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Are there any easy park and huck type of (smallish) waterfalls within an hour or so drive of denver? Some friends and I have been wanting to try running some falls but would rather not over-commit ourselves by running something beyond our skill levels.

Thanks
 

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Kevin,

Not at this time of year.In season they might say Coors Falls on the W.fK. of Clear Creek.The gnar of the Big Thompson has some steep drops that might still run but it is at least 5- at the easiest level.If Bear CrK. would ever run No Fun Falls is a series of drops culminating in an 8 ft,apx .drop.At low flows, 100 to 160 ish,it is only 4/4+.I have hucked that dam drop ,8 ft. dam drop at 85 cfs . in a ducky,not recommended especially in a kayak.With 120 it would probably be okay.

Sorry about the comment on the other thread.
 

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Lake Creek and the Cauldron.... Long way to drive imo...

I bet Marco or someone from CKS would know a low water level better than me I dont go up there below 2.6' or below 300 cfs.. They have been bringin over 60 to 90 cfs the last time I looked so if you catch it when they are pumpin there should be enough to park and huck.

Below 3' the cauldron is not even the same rapid and around 100 cfs it is a no brainer. Kinda a double drop but you do get to go vertical... If it is in then brains should be as well and is only a mile up the road.
 

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Go ahead and plan your SLP Mexico trip for T-Giving break -that's the best Class III- park-n-huck in North America and just 30 short hours away....



Count has a bunch of info, and there's always Robey's "******'s Guide"
 

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Definitely hit the CB creeks next spring - 5 hours from Denver, lots of great waterfalls ranging from 5 - 20 feet to paddle and a great place to learn waterfall technique. Start at the upper East - you'll get a short 4+ run with a 10 footer followed by three 5 footers that you can lap.

These are much easier than Lake Creek but a bit farther from Den.
 

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Lake Creek and the Cauldron.... Long way to drive imo...

I bet Marco or someone from CKS would know a low water level better than me I dont go up there below 2.6' or below 300 cfs.. They have been bringin over 60 to 90 cfs the last time I looked so if you catch it when they are pumpin there should be enough to park and huck.

Below 3' the cauldron is not even the same rapid and around 100 cfs it is a no brainer. Kinda a double drop but you do get to go vertical... If it is in then brains should be as well and is only a mile up the road.
2nd for the Cauldron. It goes down very low and is picturesque as hell...lets face the only reason to park and huck is for the photos anyway...."yeah, I practice extreme kayaking..."
 

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Flaco,

- Nice Pic,Micos is badass ,but not the best in NA.Micos has what 7 or 8 drops,Agua Azul has 500 IN 3 miles of river the parking area is right at the bottom of Postcard Falls, about in the middle.The Moho in So. BZ has 60 and most ledges have multiple falls seperated by little islands,total plop n'drop 3/3+ at lower flows[ pictures impending] it isn't park n' huck though .Las Conchas in Guatemala is sort of like Micos w/travertine drops including a 30 ftr.La Paz falls park in Costa Rica?I guess that is expert stuff.
What are the runs ,other than Micos and the Santa Maria,like?Have you done Valles ,Gallinas,or Ojo Frio/Caliente?Any others near there.Doesn't the Alsaseca [ vc] have a lot of non hair vertical stuff?We should coordinate a carpool caravan of Buzzards to Valles
 

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Oh yeah, I've been down there 6 times, starting back in 1996 after seeing an article in Paddler. The furthest south I've driven is Veracruz, one January when it was almost snowing in Valles. Crazy. Didn't get to run the Alseseca because my crew wouldn't nut up- it looks a little busy at the flows we saw it, but pretty manageable. I'm pissed I missed that chance - ended up doing the Upper Filo instead which was a snore. For my money, the variety and less-driving factor of SLP rules out the Veracruz option unless you have 2 or more weeks to travel. I haven't driven to Guatemala or CR, but I can tell you that Veracruz is about as far south as I'd want to drive for kayaking, ever. It's a full day's drive south of Valles (and back). I would not drive through Oaxaca to get to Agua Azul- I'd fly. There's some dangerous roads south of Mexico DF.

Anyway- I was only thinking about Kevin's parameter's of skill level & proximity. IMO- Micos is perfect for waterfall newbies, and 2 days there sets up fun days on the Salto & the Ojo Frio. The Verde is pretty reasonable at medium to low flows, but requires some rope work. And it's not park-n-huck. Valles is totally worth the drive, and would make your first days on the Upper East and other CO waterfall runs a whole lot less stressful.
 

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Ojo Frio is more slidey and has very little that actually hits vert (a few 4-8'ers). Gallinas is generally smaller than Micos (a lot around the 10' range) but provides more opportunity for tougher, stompier lines while still always having an easy sneak. Lots of crazy braiding going on. There's also the Verde and Guayalejo in the area (haven't been to either, yet). I'd be interested to hear about the Caliente.

I don't know of anything running now but you should probably add Crystal Mill Falls and the top stuff on NF Crystal to the list. I second CB, especially the 18'er on OBJ and Big Wood.

COUNT
 

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What are the runs ,other than Micos and the Santa Maria,like?Have you done Valles ,Gallinas,or Ojo Frio/Caliente?
The Gallinas is not park-n-huck but is a good full day trip! (I mean full day, there is a ton of super flat water in there, but it is beautiful) There are two bigger drops on the run that are probably closer to a 4. One can be portaged easily. Plus a really short walk will bring you to Tamul Falls where the river completely drops off 350ft into the Santa Maria.

Ojo Frio is super fun, probably my favorite section of river down there. It is a III at low water and more of a IV at higher water. It is a series of 5 to 10 foot pool drops (I would hate to compare it to Dumont but is similar in the creek size but with a full canopy above you, a few bigger drop offs and travertine instead of blasted road rock. (Not park-n-huck but is a good day trip)

I really want to get back down there and run the Santa Maria!
 

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I don't know of anything running now but you should probably add Crystal Mill Falls and the top stuff on NF Crystal to the list. I second CB, especially the 18'er on OBJ and Big Wood.
COUNT
I think Crystal Mill is kind of tricky - probably not the best beginner waterfall although it is a class 3 approach and class 2 run out. Go for it!?
NFC - best 8 foot boof you could ask for to learn on! Icing and Cake? Maybe a little beyond beginner waterfall terrain.
 

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Are there any easy park and huck type of (smallish) waterfalls within an hour or so drive of denver? Some friends and I have been wanting to try running some falls but would rather not over-commit ourselves by running something beyond our skill levels.
Whiteline on the upper narrows of the poudre at super low flow might fit your description. Its runnable down to .5 or maybe even lower.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for all the replies everyone. I will keep an eye out for all of these places in the spring when they start flowing again and I'll also see if I can't get out to a couple of the spots you've recommended to hit at low flow.
 

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Thanx Count and Cu k girl.Count I wasn't sure if it was Ojo Frio or Ojo Caliente.There is a Caliente near Copan,Honduras that is actual hot water whitewater, has steam coming off of it, and the picture i saw it looked pretty tough.

Flaco ,You don't pass thru Oaxaca it is all Veracruz and Tobasco and a little in Chiapas.So. Veracruz could be sketchy at night. The problems in Chiapas are west of Palenque /Agua Azul but not by much.Driving that far would eat up some time.
Upr. Filo was no good huh,I always wanted to do the ruins run,heard it was 3+ ish,thought the Upr. was a little harder run for the next day with something about an adventurous trip to the put in.
 

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Ojo Frio and Dumont???

Why on earth did I drive 30 hours when I've got my own little O.F. right here in CO?
 
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