I am a total beginner looking for an easy early season river to run. I just got back from Moab and took my boat on the Colorado River Daily section and now I'm too excited to wait for the Poudre to run, any suggestions?
Someone posted not too long ago that the new Pueblo kayak park on the Arkansas is running- sounds like a good place to work on rolls, peel-outs and eddy turns.
The Grizzly Creek section below Shoshone would be a good option- no problem with self rescue there.
If you have a couple of folks with you to babysit, keep an eye on the Northgate Canyon flows after you get a few runs under your belt- there are a couple of rapids in there, but nthing huge at low water.
At one point there were ice bridges across the entire river on the Grizzly run below No Name. I usually don't pay attention to this area, but I specifically remember thinking "damn, thats a lot of ice" when seeing the river just upstream of the glenwood springs tunnel. it is probably gone now, but I have not looked on my last couple trips through the canyon.
Another early season option close to denver is the golden park. at low flows you can practice eddy turns and peel outs, and some front surfs on the better waves. another option is the deckers run if the flow is good, but this may be subject to icing as well.
please do not go alone on any of these, especially for your first visit.
I know what you mean. I just got back to the sport after 4 years. I have a new (used) boat and I'm itching to get out. A friend and I were just discussing running below Shoshone while the water is still cold. You won't get into much trouble there, I believe it's 11 miles of class 2 on and off. If you run it, let me know how it goes. I've run Shoshone as a early beginner... not a wise idea just yet.... but below would be a good choice for this time of year.
Poudre should start running in 3-4 weeks. I've enjoyed Filter Plant at 650 or 700 before... good play apparently.... like I know how to playboat....
I just got my new/used boat and have been going to Union Chutes to play the ferry/eddie game it's been runin 20-40 which I guess is nothing but it still flipped me a couple of times it was a cold swim...
Went there today to see what it looked like at 100ish and it kinda made me think, Wow thats alot of water guess I should really learn to roll soon...
A few weeks ago I was out doin some small streches of Deckers & Foxton there is Ice in some places on Foxton but Deckers was clear and kinda fun in my touring boat!!!
Thanks for the offer you might be hearing from me somtime, It is kind of shallow at 20 and you do drag bottom runnin the chutes on some!!! Ive been going to bellow the third drop to pratice turning in and out of the eddies and even got a little surf in but was bouncing the bottom!!!
Denver confluence is a good place to learn when it is at low water, say 100-150 cfs. After you get comfortable catching eddies and peeling out, you can play in the small waves. I found it a good place to get comfortable rolling in rapids, and to get comfortable going down drops upside down if you don't roll fast enough.
rasdoggy- 'nuff respect, bro. It's awesome to see folks in the earlier stages of their boating career get so pumped up about stuff like this.
You should check out Confluence - it will hone your eddy turn skills sharper than Union for sure, and when the water's up, it is the most underrated playspot in the state, despite the water quality. You can learn to surf there pretty easily, and it's never crowded like Golden. I think it's a great beginner playspot. Don't park at the public lot upstream from the Speer overpass - lots of break-ins there. Use the big REI lot next to I-25 on Platte Street.
The Dam Masters are releasing some water out of Chatfield these days but only about 100 CFS. When this gets up to about 300 it would be worth the trip for you to put in at C-470 and boat down to Bowles Avenue through Littleton. There are some drops that will test you but there are some deeper little sections before you get to them where you can practice your roll.
About a 4 foot drop over a rock structure at Mineral Ave. and then 2 sets of boat chutes follow that a bit later. Some of the water inbetween the ramps in those chutes can get tricky so you ought to scout them before you run them. Pull out to the right above the first set to scout.
Thanks everyone for the responses. I think that I will try the Grizzly run of the Colorado by Glenwood Springs in a few weekends. It should be ice free and an "easy" run for a beginner (I hope). If anyone is interested let me know.
A forum community dedicated to whitewater kayaking, boating, and rafting enthusiasts. Come join the discussion about safety, routes, gear, models, styles, gear swaps, reviews, accessories, classifieds, and more!