North Fork Crystal Info - Mountain Buzz

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Old 07-22-2005   #1
Glenwood Springs, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 41
North Fork Crystal Info

Howdy folks,

We are planning on heading up to the N. Fork this AM but aren't sure there is still enough water in there. Also my creeks and rivers book is MIA so putin take out beta would be lovely, and I guess any other recent wood info if there is any... thanks for any help.

Clark Anderson

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Old 07-22-2005   #2
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 168
We did it last weekend. The gauge was swinging from 1100 to 800. Looks like the bottom dropped out. It’s hard to believe that it dropped that fast with the heat. I'd say it could be run with a lot less water than we did it so it might still be doable. We noticed that it didn't start rising until about 3:00 or so. If you get on it just before dark it should be higher than mid day.

No bad wood to speak of. One log in the crux in the inner box, but it looked like it improved the drop at the level we did it at.

For approach you can take 2 routs - the high road and the low road.
Go through the town of marble and start the easy 4x4 road up the hill. In a sharp left bend you reach a hidden fork in the road. Right to the town of crystal is the low road. Left is the high road.

Low road: This is rougher with more rock crawling and sketchy drops offs (almost as exciting as the creek), but shorter. Dive down past lizard lake, down to the crystal, through the town of crystal (in low range most of the way for 4 miles). After crystal wind up a steep hill past a crux spot and take the left fork (right goes to the south fork). Crawl around a sketchy corner and drive up the NF. When you reach a patch of pine trees, you’re at the beef (the runnable beef).

High road: Smoother, longer, way more switch backs, exceptional scenery, takes just as long if not longer. Drive past the fork up hill. Make a stream crossing to the right, wind up over the pass, drive down into NF valley (Lead King Basin), drive down the NF. You can't miss the first drop. All road side (or jeep trail side).

Have fun. Run lots of laps on the upper 4 (boater cross maybe?).
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Old 07-23-2005   #3
Glenwood Springs, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 41
Thanks alot for the info. After some serious circles around the roads of Marble we made it on to the high road a bit past Beaver Lake. Still a tough road but doable. The run was beautiful, on the low side, but beautiful. Much less duanting than I thought it would be... Thanks again for the info. I'll be in the area for a bit longer if folks are looking for more crystal river fun.

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