Arkansas, Colorado, US
02. Granite to Numbers Launch Site (Pinecreek)
||IV-V (for normal flows)
Pine Creek Canyon
Pine Creek CanyonPhoto of Pine Creek Rapid at 800 cfs by Brad Goettemoeller (www.allaboutrivers.com) @ 800 cfs
Pine Creek through the #' put in is the classic "old school" class V. Not to be taken lightly but
not featured in the latest sick bird video. It is the steepest section of the Ark and is fun at
pretty much every level. At the normal middle range of flows (1200cfs-2000cfs approx) it is the
most challenging. The run gets very defined with the crux s-bend move becoming tight. At these
levels the s-bend hole is sticky and will punish you. Although since the advent of play boats I
have noticed that it seems less severe than when it used to eat Freefalls and other big bouncy
boats. Pine Creek rapid proper is generally described in three sections. 1. The entrance: The top
of the rapid is fast and pushy but not super demanding. 2. The s-bend: The s-bend move is tough,
you need to make a move to the left or right to avoid a big hole it is moving really fast and many
people don't know whats coming by the time they are on top of the hole. Swims here can be rough so
if you don't like the looks of it put in below the hole in the first good eddy. The classic move is
to the left but I have always thought the right run was a safer bet. 3. Triple Drop: Below the
s-bend there is a short lull (100ft.) and then you are into the triple drop. This seciton is super
fun and fast. Run the triple drop up the middle and hang on!
Below the triple drop the river goes into some fun class IV rapids. There is great play through
here. At the second rapid you come to after the river mellows below Pine Creek, there is a huge
granite boulder in the middle of the river that pinches the main flow between a smaller boulder on
the left. This makes a great cartwheel spot at flows between 800cfs and about 1500cfs.
The thing to remember about this run is although it is not super hard by new school standards it
has severe consequneces. Kayakers have died here because people swim out of the s-bend hole, stay
with their gear, and end up drowning. Remember it is only plastic so let it go and get out of the
river! Pine Creek is really cold and continous.
To Get There:
Highway 24 parallels the run on river right although you can only see the
river in a couple places. Put in at the small town of Granite at Hwy 24 mile 193.8 where County
Road 397 crosses the river to an access on river left. There is an alternate access a couple miles
downstream below the broken up dam that is used as a put-in particularly when flows are low. This
access is reached from Hwy 24 mile 195.7 where you turn onto the dirt road headed upstream to an
access site below the dam that still puts you upstream of Pine Creek rapid. If you're just doing a
short run you can take-out at the Numbers access. At Hwy 24 mile 199.9 head down towards the river
and before crossing Scott's Bridge turn left headed upstream. It's a mile up this dirt road to the
Numbers access site. Alternatively, most folks just continue on downstream and run the Numbers
and take-out after #5 or at the
Railroad Bridge access.
See Colorado Rivers and Creeks II
, by Banks and Eckardt (The Bible)
, for info on this
and most of the other kewl runs of Colorado.
Lat/longitude coords are approximate, from TopoZone.
See also Pinecreek (Class
The Numbers (Class IV),
Fractions/ Frogrock/ Milkrun
Buena Vista (Class III),
Browns Canyon (Class III),
Salida (Class III),
Rincon (Class III),
Pinnacle Rock (Class III),
Royal Gorge (Class III/IV).
StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2009-02-12 18:08:31