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Old 07-07-2011   #1
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2011
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 7
Blue River-Breck to Lake Dillon?

I am interested in running the Blue from Breck to the Dillon Reservoir. Is it runnable? And it a good beginner run? If so, anyone interested in running it on Sat?


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Old 07-08-2011   #2
Breckenridge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 79
I have never run it, but I see it from the road. One thing, there's bridges you won't fit under. They could be easily portaged in a yak. I rarely see anyone running this stretch. I guess I would not suggest it for a beginner...the streambed has been "rehabilitated" from being dredged back in the mining days, so the drops are all man-made. There are lots of fly fisherman along the banks, as its a blue ribbon trout fishery. though with the high water, not so many of them now. I'd head elsewhere...

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Old 07-08-2011   #3
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 113
Tons of fences with all the private property. I would not run it.
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Old 07-08-2011   #4
WillYates's Avatar
Silverthorne, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 77
I saw it yesterday from hwy 9. Looks good to me. I'd go.
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Old 07-08-2011   #5
Fallingup's Avatar
Summit County, and Idaho
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 261
You would have to portage every hundred yards in some cases. There is bridge after bridge, and yes private property with fences. Not worth the effort.

If you want a beginner run, put in in Silverthorne by the PD office and run down that portion of the upper blue. You can take out before it gets hard.

Pumphouse is still a beginner run. Just deep swift moving water. Easy in a kayak
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Old 07-08-2011   #6
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2011
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 88
Kayak or Raft? Either way, i wouldn't recommend it.

Stop into Ten Mile Kayaks in Frisco and ask for Matty (West end of Main St., right be the highway). He'll point you in the right direction.
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Old 07-08-2011   #7
Glenwood Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 302
Judging by the posts I am may be the only responder who has actually run this.

I'd recommend running from the top of Breck Park to the bus stop just north of Tiger Rd, before the river goes under hwy 9. I ran this a few days ago at 350cfs. I'm sorry to report that the Breck park is no better at 350 than it is at 100-250. There is one surf wave, but it kinda sucks. Good training for the class II aspiring newbie though. The fish ladders between breck park and the college are actually pretty fun in a playboat, fun mini-slides and some boofs over fairly retentive looking pour over holes, all very well padded at these flows. Below the college it is mostly just a pretty float, so long as you look left and ignore the devastation on the right. Willows fully enclose the river in a couple spots, but you can just bash through. You can see the bus stop from river level as you get most of the way through the large open field. Doing this run results in just two portages, one at the bottom of the park and another just past the college. Both portages are super easy, just paddle all the way to the respective roads and take out in the large flat pools that form above each.

Below this there is one mandatory trespass. Just a few hundred yards past hwy 9, which must also be portaged at most flows, there is a must make portage over a private culvert. There are plenty of no trespassing signs and I definitely get the feeling the owners would press charges. Be as stealth as possible by getting out early and heading across the Tiger Run RV park and putting in on the last little bit of the Swan to avoid confrontation. From here down there are some low bridges but none that need portaging. However, as noted, I would skip this whole stretch. All that is there is a float, no waves, surf, or moves and a strong chance of landowner confrontation. It probably tops out at class II / II- even that these flows (~400).

If by "beginner run" you mean super basic class II, I would putin in below 6th st in Silverthorne and take out at the commercial rafting put-in for Upper Blue. I haven't run that section, for details give Ten Mile Creek Kayak a call. I know Matti has run it a bunch.

The Breck to the Lake described above, while class II-III, does not make a good beginner run. A swimmer would have a high chance of getting swept into some willows which can be more strainer-y than you'd think, and the fish ladders would likely result in a hole ride and swim for anyone without a boof stroke.
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Old 07-08-2011   #8
Jonboy71's Avatar
Castle Rock, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 4
The Blue River Between 6th street and the take out for the upper Blue, is rated as a class II, I ran it last weekend when water was at 1500 cfs and now its almost 1800 cfs, at this level, I would call it a III-, just due to the speed at which your going down the river, plus their were no decent areas to eddy out since the river is way up into the willows, also their were quite a few strainers to aviod. I would call this run more of an advanced beginner run at this level, plus if you had to swim, it could be an adventure to get your stuff to shore, and don't forget to dress to swim, that water was COLD!!!
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Old 07-08-2011   #9
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2011
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 7
Cool, thanks everyone for the responses! Looks like i will be looking to get out somewhere else this weekend.

Thanks again,
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Old 07-09-2011   #10
Breckenridge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 7
hey man, names rob i am a beginner boater in the area. down to do a run if you want in the am on sat or sun.. hit me up two3nine-2nine3-six3two2. i have done the run to lake dillon at lower water level.. not sure at this level but plenty of beginner runs we could do.

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blue river

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