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Discussion Starter #1
has anyone rafted clear creek, either down from to what people have told me is rigor mortis or down from there to golden and the white water park. My wife and I just moved here from the east and we typically go to cheat fest this time of year but hopefully we can hit some early season rafting. We will be R2ing a puma and would like 3 to 3+ with a 4 in there or so to brush up on some skills.

I guess the real question has anyone done this section in a raft and were to put in and take out at. There is no real guide book for this section

Thanks Matt
 

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Clear Creek is not likely what you're looking for. Clear creek tends to be boat abusive (for rafts), technical and continuous. The average gradient of Clear Creek is probably 2-3 x steeper than the Cheat, and the volume much lower. Rafting companies do regularly run everything from Lawson down to the Hwy 6 - Hwy 119 intersection, but much of this is solid class 4. The only "easy" run (3+) is about a 5 mile section from Idaho Springs to Kermits (where I-70 and Hwy 6 fork). Rafts are rarely seen between 119 and Golden because the Blackrock run is class 5, and the lower run, though class 4, would be really junky in a raft. Your best bet is probably Browns Canyon (class III) or the Numbers on the Ark (Class IV). Check out Whitewater of the Southern Rockies (Stafford / McCutchen) as this is the guidebook almost everyone uses out here.
 

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This run should be good this year with some good flows.
The put-in is the pull over just below Rigmotis and the Green Bridge.
Very steep from road to creek but should be easy with your small raft and two people. Take out is Vanover Park just below Ford Street. Bonus: the take out is walking distance to 3 microbreweries plus Coor's tasting room.

Definitely scout the broken down dam just below Tunnel #1.
Rarely looks runable and in my cat there is a headroom problem with the foot bridge. With a small R2 a portage is doable on river left. There is a fork just above Golden with the left fork going into ditch structure, go right.

Welcome to Colorado. Hope to see you on the river.
 

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How is it from Tunnel 1 down to Golden?
For a raft, you'll have a steep putin below the dam. At low flows this area is really manky, and at high flow there are no real eddies. You get a few interesting, easy rapids around the bend, then an island where the left channel ends in a shallow shoal, and a narrow right channel is deep but you'll be ducking branches all the way down. After that it flattens out. Keep right again at the next island or end up in a Coors can. Tunnel 1 through the park in Golden is about 1.5 miles total.
 

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if / when scouting the dam drop know that there is rebar in there that you can't see.
im guessing it is not something you want to raft over.
 

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There is a reason lower CC is not commercially rafted - they would have to patch their rafts after every run and replace them every other week. :)

The upper sections (Lawson and Kermits) are rafted quite often. I'd call them a solid class IV in a raft and you would really not like a flip.
 

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Lawson is amazing in a raft at good flows. Swims are bad. I got washed out of a mini max just above Deliverance at about 1k and swam the last two drops. The river moves extremely fast and is about two feet deep. I hit the water and immediately started bouncing off rocks. I tore my dry pants and was pretty bruised up but I can't wait to hit it this year at higher flows. Woop woop!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Cool thanks appreciate the feedback. I have no desire to be patching our raft at the beginning of the season.
 

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It looks like you live in Vail, so generally people around here avoid driving to the front range to raft as its substantially better in the eagle and or ark valley. Dowd chute at 2-4 feet is pretty fun r2, but solid class four for about 1/3 mile or so. Everything on the Eagle below that is super fun with various amounts of class 3 - maybe a 4 here or there depending on flows. The ark is running is the super classic rafting with anything from class 2 floats to solid class 4 day trips.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
It looks like you live in Vail, so generally people around here avoid driving to the front range to raft as its substantially better in the eagle and or ark valley. Dowd chute at 2-4 feet is pretty fun r2, but solid class four for about 1/3 mile or so. Everything on the Eagle below that is super fun with various amounts of class 3 - maybe a 4 here or there depending on flows. The ark is running is the super classic rafting with anything from class 2 floats to solid class 4 day trips.

Relocated to the golden area now…would love to get to the ark soon but the drive is getting us. we ran the portion below the tunnel one today it was a great little in town run water level was not bad either. ALso met some great people so all in all a great afternoon river day with an easy shuttle.
 

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While everything stated above is true with regards to rocks, portages, and the like, R2ing lower clear creek in a smaller raft is a pretty damn good time. Give it a little more flow to pad things out, maybe 400-500, and it's a great level to learn the creek in your raft. Scout the critical areas - elbow falls, screaming 1/4 mile, and the diversion damn - and you should be good. It's all class III with those features layered in to give you a taste of class IV. Don't wait too long the lower flows are prime for learning the lines. Once it gets over 650-750, the creek takes on a different nature and becomes a little more pushy. I R2'd it at about 900 a few years back and, well, giddy-up. To be fair, my partner an I know the lines in there extremely well, as it is the backyard ditch.


Welcome to Golden.
 

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I have rafted every section of clear creek from 6 pipes down.

For after work runs I prefer the lower or when I actually boated a lot the black rock section.

The lower is a great section in a smaller raft. The put in is at the bridge below rigor, as stated prior road scout screaming 1/4 mile and elbow falls on the way up. I have never ran the old diversion dam as I do not like rebar. Know where to take out to portage the dam, carry on river left on the trail, careful on this as the winds like to blow and you have to carry over your head.

As Twitch said it is a great run at 500-600 and turns into a completely different run at 900, still fun but be in your A+ game.


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Discussion Starter #14
Great advice everybody would love to run it one these days and see the lines. If anyone is going and would be whilling to show some lines... I will buy beer after
 

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Great advice everybody would love to run it one these days and see the lines. If anyone is going and would be whilling to show some lines... I will buy beer after
Well how did it go? Were you able to pull it off with your wife? I try to stay away from anything that could take a lot of man power with my gf so she doesnt hate me.
 
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