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Old 05-17-2015   #1
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,133
Heads up on the South Platte

Did the South Platte today with two cats and a kayak.
Ran from Union Chutes to Globesville Landing. Great fun at 3000 +/-!

Three places to lookout for:

-Between Mississippi and Alameda there is a new bridge under construction. There are temporary dams and multiple steel pilings in the river. It goes fine as a right to left move. Might be more of problem during weekday construction. There are many signs saying "River Closed 2,000 ft" "River Closed 1,000 ft". But it does go on a weekend.

-The construction at the Confluence (right at REI) has a coffer dam that is pushing all the water into the 15th St Bridge abutment. Looks worse than it is but would be a bad place to pin.

-Just below the 20th St drops (best rapid on the river!) there are two cables in the water. I believe these are the cables from the seldom used kayak slalom course. One is in the river, one is just above the river.
Our lead boat tangled with both or I would have never seen them.

Also at this level, the dam at 4th (Water Company Building) looks runnable. We took the boat chute on the right, but the corner of the dam looked tempting!

Everyone should try urban boating at least once!

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Old 05-17-2015   #2
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 2,239
Glad somebody else is getting on the SP town run somewhere besides Union and 20th -Trestle.Some fun rapids and rowdy playspots scattered thru town if you put up with some flat.We tossed a cooler we found in the eddy into the far left side of Dead Dog (water company) it got typewritered over to the corner you are talking about,turned the corner and got worked around the corner but eventually broke is a funky drop with falls coming in on the left and wants to push towards that rock with pillow at bottom of chute...did your kayaker probe the surf right side of Public Service or surf left side at Zuni? Florida is playable at this flow...normal holes blown out but stuff on sides is in big time on several rapids...

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Old 05-17-2015   #3
Andy H.'s Avatar
Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,909
Nothing in the world is more yielding and gentle than water. Yet it has no equal for conquering the resistant and tough. The flexible can overcome the unbending; the soft can overcome the hard. - Lao Tse
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Old 05-17-2015   #4
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Apr 2007
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Yeah Andy ,where the Zuni dam was is some little drop that looked like nothing at low water .It has been there a couple years .I did not even realize it had replaced the dam,thought dam was further down.It is now a wave in the middle that looked playable if you knew it was there and dropped in ,or troths on the sides that had eddy service ,the one on surf left looked pretty sticky.In a raft/cat it would just be a small fun wave.
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Old 05-19-2015   #5
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,133
Just noticed, the South Platte is 4,600 cfs thru Denver this morning.
It was a great ride at 2,900 on Sunday, wish I did not have to work today.

With the water up the cables/wires in the water below 20th St (Trestle?) could be a real problem.
If I go back I will take wire cutters.

Cayo, I found a lot of surfing for the 12' cat. Especially just below Florida, at the old power plant (Zuni?) and at Confluence park. But also at all sorts of random places where I was not expecting anything. And at these flows the flats went pretty quick.

Does anyone know any closer brewpubs on this stretch other than the Denver Beer Co (one block) and Strange Brewery (two blocks)? I get thirsty when boating!
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Old 05-19-2015   #6
Avon, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 5
I want to urban kayak

Haven't played in Denver yet. I'm thinking today would be rad. Anyone want to take a denver newbie down the platte? I'm not a newbie in my play boat and can hang but would love to join persons whom know where to holes/waves are to stick my face in. Heard REI over 3k can be joyous.
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Old 05-19-2015   #7
Lakewood, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2011
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 329
Saint Patrick's Brewing Company - 1 block, @ Bowles Ave

Boggy Draw Brewery - 2 to 3 blocks, @ 285

Chain Reaction - about 2 blocks from the river just north of Mississippi.

Wits End - about 3-4 blocks from rio, just south of 6th Ave.
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Old 05-19-2015   #8
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 2,239
Valverde Yacht wait that was condemned and torn down and wasn't a brew pub..SOBO is only about 2or 3 blocks away near Mississippi ... don't think leaving gear unattended around there is a good idea..Paper Tiger ,watch your boat and strippers,it's called something else now....

Happy Mike, if you have to go alone, Union and Confluence to Trestle are the most concentrated and generally the best areas.....on call today and slammed when it gets nice ..don' t know about 4,600 ..could be more intense or wash stuff out ,probably both in spots..Union and downtown are definitely the best places to find other boaters there,probably more in the evening...
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Old 05-19-2015   #9
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1988
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 91
Many paddlers heading out.

There are a number of groups heading out today.

We had a morning session already and many shop folks are heading out again this afternoon. Drop by Confluence Kayaks to say hello or join a group, or just surf 16th st till others show up.

Happy surfing.

If you do not know the run at Very High water, there are significant hazards in many of these drops, and the marker rocks are buried. The Dam/ chute at approx 4th ave is a notably harder drop with a big sticky hole in it.

be safe, and have fun


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