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Boulder Creek River Guide
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River Guide

Boulder Creek: Town Section Slalom course


Boulder Creek Length of Trip: Up to 5 miles
Gradient: 130ft/mile max, to 25ft/mile
Difficulty: Class II-III at 200-500 CFS
High Water Flows: May-July
Flow: Call Watertalk @ 831-7135, Division 1, Station 9 for current river levels, in Boulder Canyon or Division 1, Station 8 for flows east of town at 75th. Please note that a great deal of water diversion occurs along the creek, so the run through town may not have the water reported by the flow phone. Water releases on the creek are controlled by computers, so river flows can change dramatically, even while you are on the river.
Scenery: B The city of Boulder has built a linear park through town along the creek. There is a pedestrian path and a bike path that a great deal of people use. The stream bed has also been altered by the city of Boulder, so the entire run is man-made.
Put-In: At or just upstream of Eben G Fine Park, at the mouth of Boulder Canyon where Arapahoe and Canyon meet. Take-Out: Anywhere along the Boulder Creek Corridor that is city owned. Many boaters use the take-out near Jose Muldoons restaurant on the corner of Arapahoe and 38th. From the river, the take-out is on river left, just under the Arapahoe bridge. Additional common take-outs are at the Valmont bridge and at the 75th bridge. Between Valmont and 75th is a dam without a boat chute, please portage. Beyond 75th is private property where people dislike boaters.
Please take-out at 75th.

Description: At the lower flows, this run is a technical run with lots of rocks and eddies. At higher flows, 400+, there are waves, small nasty man-made holes and faster water. As you head east through town, the river gets easier, with less rocks and waves. When the creek goes under Arapahoe for the second time the river turns into a class I-II run. This run is great for accomplished novices and up, but please keep in mind that the creek is not very deep, with fast water, which will abuse beginners when they flip. Please start beginner boaters on easier/deeper water. The creek lacks good shore eddies for novices, especially for rescues, boaters can scout the entire run from the bike path before running. At the mouth of the canyon, under Araphoe at its junction with canyon there is a slalom course which can be boated any time the creek is free of ice. The stream bed has been altered to allow boating at extremely low flows. This section is mostly class II with one class III in the middle and a class III rodeo hole almost under the Arapahoe bridge and one class III under the pedestrian bridge just below the race course. The slalom course is open to all and has some fun, sticky hole playing. At the bottom of the slalom course is a great rodeo hole. With very little water you can go throw ends. The less aggressive paddlers can put-in at the bottom of Eben G Fine Park. The dams in town now have boat chutes around them with signs marking which side of the river to run, please watch for them. Between Foothills Parkway and 55th street is an area known as Cottonwood Farm. This is owned by the city and access is restricted to preserve the flora and fauna. Please stay on the creek through this area.

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