Low Water Mini-Max Options Near Denver - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 06-21-2013   #1
 
Thronton, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
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Low Water Mini-Max Options Near Denver

What's the minimum flow for paddle rafting Boulder Creek in a Mini-Max? Specifically, the stretch through town from Eban G to 30th. Just looking for places close to Denver over the summer to take the kids. I can be there and on the water in about 30 minutes which makes it ideal to just go out and cool off.

Any ideas on what typical summer flows are like when they sort of bottom out and level off?

We were also wondering what Clear Creek through Idaho Springs is like. The take out is at Kermits I believe? I can't seem to find anything on that (probably says something right there! LOL). I'm not sure the kids are ready for the stretch above (nor are my wife and I good at R2ing yet).

I hope it's not time to roll the mini up yet!

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Old 06-21-2013   #2
 
Front Range, Colorado
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I think we are there

Boulder Creek has probably bottomed out for the summer. If it gets much lower, it is more of a tubing run trying not to spill your beer while bumping your ass off of rocks. I bet it will be all done in a week or two.
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Old 06-21-2013   #3
 
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Northern Utah, Utah
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Poudre

The Poudre is a good option for the Mini-Max in low water down to 1 foot or less on the rock, Stevens down or any of the sections individually.
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Old 06-21-2013   #4
 
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Eagle County, Colorado
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How do you like the Mini Max?
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Old 06-21-2013   #5
 
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Eagle County, Colorado
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P.S. You could probably still R2 a mini max down Gore Creek in Vail right now...
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Old 06-23-2013   #6
 
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Denver, Colorado
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Clearcreek is still goto go. The section from Chiago creek (second Idaho springs exit) to kermits is fun and easy if you are still new to R2ing. From Dumont or Lawson is fun but significantly more difficult. Hope that helps.
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Old 07-01-2013   #7
 
Thronton, Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteLightning View Post
How do you like the Mini Max?
LOVE it. It's so nice to have a small raft that I can just put in the back or even inflated on top of the car and throw in a few paddles, PFD's and GO! And if my wife and I can ever get the R2ing thing figured out, it will be a real hoot in other class III with the kids (Brown's, Lower Eagle, etc).

We also built a frame for it, so both the wife and kids like rowing it too, so sometimes we take both - the 14 footer becomes the gear barge and safe haven for bigger stuff with the kids and the mini becomes the play boat.

Thanks for the beta. Speaking of, the descriptions of some of the Poudre stuff looks like there's quite a few class IV rapids in those stretches (Split Rock, Tunnel, Mishawaka Falls, etc). Does it all mellow out at low water, more class III range? I really want to do some of the Poudre stuff anyway, been wanting to for years.

Not having a lot of R2 experience and bringing the kids, just don't want to get in over our heads. No kids, I'd be good to go, maybe that's the answer!
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Old 07-01-2013   #8
 
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Boulder, Colorado
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You could still scrape that thing through the Boulder Play park. Saw a rented one in there last week. Just take out at the library. much less water after the Broadway diversion structure.
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Old 07-01-2013   #9
 
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Northern Utah, Utah
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The Steven's down section of the Poudre does mellow out at lower water - there is less "push" and "speed" to the current, giving you more time to react and less consequences when you mess up - HOWEVER, with lower water the run also becomes more technical, lines are tighter, and with the shallow water you really have to pay attention to your oars and lines. I've had my kids walk what I consider the two hardest rapids (Mish Falls & PineView Falls) on several runs and it all worked out well.
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Old 07-05-2013   #10
 
Thronton, Colorado
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FatmanZ,

Thanks for the advice. I wasn't planning on rowing it, we were going to R2. But rowing it is an option, I have a frame for it. One of the reasons I love the mini - so flexible in terms of options for us as a family to do day trips. I may give this a shot though, having the kids walk those two as you suggest, at least the first time through. Rowing I'd be more likely to run it, it would be reminiscent of our Salt Trip at low water where we got stuck a couple of times, including Quartzite... LOL

May just have to try Boulder Creek again too, at anything around maybe 200CFS (if it ever gets there again)? I can always walk it to the take out. I am getting desperate this time of year, as I don't have a lot of time for long drives, it's hot, and I need my water time! Come on rain! Maybe I need to buy some inner tubes...
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