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Old 03-20-2012   #1
Miller Time's Avatar
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 288
Minimum level - Lower Taos

Planning an early season LTB run to warm up. Today 3/20 gauge at cerro says 700.

What are your personal minimum levels for a good time in a play boat, all considering it's not prime season yet and most of us are desperate?

History will be kind to me, for I intend to write it.
-Winston Churchill-
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Old 03-20-2012   #2
Jenks, Oklahoma
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,407
I have run it at 700 - not a lot of push, rapids mellow out a bunch and rocks every where.

I would say it would be a long day in a play boat, but that is one of my favorite canyons to be in, take extra liquid refreshments and have a fun day.

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Old 03-20-2012   #3
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 586
I ran it last year at 550. I had a lot of fun. I took my creeker, just to be able to carry some extra stuff.
Dead Car and Powerline are tight, but totally go. I really had fun. the current flow would be plenty, in my opinion. (I've done it at 5,000 in a playboat and loved it, so I'm not one of those people afraid of high water - just saying it's still fun at 550.)
A few of us are looking at doing it this weekend and trying to work out a shuttle. What are your plans?
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Old 03-20-2012   #4
FatmanZ's Avatar
NOCO, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 582
Ran it at 600+cfs this past Saturday, first time down for me, real fun level in a riverplay boat. Rocks weren't bad, I didn't do nearly as much scraping as I did the day previous on Royal Gorge at 350 cfs. Pools after drops were a bit slow with the low flows on Lower but otherwise a real fun run. I would have been bored in a creeker as the run has plenty of play the last few miles.
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Old 03-21-2012   #5
Flagstaff, Arizona
Paddling Since: 02
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 7

A buddy of mine and I ran it at 450+ in June a few years ago. I was in a playboat and he in a bucket-ducky. Still loads of fun and don't forget to hit the hotsprings shortly downstream of the put-in on river left. Great campsites at the takeout/put-in of Pilar section on river right and downstream of the bridge.
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Old 03-21-2012   #6
catboatkeith's Avatar
Hoback Nation, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1987
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 141
Took a 12' Aire cat through about 10yrs back at a little over 800cfs. Ran everything but Powerhouse, which was a short but nasty portage. Had a great day!
"Each mile on a river will take you further from home than a hundred miles on a road"
Bob Marshall
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Old 03-21-2012   #7
Kayak/SUP Instructor
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The High Ground, Colorado
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,325
Year before last at Easter it was 1K and we're hoping it will be again this year. Looking to make a three day weekend out of it. The all day surf wave on the Racecourse was about perfect.
"Let us cross the river to the other side and rest beneath the shade of the trees." ~ Last words of Thomas Jonathan ''Stonewall' Jackson
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Old 03-21-2012   #8
bobbuilds's Avatar
x, x
Paddling Since: x
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 1,634
I ran it for the first time last year. +600cfs but not much more. I thought it was fun. pm me if you go, i'd like to hit it again if you need a 2nd car.

also, a word of caution:

as told to me: early season the river starts to rise, but soon after, the farmers start to irrigate and the flow drops drasticly. if you see it start to drop, go immediately. it usually does not come back up.

on our trip last year the gauge was 1000cfs when we planed to go. 4 days later it was 600 or so, we went anyway. it dropped to under 400 by that monday. we felt like the last ones to have gotten it that season. it could drop out fast
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Old 03-21-2012   #9
GearDog's Avatar
Fort Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 397
Miller Time

Ran it this last weekend, FatmanZ and approximately 8 others joined in the fun. As stated it was right at ~600cfs and everything was clean. Deadcar Rapid and Powerline Rapid are worth a quick look if not familiar. Was my second time down and I personally love this run. The scenery mixed with most of the rapids coming at the end of the run, instead of a long flatwater paddle out, and a few longer rapids (certainly higher water makes them more appealing) makes this a special run. Camping is cheap and sweet near the take-out.

If using EddyFlower to verify flows, I was informed by locals to not use the
Lower Taos Box Gauge - "Rio Grande Near Cerro"

but a more accurate flow would be to take;

"Rio Grande at Taos Jct Bridge" and subtract "Rio Pueblo Below Los Cordovas"

Current comparison:

"Rio Grande Near Cerro" = 693cfs

"Rio Grande at Taos Jct Bridge" = 878cfs
"Rio Pueblo Below Los Cordovas" = 38cfs

878cfs - 38cfs = 840cfs (considerable difference)

Hope this helps, enjoy.


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