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Old 03-14-2010   #11
Durango, Colorado
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 390
2K in Silverton is usually around 4-5k in town.

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Old 03-14-2010   #12
no tengo
mania's Avatar
Baytopia, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1876
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,768
The Durango gage is over 50 miles downstream with numerous side streams which can run at different rates so you really don't know at all. If you want to run the town run look at the Durango gage - otherwise its useless. There is also now a seasonal Tacoma gage which is great for knowing how rockwood is running. Here is my rough translation...

Upper Animas (silverton to tacoma) using the below Silverton gage
less than 300: not really worth it
300 to 600: bony but enjoyable
600 to 900: medium, good, fun
900 to 1200: medium plus, starting to get pushy, consider walking noname
1200 to 1500: getting big, still raftable but portage noname
1500 to 2000: hold on to your helmets, long rapids, long swim potential, scary.
2000 - 3000: non-stop, danger of flushing into low bridges, no eddys, terrifying at times.
3000+: have you met God yet cause here he is.

my highest run up there was somewhere around 3500 (something like 7000 - 8000 in durango) just me and a buddy in a puma. absolutely terrifying and that was with portaging tenmile, noname and broken bridge.

Rockwood box using Tacoma gage
less than 400: playboat time
400 - 600: low
600 - 800: medium, good raft level
800 - 1000: getting big for rafts, pushy, fun
1000 - 1500: real pushy. don't screw up. rafts not recommended.
1500+: avoid rafting it. solid V kayakers only.

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Old 03-14-2010   #13
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 2,239
March= Arizona,late April= new mexico,mid/late May=Utah,may- july =Colorado,August= Wyoming.

Isn't there a Bear River festival/scheduled release in September?

Early ,near you,maybe Lefthand sometimes runs in April,can be really lame or really good depending on flows and how much you like mank. People have been doing Clear Creek narrows part of Black Rock at real low as a pre season warm up /desperation run in recent years.Likewise they do that late on the Poudre. Lets hope we have good late releases on the North Fork and Big T this year. Seems like So. Bldr.Crk. runs slightly early for the Front Range and Bear Crk. too ,if it runs.
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Old 03-16-2010   #14
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Bozeman, Montana
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 5,507
While you all be wiping eachothers ass's at escalante ill be in Wyo running a handful of different granite creeks. Boxelder, Deer creek, Bates, laprele, horseshoe, and cottonwood creek. You can have the one ill have 5 or more. Oh BTW laramie range is closer to denver than escal. Come enjoy some wyo granite if you haven't before you won't be disappointed!
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Old 03-16-2010   #15
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185 lb. waste of space, Keeping Glenwood Springs real
Paddling Since: 1864
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 917
But Mikey, the early desert run is only an hour and a half from my cozy little cottage. If you pay for my gas i will come to up to sheep #$%^. Don't worry though I am spending the summer in the Fort so lets run some of that WY goods this summer
970-217-21 six six
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Old 03-16-2010   #16
Denver / Coloma / Monterey, CO / CA
Paddling Since: 1971
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 119
Hey Claytonius,

I'm brand new to CO and looking for IV-V creeks (not super hero stuff) to run this season. I'm excited to boat CO after years in WA. Send me a private message if you want to get together.

Don't discount CA though. If you can swing it, a road trip there is well worth the effort. Here are a couple things I ran that were super fun and manageable for a reasonably skilled boater (I am NOT a super hero boater by any stretch):

South Silver: Despite being very steep, everything is straight forward and you can walk anything you don't like. We ran it at a solid medium flow and I wasn't terrified, in fact I wish I had spend a few days running laps. I imagine at high flows it can be very scary but most folks run it low to medium. Check out . The webmaster Chris is a very cool S. African transplant and he can be talked into leading you down if you're friendly over the phone. It's a guaranteed great time, kind of like a kayakers version of a Disneyland ride, while still demanding the respect that all rivers do. I boated it with a CO boater who compared it to a steeper, longer OBJ, although I haven't done that yet so this is just heresay.

Middle Fork Feather, 3 Day: One of the best trips I've ever been on! 3 Days of IV-V in a beautiful canyon. It steps up each day, so you have time to work up to the bigger rapids on day 3. You can walk most drops you don't like, although there is one at the end that is pretty much mandatory. It turned out to be quite fun though. The scenery, whitewater and camping are all top notch. Highly recommended!

The upper Yuba drainage has a number of IV+ to "reasonable" V runs that are really fun as well.

All of these rivers are within a few hours of each other. Pick up the Holbeck/Stanley Guide to the Best Rivers of CA. It's been around a couple of decades and is still the bible.

In fact, if you're considering CA, I'm interested!

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