Rafting plateau creek - Mountain Buzz

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Old 04-30-2019   #1
palisade, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 9
Rafting plateau creek

I was checking out plateau creek the other day and saw that its absolutely raging! 500cfs when I saw it on Sunday and almost 900cfs as I type. I couldn't help but think I could get down it in my 15' oar frame. I was hoping to get some insight from anyone that is familiar with this stretch. my plan would be to put in low enough to avoid any of the cattle fences, merge with the Colorado and take out in palisade.

Has anyone done this in a raft before? Or am I insane for thinking this is a good idea?

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Old 04-30-2019   #2
Grand Junction, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 378
never scene it done the put in and take out alone would make me say no ducky it or kayak imo
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Old 04-30-2019   #3
Defiance, CO, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 225
Probably could be done in a small raft

You might want to consider taking out before Palisade. I don't think i would attempt the roller damn right now, especially in a boat small enough to get down plateau creek
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Old 05-01-2019   #4
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 70
Have run it a number times - although not for about 5 years - in my 11.5' Puma with 8' oars. Even when it's cranking you gotta take shallow strokes and it's pretty narrow - a 15 footer is too big. You can put in a mile or so before the Collbran turnoff to avoid private property issues (not aware of any fences, but as noted, haven't been down last few years). There's an obvious dirt parking lot and a sloped sort of dirt "ramp". 1000 can be a bit bony for a small raft, 12-1500 is good, continuous level. Seen it as high as 3k, but never run it that high!

Normal takeout is a very small eddy on river left at a pullout just before the confluence with the CO, but scout it first. There is a bridge above it that at higher flows it's tough or impossible to get under with a raft or even a kayak and can catch debris - don't remember what level that is. There are other little spots to take out above this. The roller dam at Palisade was re-built a number of years ago to add a fish ladder and boats can run it without the same recirculating danger, but agree with above - it gets really big waves at higher flows and could be sketchy in a boat small enough to make it down Plateau.

There is a lot of wood strewn along the banks from a flash flood a couple years back just waiting to move as water rises, so heads up, especially at the bridge. Super fun when you can get it!
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Old 05-05-2019   #5
ridgway, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 20
Ran it last weekend at about 750-800 with an ik. My friend took a Sol fiesta sup (S2). Rocks were covered. Mostly mellow. Not much of an eddy at take out. I understand the bridge below collects wood. Definitely scout it. Otherwise it's runnable and covered at that level or higher.
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Old 05-05-2019   #6
Old Snowmass, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1988
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 14
Watch the bridges

I've done it 1000 cfs in duckies. I wouldn't run it at that level in anyting bigger. Bridges on Highway 65 were just a few inches over our heads in a duckie.
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