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Old 01-27-2005   #1
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 30
Wolf Creek???

Does anybody have any Beta on Wolf Creek? (Not the tunnel section) I was coming back from a trip to Durango last August and took the time to walk this creek from the ponds below the ski area about .25 mile past the tunnel. There was very little water and LOTS of wood. It looked like about the most formidable creek Colorado has to offer, and EXTREMELY flow dependant.

Has anybody ever paddled this creek, or any section within, down to the East Fork San Juan? There is not very much information about Wolf Creek from a paddling perspective anywhere and just wanted to inquire about any information anyone has to offer, facts and opinions.


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Old 01-28-2005   #2
Join Date: Nov 2003
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I've explored a little bit of that area. The run on the east side of the pass is the South Fork of the Rio Grande. It's a roadside section that gets cranking. There is a description in the book that under rates it substantially. It looks easy, but paddling it is surprisingly intense.

Treasure Canyon (I think that's what it's called) was first D'ed this summer. It's the larger of the two forks for the put-in of the south fork rio grande.

Above that looked pretty manky and low even when the other runs in the area were pumping. Didn't look worth it.

On the west side of the pass is the tunnel of love run described in the book. I scouted it at huge water but didn't run it. I've never seen it at the right level.

Above the tunnel all the way up to the top of the pass on the west side is the land of the giants. Massive, and basically unrunnable waterfalls. We hiked just a little bit of it and it didn't look like it could be run. We're talking 50 footers that land on rock, then bank off a wall and drop another 40 feet onto more rock. And plenty of wood mixed in.

Maybe a Durango boater can comment on the other fork that comes into Pagosa Springs. I know that people have run parts of it.

Hope I told you something of use/interest.

Kyle McCutchen
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Old 01-28-2005   #3
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Kyle are you referring to the fork that continues aslongside the wolf-creek pass road or the one that branches off by the smaller road that goes into the Forest Service areas???
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Old 01-28-2005   #4
Join Date: Nov 2003
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The creek that comes down from Wolf Creek (east side) is Pass Creek. The fork coming in from Big Meadow Reservior is the South Fork of the Rio Grande, when they merge it is the South Fork of RG that is described in the book, which I agree is underrated. It is very heads up with lots of undercuts and sieves that are hidden at high flows.

Pass Creek also has a lot of sieves and needs high water to get past the seives. Lots of very sharp road cut boulders in that one. Should be good to go this spring with the snow pack we have right now. Pass Creek is relatively flat most of the way down the pass but has some sections that are worthy.

CDOT is going to be working on the section of next to the South Fork this spring so that's a bit of bummer. They have promised not to &!#^ up the run though as they will be doing a lot blasting. The Corps is watching closely with heavy penalties ready if any stray boulders find their way into the run.

I am going to try to clean both runs up this spring, along with some other hidden gems in the area. Give me holler if you want to help
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Old 01-28-2005   #5
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 120
ya'll need to check out the west fork of the San Juan, it's one of the best runs in the state. Hike up about 3 miles (along the river) from the trailhead parking lot.
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Old 01-30-2005   #6
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Paddling Since: 1992
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treasure canyon is definitely not a trib of the south fork rio grande, kyle. it's in the area, but that ain't it.

that stretch that the original poster is asking about is what we hiked awhile back right? that shit is pretty marginal. there definitely are some beautiful drops in there, but it's mostly death-metal.
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Old 01-31-2005   #7
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Dammit. Thanks tg.

I think the original poster was talking about the section Matobs described.
Kyle McCutchen
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Old 01-31-2005   #8
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Wolf Creek Info

Send a thread out to Ed Lucero. I seem to remember him posting details on the run a few years back.

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Old 02-01-2005   #9
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I scouted the shit below the tunnel of love section. below the sweet waterfall.
there are many good drops below that section, but it runs into an unrunnable gorge. it would be somewhat possible to takeout above the gorge, but it would be a huge pain in the ass. the hike out is a very steep talus slope. in the gorge is a sweet 30 foot spout that lands in a pool. followed by a disgusting unrunnable 50 footer. bummer. we saw it from below at first and it looked like the jackpot. when we saw the entrance we changed our minds. the 30 footer could possibly be run and then take out right after it, but it is definitely not worth it. just go to the northwest or california. plenty of waterfalls there that don't innvolve commando takeouts.
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Old 02-03-2005   #10
placerville, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1993
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what is the w. fk. san juan like---5+ or 5-? any access issues?

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