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Discussion Starter #1
We've got a family vacation planned for the first 2 weeks of June. Primary focus is mountain bikes, but if there's room, I might throw my boat and my son's boat on the roof, too. We'll be staying at RMNP (Moraine) the nights of June 6 and 7, in Fruita the 8th and 9th, and then in Moab for several days before heading back east. Not sure the return route yet. Any suggestions on class 3ish runs along there would be appreciated.

It looks like there might be some fun/pretty stuff on the Cache La Poudre within reasonable day trip distance of the Moraine Park campground? Or is there closer stuff we should look at? Also, looks like some reasonable options on the way to Fruita in Glenwood Canyon?

To give some skill context (all eastern...), I'm comfortable on stuff like the Lower Yough, Cheat Canyon at sane levels, Lower Gauley at normal release. Biggest stuff my 14 yo son has run is Lower Yough just under 4'. Only western stuff we've been on was Deso two years ago at around 2700. I rowed that, and my son paddled it in his Remix with no trouble. Don't really want to push limits - class 3 is fine.
 

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Definitely good sections on the Poudre - look at Poudre Park, Bridges, and Filter Plant. Maybe something above the narrows too...

Might be able to hit the South St Vrain if there is water while in RMNP, Applevalley section could be fun.

On the way out to Fruita most likely will have you passing through or near Glenwood Springs - Shoshone is fun, also could float from there all the way to Glenwood.

When in Moab check out the Moab daily as an option.

Feels like I am missing something obvious so sure others will hop on.
 

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The Roaring Fork from Carbondale to Two Rivers Park in Glenwood Springs is a nice class 2-3 float (closer to 2 with little runoff and flows dropping). It is mostly a float but is scenic with lots of birds and good fishing and makes for a pleasant day on the water.
 

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Shoshone in the Glenwood Canyon is my favorite class III run in co really friendly and fun also a lot of alternate routes if you feel like you have some extra fun tickets.
 

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You might want to consider coming back via US 50 and US 285. That would take you by the Uncompaghre at Montrose, the Gunnison at Gunnison, the various stretches of the Upper Arkansas River and the North and South Forks of the South Platte.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you! What will water temps be like? I'm assuming the water out there is a lot colder, since it's coming off the high mountains. Will dry top and shorts be ok? Or full on drysuits?
 

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Don't forget the Eagle, near Vail. Put in below the Dowd Chutes (under I-70).

The Poudre has the best water in Colorado this year and many III-easy IV stretches. From Moraine you have to drive to Loveland and through Fort Collins so it's an hour and a half to the lower runs. Maybe you could catch it on your first day here. The water has warmed to 52 today so dress to swim.


Also be aware there is no mountain biking in RMNP and very, very little in the Estes Park area. Fort Collins has plenty, other places too, although high mountain trails will be snowed.

PM me if you want more info.
 

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Water temps on the Colorado at Fruita and Moab will be nice. If you run the Poudre, it'll be colder than you expect, probably in the upper 50's (F). Usually a dry top and shorts is sufficient, but some people go full dry all summer. Bridges, on the Poudre, is classic class III. But I think maybe the road down from Estes Park is closed, so you have to go through Lyons, adding to the trip.

Also, the upper Big Thompson, right below Estes Park would be really close to Moraine but I'm not sure if it's class III or -IV? Anybody up there want to chime in on the Big T and traffic?
 

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Brown’s Canyon

Brown’s Canyon is really fun! So is the Royal Gorge. The section above the a Royal Gorge is fun too...and less intense. There is also a class III section of Clear Creek that’s fun. (I’d have to look it up so to remember the exact section. It can be pretty continuous, tho, and the river bed is quite jagged. A swim in the first rapid sent my buddy to the ER...and we chased his boat all the way to the take-out! So in retrospect...maybe not clear creek. 😔) But Brown’s Canyinis super fun and if I remember correctly, more drop pool style. Plus, the Canyon is really pretty. Afterwards...you could drive to either Salida or Buena Vista and do some play boating. I haven’t been to either play spot in about 6 years but the spot in Salida use to be extremely fun!

No idea what the levels are right now but those are very popular runs, so the river data should be easy to find.

Happy boating!! Let us know what you choose to paddle...and how much fun had while doing so!!
 

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Mtb

If you decide to head to the Arkansas then you definitely need to Mtb the Rainbow trail and the Monarch Crest trail. The Rainbow trail has lots of sections. It’s probavly the best and most fun mountain biking I’ve ever done. There is also some really fun mountain biking in Lyons, CO which is close to Estes Park. There’s a whitewater play park there too!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
What we've done so far

Thanks again for all the suggestions. On our way out, we ran the Grizzly Creek section of the Colorado. Original plan was to do Shoshone, too, but my son wanted something mellower as his warm up. We were pleasantly surprised to find almost no flatwater on the entire section.

To keep the universe in balance, we made up for the lack of flatwater in Glenwood by running the Moab Daily. My wife and daughter SUPed from Sandy Beach down to Big Bend while my son and I ran from Hittle to Takeout. Fun was had all around, though the beautiful setting and rhythm of the day gave us the jones for another desert multi-day run. Not necessarily a bad thing...

We're on the way home now - staying in Salida tonight with the plan to run Browns tomorrow (Friday). Didn't realize it was FiBArk weekend till we saw a poster in the motel office window. Hoping the river won't be as big of a zoo as the Gauley is during Gauley fest, but if it is, I guess we'll at least have plenty of probes to watch :).
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Browns rocks!

Wow, Browns was great. We saw maybe 10 people the entire day, and for much of the run, we had the river to ourselves. That was especially cool, because we got to treat it as a true personal first descent, scouting stuff as it came up instead of just watching other people's lines.

Gorgeous setting, quality whitewater, and plenty of it. Thanks so much for pointing us there.
 
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