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I've been paddling for almost a year now and have a solid roll that has been used in combat many times. So far I've paddled the Lower Blue, Pumphouse, Foxton, Waterton, Brown's Canyon, and Deckers and this season im looking to get into Class IV water. I'm looking for suggestions on what class IV-/IV runs in CO are good for someone in my situation looking to up their game? I know the upper part of Foxton has some IV character, but I'd like to know if there are other good runs.
 

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I've been paddling for almost a year now and have a solid roll that has been used in combat many times. So far I've paddled the Lower Blue, Pumphouse, Foxton, Waterton, Brown's Canyon, and Deckers and this season im looking to get into Class IV water. I'm looking for suggestions on what class IV-/IV runs in CO are good for someone in my situation looking to up their game? I know the upper part of Foxton has some IV character, but I'd like to know if there are other good runs.
If you're in Fort Collins, some of the best class IV in the state is in your backyard on the Poudre - Upper Mish, Pineview, and Middle Narrows are all awesome runs.
 

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Are you in Fort Collins? Steven's Down on the Poudre is a great step up in difficulty and quality from the run's you've listed. Rustic on the Poudre is another fun run when the water is up that should be right up your alley.

When the water comes down Middle Narrows is great class IV boating, but a little harder than the runs you've listed.

Outside the Poudre there are a ton of other options - (Ark, Eagle, Colorado, north Platte, etc) in the III/IV range that you should be able to keep busy all summer. There really are too many to list - buy whitewater of the southern rockies and dream of road trips.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
the_dude
Thanks for those suggestions. Are any of those more better than the others though for someone trying to get into class IV water? Im looking for something with more class IV- character than solid IV
 

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Dude nailed it, Steven's down is a great long run and only misses the middle narrows. Good class ~IV options also on the Ark, Upper Blue, and Clear Creek. Lot's of good options when there is water. Used to be Numbers on the Ark was the "quintessential class IV" in the state. RiverBrain is a cool resource to filter by rating, and the guide books are the best bet for the fullest list.

Hitting up Steven's down from low flow on I think is a great place to start.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks kayakfreakus and BrianK. I will definitely try to get to Steven's Down before I leave for the Ark. I am up here in Fort Collins, im just now waiting for the water to rise.
 

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Thanks kayakfreakus and BrianK. I will definitely try to get to Steven's Down before I leave for the Ark. I am up here in Fort Collins, im just now waiting for the water to rise.
Middle Narrows is a proper step up from both Poudre Park and Upper Mish. Warm up on bridges when the water's high enough to boat, then head up to Steven's and boat all the way to BTO from now (or whenever it's high enough to boat) until high water. You get to feel the river change character as it rises, and you'll be forced to up your game.

BTW - Poudre > Ark
 

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Personally I only thought Upper Mish, and Pineview had class 4 character, the rest was read and run 3-3+. Ive only ran it twice, 3'-3.5'... I would suggest in addition running Granite through Pine Creek and Numbers at 800-1200, then look at Bailey with portages, Crystal Narrows, Slaughterhouse, Barrel Springs minus upper and lower death, Piedra, Dowd Chute, Lower South Boulder and Alto Alto...

If your not familiar with these runs you might consider running a little bigger variety of class 3 and biting off a little at a time.
 

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Dumont to Golden...low flows for BR if you want a marathon of IV water.
Oof. Can't agree with this advice. If Black Rock is IV- there isn't enough water for the in-between stuff to be much fun. And if you're not banging through the in-between stuff, Black Rock isn't IV-. Other sections of Clear Creek are decent class IV training grounds though, assuming you can stay in your boat.
 

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It's been a few years since I've done it, but the section below Black Rock seemed to be a fun 3+/4 kind of run if my memory is correct.
 

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If it's possible I'd suggest getting on class IV when the water is lower and following the water all the way up. The Poudre and Arkansas Rivers are good ones.

For example run the ark as much as you can at 500ish, 700ish, 1000, etc.
 

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If you're just looking for a good training run and you're in Ft. Collins, it's all about the Poudre.

If you're looking for variety, I'll throw another one out there - Alto Alto on South Boulder Creek. It's much maligned by some people, but it's got a couple really fun class IV- rapids and lots of class III. It's scenic, just bring your pogies. When I was trying to graduate to class IV, I loved it. It gives you more of a creeking class IV feel too, compared to the Poudre or the Ark (even though the latter two rivers are certainly better quality IV).
 

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Personally I only thought Upper Mish, and Pineview had class 4 character, the rest was read and run 3-3+.
Mish falls and Pineview are the only two IV's I'm pretty sure. Most of Steven's down is III-III+. 3 way can be tough in a raft, but in a kayak it's pretty easy (unless it's really high, then it turns into a big nearly river wide hole).

If I had to put the sections of the Poudre in order of difficulty, it'd look something like this:

Filter plant II
Lower Mish III
Upper Rustic III
Bridges III
Poudre Park III (Pineview IV, but you can take out before it or walk it)
Lower Rustic III+
Upper Mish III-III+ (Mish falls IV, but can take out above it or walk it)
Middle narrows (IV+)
Lower narrows (V)
Uppper narrows (V) <- I've never done it

Pineview is easy to do laps on, and if you start at low water and keep running it as it comes up that would be a pretty forgiving way to up your game.
 

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If anyone's interested I think I'm heading down to run laps on Pine creek/Numbers this weekend (4/18-19). Low flow but good early season water. Not sure if I'll make a day trip or overnight.

Nikos
9seven0 two55 one1 86
 
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