After reports from a buddy who went climbing in clear creek canyon a few weeks ago that the narrows on the black rock run looked almost boatable, I decided to go check for myself. Learning to boat in the southeast I'm not sure if I fit the "wierd easterners who boat the morning dew", but my tolerance for low water is more than most.
Driving up the canyon, clear creek looked like a rock fest, and my hope faded, but upon inspection the drops in the narrows looked good. At the current water levels (93 cfs) the rapids are pool drop, with relatively deep pools and steep falls type slots to run. There were clear rock free lines down most all the drops, with most lines being a boat width or two wide to miss the rock bashing.
After verifying that the flow passed the "morning dew test", I was able to rally a partner after promising to probe it so that it would either be fun boating, or fun watching me eat rocks. With a little bit of nervousness I dropped in expecting to piton hard on some unforseen rock, but the lines were clean all the way down, with no pitons, no major rock bashing, and suprisingly fun drops. We ended up lapping it about 4 times, and took some extra runs on Mr. Bill.
Mr. Bill is still a lot of fun at this level, as is the entrance drop. There are lots of eddies to catch, and the boating feels like low water class IV with tight technical lines, but lots of time to make them due to the low water. Good boof practice, and a good early season warm up. Its easy to park at the pullout where the climbers usually park at the bottom of the narrows. We put in just below the bridge and took out below the boof just below Mr. Bill.
It definitely was fun and I'd recommend it for folks who want to knock the dust of for the upcoming season. I look at it as a good workout/warmup to get back in the creekboat and get the skills tuned up.
I put up a few pics in the creeking gallery
I'll probably go back and do some afterwork runs, as its a good option vs. low water waterton, golden playpark, or confluence for metro boaters.