Difficulty IV at this flow (IV normally)
Length 5.98 Miles
Gauge ARKANSAS RIVER BELOW GRANITE, CO
Flow Range 300 - 3500 CFS
Flow Rate as of: 9 hours ago 1880 [CFS]
Reach Info Last Updated 05/24/2019 6:47 am

River Description


The Numbers is widely considered just about the best Class IV run in the state of Colorado. At low levels, the river channelizes and is fun IV- down to about 300cfs for playboaters. At about 1000cfs the rapids graduate to IV proper, and over 2200cfs they take on a IV+ character.
 
There are six major Class IV rapids creatively named number 1 through 6, although most takeout shortly after #5. Rapid #1 is the most technical, but #4 and #5 generally have the most carnage. Above 3000cfs, the run takes on a big water character, massive holes abound. At these levels, a powerful 8-foot surfing wave forms at the base of rapid #1.5.
 
Much of the land on either side of the river is private property, so scouting is most likely illegal. Do what you have to do to be safe. As noted above, most people take out just after #5 where there is an abundance of unofficial takeouts. If the water level is medium to high, consider making the most of a short run and takeout below #6 at the railroad trestle.

Elevations: The river at the launch area is about 8,640 feet, while the take out at the railroad trestle is about 8,247 feet. 

Other Information Sources:
Colorado Rivers and Creeks II, by Banks and Eckardt (The Bible)

See also
Pinecreek (Class IV/V),
The Numbers (Class IV),
Fractions/ Frogrock/ Milkrun (Class III),
Buena Vista (Class III),
Browns Canyon (Class III),
Salida (Class III),
Rincon (Class III),
Pinnacle Rock (Class III),
Royal Gorge (Class III/IV).

Rapid Descriptions

Numbers Launch Area

Class - N/A Mile - 0
Pay a state park fee to park and launch here. State Parks manages this location, but access was acquired with the efforts of American Whitewater. 

#1

Class - IV Mile - 1.3
Rapid Thumbnail Missing
This rapid has a lot of lines and fun eddies. Enter left-of-center or right-of-center. Pick your adventure while dodging rocks and holes.

Scott's Bridge

Class - N/A Mile - 1.37
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

#1.5

Class - III Mile - 1.4

Changes with the flow.

#2

Class - IV Mile - 1.92
At 2300 - 2500cfs, enter in river-center and follow the flow down the middle.

#3

Class - IV Mile - 2.09
Rapid Thumbnail Missing
This rapid has a meaningful hole in the top middle at ~2400cfs. There was a narrow, smooth line down the left and a more extensive smooth line down the right, but had to cut back left at the bottom (after passing the hole) to miss a rock. Just go right or left to avoid the top center hole and read-and-run from there.

#4

Class - IV Mile - 2.5
Run center left to avoid the meat of the wave holes just to the left. Stay away from the diversion channel halfway down on the river-right bank, and a pour-over rock (pour-over @ 2300cfs, probably sticking out of the water at lower water level) on river left. Don't get complacent when you are done with the rapid as there were a few holes in the bottom left of the runout of the rapid.

You can scout #4 from the river-left bank.  There is a dirt road close to this rapid, and you can drive up to see it before putting on the river or get out above the rapid.

371 Bridge

Class - N/A Mile - 2.8

#5

Class - IV Mile - 2.9
This rapid follows immediately after a bridge. The river makes an S turn, right then left. There is a private house on river left, so you can't scout. There are some good eddy's on the river right bank near the entrance tongue just passed the bridge so you can take a break and evaluate your line.

Either punch the hole right down the middle (it's pretty forgiving at most flows). Alternatively, at levels >= 1000cfs, catch the eddy just behind the rock at the top of the rapid. It's a fun boof. Peel out and follow the flow. 

Take Out below #5

Class - N/A Mile - 3.3
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

Some people like to do a short run and take out below #5. Just after passing underneath powerlines, take out on river left.  There are large turnouts that provide easy access  to and from the public road.

#6

Class - IV Mile - 4.29
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

I recall starting center left, driving to the right to avoid a hole on the left.  I aimed for a small rock island on the right side of the flow as a landmark.  Once passed the rock island on the left side, I drove back to the left to avoid a hole on the right. 

Railroad Bridge Take out

Class - N/A Mile - 5.98

As the railroad bridge comes into view, look for a developed boat ramp on river left. 

There are a few campsites here along with toilets.

Comments

default user thumbnail
Bob M
|
6 years ago

how is there absolutely zero beta on this run?

