Creek: Town Section Slalom course
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.
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.