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Old 02-03-2004   #1
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 4
Ya, I know this has probably been asked 1,000 times but.....

A buddy and I going to be coming to CO the last week of march til the first week of April. I am already planning on going out and getting the 'Colorado River and Creeks II' guidebook. I was just wondering...........

What are the roads/mountian passes like that time of year?
Will there be things flowing yet or will I be too early?
What runs do you all consider "must hit"? Playing and Creeking (class III-V+)
and finally.....
Are there any places where I could get a solid creeking run or quality play in the morning, then grab my board and head to the slopes for an afternoon run?

Beta on places to stay, eat and damn good bars would also be much appreciated. Thanks so much to anyone that replies. If I see you while I am out there, I will buy you a beer. I am stoked about checking out a little of your great state!


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Old 02-03-2004   #2
cosurfgod's Avatar
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 384
Upper Animas for river running and lower for surfing. While in Durango hit up the Old Tymers for food and El Rancho for the drinks. It's easy they are across the street from each other. April might be a little early though. Good Luck!

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Old 02-03-2004   #3
pnw, Washington
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 3,404
You will get many opinions on what "must do" runs are. I would say the Royal Gorge and the Numbers for the class of river you mention. It all depends on the temperatures in the mountains as far as runoff goes but I would guess the times that you mention will be on the early side. In the mountains you could definitely still run into a major snow storm that time of year. Those are our snowiest months.
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Old 02-03-2004   #4
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Laramie, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1992
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 488
March and April are very early in the season for us, much better for boarding than boating. Escalante Creek is a classic and if it runs it's usually for a week in April, Rio Embudo may start running in April. Westwater is a good Class III play run, usually an overnighter, on the Utah boarder. Shoshone can offer decent, but not great, play and it's within an hour of some good ski areas. Unless a major storm is moving through you will have no problem driving over the passes. I can only think of two passes, out of dozens, that close in the winter.
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Old 02-03-2004   #5
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 27
Dual Sport Day

The later, the better. Shoshone would probably be your best bet for play and skiing- located in Glenwood Springs. It is dam fed and if nothing else, will probably have @600cfs during that time. which is low but doable. That time of year does start warming up, but will still be chilly in the morning for sure.

From Shoshone you could either hit Aspen or Vail which are both about 1hr from the river. I guess it would depend on what type of skiing conditions you are looking for - if you want slush skiing, go boating in the am and then go make some turns. If you want fast groomers, go skiing in the morning and boat in the afternoon.

Also for road conditions go to www.cotrip.org - you can view conditions on all of the major CO roads.

Hope that helps
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Old 02-03-2004   #6
Preacher of the Profit Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,062

That is early in the season for sure, but there should be some stuff running. The post above lists some great run for sure. Take into consideration that those runs are several hours apart (3-8 hours).

Try to select an area in the state, then plan your boating and boarding around that area.

1) Arkansas River should have some things running around that time. It will be low (boatable) Browns and the Royal Gorge should be flowing around 500-700 cfs. Then you could ski Monarch, Powderhorn, Creste Butte, Wolf Creek. Hangout in Salida, downtown WW park, Moonlight Pizza, and many cool locals.

2) Denver area. Great night life. Bailey should be running class IV-V, and Waterton class III play, Golden WW park. Easy access to I-70 and lots of ski resorts (Winter Park, Loveland, A-Basin, Keystone, Copper, Breckenridge, and Vail).

Just remember that everything takes time, and lots drive for Colorado (nothing is close).
I love to dance, but who needs the music- It throws me off.
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Old 02-04-2004   #7
Carbondale, Colorado
Paddling Since: 94
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 68
just a hop skip and jump

Aspen is closer to the Ark than most of those suggestions - hop over independence pass and experience 4 mountains and tons of creeking. don? remember us?
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Old 02-04-2004   #8
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 388
Independence Pass is closed in winter and doubtful to be open by the end of March.
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Old 02-04-2004   #9
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 405
check the stream flows, and if Bailey is above 300, bundle up, and hit it. It is my favorite run (IV++) but really cold. Also, it is about 1.5 hrs from skiing in Summit county.

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Old 02-05-2004   #10
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Snowmass, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1983
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 429
Independance Pass opens Memorial Day weekend, traditionally. I've not seen it open any sooner, even over these past several poor snow years. Doubtful it'd be open in March or April...unless you drive a snowmobile.

"A witty saying proves nothing."
- Voltaire (1694-1778)
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