It is definitely a notch less intense. The raft guiding companies in the Gorge boost it's rating to gain commercial publicity. Watch out for rebar in case of a swim, and Sunshine should be scouted due to its length. Everything else can be read and run. It's usually got more water and has some big pushy hydraulcs in there.
Also, it may not appear totally obvious from above, but Clark's Hole at the bottom of Sledgehammer can be pretty bad -- you need to be river-left at the bottom of Sledge to avoid it.
In general, though -- yeah, the Numbers is much harder than the Gorge.
The plus for the Gorge, though, is that it's really fun (IMHO) at 325-350 cfs, and it will have that much water pretty much all year. Great fun for September-November boating.
I just ran Royal Gorge yesterday at 750 cfs. There were lots of nice play waves. One or two of them were epic. We played and played till we were whipped. At the end, we had to just float through a bunch more good play spots since we ran out of day light.
Yes, nothing was very hard, but Sunshine had a nice hole that would make you do a few back loops before spitting you out and I discovered that sledgehammer deserves its reputation. Both holes are easily avoidable, if you want to do a cautious run.
A nice thing about the run is the fast food options in Canon City when you pull out at 9pm.
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