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Old 02-18-2012   #1
dryden, New York
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 2
Whitewater Canoeing

Hello All,

I am thinking of moving to the Boulder area and I was wondering how far I would have to drive to find some fun Class I,II,or III white water. I love tandem canoeing but canoeing on flat water slowly kills my soul. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks

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Old 02-18-2012   #2
lmyers's Avatar
Buena Vista, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 4,207
You should be able to find something within a 2-3 hour drive most of the year. I'm not very familiar with the II-III stretches of Front Range creeks available, but there are lots of options in that 2-3 hour drive on the Cache la Poudre, Upper Colorado, South Platte, Arkansas and Blue.

take a look at, it has a pretty comprehensive list of Colorado's boatable runs.

GARNA’s mission is to foster stewardship of the resources of the greater Arkansas River region through education, volunteerism and experiences.
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Old 02-19-2012   #3
Nessy's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 255
Add Boulder Creek, the St. Vrain, the Big Thomson (IV), Clear Creek, Deckers, and Waterton Canyon to the list of class III runs near Boulder. Not too much flat water around here.
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Old 02-19-2012   #4
cyclodd's Avatar
Cedaredge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1972
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 22
You may enjoy some of the local runs in an open? (I presume) boat as I have, but my hunch is you may eventually get a closed boat or drive to the western slope. Front Range tends to be steep, rocky with short season or at least a short window for a canoe. Not pool-drop like you may be familiar with. Class III or even II on these at a good flow can seem ferocious unless you are experienced on continuous stuff. 2-4 hours will get to some more traditional canoe water. Upper Colorado, Blue, lower Taylor, Gunnison at non-peak flows might be your best bet.
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Old 02-19-2012   #5
Smurfwarrior's Avatar
other side, of the mountain
Paddling Since: 1994
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 118
Check with Jerry Nyre at Welcome to Canoe Colorado - Performance Canoes, Sea Kayaks, and Rowing Shells he'll have all the specifics you need for canoeing in that area. If you decide to get into solo open boating, there are quite a few OC1ers in CO.
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Old 02-19-2012   #6
openboat's Avatar
Longmont, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 227
There are a number of whitewater canoeists in the area. The Poudre is an hour north, with lots of good runs, and over the Divide is the upper Colorado. I love to run Pumphouse there. Rocky Mountain Canoe Club (Denver) and Poudre Paddlers (Ft. Collins) have a lot of ww canoeists to paddle with.
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Old 02-20-2012   #7
Chief Niwot's Avatar
West of Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 643
We have OC1ers and C1ers across the state. Lost of good runs posted. When Boulder creek runs, you have class 2-3 water out your back door. Front Range Creeks it helps to have PE versus Royalex boats. What boats do you paddle?

Send me a PM with your contact info and we can get you hooked up with some canoers.
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Old 02-20-2012   #8
dryden, New York
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 2
Thanks everyone for all the info. I grew up in Colorado but I spent most of my time in the southern part of the state. Thanks for catching me up on what is available up north.

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