Rafters (and kayakers) trip opinions needed - Mountain Buzz

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Old 04-01-2008   #1
kayakfreakus's Avatar
Steamboat, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,029
Rafters (and kayakers) trip opinions needed

So somehow I got put in charge of coming up with the best river trip for 2 rafts and grip of kayaks for the weekend of May 17th. I don't raft so want to make sure to get some input on that side. The two rafts will be good in anything class 3 and into the lower 4's as long as it is not too big of water at that time. I know our water choices should be pretty good then, we can really get anywhere in the state. I am gonna call on westwater tomorrow but think we might be a little late on the permit.

My question is this, what is the best stretch of river around that time for rafters? A longer type float with a decent amount of rapids and some flatwater would be good but the rafters definitely want some fun so not too dull.

My thoughts so far:

Easiest to pull off: Poudre or Ark as plenty of sections to entertain everyone and good camping.

Other thoughts:
Piedra looks awesome but I am limited in my boating in the southwest.
San Miguel/Gunnison also looks cool but maybe a bit too easy as they say mostly class II and III.

Anyone recommend something they have done?

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Old 04-01-2008   #2
Randaddy's Avatar
Eastern Slope, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 2,466
Are the rafters paddling or rowing? Did you want to do an overnight or just camp by the river? Both the Ark and the Poudre have great class 3 and class 4 runs. You can do about 10 straight miles on the Poudre and have quite a few class 4 rapids, camp and run a different section the next day with a couple of other class 4's on it. On the Ark you could run Brown's Canyon, which is almost all class 3 in the first day and see how you feel about Numbers for the second day, though it's pretty stiff class 4 at higher flows.

Of course there are plenty of good rivers to run in the state, and some might be better in mid-May than these two, but the Arkansas and the Poudre have great class 3 and 4, are easy to shuttle on, and offer great camping spots. If you let me know what you decide, I can give you some good camping beta.
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Old 04-02-2008   #3
riojedi's Avatar
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1985
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 191
Go do any part of the Dolores, get it while you can.
Just don't go the same time as me!
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