Paddling in Western Colorado - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 03-03-2004   #1
 
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Paddling in Western Colorado

I just moved to Moab Utah and am looking for some whitewater action in Western Colorado, probably in the Durango area. I am looking for Class 3+ to 4- stuff. I have a Bliss-Stick Huka and a Pyranha S8.

Previously, I paddled rivers in Eastern Tennessee such as Tellico Ledges, Little River of the Smokies, Treemont, Ocoee, Big South Fork of the Cumberland, and others.

I paddled several times a week. Now that I am in Moab, I haven't paddled in a month. I gotta find some water.

I know I will have to wait for the snow melt.

HELP!

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Old 03-03-2004   #2
 
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Jackson, Wyoming
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Get a mtn bike

Westwater is good,and there are some good runs in Grand Junction...I suggest getting the CCR2 guide book..www.Kayakingcolorado.com sells it on this site and will get it out to you in a few days.
Gary
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Old 03-03-2004   #3
 
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Englewood, Colorado
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Hey, welcome to the Rockies. I'm a geographical mutt, but I certainly learned to boat in the midwest and SE (and used to work for NOC). Gary is right about the guidebook (CRC2 aka "The Bible"). When you open it, you'll see that the kind of water you're looking for is scarce out here, but there is good stuff to be had nonetheless.

*Westwater is big water class III, with one IV. It gets up to a solid IV at higher levels. Make sure you read the permit regulations carefully, as the BLM is strict about them. Kinda of a pain in the rear, but they keep the canyon pretty darn pristine. That S8 will be nicer on the paddle out than most playboats.

*The Crystal has some nice runs that are class III-IVish - Bogan Canyon, Crystal Mill Falls Run, Avalanche, and a few easy creeks, I think. (Although you'll discover that out here, people don't usually call something a creek unless it's a solid class V, as opposed to the SE, where you have class III creeks like the Tellico or Little.)

*Durango doesn't have much III-IV, but there is a little bit of that on the San Juan and Piedra over towards Pagosa Springs.

*Vail has Dowd Chute, but that is only about 2 miles long. At higher levels it becomes a nice read-n-run IV+.

*Sweetwater Creek is a mellow IV- according to CRC2.

That's about it for stuff that is within 3 hours, as far as I can recall. I haven't run all of these, but it should give you a start as far as places to look. The Gunny watershed has some stuff, but most folks go there for the creeks in CB. If you're willing to travel further, the Ark has Brown's Canyon and the Numbers, CO's best known class III and IV runs.

You can find a TON of beta on the Buzz by running a search on the river you're interested in, too.

cheers,
steve
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Old 03-03-2004   #4
 
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Durango, Colorado
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I don't know about "not much in Durango"

Durango Boating

Animas in town (WW park)- III
Upper Animas- IV- (V) 1Hr
Lime Creek- V .5 HR
Mineral Creek- V 1.5Hrs
Hermosa Creek- IV 20min
Vallecito Creek- V 20min
Piedra- IV 45min
San Juan Mesa Canyon- -III 1.5Hrs
East Fork San Juan- IV 1.5Hrs
Westwater- III 3.5Hrs

That is just around Durango, get in your truck and tour Colorado!

PS- You really, really must get a bible.
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Old 03-03-2004   #5
 
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I meant not much under class IV in Durango. He still has to drive from Moab, so I wasn't really counting 1.5h past Durango as in Durango. Most folks posting recently also seem to think the Upper A is more than a IV-. Judging by the stuff slimerboy has been running out east, they are not at all in the same league as the Upper A, the way folks have been describing it.
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Old 03-03-2004   #6
 
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Sorry for the misunderstanding. Upper A is IV (through) V; not IV-. I fugure if he comes to Durango for a day all of those runs are within a day trip.

T
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