Spring 2020 Road Trip- Colorado Classics - Mountain Buzz
 

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Old 5 Days Ago   #1
 
NathanH.'s Avatar
 
Bend, Oregon
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Spring 2020 Road Trip- Colorado Classics

Hey Buzzards,

We're tentatively planning a trip down to CO from the PNW this spring to catch some of the classics during run-off.

Ideally we'd be able to get on as many of the creeks as possible with some high water in the river but timing everything is tricky,

Couple questions:

1. When do you feel like the best time to be in Colorado is to get on as much as possible? IE everything in but not too high, I know it's different every year.

2. What would your ideal trip look like?

3. Is it possible we could catch Vallecito, Crested Butte Quad Crown, and the gate for Big South just be opening on our way out?

One of the guys really wants to get into The Black Canyon but I am guessing we'd be way too early for that if CB creeks are in.

Thanks!

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Old 4 Days Ago   #2
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Golden, Colorado
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1. June.


2. NM, Durango.



3. Probably everything except for Big South.
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Old 3 Days Ago   #3
 
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Buena Vista, Colorado
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Tango nailed it. Hard to say what the spring will bring, but Colorado (in general) won't be in before Memorial Day. Some years it might be worth it to wait until the second week of June, but if you go to New Mexico first you should be golden.
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Old 2 Days Ago   #4
 
Carbondale, Colorado
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Black Canyon is 100% dam release so not impacted by run-off to a great degree. The flow in spring has a lot to do with the projected inflows and available storage.
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Old 2 Days Ago   #5
 
NathanH.'s Avatar
 
Bend, Oregon
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Thanks guys, I'll plan early June.

I'll plan it like this and completely change them with water I'm sure:

1. Embudo, Taos Box
2. Escalante*
3. Vallecito*
4. Crested Butte
5. Black Canyon*
6. Ark Valley (CC of Ark, PC, Numbers, Browns, Gorge)
7. Front Range
8. Poudre

Pretty tentative with the * being what I doubt will workout most.

Am I missing an classic in this list that would probably work?
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Old 42 Minutes Ago   #6
 
Durango, Colorado
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Likely times that the runs on your hit list will be running assuming average snowpack and regular mid-June peak:

1. Embudo/UTB- May, but UTB is tricky because of the irrigation diversions upstream.
2. Escalante- last week April, first week May.
3. Vallecito- a few weeks late April, Early May; and a few weeks late June, early July (too high during peak)
4. Crested Butte- last 2 weeks of June
5. Black Canyon- dam release but often runs high during regular runoff- likely not runnable until July.
6. Ark Valley- any time you want, but often does not get high until June. The higher the better.
7. Front Range- best time to sit in traffic is weekdays 7AM-6PM.
8. Poudre- long season, but Big South Gate usually does not open until July 4.
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