First Timer Advice - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 07-05-2016   #1
 
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 17
First Timer Advice

Looking to organize an easy overnight float as a sendoff for a buddy heading for the east coast for Medical school.

Looking at anywhere from 8-16 people with a bunch of well-behaved dogs this weekend (7/9-7/10), somewhere that's ideally not on the western slope of CO or in Utah (we're in Denver).

Let's assume we have nothing sans drybags for gear and coolers. Am I way over my head? I figured there has to be outfitters where you can rent rafts and get shuttle service. What are some good areas we should look at?

Thanks for any and all help!

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Old 07-05-2016   #2
 
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Post Falls, Idaho
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 861
Your post does not lead me to think this is a good idea. Rivers are a dangerous place and even flat moving water requires some (lots) knowledge.

Without someone or multiple someone's with river knowledge this sounds very risky. Add in the short notice, desire to multiday, alcohol and dogs it becomes a very risky endeavor.

I'd car camp somewhere you can have a great time, find someone to stay in camp and watch the dogs and find a guide for a day float.

I have 4 years of experience on rivers and still consider my self as an amateur at best. There's absolutely no way I would want to be responsible for the group you are describing.

You sounded honest in your post so I responded according hope it's not upsetting I'd just hate to see you end up in a stressful situation.

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Old 07-05-2016   #3
 
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 17
Definitely appreciate the advice Paul7, and no offense taken. I guess I should have clarified my experience a bit. I'm a solid class V kayaker, so I'm definitely aware of the dangers rivers pose. I've also organized and ran everything from 9 day whitewater trips with teenagers to a 70 day canoe trip to the James Bay. When I put first timer I meant this is just my first time renting and organizing a raft/shuttle/etc, not my first time organizing a river trip.

My friend (with zero river experience) said him and a few friends made zero preparation and went to Ruby-Horsethief for a 3 day float. My thought was that we could just do that, but my concern is that its a bit far from Denver and that he did it in 3 days and we'd be looking for 2. Also flow is almost 10k, and although I know that's running levels, I'm not sure if its too high or what.

I guess i'm more asking what the logistics of renting rafts, getting shuttle, etc. Unless I am grossly underestimating the difficulty/danger of doing something like Ruby, in which case, please tell me.
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Old 07-05-2016   #4
 
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Post Falls, Idaho
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 861
Thanks for the clarification! You definitely have the experience to lead such a trip. As you know time is a issues with such a float. I live in Idaho so I can't answer your specifics on the river. As far as logistics it could be done but as you have already pointed out it would be difficult given the time frame.

I'm fairly organized and with work it still takes me a week of evenings to get everything ready for a multiday day. Food seems to be my biggest issue it is a real challenge for me.

Do you have someone in the group willing to put in lots of help?

I think given the timing and logistical issues I'd still look towards day trips. Everything is so much more manageable that way.

Whatever you do have fun!

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Old 07-05-2016   #5
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FtC / Rancho del Rio, Colorado
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Upper Colorado, Pumphouse down. Only like 2 hours from Denver.
It's easy, good camping, and you can rent boats and get shuttles at Rancho del Rio.
Just beware, the Rancho locals sometimes bite
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Old 07-05-2016   #6
 
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Steamboat, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
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Posts: 1,040
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigben View Post
Upper Colorado, Pumphouse down. Only like 2 hours from Denver.
It's easy, good camping, and you can rent boats and get shuttles at Rancho del Rio.
Just beware, the Rancho locals sometimes bite
Prolly is the easiest option with your requirements, go to the Colorado River Center Lauren and Otto are awesome.

https://www.coloradorivercenter.com/rentals.html
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Old 07-05-2016   #7
 
Salt Lake City, Utah
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 210
Ruby/Horsethief is easy to do as an overnighter, and the drive really isn't that bad - I did it as a weekend trip several times when i lived in denver. Rimrock adventures rents boats/groovers and you can launch right there, which is nice since i don't love leaving cars at loma. The crux is getting a permit on short notice. If you can get a permit it would be perfect for you.

10K is a good level that makes going as an overnighter especially easy. Nothing to worry about.
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Old 07-05-2016   #8
 
Salida, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 935
Depends on the experience you seek. Upper C can be a real shit show, and forget it on the weekends. Ruby/HT is a far superior experience (in my experience) and worth the extra 2 hrs drive each way. Launching at Rimrock is convenient, and Robb State Park is also a good option if you're really concerned about the Loma ramp security, which is a valid concern. But I've never had any issues there, just don't leave anything in your car. But those launches add an extra 4-5 miles to a trip you have stated will only be two days, August flows and winds won't make that an easy goal, but it is realistic and it will require work on everyone's part. If you go to R/HT, take three days. Rimrock can fully outfit and shuttle you.

If you truly only have time for 2 days, bite the bullet and go to the Upper C. Not a lot of options out there considering your parameters. Good luck.
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Old 07-06-2016   #9
 
Evergreen, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 12
Ruby-horse thief permits only allow two dogs per group, and it looks like the only campsites available next weekend are pretty far upriver (and not great). The flows right now are fine (we were doing about 5 mph on Monday with minimal paddling). Bugs were ferocious and a burn ban is in effect. My personal inclination would be to do Pumphouse with your group. However, you would need to get on the river crazy early on Saturday to get to a campsite before they are all full. If I do weekend overnights on the upper C, I stay with my sister in Granby on Friday night (no fighting for car camping spots), then leave her place early enough that I can be on the water before 9.
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