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Old 07-13-2011   #1
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2011
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 88
Urban River Assualt

So with all the rain we've gotten in Denver, we've been playing around with idea of doing an urban assault on the Platte through town. Maybe starting at C-470 and going past Confluence.

Anybody done anything like this? Any bad areas? Any thoughts on best places to put in and take out?

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Old 07-13-2011   #2
JeremyTheMonster's Avatar
Your Mom!, Colorado
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 69
Put in at Platte Canyon park, right next to river, below Chatfield, right off C470. Generally all clear until Zuni power plant. There's a low head there. Easy to portage. (Edit: Well, maybe not as easy now. They've been doing construction there along the bike trail and I thought there was rumor of them planning to remove the dam.)

Put in: Viable Rd - Google Maps

Low head: Unknown road - Google Maps

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Old 07-13-2011   #3
Longmont, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1984
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 64
We have done that stretch several times on the river clean up weekend. My prediction is that you will be amazed at the size of several drops. There is a 10 ft dam with a steep chute down the left side and farther down a huge double drop in the vicinity of the water treatment office building. If the water is high this second drop is very munchy. Be cautious around any horizon lines and be prepared to portage.
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Old 07-13-2011   #4
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Erie, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
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There is about 3 portages for manmade concrete from union down.

It's something to do once a life, but I won't do it again while everything in the state is great.
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Old 07-13-2011   #5
Join Date: Sep 2006
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Over 2500 this run is a kick in a cataraft. All the drops go.
Although there is construction activity at Zuni power plant / Lackwood Gulch that could change things. I know they got rid of the 6' dam.
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Old 07-14-2011   #6
Horserump, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1975
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 458
Give Cherry Crk a shot if it's got water. I had some friends do that decades ago and haven't heard of anyone doing it since.
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Old 07-14-2011   #7
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Your Mom!, Colorado
Join Date: Jul 2010
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Cherry Creek is pretty dicey through most of the Glendale area. There's lots of torn up drops and overgrown trees. The area along Speer is probably doable... I suppose you best be liking bum urine, because it's just a toilet for dogs and homeless people. I guess if you timed it with like a crazy huge rainstorm, CC along Speer would be super hella fun.
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Old 07-14-2011   #8
denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1977
Join Date: Apr 2009
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Be careful around the Zuni and upstream of it. I drove over a bridge in that vicinity recently and noticed that there are large steel panels on river left. If they continue to the dam, they would stop you from getting out at the left portage spot.
My recollection is that the drop at Florida is one of the bigger ones.
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Old 07-14-2011   #9
Preacher of the Profit Paddling Since: 1990
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Posts: 1,062
Denver rivers

Be VERY careful on Cherry Creek over the years they have added a bunch of very low bridges. You will find very little time to get out in advance, and many could be fatal.

The South Platte has 14.5 miles of manmade whitewater, with one normal portage (not three) at the Zuni Power Plant (Up stream of Mile High). It's a great family run at medium levels (>1000 cfs) at higher levels 3000-9000 cfs it's a blast for advanced paddlers. The closer you get to C470 the easier the drops. There is one good size drop at the put-in near C470 and Santa Fe, you can put in right below it if you choose.

Union Ave Park has seven drops in close range, Confluence Park has another tight grouping of drops, and there are more drops below the skate park that are fun as well. The rest of the river the drops are spaced further apart.

Check the flows before you go. They are not releasing water this time of year from Chattfield Res. and all the rain water you're seeing may or may not be there when you choose a sunny day to go. So, if you want to hit the high water you may need to do so in the rain.

Look out for low hanging wires below the skate park, some of the local gate paddlers hang wires to practice on, and they don't always keep up with the up keep. It is quite common for them to be dragging in the current at high water.
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Old 07-14-2011   #10
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2011
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 88
Great beta! Thank you!

Any thoughts on where to take out after Confluence?

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