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Old 05-24-2013   #1
Denver, Colorado
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 6
Upper CO Status?

Can anyone tell me what is going on with the Upper CO? It is showing on CO whitewater that the upper all the way to Burns is under 800cfs, but from Burns to Dotsero it is 4,030?
I was hoping to float the upper in my 14' this weekend as I am not familiar with the river from Burns to Dotsero and wanted to know if this change in flow is realistic? In addition, I was thinking if this flow is true, I would go ahead and float the sections between State Bridge and Dotsero if anyone can give me beta on those sections. It appears that Pinball is probably the toughest section on this stretch?

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Old 05-24-2013   #2
Frisco, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 3
That is not an accurate reading. It will be higher than the 750ish they are stating at pumphouse seeing you have a number of feeder creeks from piney creek down.

Did state bridge to Dotsero last year at 375cfs. It was boney but doable, rodeo above pinball should be fine at this level (we rowed it last year and it was an adventure at 375cfs). Just stay river left through pinball. Great campsite about a mile down from pinball I believe its called jack flats. To make a long story short you will have to dodge some rocks but very doable at this level.

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Old 05-24-2013   #3
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Paddling Since: 2010
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Posts: 207
With the Dotsero gauge reading over 4000 cfs, the Kremmling gauge has to be off at 750cfs.
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Old 05-24-2013   #4
Denver, Colorado
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 6
Thank you

Excellent, I appreciate the feedback. I didn't know if something changed in the river to cause this to happen as I have never went that low. The campground information is perfect as I would like to make a multi-day out of this at some point before the end of June.
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Old 05-24-2013   #5
Avon, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 471
Here is the deal on the gauges.

There are only 2 gauges for this entire stretch (dumb).
gauge #1 is at the start of Gore Canyon
gauge #2 is 2 miles after the confluence of the Colorado and Eagle RIvers .

so my guess is after Piney River( ie state brdige) the cfs is probably about 1400 (750 + 400 at piney...+ feeders)

just before Dotsero the flow would be 4000 - 1700 (eagle below gypsum) = 2300 cfs.

plenty enough water in all the sections below pumphouse.
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Old 05-24-2013   #6
Denver, Colorado
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 6
Excellent. I guess I assumed (wrongly) that there were multiple gauges on the CO. Nonetheless, I really want to look at the lower sections past State Bridge and it sounds like a put in at State Bridge on Sunday is in order!
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Old 05-25-2013   #7
lmyers's Avatar
Buena Vista, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 4,207
Originally Posted by Floater Hankey View Post
It appears that Pinball is probably the toughest section on this stretch?
I thought the Burns hole (Rodeo Rapid) was significantly more difficult than Pinball. At similar flows Pinball seemed like class II and Burns class III.

Jacks Flat is an excellent campsite, but I personally think there is better hiking if you camp just upstream at the mouth of Bull Gulch.

Also, I think it's worth taking out in the vicinity of Lion's Gulch rather than floating down to the Interstate.
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Old 05-25-2013   #8
Denver, Colorado
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 6
I appreciate the advice, thank you!
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Old 05-29-2013   #9
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 6
I am taking a friend float fishing on pumphouse this weekend but have never done it at this low of flows. Can someone give me a general idea of how long the float will take from Pumphouse to Rancho expecting it to be only ~750cfs? We will be stopping to fish but looking for any idea of a general float time down at low flows.

Also - I'm assuming its just more rock dodging than anything so a dog should be fine on the raft?

Thanks guys.

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