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Discussion Starter #1
I'm hoping to do a rafting-skiing road trip over spring break (mid-March) and was hoping for some suggestions of destinations that have respectable flows in early spring. I've got a mini-max so I am equally stoked to do creek boating or big river floats. I live in Colorado so I am only thinking rivers in the west.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the suggestions. The constraints are a week long break, the desire to boat and ski, and that we will probably R2. As great as float trips are in the winter (solitude) this would be preferably a bunch of whitewater day floats interspersed with ski runs. Multiday flat water R2ing in a 10ft boat wearing drysuits kinda sucks so PNW creeking might be better for our adrenaline needs. The only reluctance to PNW is the drive from the Front Range but we are considering it.
 

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El Nino is forecast, watch Arizona. Feb/March are primetime and there is excellent whitewater down there. I would base out of either Sedona or Payson. Buy Tyler Williams Arizona Paddling.
 

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Hells Canyon. 2-5 days.

Also various runs on the rio grande in big bend np like the Santa Elena canyon. Lots of different, stunning, short or long trips around there. No skiing though. life's a bitch.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks Vandy, it seems you think like I do. Looks like we'll be heading to Oregon in March unless anyone knows of a secret state that has a variety of spring skiing and whitewater in proximity closer to Colorado. Time to get a drysuit.
 

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Head to the northern part of Oregon!

skiing = Mt Hood
class 4ish creeking = Upper Wind, Middle White Salmon, Canyon Creek, EFL

- also if the timing works, you'll be around for the upper wind race, which happens in march, and is a giant kayaker/rafter party

Klamath, Illinois, and Rogue are good, but definitely more river rafting than creeking. In a 10fter you should be good for waterfalls.
 
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Check out the boating around Auburn and Grass Valley CA. Yuba, American, Consumes and drainages all have great winter boating with the right storms and snow levels. Study up at dreamflows.com and contact Sierra outdoor center for beta and people to boat with. Skiing at Tahoe and south are good options. Long drive but worth the trek and a little closer than going to PNW.
 

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Is it just me, or does this sound like a bad idea. Granted I've never boated in the winter in the Rockies or PNW, but where I do boat in the winter (which is often and on the east coast where rivers only freeze over if its really been crazy cold) you DO NOT want to swim, you ONLY boat water that you know, and are VERY comfortable and confident that you'll smooth it. I know if you came out to Western MD and wanted to run the top yough in your raft you'd receive similar advice, honestly I'm surprised I'm the first person to voice these concerns.

Anyway enjoy your vacation.
 

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That's why I suggested AZ, warmer temps, but other than the Salt,Verde and Gila the whitewater is much more suited to creek boats. Arizona Snowbowl pretty much sucks unless its a big snow year, then the mountain is good with decent backcountry options. Mountain biking is phenomenal...something nice about being able to camp out of a tent any month of the year...biggest issue is unpredictability of moisture.
 

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Is it just me, or does this sound like a bad idea. Granted I've never boated in the winter in the Rockies or PNW, but where I do boat in the winter (which is often and on the east coast where rivers only freeze over if its really been crazy cold) you DO NOT want to swim, you ONLY boat water that you know, and are VERY comfortable and confident that you'll smooth it. I know if you came out to Western MD and wanted to run the top yough in your raft you'd receive similar advice, honestly I'm surprised I'm the first person to voice these concerns.

Anyway enjoy your vacation.
If you want to boat in PNW, it's most likely going to be cold- when it's warm out, there is no water. I do new/hard runs all the time with snow on the ground (drysuit all the way).

He said they were down for creeking and also willing to buy drysuits if they came up to PNW, which I take to mean they aren't class 2 heros and understand that the water is gonna be super chilly. Of course they should grab a guidebook and read descriptions of all these runs...
 

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Agree- they live in CO, so an excuse to buy drysuits lengthens their season (or the safety of it) anyway. Lots of stuff in the west that never runs when its warm. I find it easier to dress for 40 degree and colder water when its cold out than when its a nice 65 or 70 degree day in the spring, because you can dress for the water and sweat less.


If you want to boat in PNW, it's most likely going to be cold- when it's warm out, there is no water. I do new/hard runs all the time with snow on the ground (drysuit all the way).

He said they were down for creeking and also willing to buy drysuits if they came up to PNW, which I take to mean they aren't class 2 heros and understand that the water is gonna be super chilly. Of course they should grab a guidebook and read descriptions of all these runs...
 
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