CO suggestions for a couple of eastern class 3 boaters? - Mountain Buzz

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Old 05-30-2018   #1
ohioboater's Avatar
Athens, Ohio
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 24
CO suggestions for a couple of eastern class 3 boaters?

We've got a family vacation planned for the first 2 weeks of June. Primary focus is mountain bikes, but if there's room, I might throw my boat and my son's boat on the roof, too. We'll be staying at RMNP (Moraine) the nights of June 6 and 7, in Fruita the 8th and 9th, and then in Moab for several days before heading back east. Not sure the return route yet. Any suggestions on class 3ish runs along there would be appreciated.

It looks like there might be some fun/pretty stuff on the Cache La Poudre within reasonable day trip distance of the Moraine Park campground? Or is there closer stuff we should look at? Also, looks like some reasonable options on the way to Fruita in Glenwood Canyon?

To give some skill context (all eastern...), I'm comfortable on stuff like the Lower Yough, Cheat Canyon at sane levels, Lower Gauley at normal release. Biggest stuff my 14 yo son has run is Lower Yough just under 4'. Only western stuff we've been on was Deso two years ago at around 2700. I rowed that, and my son paddled it in his Remix with no trouble. Don't really want to push limits - class 3 is fine.

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Old 05-30-2018   #2
kayakfreakus's Avatar
Steamboat, Colorado
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Definitely good sections on the Poudre - look at Poudre Park, Bridges, and Filter Plant. Maybe something above the narrows too...

Might be able to hit the South St Vrain if there is water while in RMNP, Applevalley section could be fun.

On the way out to Fruita most likely will have you passing through or near Glenwood Springs - Shoshone is fun, also could float from there all the way to Glenwood.

When in Moab check out the Moab daily as an option.

Feels like I am missing something obvious so sure others will hop on.
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Old 05-30-2018   #3
Ever_Cat's Avatar
Evergreen, Colorado
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The Roaring Fork from Carbondale to Two Rivers Park in Glenwood Springs is a nice class 2-3 float (closer to 2 with little runoff and flows dropping). It is mostly a float but is scenic with lots of birds and good fishing and makes for a pleasant day on the water.
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Old 05-30-2018   #4
ColoradoKayak15's Avatar
Glenwood Springs, Colorado
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Shoshone in the Glenwood Canyon is my favorite class III run in co really friendly and fun also a lot of alternate routes if you feel like you have some extra fun tickets.
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Old 05-31-2018   #5
lmyers's Avatar
Buena Vista, Colorado
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You might want to consider coming back via US 50 and US 285. That would take you by the Uncompaghre at Montrose, the Gunnison at Gunnison, the various stretches of the Upper Arkansas River and the North and South Forks of the South Platte.
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Old 05-31-2018   #6
ohioboater's Avatar
Athens, Ohio
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Jun 2016
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Thank you! What will water temps be like? I'm assuming the water out there is a lot colder, since it's coming off the high mountains. Will dry top and shorts be ok? Or full on drysuits?
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Old 05-31-2018   #7
BruceB's Avatar
Fort Collins, Colorado
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Don't forget the Eagle, near Vail. Put in below the Dowd Chutes (under I-70).

The Poudre has the best water in Colorado this year and many III-easy IV stretches. From Moraine you have to drive to Loveland and through Fort Collins so it's an hour and a half to the lower runs. Maybe you could catch it on your first day here. The water has warmed to 52 today so dress to swim.

Also be aware there is no mountain biking in RMNP and very, very little in the Estes Park area. Fort Collins has plenty, other places too, although high mountain trails will be snowed.

PM me if you want more info.
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Old 05-31-2018   #8
John_in_Loveland's Avatar
Loveland, Colorado
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Don't know what Fraser Canyon is doing....there is also Northgate if it drops a bit

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Old 05-31-2018   #9
Fruita, Colorado
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You may want to look into the Green River.....flows are decent there. Dutch John is a great spot to start.
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Old 06-02-2018   #10
Boulder, Colorado
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Water temps on the Colorado at Fruita and Moab will be nice. If you run the Poudre, it'll be colder than you expect, probably in the upper 50's (F). Usually a dry top and shorts is sufficient, but some people go full dry all summer. Bridges, on the Poudre, is classic class III. But I think maybe the road down from Estes Park is closed, so you have to go through Lyons, adding to the trip.

Also, the upper Big Thompson, right below Estes Park would be really close to Moraine but I'm not sure if it's class III or -IV? Anybody up there want to chime in on the Big T and traffic?
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