Taylor River , Colorado, US
|Usual Difficulty||I-III (for normal flows)|
|Avg. Gradient||60 fpm|
|TAYLOR RIVER AT TAYLOR PARK, CO.|
|usgs-09107000||500 - 1000 cfs||I-III||13d17h35m||41.9 cfs (too low)|
High alpine, scenic stretch of river that provides quality rapids above 500 cfs!
Roughly one hour from Almont to the put in. From Almont, take CR 742 (Taylor Canyon Road) NorthEast to Taylor Park Reservoir. Keep driving on CR 742 until you pass Pieplant Ranch on your right and CR 742.8 on your left (~3 miles upstream of Rivers End Campground). From the take out parking lot, the put in is another 4 miles upstream. After 4 miles, take a left on CR 748 and park near the CR 748 bridge. This is the core river stretch; alternatively, you can paddle all the way from Dorchester Campground to Taylor Park Reservoir, however the upstream portion is very flat and meandery and the downstream stretch has some manmade obstacles to avoid (i.e., low bridges and barbed wire).
Some years it reaches boatable flows before the road opens at the end of the reservoir, but most years it doesn't start running until late April or early May, and in decent water years it can run well into July. During most years, you'll find boatable flos between May and June.
Rapids and Character
"Although we initially started putting on just above the Taylor Cataracts, we later discovered that putting on at the Rocky Brook Road [CR 748] gave us a nice 15 minute flatwater warm up. Once the rapids begin, the biggest single drop of the run, the Cataracts of the Upper Taylor, comes up quick. this is an easy affair, with easy lines to follow, and some bigger holes to splash through or rocks to bounce off if you are on line. Staying in the main current and making small alterations will get a strong class II boater through here. The rapid peters out as it goes around the corner. The next half mile is fairly junky at flows under 450 cfs and above 500 it starts to clean up and become a super fun class III- wonderland. The rapids clean up a bit and stay nice and consistent as you near Dinner Station Campground. There is a small riverwide ledge in here that you usually go through without noticing." - Kit Davidson
Once it hits 500 it's boatable, and once it gets over 800, it's really nice. Flows above 1000 cfs are rare, but have been paddled are known to be a blast. There is no known maximum flow.
The majority of this run is located on Public Land, however the river runs through various private properties before the river flows into Taylor Park Reservoir. There have been multiple barbed wire fences and low bridges encountered between Pie Plant Creek and the Reservoir. The Take Out listed here should avoid any obstacles, but please be aware and know before you go. If you are unsure of the status of the access, you can play it safe by taking out at Dinner Station Campground.
No permit required.
AW Comments on Colorado Nat'l Forest Wilderness Process
September 5, 2018