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My parents have recently made resevervations to stay in salida over fibark (Father's Day) I have not run the ark (but have been guiding for 5+ years) I was wondering what is a good stretch that would be both convenient and safe for me to take them on!
 

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There are about 100 miles of convenient access from granite to canon city, Salida is basically the mid point. Skill and comfort levels determine which stretches you run. Above Salida pine creek, numbers/fractions, Browns, and a couple diversion dams generally make it a little more difficult than the stretches below, Royal Gorge notwithstanding. Tons of options.
 

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that answer seems vague.

Try Big Bend -> Salida East. Or add a few more miles and go Stone Bridge -> Salida East. Only a few straightforward rapids (and the Salida WW Park also) and generally very, very east. Salida East -> Rincon is nice, just be ready for Bear Creek Rapid, it's a step above the rest of the (easy) stretch. Lots of miles from Rincon down to Cottonwood Rapid. Then pretty easy with only a few random rapids here and there until Pinnacle Rock.

Upstream the Milk Run (JV -> Fish. Bridge) is pretty durn straightforward. Lots of rapids between Granite and BV, including the big boy Pine Creek and the easier but technical Numbers. Closer to Leadville the Kobe Ranch -> Granite is low flow but a nice float.....

I would probably say any combo through Stone Bridge -> Rincon is a very good place to start. Could put in at Hecla but do be aware of Seidel's Suckhole, it's a big drop. Outside of this it's pretty easy down to Stone Bridge.

Good luck, hope the fam enjoys it!
 

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Start with Big Bend to Salida east. There is a low head damn about 3-4 miles below the put in. You must go river left @ the damn (spill way). People have died there over the past few years. You will run right through Fibark. That time of year will be HIGH WATER. Salida East to Rincon is the next step up. Bear Creek rapid is a class 3 at high water. It is 3/4 mile below the put in. You can scout it from the road when doing shuttle. Be safe and see ya on the river.
 

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My parents have recently made resevervations to stay in salida over fibark ... I was wondering what is a good stretch that would be both convenient and safe for me to take them on!
A lot of that's going to depend on the water levels and what you think your folks will be up for. Also to consider is what you want to present in terms of risk in the event something goes wrong on a rapid you've never run before. There are lots of good runs where you're just floating down enjoying snow capped peaks and sunshine, others could have them getting drenched by bucketfulls of icewater, or a long, cold swim if you make the wrong move.

After guiding for 5 years you may be up for Brown's or the Numbers but don't let what you want to run influence where you take the parents. If they're athletic, on the younger side and adventurous, Brown's or Parkdale may be the ticket, if not, then Big Bend or Stone Bridge to Salida may be plenty. During Fibark the Ark's going to be rocking and you'll be able to find real action on any of the Class III rapids, and some of the Class II rapids will have water coming over the bow.

have a great time!

-AH
 

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I think you will enjoy this option the most

Browns Canyon.
There are more than a dozen great stretches of water on the Arkansas River between Granite and Pueblo, but you and your parents will enjoy floating Browns Canyon the most. If you have been guiding class III or above for the last five years you will all have a great time. It is a classic stretch and completely parent friendly.
Put-in at Fisherman's Bridge and take-out at either Heckla or if you want to go a little bit bigger float to Stone Bridge. Scout Zoom Flume (third rapid in canyon with a very noticeable horizon line) and Sidel's Suckhole ( first rapid about a mile below Heckla) if you go that far. Everything else should be fairly easy to read and run, it's all class III except Sidel's if the river is running above 1500 cfs. When in doubt, give it a scout. You can scout everything from the tracks on river left.
Fun rapids with low consequence, beautiful rock formations, great lunch spots, and big pools after each rapid to retrieve your parents when they fall out. After all, it is nearly impossible for a commercial guide to take his/her parents on the river without having some carnage, so be ready and take plenty of pictures . Just imagine the look on mom's face and the memories you will have forever.
 
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