Arkansas, Colorado, US
|Usual Difficulty||IV (varies with level)|
|Avg. Gradient||71 fpm|
|ARKANSAS RIVER BELOW GRANITE, CO|
|usgs-07087050||300 - 3500 cfs||III-IV||01h13m||125 cfs (too low)|
|ARKANSAS RIVER NEAR NATHROP, CO|
|usgs-07091200||200 - 3500 cfs||IV||01h13m||223 cfs (running)|
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 this level a powerfull 8 foot surfing wave forms at the base of rapid 1 and 1/2.
There is a lot of private property around the rapids 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 are 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)
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).
|Mile||Rapid Name||Class||Features (Legend)|
|0.0||Numbers Launch Area||N/A|
|3.3||Take Out below #5||N/A|
|6.0||Railroad Bridge Take out||N/A|
Pay a state park fee to park and launch here. This access location is managed by the State Parks, but was acquired with the efforts of American Whitewater.
Enter center right, after pour over work way back to left
Changes with the flow.
Enter in center and pretty much run down the middle. (at 2300 - 2500 cfs)
This rapid has a meaningful hole in the top middle at 2400 cfs. There was a narrow smooth line down the left and a wider 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.
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 / drop so you can take a break and evaluate your line.
Enter the rapid by the steep slot on river right. Work back center left to avoid a hole, then follow the flow.
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.
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.
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.
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