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Old 04-03-2014   #1
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 6
Denver to Sante Fe - White Water

Does anyone have suggestions for class III river sections that would be good along the drive from Denver, CO to Santa Fe, NM?

So far I am looking at Browns Canyon on the Arkansas, Big Eddy on the Rio Chama, or the John Dunn Bridge, on the Rio Grande

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Old 04-03-2014   #2
Abron Cabron
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Santa Fe, Nuevo Mexico
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 594
All the Arkansas sections are worthy... Brown's Canyon, Fractions and some stuff on the way down to Canon city are all Class III, Royal Gorge is III-IV depending on the level.

In New Mexico, the Chama is too low (day section that ends at big eddy) on the Rio Grande the Lower Box is III-IV wilderness run that is much more challenging in a raft.... (NR) at low flows unless you have a 10-11' boat and know the lines. it is very technical and a lot of work (in a raft)
its a blast in a kayak, but a long day and committed ( 17 mile run in a Box Canyon with no egress) search the other recent posts for beta on it.
The easy roadside class III option is Pilar race course south of Taos. thats our most commonly run easy stretch, with camping and everything nearby, and non-stressful rapids. (road scout Big Rocks rapid below the low wooden bridge- its the only hazard on the run, a tight channel called the slot on the right, and the Toilet bowl on the left. both are fairly easy but there are bad undercuts on both sides of the mid-river boulder so there is consequential moves to be made) RC is easy fun run all the way down to 2-300cfs (same thing, pretty technical in a raft)
Hope that helps

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Old 04-04-2014   #3
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Salida, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 379
Agreed. The Racecourse is something you can bust out in like an hour. You can even take cut off the almost mile of flat water by taking out at Souse Hole (the last rapid) if you're in a kayak and then thumb a shuttle back up to the top.
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Old 04-04-2014   #4
Florence, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 180
The section in Canon City area is commonly called Bighorn Canyon. Can put in at either Texas Creek (adds 1/2 day and about 4 more rapids) or Pinnacle Rock and takeout at Parkdale. May work better due to location along your route. Less technical than Royal Gorge, which has some solid IV at most levels. Comparable in technicality to Brown's, maybe a little less, and all roadside. Brown's is much better from a scenic perspective.
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Old 04-06-2014   #5
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 2,239
Along the I 25: route :Pueblo playpark and the Pecos.Pecos is near Santa Fe. It is class III/III+ , was nominated for wild and scenic status, and sometimes runs early.It is off the radar for some reason.Negatives are some wood and fence issues and New Mexico 's lack of snow this year.
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Old 04-27-2014   #6
El Chupanibre
Thornton, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1987
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 128
Spikebuck to Parkdale on the Ark.

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