Gage Descriptions

Low: 300 - 1,000 cfs
Med: 1,000 - 2,200 cfs
High: 2,200 cfs and up

 

Directions Description


To Get There: The put-in for the Numbers can be found at Hwy 24 mile 199.9 where a dirt road turns down to the river and Scott's Bridge. Before crossing the bridge turn left headed upstream for about a mile along a road that runs between the river and the railroad tracks. Be prepared to pay a fee for using the launch which is maintained by State Parks.

To get to the takout take Hwy 24 south to mile 201.5 and turn off onto County Road 371. Cross the river and bear right headed downstream along river left. At this point you are now directly next to #5 which is on the downstream side of the bridge. Continuing on down the road you will find a couple of alternative public access sites. For the full run, it's 3.3 miles down this road to the Railroad Bridge access which also has a couple of camp sites.

One alternative for this run is to start out by running the Pine Creek section.

Date Flow Result Factor  
2016-07-05 Low Fatality Poor Group / Scene Management Read More
2001-05-26 High Fatality High Water Read More
1998-06-23 Medium Fatality One Boat Trip Read More
1996-06-02 Medium Fatality One Boat Trip Read More
1995-06-17 High Fatality One Boat Trip Read More
1991-06-12 Medium Fatality Failed Rescue Read More
1990-06-07 High Near Miss/Rescue Other Read More
1982-07-07 Low Fatality Other Read More
1982-05-15 n/a Fatality Read More

Alerts

 

News

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Final Slate River Floating Management Plan Released (CO)

5/16/2019
Kestrel Kunz

Crested Butte, CO - Increased user conflict on the Slate River has led to a Floating Management Plan that proposes a "voluntary no-float period" between March 15 and July 15 this season. Since our last news post in November, the Slate River Floating Management Plan has been updated and revised for the 2019 season. An open house will be held at The Depot in Crested Butte on Thursday, May 16 and it is critical that paddlers from the local community attend and engage in the conversation. (Photo courtesy of the Crested Butte Land Trust).

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Land and Water Conservation Fund Secures Access to Upper Colorado River

5/8/2019
Hattie Johnson

A bill to fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) was introduced last month by Colorado Senator Cory Gardener and West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin and cosponsored by Colorado Senator Michael Bennett. If passed the bill would provide $900M annually for projects protecting natural, cultural and historic resources. Existing funding from the LWCF recently enabled the transfer of two important river access points on the Upper Colorado River. The State Bridge and Two Bridges parcels were owned by Eagle County and had been improved - boat ramps, parking, restroom/changing facilities - by the Eagle County Open Space program with coordination and management support from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). This land transfer will protect public access at these locations in perpetuity. 

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Dolores River (CO) 2019 Spill Forecast Update

5/2/2019
Hattie Johnson

Dolores Water Conservation District put out their most recent predictions on April 23rd. More can be found on their website. We are expecting an updated forecast on May 6th and will be meeting with them on May 9th to begin discussions on how the recreational boating releases can align with other ecological goals. American Whitewater has developed a wide range of guidelines on how a spill can meet both recreation goals and goals to improve aquatic species and riparian health.

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Help Protect Crested Butte Area Rivers and Creeks under Wild and Scenic Act

2/26/2019
Kestrel Kunz

The Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, and Gunnison National Forests (GMUG) are conducting a Wild and Scenic River Eligibility Evaluation as part of the current Forest Plan Revision process. While the Forest Service is mandated to conduct an Eligibility Study as part of the Plan Revision process, this opportunity only happens every 15-20 years and we need to ensure that the Study is comprehensive and robust. We need YOU to share your love and knowledge of these rivers with the Forest Service! We've put together an easy-to-use tool for you to submit comments here. Please consider personalizing your comments and take the time to review the Forest Service's Story Map of the Eligibility Evaluation. 

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AW releases Saint Vrain and Lefthand Creek Recreational Flow Study - CO

12/14/2018
Nathan Fey

Longmont, Colorado - As part of a comprehensive Stream Management Plan for the St Vrain Creek Watershed, American Whitewater is collecting and compiling data on recreational uses, and identifying projects and strategies to improve stream health, recreation, and environmental conditions in the region. You can help with this extensive effort. Please participate in the Recreational Flow survey.

 

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Support Colorado River Access on Colorado Gives Day!

