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Old 06-24-2011   #1
vail, Colorado
Paddling Since: 79
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 3
upper colorado portage below state bridge is open

The owner of land river right at the double bridges 4 miles below state bridge is allowing all boaters to portage on right.
Please be respectful of private land.
Fence is down andwill be repaired by local boaters when water goes down.
Gate is open.

The commisioners of Eagle County are attempting to purchase this land as part of a much larger plan to give access on the stretch from rancho to dotsero. They need support by way of letters and contacts as this may be decided by July 12 th meeting.
Adjacent landowners are supposedly trying to stop this even though it has been a key river access spot for 40 ish years.
This is yet another battle that the public must be heard.

Right to float was not carried through the legislature with Colorado River Outfitters Association leading the charge in time and big dollars.
These issues will continue and small little battles like this need support.

I have been working on these issues for a year with the county.

Darryl Bangert
Vice Chairman CROA
Co-Owner Sage Outdoor Adventures

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Old 06-24-2011   #2
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New Castle, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 1,105
I haven't floated that stretch but consider it an option when it strikes my fancy. Who should I contact about my striked fancy?

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Old 06-24-2011   #3
Land of Lovin, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 1,449
Darryl, how can we help?
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Old 06-25-2011   #4
vail, Colorado
Paddling Since: 79
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 3
upper colorado access and big plan

To support the Eagle County coomissioners send them emails. they can be found at eaglecounty.gov i think.

spread the word to others also that it is statewide issue and we all benefit from commisioners promoting recreation in their counties.

BLM needs to hear also, at the river Valley office in Silt.

They will be key in getting a good management plan.

Currently the BLM is redoing their recreation management plan for this whole area.

keep track, it should be released any day and there
will be comment period.

As a note, with some of these purchases the whole corridor from state bridge to dotsero will have great camping and access.
In particular the Nottingham ranch 260 acres at the twin bridges 14 miles up from Dotsero has some of the best cottonwood stands along the whole river. 2 miles of river frontage and great hiking up a beautiful little stream that flows out of the Flattops.
This area will need some planning and improvement to be able to handle campers etc....

It reminds me of some of those great Cottonwood groves in Ruby Horsthief and the other groves below Westwater take out on the way to Dewey Bridge. I csannot wait to spend time up there on the Upper C and not have to drive to Utah.

What a runoff this year. Similar to 84 but not quite as big which is fine since I am not quite the same boater.
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Old 06-25-2011   #5
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Golden, CO
Paddling Since: 1856
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 339
While their at it I'd like to see them clear a better passage through Rodeo Rapid. I understand that was dynamited at some point. Now there is a bunch of sharp boulders blocking a clean run especially at low water.
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Old 06-25-2011   #6
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New Castle, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 1,105

To be clear, while I haven't rafted from Rancho to Dotsero, I never thought there were any concerns about public access. I know the BLM has information published about the area and where private and public lands and established campsites are located. Certainly it could be improved and be an area attraction, but what specifically should we ask the BLM and commissioners to do?
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Old 06-25-2011   #7
Silverthorne, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1979
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 22
I don't understand. I have run that stretch since I was a beginner some thirty years ago. The double bridges (we used to call it pick a wrap) is a tricky and potentially dangerous place. But portage????
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Old 06-25-2011   #8
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HSS, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1989
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 53
The Bridge in question is relatively new. It's built on the site previously known as "Kelso's" that served as a take out for many commercial companies operating out of Eagle and Routte counties for three decades. Many privates also enjoyed access. It made an excellent take out for a day trip down from Rancho. Mid 90's it was sold, and the new owner built a bridge across the river to access the rest of his property, and closed access to the river. 95' or 96' I want to say. The bridge is much lower than any bridge on the river and is immediately downstream of the Rail Road Trestle below Bond. Most of the time it is not a concern, but during the high water in the mid 90's and now again, it limits any travel downstream, effectively closing off the river between State Bridge and Catamount Bridge.
As far as access, the loss of the river access there has forced many commercial outfitters onto the upper stretches, forcing the 30,000 (?) commercial users onto 15 miles of river. When the access was lost, there were not as many private boaters on the Colorado, but I would guess private boating numbers have tripled, or more, creating even more congestion on the 15 miles.
In general there are few established campsites below State Bridge for the many miles of spectacular river that are there (until you get closer to Dotsero). There is Blm land spotted throughout, but it's hard to distinguish and much of it has been "claimed" by private land owners as it's land locked.
While I very much enjoy being the only ones down there when we float that stretch, I would sure like to see better access and give a little relief to the crowded section above State Bridge. (I'd also like to see the bridge raised 5 feet, but don't know that that will ever happen.)
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Old 07-21-2011   #9
Centennial, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1984
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 3
just how low is the bridge? what water levels are passable?
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Old 07-21-2011   #10
Denver, Colorado
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 98

You involved with this? Willoughby: Colorado's Eagle County officials working to improve access points in river corridor - The Denver Post

Love this! If you have any contact infor for support, please pass it along.

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