Planning CO Trip - Page 2 - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 04-02-2019   #11
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 5
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Originally Posted by jgrebe View Post
And now for an alternative POV. I live in the mountains and there is more snow than I've seen in 20 years. In addition, so far, we have not had the dust storms that accelerate the melt. If we have a cool wet spring (as is forecast) I think middle of June is going to be scary big on anything with a major uncontrolled contribution. If it was me, based on what I see, I'd plan July 1
I keep hearing about how much snow there is, so was thinking this might be the case! Might need to alter the plan. How do you think flows might look through July? Good water through mid July perhaps?

Thanks!

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Old 04-03-2019   #12
 
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Durango, Colorado
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I would say take the same approach as you would if you were headed to Kyrgistan, Chile, Russia, or elsewhere. Do your homework, check historical data, look at graphs, and make a plan. Once you get there, just like in the old days before the internet and all this babysitting, just get on the river and figure it out.

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Old 04-03-2019   #13
 
Carbondale, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1970
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The other posters have some great points. There is going to be a lot of good options in June and some of the best trips are those that with forced adaptations. Having said that your driving a long way for a specific purpose and no reason not to plan ahead as best you can (that's half the fun right?). As of yesterday the Colorado River Basin snowpack was 130% of normal. The Ark is 140%. Lots of variables between now and then, including a significant groundwater and reservoir recharge components but I don't see how it is not going to be HUGE this year. I think a lot of the reservoirs are going to spill in June which will add to the total. To answer your question, yes I think Late June to middle July will be prime boating season this year
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Old 04-05-2019   #14
 
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Indian Hills, Colorado
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It's going to be huge this year, the question is when. The long-term forecast is for wetter and hotter than average. xxx buddy. If it were me, I'd target late June. It's likely to be huge then. Some big years peak in early July, but on some big years peak has come and gone by then. I recall something about the mid '80's where it got warm and wet (rain) in early spring which burned the snowpack, but resulted in temporarily silly-high boating.

Here's some tools:
https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal...rcseprd1432263 Geek out on historical big snow years. From what I recall, 2008, 2011 and 2015 were some of the biggest recently. Peak flows generally occur just as SWE drops to zero.

https://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/forecasts/ Climate predictions. These are more right than my best guess, but I am not a NOAA scientist.

Web CDSS Streamflow Historical flows. This site is a bitch to navigate, but if you know the gage you want, you can pull up nice daily cfs summaries.

If this year ends up being as good as it looks, much of the Crested Butte stuff will be snowed in or stupid high in late June. However, that means that the Ark will be at a super fun high level, Clear Creek of the Ark will be huge, Clear Creek of the front range will have boaters passing cars on I-70, Boulder Creek and all the Poudre stuff will be absurdly high/fun. Castle Creek and Slaugherhouse of the Roaring Fork will be in the high-fun-zone. Did I say the Ark? Because, although I'm a lame boater, I can't think of anything more fun than 3k+ on Numbers and 6k+ in Browns.
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