Need Beta for Pumphouse run - Mountain Buzz

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Old 08-08-2006   #1
GWS, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1992
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 494
Need Beta for Pumphouse run

I am in search of some beta for the pumphouse run. I am going to take the little ones on an overnight and thought this would be a good one.

I have not been on this section of river.

I looked at old posts but did not find the answers to the following questions.

Is there plenty of camping in the middle of the run?

Where is the best camping?

Is the camping car support or raft support only?

Does the train run right next to the river?

Thanks for any input.


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Old 08-08-2006   #2
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 2,085
The train does run right next to the river for that entire stretch. It bothers some people but I've never had an issue (and in my experience, kids have loved it). You can car camp at Pumphouse, Radium, Rancho, and Statebridge. There are a number of campsites on the river but I can't remember how many are in the middle of the run. The best one I can remember is on an island on the left a little after Yarmony Rapid. Good flat spaces for tents and easy to spot from the river (there's one of those little metal brown forest service posts marking it, too). This would be towards the end of the run if you take out at Rancho, but closer to halfway if you go down to Statebridge. Make sure you stop at the hotsprings with the kids (about halfway between Eye of the Needle Rapid and Radium, on the left). And just downstream of the hotsprings and across the river are some good jumprocks if the kids are so inclined. Have fun!

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Old 08-08-2006   #3
aurora, Colorado
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 110
maps for upper colorad

Try this link for a decent map of the entire run. If the link doesn't work google kremmling blm field office -> rafting -> down 1/3 page. I've also heard that this map is available to buy, mabye check down river equipment.
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Old 08-08-2006   #4
Gnarnia, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 659
There are several sites along the river. The good ones are designated and have BLM markers (post) with the site name on them. If you are running from Pumphouse (good developed BLM campsite at the put-in) to Rancho or State Bridge, you can break the run roughly in half by camping at the sites just below the first gorge (Eye of the Needle rapid) and the hot springs (river left). There's a site about a 100 yds downstream of the hot springs on river left and it's ok. However, there's a better site around the bend called "cottonwood". It's great and has picnic tables (and maybe a pit toilet). Once below these two sites, there may be a few more before Radium but I'm not sure. You can camp at a BLM site at Radium (car supported) or continue downstream through Yarmony rapid and head to "island" campsite. It's sweet. Below that there are several other sites, mostly on river left. One good one is "bench" campsite. Regardless, get an early start if you're going to camp on the river. Since there's little water left anywhere, the Pumphouse has been really busy.

Tracks are right there and there's a lot of train traffic, which is cool during the day (especially the Amtrack trains) but can get old at night. Bring ear plugs if you're a light sleeper.

The fishing has been pretty good but there's a lot of fishing pressure right now.

If you take out at Rancho, be ready to pay a fee. I think it's $3 per car and $1 or $2 per person after that. They have a nice ramp at the take out. They'll run your shuttle as well which runs about $30. The only downside is that they drive your car, they don't drive you in theirs. You can also take out at State Bridge for a fee. It's $3 per person and they have a decent ramp as well.

At the Pumphouse put-in, I'd use ramp #3. It's generally less crowded and the ramp itself makes putting in very easy.

Have fun...
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