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Current Water Conditions & Age Minimums

As of 9/12/2019

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Current Water Conditions & Age Minimums

Current as of 9/12/2019

Key:
LOW  RUNNING  HIGH

Clear Creek Water Conditions & Trip Age Restrictions

Clear Creek is a fast moving narrow “creek” along highway 70. However, during most of your trip you won’t know that you are right off the highway because in the river valley you are surrounded by the beautiful national forest. Gold Rush is a class III rafting trip that lasts about 1/3 of a day. This is a great trip for families and those looking to enjoy whitewater and paddling but don’t want to take on large challenging waves. Upper Clear Creek is the class IV section of river that is great for those groups who want to work together and paddle hard through some large splashy waves. Lower Canyon is the class V section of clear creek that moves very fast through large waves. We recommend this trip for those looking to paddle long and hard.

  • CFS: 80 – CLOSED
  • Age Restrictions:
    • Gold Rush – Class III (beginner): CLOSED
    • Upper Clear Creek – Class IV: CLOSED
    • Lower Canyon – Class V: CLOSED

 

Arkansas River Water Conditions & Trip Age Restrictions

There is a reason that the Arkansas River near Buena Vista is the most commercially rafting river in the United States. This wide river valley is surrounded by 14,000 foot peaks, beautiful granite rocks, and incredible rapids. Browns Canyon offers whitewater rafting that is great for families who want to take in the views of the national park along with paddling through class III rapids. The numbers is a solid class IV trip where you should expect to paddle hard throughout your time on the river. Pine Creek is a section of river that drops in elevation quickly and pushes you through solid class IV rapids. *Expect portages to be involved in this stretch of rafting for the near future. It will be necessary to get out of water and carry raft for small distances occasionally.

  • CFS: 432
  • Age Restrictions:
    • Browns Canyon 3/4 Day and Full Day – Class III: 7+ years – OPEN
    • Numbers: CLOSED
    • Pine Creek: CLOSED

 

Colorado River Water Conditions & Trip Age Restrictions

On this rafting trip you will experience a float into the canyon, high volume, splashy, fairly exciting class two rapids with one easy class three. These features last about 30-45 minutes of the trip and are all in the canyon. These features are currently appropriate for children over 30lbs. After the canyon you will have a beautiful float to the take out. Often the most exciting part for folks is the 30′ jump rock. To make this trip more challenging, try the stand up paddle boards and inflatable kayaks.

  • CFS: 1500
  • Age Restrictions:
    • Half & Full Day: All Ages (at least 30 lbs.) – OPEN
    • Overnights: 5+ years – OPEN
    • SUPs & Inflatable Kayaks – OPEN

 

Blue River Water Conditions & Trip Age Restrictions

The Blue River is a beautiful river that runs north of Breckenridge and offers great whitewater in the heart of Summit County. This river offers spectacular views of the surrounding peaks and gore range. The Blue River Express is a great trip for those looking to get a little wet and paddle through some class III rapids. This is a quick trip that lasts about 1/3 of a day, so you will have plenty of time to pair it with another activity!

  • CFS: 97 – CLOSED
  • Age Restrictions:
    • Blue River Express: 5+ years – CLOSED

 

Read our Safety Tips for Whitewater Rafting Here

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Weekly Water Update

Subscribe to our YouTube channel for weekly water updates, and see the latest water update video below.

 

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Glossary of Terms

  • CFS: cubic feet per second. The calculation for CFS is river width x depth x speed (flow and gradient). Each river has a number of sections where readings for the CFS are taken, and 1 section of a river may have a different CFS than another section of the same river. Every river is different, so what may be a high CFS on one river might be completely normal on another. Check out the latest CFS for Colorado’s Rivers, as well as a whether it’s running low, high or runnable, on Mountain Buzz.
  • Snowpack: Snowpack is the measurement of snow that is compared over previous years. Many of Colorado’s rivers rely on the winter’s snow for water, which is why we talk about snowpack pretty often when we are talking about water levels. Check out Colorado’s snowpack on from the Natural Resources Conservation Service.
  • Gradient: The steepness of the river bed. Expressed in feet/mile.
  • Hydraulics: Water that is circulating over top of itself. Can often result in holes and breaking waves.
  • Holes: Water flowing over a rock or other obstruction that creates a void that circulates water rather than allowing it to flow downstream.
  • Rapids: Water that is flowing over an obstruction that leads to breaking waves. Rapids are typically formed by rocks below the surface of the water.
  • Eddies: Sections of still water next to shore that are used by raft guides to pull over and take breaks.
  • Strainer: A pile of sticks, branches and debris that have created an obstruction that only allows small items and limited amounts of water to pass through.
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