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Old 06-14-2004   #1
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 23
The Chutes section south Platte is closed to all

The Chutes section of the south fork of the south Platte is closed to all. I am referring to a 1/3 of a mile of river where the actual chutes are. I have been teaching people to kayak through this section for years and have never been told to portage. I have spoken to rangers and police before and at that time I was told the signs were to keep kids from cliff jumping. Well all that changed yesterday when a Jefferson County Sheriff signaled that I should get out of my boat and come to the road. I was teaching a class of four and had them wait in the eddy at the halfway point through the chutes. The sheriff informed me that he could fine each of us $750 for paddling this section. After speaking to him for quite a while he let me take my group down the chute, but informed me if he sees me again he will fine me. He informed me that the chutes can be deadly at higher flows and that because it is dam controlled the level could change without a moments notice. I know there are a few sieves in the entry (always a good teaching tool) and a cave on the right that I have heard of people going through. All rivers have potential deadly sections. A lake for that matter can be deadly. I don’t know what to think, this is a great section of water for teaching and I would hate to lose it, but I do not need to go to jail because some officer tries to give me a ticket and I tell him my position. I am curious if anybody else has been fined or warned to stay off of this section.

A side note Dave the landowner, just up stream of the confluence, moved a little while back and died shortly after. Can some one say KARMA?


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Old 06-14-2004   #2
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 44
I am a little confused by your report.

Do you mean the top drop near the diversion structure is closed only. Or is that part closed and the five or six drops downstream of the structure are also closed? I thought this whole deal was designed as a play park.


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Old 06-14-2004   #3
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Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,032
This sheriff sounds confused. If he thinks the Chutes are too dangerous to boat I wonder how he feels about Bailey. Perhaps someone knows a number to call to resolve this?
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Old 06-14-2004   #4
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 388
This is crazy and it needs to be bumped to CWWA.

It sounds like a misguided sherrif. One person won't convince the sherrif but a professional organization can.

More than likely, even if the nut landowner is gone, others are probably pressuring the sherrif to close the river. Or, perhaps the deputy just was given bad instructions.

This is a great stretch of river that people have run for years. Got to protect it.
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Old 06-14-2004   #5
Have paddled a Quest
Fort Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1984
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 102
Thanks for the heads up, Lyle. I will contact the access gurus in the CWWA and see if we can contact the Jefco Sherrifs office and straighten this out. Sounds strange to me...

If you have any more particular information (ie the sherrif's name / badge, time & date, etc.), or if anyone else has had this experience, please send an e-mail to:


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Old 06-14-2004   #6
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 331
Re: The Chutes section south Platte is closed to all

Originally Posted by Frogger

A side note Dave the landowner, just up stream of the confluence, moved a little while back and died shortly after. Can some one say KARMA?

"Ding-Dong, the witch is dead....."
"So in two seconds, away we went, a sliding down the river, and it did seem so good to be free again and all by ourselves on the big river and nobody to bother us." -Mark Twain (The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn)
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Old 06-14-2004   #7
A-Town!, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 91
The Sheriff is right..THAT CHUTE AREA IS CRAZY!!!
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Old 06-14-2004   #8
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 480
That thar sheriff is crazy! Let's see... river left is Jefferson County and river right is Douglas County. That boy's on the wrong side of the river. They even got out on the Douglas County side to talk with that thar Jefferson sheriff. Smellin' like somethin' aint right here. The Foxton run is in his jurisdtion and that's way crazier and dangerous that those dard Chutes. Duh.

We used to have woodsies up there all the time. Too many drunks were diving off the rocks and ending up severely injured and/or paralyzed so the DWB and county worked together and closed it off to partying.
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Old 06-14-2004   #9
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Englewood, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1978
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 882
Word...the Chutes are SIK.

But as William Nealy once said of Bull Sluice, "I swear I'm gonna run it someday..."
Join up, suckas.

"People demand freedom of speech to make up for the freedom of thought which they avoid."
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Old 06-15-2004   #10
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Technology Partner, Littleton, Colorado
Join Date: Feb 2004
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the chutes are fun...

The Chutes are really nothing more than a big waterslide. I've tubed them, kayaked them... good fun, but nothing to write home about

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