paradise of liquid, caressing the earth, and creating a playground of magic and fluid adventure!
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Old 03-31-2008   #5
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 147

I am hoping durango will be the place to be. Lime Vallecito and the upper should all be a go around then. I think too high a flows would be more problematic than low this year. Are you coming w/ a crew or winging it? my place frequently houses a crew of folks around then and you would be welcome.

I am getting off the Grand the 18th so if you make Dgo later in your itinery, I could show you around or hook you up w/ others if I can't get out.

Buy the book. Make a wish list!

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Old 03-31-2008   #6
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Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1984
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 1,879
I'd also check back here for a flow update on Escalante Creek- it should be flowing still (hopefully) and it's not far from Durango or Crested Butte. If you haven't done any desert-style creeking, then I would highly recommend it.
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Old 03-31-2008   #7
D'ango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 75
Good timing

Water is generally on the up swing that week in the southern mountains, N.M should have good flow @ the boxes, Piedra should be rockin' (awesome run, usually lots of shuttlers about that time), upper Animas & Rockwood boxes will be picking up steam. Maybe Vallecito & Lime creeks. Get a copy of Stafford / McCutchen's Whitewater of the Southern Rockies, it's got every run, & pretty paddler-oriented.
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Old 03-31-2008   #8
Charlottesville, Virginia
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 38
After looking at the guidebook, here is a list of some of the runs I am interested in. What do you think the flow situation will be on these runs?

Lower South Boulder Creek
Upper Animas
Clear Creek Black Rock, Lower
Clear creek of the Arkansas
Arkansas Numbers, Granite
Eagle Gilman Gorge
Piedra 1st Box Canyon
Roaring Fork Slaughterhouse
North Fork South Platte Bailey
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Old 03-31-2008   #9
oh yeah
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 535
based on your list i would say that lower south boulder won't be running (dam controlled). the encampment will be snowed in (can't drive the shuttle). clear creek of the... (front range?) should be good. not sure about the animas (i know it will be COLD). might be early for the clear creek of the ark but maybe not. the rest of the ark is running right now and it should be getting bigger by then. also read up on lake creek, it might be good. the piedra, roaring fork, and gilman should be good but it will be a pain to get to the roaring fork from salida since the road won't be open yet. and bailey is a toss up; it might have a decent natural flow. are you up for the driving? the runs you mention are pretty spread out w/ a 6+ hour drive from boulder to durango. ya might want to go from the ark to durango or go from the ark to boulder. or just stay in durango and do a day trip into new mexico. the black canyon could be running.

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Old 03-31-2008   #10
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the upper animas will probably be awesome. You will probably also really enjoy cascade creek that flows into the animas (also known as the third gorge of lime creek although it is technically cascade creek). That is one of the best IV+ runs around. class V if the water is really high, which is very possible. Also, the upper taos box is a classic and you will probably like that. I think danger is on to something with the locations. you'd be better off picking an area and sticking to it. that way you don't waste half of your trip driving. taos and durango are fairly close and will offer plenty of quality whitewater for your trip. crested butte and salida aren't too far away either.

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