Daisy Creek - 01. 40' Waterfall to confluence with Slate River

Daisy Creek, Colorado, US


01. 40' Waterfall to confluence with Slate River

Usual Difficulty V (for normal flows)
Length 1 Miles
Avg. Gradient 290 fpm
Max Gradient 290 fpm

Timmy Kaetz on Big Woody Falls

Timmy Kaetz on Big Woody Falls
Photo by Meredith Casciato taken 06/29/17

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
usgs-385106106571000 500 - 2500 cfs V 65d07h45m ~ 25.6 cfs (too low)

River Description

Easier that OBJ, but steeper than the Slate or East rivers, Daisy Creek is fun as hell!

Ed Hanson's Web Gallery has some great shots of Big Wood Falls and Rip Your Head Off.

The Quadruple Crown: Because of the short length and proximity of the Crested Butte creeks, all four of them can be run in the same day. The East River is the best to start out with; it has the largest flow and the least gradient of the four. Next in line is Daisy Creek. Just continue downstream after Daisy to the confluence with the Slate River; there will be about 1/2 mile of slack water until the first rapid. The takeout for the Slate River is the same as Oh Be Joyful Creek, so just walk up to the OBJ put-in from there.

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2018-06-25 20:25:30

Rapid Summary

Mile Rapid Name Class Features (Legend)
0.1First series of slides5.0Putin Hazard Waterfall
0.5Big Woody Falls5.0Hazard Waterfall Photo
0.8Rip Your Head Off5.0Takeout Hazard Waterfall Photo

Rapid Descriptions

First series of slides (Class 5.0, Mile 0.1)
Put-in below the 40' waterfall and the logjam just below it. This is an easy series of slides, but be aware that a one has a bad piton and strainers are everywhere.

Big Woody Falls (Class 5.0, Mile 0.5)

Matt Haughee on Big Woody Falls

Matt Haughee on Big Woody Falls
Photo by Josh King taken 06/29/17

***This waterfall significantly changed in 2011***

Pre-2011 there was a log jam extended 3/4 across the river, and the right line was the safest line. In 2011 the log jam washed away, causing the waterfall to increase from 15' to 20' and revealing a shallow shelf on river right.  

The new line is left of center. Aim to brush the pine tree branch on your left shoulder as you're going over - if you're too far left you'll land in the eddy pool and if you're too far right you'll land on the right shelf. Many people have injured their backs from landing on the shelf or by boofing too hard. This waterfall has an easy lead-in, but can be very consequential if done wrong.

- Beta for this rapid was contributed to by the Crested Butte boating community 

Rip Your Head Off (Class 5.0, Mile 0.8)

Rip Your Head Off

Rip Your Head Off
Photo of Rip Your Head Off Falls by Ed Hanson taken 06/01

This one sneaks up on you. After Big Wood Falls the gradient eases off and things appear to be mellowing out, and then the bottom drops out from under you on a blind corner. The bottom cascade in this rapid has an hourglass constriction that has jagged rocks on the left side. You can boat it straight down the gut and just keep your hands and paddle to the right. Takeout right away downstream if you're not planning on running the Slate River.

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Associated Projects

  • Forest Planning (CO)
    AW is involved in a number of different Forest Planning efforts in Colorado, working directly with the public and the United States Forest Service to secure better protections for rivers.