Another question: How does Pumphouse at 1000cfs compare to Brown's Canyon at 1000cfs? Both are rated Class III and I know Brown's Canyon is fun at that level but from what I am reading the Pumphouse run sounds more like Class II.
pumphouse to radium has 1 class 3, eye of the needle, the other rapids leading up to and after are mostly wave trains, scenic and fun. radium to rancho has 1 big class 3 with a hole at the top, the rest is scenic and a few miles of flatwater. the most bang for your buck would be the rancho to state bridge 131, it has mostly class 2 rapids every so often, i thought it was fun too.
none of this would compare to browns, i think shoshone would be more like browns, but pumphouse is scenic.
there are options for rentals right at rancho, but like what others said, you'd get more for your money if you got one from BTC, or Confluence kayaks.
We rented duckies at Rancho del Rio for $50 apiece (including gear). This was cheaper and more convenient than going to an off-site place like Confluence Kayaks. Confluence wanted $40 for the kayak and $40 for gear. Pick-up and drop-off would also be a major hassle since they are only open from 10am to 6pm. This makes it impossible to pick them up on the drive out OR to drop them off on the drive back. You would have to rent them for two days and make two extra trips.
FWIW, whenever I've rented from Confluence at the "day rate," I've always been able to return the gear/boat the next day. I.e., if pick-up in the morning, return in the morning next day; if pick-up near end of day, return by close of business the next day.
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