Bogan Canyon, Crystal River Trip Report (6/7/15, 1100cfs)
I know that this section is seldom run, but I wanted to post this anyway. We ran Bogan Canyon (IV) of the Crystal on Sunday 6/7/15 at around 1100cfs. 3 Rafts (2 paddle boats - 13ft, 10.5ft and 1 oar rig – 10.5ft and 1 Inflatable kayak. 10 people total. Due to the amount of wood we had heard was in the river, we scouted the Hawk Creek and Hayes Creek Rapids as well as the Hwy 133 tunnels on the way up. We also scouted Bogan Canyon proper with a short hike in. We kept our eyes focused on the rest of the river on the way up. Just into Marble (the mud slide area) we noticed a river wide strainer. We asked the property owner for permission to enter the property to scout and possibly clean out some of the wood. We were able to clean out a line on river right, but most of the debris was too far into the main current for us to be able to deal with.
We put in near the Marble Fire station, just upstream from the quarry bridge. The First little rapid is easy. You then come to a sharp right had turn and start of the Marble Mile (III). This section is full of wood. The first gradient section had 3 partially submerged logs that were very difficult to see. The rafts all t’d up and went over them as they were mostly submerged with 3 to 4 inches visible. Would be a really bad place to have a swimmer or flip a raft. The next corner is where we tried to create the boat passage. We ended up feeling that even though we could walk the rafts by the strainer, all the other wood directly below this was unfriendly as well, so we portaged about 50 yards downstream. The next mile is braided slow moving water. Some wood, easy to stop and / or walk the boat to a better channel. I would recommend putting in lower than this. Meadow Lane (subdivision just below Milton Falls and across the river from the air strip) would make a good launch point.
The roadside / semi roadside rapids (Cowboy Corners (III+) are fun water with 2 left to right corners to the Hwy 3 bridge. Below the bridge is Bogan Canyon (III+) proper. The canyon is beautiful and feels more remote that it is. Rapids are s turn like with big holes. Wood is present, but easily avoidable. We stopped for lunch at the forest service campground. Lower Bogan Canyon (III) starts just downstream from the campground. It is a straightforward rapid with good wave trains and holes.
From here you have a few miles of mellow braided water until you get back to Hwy 133. Stay heads up for a mile marker  on the hwy as then you know you are getting close to the upper set of culverts. We pulled out a little bit upstream of the usual eddy as we had so many boats. The portage is probably the worst part of the trip as people are going very fast on the hwy and looking at the surrounding. They are not expecting a raft to appear over the guard rail. We portaged over, took a quick break and ran down past bear creek falls (III). This section is really fun as the canyon constricts and forms some fun wave trains. The eddy above the second set of culverts is pretty big. We portaged the rafts again.
The lower section includes Hays Creek Humiliator (IV) and Hawk Creek Herniator (IV). Hayes Creek is a great rapid. Tucked between the road and the canyon walls. The move is not very difficult, but a missed line would not be fun. As always, the tourist were there taking pictures of the falls and run over to gape at us in the water. Hawk Creek rapid is not visible from the road so many people do not even know it is there. Some boaters even forget about it. It is easily the most technical rapid on this section and sneaks up on you as you think you are almost done with the run. We took the left line to stay away from the center boulder garden. At higher water, the move is slightly more center. Once through the boulder garden, the rapid is a series of big holes with a good gradient. Wood did not present a danger in the last section. We ran out the run and took out at the playground park in downtown Redstone. Once changed and dry, we went across the street to the Redstone General Store / LQ and everybody had ice cream.
Long day. Would be great without the wood issues in the upper section, but over all this is a great Colorado run. You have to WANT to do this run, as it may be mostly road side, it is a lot of work to accomplish. If you have not run it, you should add it to your list as the scenery is spectacular and the rapids are fun. I think that it is more fun with a little more water, but 1100 cfs was sufficient for the boats we were in. The class IV rating is due to the consequences and portages. I would recommend this to solid class IV boaters that are willing to put in some extra work for a good day.
Claimer: Someone that makes a claim that they have been there and done that, can do anything you can do better than you. I hate "claimers"