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Discussion Starter #1
Some friends and I are heading to Colorado for a rafting trip. Was thinking of rafting Browns on the Arkansas river. We don't have a lot of experience since we live in Iowa and raft 1 or 2 times a year so don't want anything too harry.

We did the Gauley a couple of years ago and that was a little over our head but we survived.

Any suggestions on what to look out for or other nice runs? Where we can put in and take out etc would be appreciated. We will be running our super puma.
 

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Lots of good options nearby if you find Browns a little too much- or too little. Really depends on water level. When are you planning to come?

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Don't smoke weed in your car if you're driving back to Iowa. If you can get on a westwater canyon trip do it! Easy permit, fairly easy run if it's not high, just bring all the required gear (it's a bit much). Very nice overnight trip and a great western river experience.
 

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I second the Westwater idea- BUT, a solo boat down there raises the stakes quite a bit. Browns is full of boats and help is always near. A solo boat with relatively low experienced boaters might not be a smart plan on Westwater. Whole different deal when it comes to consequences. Put together a group and do it right.

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Discussion Starter #6
We are coming out the 30th of April. Going to raft the 1st and 2nd of May.


Our family did a commercial trip on Browns 4 or 5 years ago and that is what got me hooked on whitewater rafting. I don't recall it being extremely difficult. The Gauley was worse. The upper kicked our butt and the new river was great and the Lower we handled without much problems.

Any other suggestions while we are out there? We are meeting up with my 2 cousins who live in Denver but have only rafted the one time on the commercial trip. I don't smoke but my cousin and the other guy going are pretty heavy so I will give them a heads up.

Thanks for the feedback!
 

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Don't smoke weed in your car if you're driving back to Iowa. If you can get on a westwater canyon trip do it! Easy permit, fairly easy run if it's not high, just bring all the required gear (it's a bit much). Very nice overnight trip and a great western river experience.

That sounds great but I don't think we will do an overnight trip on this go around.
 

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As true as this often is, it's bad advice. Make sure you know how to rescue yourselves.

You guys took your raft down the Upper Gauley?

Something seems fishy about this whole thing....
Agreed. I have seen private rafts wrapped for hours while commercials just float by...

If you can run the Upper Gauley you can handle the majority of commercially boated stretches in CO.

Other runs/rivers to look at include the Roaring Fork, Shoshone on the Colorado, the Taylor, and the Eagle...but if your coming end of April/early May runoff may not have started yet.
 

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Stick to a comm. Guided trip, don't be a statistic.

Nonsense, I have not yet begun to defile myself
 

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I'm not advising anybody to go unprepared- the reality is that you can walk out of Browns. Westwater is isolated wilderness where any kind of extraction is going to be a major endeavor.

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I'm not advising anybody to go unprepared- the reality is that you can walk out of Browns. Westwater is isolated wilderness where any kind of extraction is going to be a major endeavor.

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True - and it is fairly beginner friendly. There probably won't be many other people down there to help the first week of May either.

Do you Hawkeyes have drysuits? If not you'll be shivering and crying the whole time...

A commercial trip on the Upper Colorado seems like the best choice for you. Call Mad Adventures.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
As true as this often is, it's bad advice. Make sure you know how to rescue yourselves.

You guys took your raft down the Upper Gauley?

Something seems fishy about this whole thing....

Yes we went to W Virginia and did the Upper Gauley. Got our butts kicked but made it and we had a generic raft at the time. Have since upgraded to the super puma. I have pictures to prove it. Including our generic raft on top of pillow rock
 

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Discussion Starter #16
guessing they mean lower gauley....

We did Upper Gauley first. It was the 1st time rafting for two of us and 3rd time for me. After the upper kicked our butts we did the New river the next day. The following year 2 of us went to Gauley fest and did the lower Gauley. The 3rd guy in our group was too scared to ever do the Gauley again and hasn't rafted since.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
True - and it is fairly beginner friendly. There probably won't be many other people down there to help the first week of May either.

Do you Hawkeyes have drysuits? If not you'll be shivering and crying the whole time...

A commercial trip on the Upper Colorado seems like the best choice for you. Call Mad Adventures.
Yes we will all have dry suits. We did Browns the first week of June and the water was cold but felt good since it was so nice out. The outfitter fitted us with suits.

We got lucky at Upper Gauley I got on the Gauley fest facebook page and a guy was on there wanting to join a group. He used to guide in California and ended up being the reason we made it. The generic raft made it really difficult because it didn't bail quick enough to maneuver and it is too flat and took on a lot of water.
 

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Sounds like you'll enjoy Browns. If it goes well check out Numbers. Put in at Numbers Launch and either take out at Railroad Bridge or Buena Vista. If that goes well drive downstream to the Royal Gorge. Launch at Parkdale and takeout at Centennial Park in Canon City.

Not a whole lot else is likely to be running then, but you may want to look at some stuff around Pagosa Springs and or northern New Mexico.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Sounds like you'll enjoy Browns. If it goes well check out Numbers. Put in at Numbers Launch and either take out at Railroad Bridge or Buena Vista. If that goes well drive downstream to the Royal Gorge. Launch at Parkdale and takeout at Centennial Park in Canon City.

Not a whole lot else is likely to be running then, but you may want to look at some stuff around Pagosa Springs and or northern New Mexico.
Thank you. Right now I am leaning towards Browns one day and possibly the Grizzly Creek run the other day if I can find more information on it.
 
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