11/29/2018
Kestrel Kunz

Colorado Gives Day is on December 4 this year and is fast approaching! Go here to schedule your online donation to support American Whitewater's Colorado River Access Program. All donations made to American Whitewater on Colorado Gives Day (December 4) will be put towards our River Access Program in Colorado. American Whitewater works to improve river access and public safety throughout the state by working with landowners and managers, paddlers, law enforcement, and lawmakers to understand Colorado's river access laws and the ongoing threats to public safety. Thank you for your support!

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Voluntary River Closure Proposed On the Slate River (CO)

11/2/2018
Kestrel Kunz

Crested Butte CO - Alleged disruption to a Heron Rookery and concerned private landowners have led to a "Voluntary Closure" of the Slate River from the Gunsight Bridge to the Town of Crested Butte between March 15 and June 21 for the 2019 season. The Slate River between Oh Be Joyful Campground and Skyland Bridge, a 10.5 mile stretch, provides an incredibly scenic and unique flatwater paddling experience in the Gunnison Valley. The Voluntary clsoure is a product of the Slate River Floating Management Plan, created by a Working Group convened by the Town of Crested Butte and the Crested Butte Land Trust. The Working Group was created in direct response to pressure from the local community including conservationists and private landowners adjacent to the river, who are concerned that a recent increase in boating activity is disturbing a Heron Rookery that straddles the Slate River. 

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AW Comments on Colorado Nat'l Forest Wilderness Process

9/5/2018
Kestrel Kunz

Today, September 5, marked the close of the public review process for the DRAFT Wilderness Evaluation Report. The Evaluation Phase is the second step of 4 different steps required in the assessment of lands that may be suitable for inclusion in the National Wilderness Preservation System (NWPS). American Whitewater thoroughly reviewed the DRAFT Wilderness Evaluation Report and submitted our comments to the Forest Service on September 4, 2018. Overall, we found that key paddling reaches throughout the GMUG area were greatly under-represented in the Polygon narratives and thus weren't acknowledged as contributing factors to the Polygon's respective Wilderness Ratings. We let the Forest Service know this, highlighting specific paddling reaches that should be added to each Polygon and which Polygons we believe should have a higher Wilderness Rating based on the high-quality recreation opportunities that each area has to offer. 

Please stay tuned as we continue to report on the GMUG Land Management Revision Process and in the meantime you can learn more about the GMUG here. (Photo of Josh King by Nick Spitzer)

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TAKE ACTION: Comment on the Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area Management Plan

11/1/2017
Kestrel Kunz

ARKANSAS RIVER, Colo. - The Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area (AHRA) is revising their Management Plan for the first time since 2001. The new Draft Plan was made publicly available in October and the AHRA is accepting public comments through November 10, 2017 (next week!). In order to design effective and productive comments, American Whitewater has thoroughly reviewed the Draft Plan, discussed the Plan with our local Affiliate Clubs, attended AHRA Public Open Houses, and reached out to key members of the local paddling community. To make it easy for you to SUBMIT YOUR COMMENTS, American Whitewater staff have compiled our key concerns and comments for your review. 

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Colorado Honors the legacy of Matt Brown

10/30/2017
Nathan Fey

Gunnison, Colorado - Last Wednesday, Matt Brown - longtime river guide, adventurer, and pillar of the Gunnison Valley community- passed away tragically after an accident in Moab. Matt was so much to so many.  At the request of his family and friends, contributions in Matt's memory can be made to American Whitewater’s River Access work in Colorado.  Matt was a strong ally and advisor in our work to protect the public’s rights to float and fish in the State.  We miss him immensely.

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Comments needed on Upper Colorado River Recreation Area Management Plan

8/28/2017
Nathan Fey

Kremmling, Colorado - The Bureau of Land Management has released for public review and comment a set of preliminary alternatives for managing about 40 miles of the Upper Colorado River between Parshall and State Bridge - including Gore Canyon and Pumphouse. This is your chance to weigh in on whether there should be a day-use permit;  a camping permit with designated campsites in the popular stretch between Pumphouse and State Bridge; and expanding the developed Pumphouse Campground.

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Gore Fest 2017 is a few weeks away!

8/9/2017
Nathan Fey

Bond, Colorado - American Whitewater is presenting Gore Canyon Festival - August 25-27th 2017Online registration is open and there are events for everyone, so sign up today! 

