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Old 05-12-2010   #1
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 19
2nd Week of June - Looking for beta

We are planning a trip driving out to CO the second week of June. We are looking for good IV to V- rivers/creeks and plan on mostly creeking. Is this a good/bad time to plan a trip? How's the snowpack looking this year?

I presume the Poudre and Ark would be in and are the two I've paddled years before. Too early for Crested Butte creeks? Gore Canyon? Please help point me to some runs to research. . .

Last time I was out there everyone seemed to have this tattered up guide book which was out of print. I think it was called something like Colorado Rivers & Creeks. Is that still the bible?


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Old 05-12-2010   #2
Lakewood, Colorado
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 504
Still the bible, but there is now a New Testament: Whitewater of the Southern Rockies, which is a definite must-have.

Snowpack ranges from pretty bad on the Front Range & northern Colorado (though improving recently) to pretty good in southern Colorado. I think CB is about average, but I have no data to back that up.

I imagine everything will be running when you're here. Gore often gets big during runoff and I don't think too many people paddle it.

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Old 05-12-2010   #3
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,097
Second week of june is typically prime season in colorado. Last year we experienced a some rain and cool weather in june which kept the flows dampened, always a possibility this year too. Its as good of a time to plan a trip as any other.

Mid june is usually good for CB creeks. Gore typically is running very high and is a burly V+ at high flows.

Snowpack is decent. Most of the southern part of the state had an average snow year. Northern part of the state and front range was in the 80ish % of average, which is lower than we would like, but still enough snow to have a decent season.

Kayaking Information is a good online run listing and flows resource. Spend a lot of time planning your trip out using those resources. A CO guidebook and a gazatteer would be helpful too.

For IV to V- creeks... I'd look into bailey on the north fork of the south platte, clear creek of the arkansas, black rock on clear creek, castle creek into slaughterhouse on the roaring fork, maybe crested butte creeks.

I'd try to get an idea of where the runs are and what the drive times are between parts of the state. Get a hit list of runs you think you would like, and check flows just prior to your trip to try and finalize a good itinerary.

Whitewater of the southern rockies is a good guidebook. One thing I find useful is it has a 5 star quality rating for runs that can help boaters try and choose between runs and keep you on good stuff. The WWSR also has a very good breakdown of flows that correspond to min/low/med/high and the difficulty for each flow level. This is very helpful when trying to gauge if runs are flowing good or not.

Enjoy the trip!
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Old 05-13-2010   #4
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 19
Thank you!

Thanks MJ and DeepSouth-

That's exactly the type of feedback I was hoping for. . .

I'll be ordering WWSR tonight
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Old 05-13-2010   #5
ACC's Avatar
dropzone, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 845
you guys will be here at prime time. given your goals, sounds like travel through the ark valley to CB is where its at. if bailey is running, you could hit that on the way up highway 285. then to buena vista area to run pine creek/numbers on the ark. clear creek of the ark is right by there (look for flows 200-500 depending on comfort with continuous whitewater). then you can go over cottonwood pass to CB and hit the east, daisy, and obj if your up for some vert. you could go back to BV and up through leadville to minturn to hit gilman gorge, dowd chute, perhaps gore or barrel springs if you're stoked, and return on I-70 with clear creek on the way down. another option would be a poudre/steamboat combo, which you can learn about from WWSR. have fun!
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Old 05-14-2010   #6
tellutwurp's Avatar
Longmont, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 260
You go through Summit, stop off at ten mile for a quickie, head to Vail for Gore creek -> dowd. Go upstream for a Homestake to Gilman.

Go up and over the pass to Upper frying pan above basalt, head over to aspen for castle creek -> slaughterhouse. There are some runs on the crystal.

head over independance pass to BV, Lake creek is there. I hear the upper section is mellower. You could do Pine creek -> Numbers, or hop over to Clear Creek of the Ark.

head over cottonwood pass to CB. daisy, slate, obj, east. good times.

drive over to Cimaron and hit up the lower. Keep kicking all the way to Ouray for some uncompahgre. Up and over red mountain for Upper A -> Rockwood.

come back around via pagosa springs to south fork and up to lake city. You could get on henson creek. dwn toward gunny again and jump on the Lake Fork of the Gunny.

back toward BV / Salida for either a Bailey or Royal Gorge.

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