Questions about CO rivers from a Connecticutan :) - Mountain Buzz
 

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Old 06-06-2011   #1
 
West Jordan, Utah
Paddling Since: 2009
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Questions about CO rivers from a Connecticutan :)

Good morning! I have lived in CT all my life and looking for a change of scenery and I think CO has everything I am looking for. Right now I am a class II/III paddler and still have a lot to work to do. Within 2 hours of the Greater Denver area.. how many class II/III rivers run consistently from Spring to Fall? A few of the good rivers I run out this way are all dam controlled so they are reliable during the summer.. not sure how it works out that way. Thank you in advance for any feedback!!

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Old 06-06-2011   #2
 
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Lakewood, Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan007CT View Post
Good morning! I have lived in CT all my life and looking for a change of scenery and I think CO has everything I am looking for. Right now I am a class II/III paddler and still have a lot to work to do. Within 2 hours of the Greater Denver area.. how many class II/III rivers run consistently from Spring to Fall? A few of the good rivers I run out this way are all dam controlled so they are reliable during the summer.. not sure how it works out that way. Thank you in advance for any feedback!!
Nothing out here is really dam controlled where a boater can count on XYZ cfs every day from 3 to 6pm. There is a definite season for various drainages and there are releases that keep some drainages going for some time, but spring to fall is not in our lexicon on a typical year. Water is moved through on a downstream demand basis from storage and our hydro infrastructure is tiny. About the only stretch that's consistent as a result of dam control is Shoshone which is >2 hrs from Denver. There are other runs that benefit from late season releases but on the whole, we rely on natural flow.

Regarding Class II/III, there is plenty within 2 hours. Get a book and read up on AW or EddyFlower, etc..
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Old 06-06-2011   #3
 
Flat-lander, Colorado
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It isn't clear whether you are looking for fast and steep or playboating. From Denver and looking for class II/III, you will find the best/closest runs on Clear Creek and the South Platte. The St. Vrain up in Lyons has some decent stretches as well. The Blue River, up in Silverthorne, probably falls w/in your distance constraints as well.

As hojo suggested, it is worthwhile to get a view of CO from the perspective of drainages. I use the less_than_pretty_but_functional:
USGS Real-Time Data for Colorado_ Streamflow
and
Colorado Division of Water Resources

for data flows rather than eddyflower (which relies on the same data).
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Old 06-06-2011   #4
 
West Jordan, Utah
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I just river run for now. No playboating yet thanks for the info!
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Old 06-06-2011   #5
 
Flat-lander, Colorado
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I just river run for now. No playboating yet thanks for the info!

If you have the opportunity, you should get out to "Big Sur Colorado" near Grand Junction (~3.5 hrs from Denver in the summer) right now. 100ft long, 8 foot standing wave currently. Lots of room for cleanup, and a great place to learn.
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Old 06-06-2011   #6
 
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Indian Hills, Colorado
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Dan -
The hydrology is different every year in Colorado, so you never know exactly what you'll get, but I can assure you that there will always be plenty of Class II/III paddling about 2 hrs from denver from spring through fall. For example:
Waterton: 1 hour, spring through fall
Deckers: 1 hour, frequent fall releases
Foxton: 1 hour, frequent late summer fall releases
Arkansas: 2.5 hours, always wet
Shoshone: 2.5 hours, always wet
Pumphouse: 2 hours, always wet
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Old 06-06-2011   #7
 
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Longmont, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1986
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Best book for the state is Colorado Rivers and Creeks by Eckardt - any paddling shop will have it, or check Amazon. Great book on the Poudre as well (west of Ft. Collins). You might think about joining the Poudre Paddlers (north) or the Rocky Mountain Canoe Club (Denver)
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Old 06-06-2011   #8
 
Flat-lander, Colorado
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Originally Posted by DanOrion View Post
Dan -
The hydrology is different every year in Colorado, so you never know exactly what you'll get, but I can assure you that there will always be plenty of Class II/III paddling about 2 hrs from denver from spring through fall. For example:
Waterton: 1 hour, spring through fall
Deckers: 1 hour, frequent fall releases
Foxton: 1 hour, frequent late summer fall releases
Arkansas: 2.5 hours, always wet
Shoshone: 2.5 hours, always wet
Pumphouse: 2 hours, always wet
I would put shoshone and pumphouse at 3 hrs, but that's just me.

And I will give you my old, battered copy of "Colorado Rivers and Creeks;" it is a spiral bound copy. Complete with waterltalk phone numbers to determine stream flows
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Old 06-06-2011   #9
 
West Jordan, Utah
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Very nice. How do you all like living in CO? Would you pick somewhere else in the US? I can't imagine getting bored with CO with all of the things you can do outside...and places to explore
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Old 06-06-2011   #10
 
Flat-lander, Colorado
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I grew up in upper state new york, and I love colorado for the sun. I didn't even notice as a kid, but I prefer the sun being out. Keep in mind, it is very dry out here compared to the east coast.

I used to live in the high country (paycheck to paycheck), and I am jealous of those that continue to do so. I simply can't find a job that will pay enough up there...

I'm trying to build a business that will let me move to durango permanently. That place is unbelievably great.
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