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Old 05-29-2009   #1
Denver, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 42
Best stretch for newbie rafter

I was wondering what everyone thought of the best stretch in Colorado for a newbie to practice rowing. Also if anyone fly fishes out there let me know looking for new people to raft with. I got a 14' super puma. thanks for the advice and help.


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Old 05-29-2009   #2
lmyers's Avatar
Buena Vista, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 4,207
One of the more popular places to learn is Pumphouse on the Upper C, around here it is Big Bend to Salida on the Ark.

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Old 05-31-2009   #3
Thronton, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 665
Been wondering the same myself. Finally pulled the trigger on my own boat, and wanting to get some time on the oars before I put the kids (5 and 7) in there with me. I hear from almost everyone I know that Pumphouse is a good beginner run as well as a good family run. That will be one of my first family outings for sure. We're also doing Ruby/Horsethief later in the summer with several other families, that's easy at lower levels also.

I was wondering what the Poudre is like this time of year? Was considering doing the upper and lower Rustic stretches since I can leverage babysitting (ie, Grandma) in the area. LOL What are the water levels like this time of year? Is it good for a newbie?

Another I am curious about is the Eagle. I'm looking for some trips in the July and August timeframe and am wondering what the Eagle is like in a typical year. Newbie run or not?

The other I am looking at this summer is Grizzly to Newcastle (and Shoshone without the kids).

I'm new to all of this myself, so besides being suggestions, would welcome feedback from the other folks. I've been primarilly a passenger in the past, so it's a bit of an advendture now that I am the captain (but I like the sound of that)! LOL
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Old 05-31-2009   #4
Silt, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 75
Grizzly creek to New Castle is a great newbie/family run. Just be aware of the whitewater park and South canyon. Both are easy to navigate and there are usually plenty of boats to follow. There are lots of options near Glenwood. The Roaring fork from Carbondale to Glenwood is a good one, only cemetary rapid but it also is straightforward. Another enjoyable run with virtually nobody on the river is New Castle to Rifle. If your ever in the area and want a "lead" boat, let me know. Im usually on the river anyway!
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Old 05-31-2009   #5
funkins's Avatar
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 438
Boiler, filter plant is good to go for a newbie. I'm in the same boat (i.e. total newbie raftertard) and I did fine. From my experience kayaking the Rustic sections several times I would say it is not a good first run. Most of the in-between water would be fine and it is more scenic, but a few rapids (white 1/4 mile, death by dismemberment, etc...) would be a little scary in a raft first time.
Drew J.
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Old 06-01-2009   #6
Silverthorne, Colorado
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 68
Other easy stretches include... the Milk Run on the Ark. (Highway 285 to Ruby Mt.)
Upper Colorado, yes pumphouse is good, I reccommend Rancho del Rio to Catamount for a stress-free learning expeirence. Glenwood Canyon is nice, Grizzly Creek to Two Rivers Park is super kind to a newbie and when your ready Shoshone is right there. The Roaring Fork, cemetery run is also fun. The Clear creek from idaho Springs to Kermits could work too.
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Old 06-01-2009   #7
Land of Lovin, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 1,449
I agree, my first was on Rancho to Statebridge - I'd have puked if I'd have tried Yarmony on my first day.

I did Yarmony for my first time ever yesterday with complete success - that hole to the left of the rock was HUGE and fun.

Definitely start at Rancho to Statebridge or Milk Run and work up from there.
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Old 06-01-2009   #8
caverdan's Avatar
C. Springs, Colorado
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,443
You can also put in at Radium and run to Rancho or Statebridge. That's my girlfriends favorite stretch as she is always worried about that first rapid........but she greases it every time.
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Old 06-01-2009   #9
Evergreen, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2009
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 28
I just bought my first raft this year and the wife, my dogs and I did State Bridge to Catamount Bridge. I think they said it was 14 miles and it took about 5 hours. Had a great lunch on the river and just chilled!
I am going to take the kids - 7 and 9 on Friday afternoon for a little cruise from Rancho to State Bridge. PM me if you would like to go. We might also head up to that area on Sunday.

Saw several stoneflies in the air, and several fish hit the surface. But, I wanted to concentrate on rowing so, I did not fish as much as I will later on in the summer.

The river was moving and there were several little wave trains in this stretch with a lot of cruising water in between. I highly recommend this section for a nice long newbie float.

Here is some good info ....
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Old 06-01-2009   #10
Silverthorne, Colorado
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 68
Yarmony Rapid is located below Radium in Red Gorge. This is the most difficult rapid between Pumphouse and Catamount. Running Red Gorge would not be my first choice for a newbie. Spin a few laps between Rancho & State Bridge then work on the Pumphouse run, before running Red Gorge.

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