Class 3-low4 info - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 02-04-2010   #1
 
SYOTR, Tennessee
Join Date: May 2009
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Class 3-low4 info

We are considering a week of paddling this summer in Colorado. Looking for class 3 and low class 4. Is there a town that we could stay in that has a few different runs within driving distance or do we need to plan on moving around?

Thanks in advance for your opinions

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Old 02-04-2010   #2
 
kayakfreakus's Avatar
 
Steamboat, Colorado
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Several to consider I can think of, probably several I will miss:

Buena Vista/Salida: many stretches of the Ark meet your criteria

Fort Collins: Poudre River and could also include some front range runs in Denver.

Glenwood Springs: Sections of the Colorado, Frying Pan, Roaring Fork.

A lot will be dependent on when you come out and if its runoff. Focus on flows once you know what week and I bet you can find a good hub to base your adventure out of.
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Old 02-04-2010   #3
 
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Buena Vista, Colorado
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I am partial to BV, we have Granite (III-IV), Numbers (IV), Fractions (III+), and Browns (III-III+), all within a 20 minute drive...not to mention one of the best whitewater parks in the state...but other options include the Poudre, Roaring Fork, Animas, and South Platte.
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Old 02-04-2010   #4
 
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Eagle, Idaho
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With that criteria....I'd have to recommend Buena Vista/Salida. Not taking anything away from any of the other areas recommended, they're great runs too. But you'll have the most variety and river miles available in the range you're looking for WITHOUT the congestion (I-70) of some of the other suggestions.

Plus the scenery and other recreational activities around BV/Sal. are a little better....IMHO.

If you're comin' to CO. PUT yourself in CO......not in the megalopolis that is now the Denver area (that includes Co. Springs through Ft. Collins).
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Old 02-05-2010   #5
 
Longmont, Colorado
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Ark all the way (Buena Vista and Salida, spend some time in both). Steven's down on the Poudre is probably my favorite run but as a whole for someone looking to visit Colorado you can't beat the Ark especially for the level you are looking for. You can easily spend 5 to 7 days paddling new water in the III to IV range depending on how aggressive you want to be.

I'd suggest

Day 1 Warm up on Fractions/Frog Rock to Fisherman’s Bridge (or cut the flat water by getting out at Johnson's Village) Enjoy the world-class park as you go through Buena Vista.

Day 2 Royal Gorge – She’s a classic. Take your time in the heart of the gorge or it’ll go by fast, especially at high water.

Day 3 Browns (chill day to relax), take it all the way through to Stone Bridge.

Day 4 Numbers or Pinnacle to Parkdale depending on how your are feeling. Numbers can be carried through to Buena Vista again if you are feeling up to it.

Day 5 Whatever you didn't do on Day 4

Day 6 shoot over to Aspen and run Slaughterhouse. The drive is one of the most beautiful in the state.

Day 7 Go run your favorite again, or if you are feeling up to it take on Granite, there’s one calss V in there, though most probably call it a IV+ at moderate levels.
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Old 02-06-2010   #6
 
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Indian Hills, Colorado
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Arky all the way. Time of year will make a big difference. May/June will be higher than July. Higher water will up the rating of some. Low water vice-versa. You campin' or hotelin'? BV has better camping, Salida has better hotelin'. PM me if you're camping and I'll spill some beans.
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Old 02-06-2010   #7
 
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Buena Vista, Colorado
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"Day 7 Go run your favorite again, or if you are feeling up to it take on Granite, there’s one calss V in there, though most probably call it a IV+ at moderate levels."

Granite is a fantastic III-IV run in and of itself...with 2 portages, The Granite Dam, and Pine Creek. A good full day trip is to launch at Granite (know where to get out for PC, and walk it) then paddle on through the Numbers
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Old 02-06-2010   #8
 
SYOTR, Tennessee
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Wow, I didn't really expect a great response like this but thanks! I kind of expected to get told to stay in Arkansas. Glad I'm not from Texas!

As far as camping vs hoteling I'm not sure yet. It will really depend on if we want to haul the camping gear.

It's alot easier to have safety meetings while camping, esp in those awesome Colorado mountains.
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Old 02-06-2010   #9
 
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Boulder, Colorado
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I agree with the Ark as well... there's pretty decent free camping in the area and as other people have pointed out, there are a ton of stretches that fit your criteria and some good options for stepping into class 4.

"If you're comin' to CO. PUT yourself in CO......not in the megalopolis that is now the Denver area (that includes Co. Springs through Ft. Collins)." - but this statement is just plain stupid... The Ark is not much better traffic/density of people wise than the front range. Its by far the busiest stretch in CO and on weekends it's an all out clusterfuck...
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Old 02-06-2010   #10
 
Longmont, Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ricky NM View Post
I agree with the Ark as well... there's pretty decent free camping in the area and as other people have pointed out, there are a ton of stretches that fit your criteria and some good options for stepping into class 4.

"If you're comin' to CO. PUT yourself in CO......not in the megalopolis that is now the Denver area (that includes Co. Springs through Ft. Collins)." - but this statement is just plain stupid... The Ark is not much better traffic/density of people wise than the front range. Its by far the busiest stretch in CO and on weekends it's an all out clusterfuck...
It's been pretty quiet the past couple of years. I've managed to catch really high water so that helps but overall there seems to less river traffic.
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