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Old 07-14-2004   #1
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 2
Tubing the Gore

Our family is curious if anyone has ran the Colorado through Gore Canyon. Basically, we're just planning a run between Pumphouse and Radium. We'd like to bring some friends and have them tube while we break in the raft. Just curious if there are any problems and how difficult this would be to tube once you get in the canyon. I guess most important would be how hard is it to raft with the water this low. Are we going to have to get out and walk it any. It's good to see them releasing some water! But we just want to make sure that nobody is going to get hurt if they decide they want to tube it instead of get in the raft.

Also, just a quick question: When you go through the canyon, on the left side (the side opposite the tracks) I think it's just before Eye of the Needle, there is a tunnel. If people get adventurous, could they go in it?

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Old 07-14-2004   #2
Andy H.'s Avatar
Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,909
There are lots of folks tuned into Mt. Buzz who have run the Class V rapids Gore Canyon but what you're looking for is information on Little Gore Canyon, AKA the Pumphouse Run on the Upper Colorado.

You'll be in Class II water on the Upper Colorado between Pumphouse and Radium. At the current level, it should be OK to tube, though you may want to be ready to have folks hop into the boat for the "bigger" rapids on that strech. Its still going to be a really low level unless hey start releasing a lot more from the reservoir. You may want to break in the boat on Grizzley Creek (Glenwood Canyon) or on the Upper C above Dotsero. I've floated the latter reach at very low levels and it was still OK.

As for going into the tunnel, the railroad is a fairly busy one. Trains come through hourly. I wouldn't go into the tunnel unless a train had just passed and I knew that it would be awhile until the next.


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 07-14-2004   #3
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 11
As for tunnel, river left, you were wondering about... A few years back I went through in kayak and was all clear. Won't speculate on river bottom that one might encounter in said tube.

Also, as previous mentioned, Grizzly Creek might be more fun until water comes up.
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Old 07-14-2004   #4
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 32
Gore Canyon is good to tube

There is nothing wrong with running the Big Gore in a tube. My friends and I have tubed the "big Gore" lots of times. It's much more challenging than in a kayak or raft. Better to not take the kids though. Tubin' rules.
Cheers, Jester
"Just what in the hell do you think you're doing?" "Well, learning about Cuba and having some food."
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Old 07-15-2004   #5
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 388
The tunnel you ask about on river left isn't a railroad tunnel--it's the start of the abandoned diversion tunnel for the dam they wanted to build there. Looks creepy to me!
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Old 07-15-2004   #6
Golden, Colorado
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 140
Don't know if this tubing thread is troll or not but I'm of the opinion that tubers should be shot for stupidity. I went down from the Grizzly put in to G Springs for a quick evening run last weekend and paused above a rapid cuz I knew I was going to be fishing a group of dumbass tubers out at the bottom. One adult hit a rock,lost his tube and under for awhile(no PFD) against the rock. A 6 year kid was stuck in some rocks screaming his head off and scared out of mind . Two little girls went in and managed to get to shore. The parents of the 6 year old floated helplessly by and didn't get to shore for 1/4 mile down stream. The slew of curses out of my mouth directed at the two parents for being so stupid shocked even me. I managed to row into a spot to get the kid out and told him to get in the boat and I was rowing him to town. The kid was shaking head to toe. The 2 girls and father worked their way to me and I took them on, as well. When I passed, the parents of the 6 year old they seemed proud that they had recovered the lost $5 inner tube. No questions about their kid in my raft.

It's a free country, be as dumb as you want but because of this group's stupidity and then further stupidity on the Roaring Fork the next day I must have spent an hour of my weekend pulling people out the 2 rivers or recovering cheap WalMart rafts cuz they flipped and the group lost'em or having them drift so close that I couldn't row without hitting the tubers thus hitting rocks near shore.
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Old 07-15-2004   #7
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 2
We certainly don't want to cause any trouble for anybody. And it's for that reason that I asked the question. If it's dangerous and not real smart, then we'll encourage them to get in the raft when we go through some of the more difficult stuff. But, when the water is slow moving, there is really no reason to say that people are stupid. Yes, they are stupid if they carelessly go forward with something that is clearly dangerous but you should never be stupid if your asking a legitamate question in hopes of getting a answer that will benefit the group as well as fellow boaters.

So, thank you for your insight and we will use EXTREME caution with tubers.

Thanks everybody else too! Good responses. Gives us an idea of what to expect. We'd rather not have anybody killed. We want to have a party on the river, not a funeral!
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Old 07-15-2004   #8
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 97
Thanks for the rant bkp77, but have you ever seem the pumphouse section? What's wrong with tubing that???
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Old 07-15-2004   #9
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 1
I fished pumphouse section last week at 380cfs, I,de tube some or most of it. But check the flow, water has come up to 640cfs overnight, and still rising. M ight look a little different, I'm no resident expert.
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Old 07-15-2004   #10
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 32
Apparently bkp77 does not like tubers. Relax. There are smart tubers and dumb tubers just like in every other sport. Maybe you ran into some not so bright ones that day on Grizzly. I agree with Jeffro...have you seen the Pumphouse run? It's super around 5000 cfs maybe! Tubing is a way of life.

"Just what in the hell do you think you're doing?" "Well, learning about Cuba and having some food."
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