Mountain Buzz banner
1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We are going to be camping in central Colorado in mid June. What easy family day float trips are recommended? We have an 13 ft raft. Can run as an oar rig, paddle rig, or hybrid as my kids don’t paddle much but like to think they are.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,248 Posts
Central can mean a lot, should have options and If you can identify your camping
locale more might help. Ark, Colorado, Eagle, poudre and platte have sections that would work.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
4,599 Posts
Depending on runoff even "easy flatwater" could be swift and very powerful.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
106 Posts
Normally that's a bad time for easy family floats and a great time for exciting whitewater floats since mid-June is typically still at the height of runoff. You can call local shops and look at historic flows (this past summer is a bad exmaple to use) to see that the rivers all come way up in May and remain until early July on normal years.

You may want to reconsider your timing or plan unless that type of trip is ok.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Normally that's a bad time for easy family floats and a great time for exciting whitewater floats since mid-June is typically still at the height of runoff. You can call local shops and look at historic flows (this past summer is a bad exmaple to use) to see that the rivers all come way up in May and remain until early July on normal years.

You may want to reconsider your timing or plan unless that type of trip is ok.
The trip timing and location are pretty set. Risk averse with the kids along. May have to plan another trip later in a summer or when the kids are bigger.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
634 Posts
Leadville is about 10,00 ft elevation. Most of the nearby water has very high gradient. Expect some snow, in most years you can still cross country ski the Mineral Belt Trail in June.

Depending on where your are coming from you might drive near Kremmiling, CO. The Upper Colorado River is a dam controlled release. They may not release when and where you want, but at least you can predict the flow. Some sections could be considered family friendly even with higher water. Check out the Rancho-Del-Rio to Two Bridges section. Note: annual flow rate varies 458 cfs to over 3,500 cfs. Last year it peaked June 22.

 

·
Sponsoring Vendors
Joined
·
346 Posts
@Daddyscreek, as others have said, you'll want to keep your eye on the river gauges and see how things look closer to your trip. Leadville is about 45 minutes to your closest "family" run on the Arkansas. It's most commonly referred to as the Milk Run. The put in is Wilderness Aware Rafting and the take out is Ruby Mountain. The Milk Run is class II+. Good flows for that section are 500CFS-1300CFS. The next good section for you would be Salida East and below. Almost all of the sections below Salida East have at least 1 class III to navigate. The RiverMaps Guide book has good detail.
Running the Upper Colorado is also an option from Leadville. You will be about 1 hour 25 minutes to State Bridge and an hour and 45 minutes to Pumphouse. Pumphouse to Catamount on the Upper C is about 30 river miles and there are 5 or so put in and take out options. There are two Class III's through out that entire section. The The RiverMaps Upper Colorado guidebook is getting reprinted and should be available mid-March. Good flows for that area would be 500CFS-3000CFS. Rancho Del Rio is a good shuttle option for that area.
Safe travels and I hope it works out for you and the family to get on the water then. If it doesn't work out, definitely plan for it another time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
@Daddyscreek, as others have said, you'll want to keep your eye on the river gauges and see how things look closer to your trip. Leadville is about 45 minutes to your closest "family" run on the Arkansas. It's most commonly referred to as the Milk Run. The put in is Wilderness Aware Rafting and the take out is Ruby Mountain. The Milk Run is class II+. Good flows for that section are 500CFS-1300CFS. The next good section for you would be Salida East and below. Almost all of the sections below Salida East have at least 1 class III to navigate. The RiverMaps Guide book has good detail.
Running the Upper Colorado is also an option from Leadville. You will be about 1 hour 25 minutes to State Bridge and an hour and 45 minutes to Pumphouse. Pumphouse to Catamount on the Upper C is about 30 river miles and there are 5 or so put in and take out options. There are two Class III's through out that entire section. The The RiverMaps Upper Colorado guidebook is getting reprinted and should be available mid-March. Good flows for that area would be 500CFS-3000CFS. Rancho Del Rio is a good shuttle option for that area.
Safe travels and I hope it works out for you and the family to get on the water then. If it doesn't work out, definitely plan for it another time.
Thank you and the others for responding. The advice will be taken this year or in the future.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
We are going to be camping in central Colorado in mid June. What easy family day float trips are recommended? We have an 13 ft raft. Can run as an oar rig, paddle rig, or hybrid as my kids don’t paddle much but like to think they are.
Rancho Del Rio to State Bridge on the Upper Colorado is a good family float at all water levels from 700cfs to 9000cfs. Continue further to twin bridges or catamount if you want. Milk run, as mentioned on the Ark, is not a bad call either.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
A long way from Leadville, but Ruby-Horsethief on the Colorado is always a great family trip. The 25 miles from Loma to Westwater Ranger Station has mostly flat water, some faster but not "rapids" ie Black Rocks at high water. There's awesome scenery, lots of good camps, easy-to-challenging hikes in side canyons or up to tops of cliffs, easy-to-challenging PFD swims from a short or long hike up-river back to camp. The "easy-to challenging" part depends your group's willingness and ability. Wherever you go, be safe and have a great time!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
A long way from Leadville, but Ruby-Horsethief on the Colorado is always a great family trip. The 25 miles from Loma to Westwater Ranger Station has mostly flat water, some faster but not "rapids" ie Black Rocks at high water. There's awesome scenery, lots of good camps, easy-to-challenging hikes in side canyons or up to tops of cliffs, easy-to-challenging PFD swims from a short or long hike up-river back to camp. The "easy-to challenging" part depends your group's willingness and ability. Wherever you go, be safe and have a great time!
That’s not a day trip though. Maybe in June you can haul ass if the water is high enough but Ruby is probably best for at least one overnight.

What about lower browns canyon on the Arkansas, maybe 45-60 min from Leadville. I forget the name of the put-in, but Google maps shows it as 38.5740371, -106.0780701. It’s a 9 mile float into the town of Salida. There is a low head dam on that route but it is heavily marked and a boat chute to get around it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,026 Posts
That would be the Stone Bridge access. One rocky rapid called Squaw Creek just above Big Bend that inexperienced folks can get hung up in, the aforementioned low head dam has a well marked boat chute with three short steep drops, and the man-made play holes in town can be significant at higher levels, people go over all the time in the wave at the town boat ramp. Salida or Salida east to Rincon is a pretty tame section, but Bear Creek Rapid can cause trouble at higher levels. Mid-June is typically the peak flow time (cold water!) and every stretch of the Ark has something that can cause trouble, especially with inexperienced boaters.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top