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A Successful River Cleanup on the St. Vrain (Lyons, CO)

6/7/2017
Kestrel Kunz

On Sunday, nearly 50 people gathered on the banks of the St. Vrain River to pick up trash from the water and the shoreline. We started the day off with Hotbox Roasters coffee and donuts, and a few words about River Stewardship – the common cause that brought us all together. We found bedframes, rusty nails, lawn chairs, car doors, plastic water bottles, candy wrappers, fast food containers, and it doesn’t stop there. Our findings are likely a combination of leftover debris from the floods, illegal waste dumping along the river, and built up trash from years of careless passers-by. Thank you to all those that came out for the river cleanup! American Whitewater depends on our affiliate clubs, members, and dedicated volunteers in order to tackle our many River Stewardship projects.  

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Releases to Lower Dolores River certain in 2017.

2/17/2017
Nathan Fey

Cortez, Colorado - Last week, American Whitewater met with local water managers, fisheries biologists, an other interests in Dolores River water, to start negotiating releases from McPhee Dam - like we do every spring.  This year, things are looking very good for the Dolores...

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Upper Colorado River Access funded by Land & Water Conservation Fund - CO

2/6/2017
Nathan Fey

Dotsero, Colorado - A key river access point on the Upper Colorado river, once threatened with closure, has now been permanently protected through a partnership between BLM and Eagle County. 

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One more day to submit input on Colorado's Brown Canyon National Monument!

1/17/2017
Kestrel Kunz

There is only one more day left to share what you value most in the Browns Canyon National Monument planning area! The Bureau of Land Management, U.S Forest Service, and Colorado Parks and Wildlife are working together to develop a Coordinated Management Plan for Browns Canyon National Monument. In order to design a plan that most benefits citizens and visitors of Colorado, the agencies designed an Online Survey and Mapping Tool to understand how the public interacts with the Browns Canyon planning area and what aspects of the area are most important to the public.

 

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New Report on Impact to San Miguel River From Proposed Reservoirs

1/9/2017
Evan Stafford

Colorado - American Whitewater has released a new study on whitewater recreation in the San Miguel River Basin. The Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) requested that Montrose County consult with American Whitewater on recreational needs and future impacts for the San Miguel River. Montrose County acquired conditional water rights to the San Miguel River in hopes of building multiple new reservoirs on BLM land. American Whitewater worked with Montrose County’s agents to assess the impact its conditional storage proposals would have on existing recreational opportunities. 

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Proposed Asphalt and Gravel Mine threatens the Upper Colorado River

12/6/2016
Evan Stafford

A new proposal to allow the development of a 90- acre open pit mine in Eagle County at the gateway to the Colorado River has local river users asking questions. We encourage everyone to attend an Open House December 6 at 6 PM at the Gypsum Recreation Center, and to make your voices heard at the Town Council meeting where they will discuss the application on December 13 at 7 PM.

 

 
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Lyons Outdoor Games and Burning Can to Support AW

5/15/2013
Nathan Fey

Lyons, Colorado - For the second year in a row, Oskar Blues Brewery is hosting the Burning Can Festival at this year Lyons Outdoor Games.  Burning Can, which takes place under the backdrop of Rocky Mountain National Park and the St. Vrain River, is a celebration of good beer, served in a can.  This year, All money raised from Lyons Outdoor Games recycled cans will be donated to American Whitewater. See you there!

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AW launches Flow Study for Yampa River

3/3/2011
Nathan Fey

Colorado - American Whitewater is conducting a study of flow-recreation relationships for the Yampa Basin, and identifying specific metrics for use in the Watershed Flow Evaluation Tool. This study is intended to inform local, state, and federal planning efforts as to the full range and quality of recreational boating opportunities for the Wild and Scenic suitable Yampa River, as well as the Elk and White Rivers, and their tributaries. Your participation in the flow survey is requested.

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sammer elias

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Thomas O'Keefe

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Drew Althage

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Paul Martzen

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Kestrel Kunz

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Craig Irwin

Revisions

Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1190150 02/12/09 sammer elias n/a
1195686 07/27/09 Thomas O'Keefe
1200055 05/09/11 sammer elias Updated
1200056 05/09/11 sammer elias Updated
1200060 05/09/11 sammer elias u
1212482 05/24/19 Drew Althage updated image position
1200062 05/09/11 sammer elias Updated
1203486 06/16/14 Paul Martzen added rapids
1203490 06/18/14 Paul Martzen added rapids from Paul Podgorski descriptions
1203491 06/18/14 Paul Martzen minor updates
1207905 07/09/17 Kestrel Kunz Reach # fixed
1211004 01/28/19 Craig Irwin updated image position
1208371 10/14/17 Craig Irwin 20171014
1211876 04/08/19 Drew Althage updated image position
1211454 03/15/19 Drew Althage updated description