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Old 04-25-2014   #1
gobigohome's Avatar
Golden, Colorado
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 152
Clear Creek Near Golden, Co

has anyone rafted clear creek, either down from to what people have told me is rigor mortis or down from there to golden and the white water park. My wife and I just moved here from the east and we typically go to cheat fest this time of year but hopefully we can hit some early season rafting. We will be R2ing a puma and would like 3 to 3+ with a 4 in there or so to brush up on some skills.

I guess the real question has anyone done this section in a raft and were to put in and take out at. There is no real guide book for this section

Thanks Matt

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Old 04-25-2014   #2
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 321
Clear Creek is not likely what you're looking for. Clear creek tends to be boat abusive (for rafts), technical and continuous. The average gradient of Clear Creek is probably 2-3 x steeper than the Cheat, and the volume much lower. Rafting companies do regularly run everything from Lawson down to the Hwy 6 - Hwy 119 intersection, but much of this is solid class 4. The only "easy" run (3+) is about a 5 mile section from Idaho Springs to Kermits (where I-70 and Hwy 6 fork). Rafts are rarely seen between 119 and Golden because the Blackrock run is class 5, and the lower run, though class 4, would be really junky in a raft. Your best bet is probably Browns Canyon (class III) or the Numbers on the Ark (Class IV). Check out Whitewater of the Southern Rockies (Stafford / McCutchen) as this is the guidebook almost everyone uses out here.

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Old 04-25-2014   #3
Join Date: Sep 2006
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This run should be good this year with some good flows.
The put-in is the pull over just below Rigmotis and the Green Bridge.
Very steep from road to creek but should be easy with your small raft and two people. Take out is Vanover Park just below Ford Street. Bonus: the take out is walking distance to 3 microbreweries plus Coor's tasting room.

Definitely scout the broken down dam just below Tunnel #1.
Rarely looks runable and in my cat there is a headroom problem with the foot bridge. With a small R2 a portage is doable on river left. There is a fork just above Golden with the left fork going into ditch structure, go right.

Welcome to Colorado. Hope to see you on the river.
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Old 04-25-2014   #4
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North Denver, Colorado
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How is it from Tunnel 1 down to Golden?
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Old 04-26-2014   #5
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
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Originally Posted by nicho View Post
How is it from Tunnel 1 down to Golden?
For a raft, you'll have a steep putin below the dam. At low flows this area is really manky, and at high flow there are no real eddies. You get a few interesting, easy rapids around the bend, then an island where the left channel ends in a shallow shoal, and a narrow right channel is deep but you'll be ducking branches all the way down. After that it flattens out. Keep right again at the next island or end up in a Coors can. Tunnel 1 through the park in Golden is about 1.5 miles total.
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Old 04-26-2014   #6
adgeiser's Avatar
Denver,, exhaustion
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 578
if / when scouting the dam drop know that there is rebar in there that you can't see.
im guessing it is not something you want to raft over.
"We should restore the practice of dueling. It might improve manners around here" -Edward Abbey
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Old 04-26-2014   #7
Join Date: Oct 2003
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There is a reason lower CC is not commercially rafted - they would have to patch their rafts after every run and replace them every other week.

The upper sections (Lawson and Kermits) are rafted quite often. I'd call them a solid class IV in a raft and you would really not like a flip.
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Old 04-26-2014   #8
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Evergreen, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 446
Lawson is amazing in a raft at good flows. Swims are bad. I got washed out of a mini max just above Deliverance at about 1k and swam the last two drops. The river moves extremely fast and is about two feet deep. I hit the water and immediately started bouncing off rocks. I tore my dry pants and was pretty bruised up but I can't wait to hit it this year at higher flows. Woop woop!
Pool and a pond... Pond be good for you.
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Old 04-26-2014   #9
gobigohome's Avatar
Golden, Colorado
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 152
Cool thanks appreciate the feedback. I have no desire to be patching our raft at the beginning of the season.
Ski It, Raft It, Drink It
Loveland, Clear Creek, Coors
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Old 04-26-2014   #10
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 90
It looks like you live in Vail, so generally people around here avoid driving to the front range to raft as its substantially better in the eagle and or ark valley. Dowd chute at 2-4 feet is pretty fun r2, but solid class four for about 1/3 mile or so. Everything on the Eagle below that is super fun with various amounts of class 3 - maybe a 4 here or there depending on flows. The ark is running is the super classic rafting with anything from class 2 floats to solid class 4 day trips.

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