Saint Vrain Creek, North, Colorado, US
|Usual Difficulty||III (for normal flows)|
|Avg. Gradient||56 fpm|
|Max Gradient||87 fpm|
|NORTH SAINT VRAIN CREEK BELOW BUTTONROCK (RA...|
|codwr-NSVBBRCO0||150 - 400 cfs||III||00h26m||25 cfs (too low)|
Colorado front range experienced huge floods in September 2013 and resulted in massive changes to many rivers. In some places the roads were washed out. The restoration efforts took years. On the St Vrain there are massive changes to the riverbed on the lower sections. It's probably prudent to be prepared for effects of major flooding on the lower reaches of the upper runs.
"Shelly's Cottages" starts after the Middle North Saint Vrain and is a Class III+ creek run with one Class IV drop that has a lateral wave . The put-in is about 1 mile up CR 80 where the road departs from the river. CR 80 is about 4 miles away from Lyons on Rt 36 going towards Estes Park. The first rapid III+ is hard to enter since the No Trespassing signs start in the middle of the rapid. About 1 /2 mile below is a fun boulder garden rapid with Class III+ moves. From there is boogy water for another 1/2 mile to the Class IV lateral wave drop. Afterwards is Class III water that has some play. The takeout is at the wooden arched Apple Valley Bridge, which is about 1/2 mile downstream of the water diversion dam which has boat ramp on the right side. Minimum levels are about 200 cfs.
- Submitted by Arn Hayden
To Get There: The uppermost put-in is on CR80 at the MNSV takeout. If CR80 leaves the river you have gone too far. Apple Valley Bridge is obvious from Hwy 36 and is about 3 miles outside of Lyons. To get to the Lyons Whitewater Park is head south on Hwy 7 (left at main intersection) and go about 50 yards before turning right on Park Dr, if you cross the creek you've gone too far. The Black Bear Hole is located across the street from the Black Bear Inn on the main drag in Lyons.
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.