Eagle River - 02. Redcliff to Tigiwan Rd/FR 707 (Gilman Gorge)

Eagle River, Colorado, US


02. Redcliff to Tigiwan Rd/FR 707 (Gilman Gorge)

Usual Difficulty IV-V(V+) (for normal flows)
Length 4 Miles
Avg. Gradient 120 fpm
Max Gradient 140 fpm

Gilman Gorge - Fall Creek Crux

Gilman Gorge - Fall Creek Crux
Photo of Eric Bessette by Thomas O'Keefe taken 06/05/04 @ 235 cfs

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
usgs-09064600 275 - 2000 cfs IV-V(V+) 69d18h35m 65.5 cfs (too low)

River Description

Gilman is a classic run in the high country that is characterized by consistent class 4/5 rapids for 4 miles. It can be run from ~200 to 1500 (the run changes character above 700). The top half is classic class 4/5 boogie water followed by 2 miles of class 5 drops. One you pass Fall Creek on the left be ready for the run to change character.

The run used to have a reputation of being manky, with mining and railroad debris, but this was cleaned up recently and is now mostly clean (with the possible exception of Slurry Pipe Rapid).

Scouting and portaging are easy to do throughout the gorge.

Logistics: This is a convenient creek run close to Vail and a popular evening run with the locals. Take exit 171 off I-70 just west of Vail onto Hwy. 24. Head 4.7 miles south on Hwy. 24 and just before crossing the Eagle River turn right onto Tigwon (or Tigawan) Road. Follow this road 0.5 miles to a pull-out along the Eagle River that serves as a take-out. To reach the put-in return to Hwy. 24 and head south up river. After a few miles of climbing up the hill you will cross a high arch bridge. After crossing this bridge take the dirt road that leads down to the river to a small parking area at the confluence of Homestake Creek and the Eagle River. Alternatively continue up Hwy 24 which now parallels Homestake Creek and add the steep drops of this classic creek as an jump start to Gilman. Note that CRC mentions parking on the highway, but in the past few years, parking at the river level hasn't been a problem whatsoever. There no longer seems to be any issues at the put-in or take-out, in regards to private property and the authorities.

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2019-01-13 18:48:03


Stream team editor

Rapid Summary

Mile Rapid Name Class Features (Legend)
0.0Put-inPutin Photo
0.0Upper HalfIV
2.0Gilman MineN/APhoto
2.2Fall Creek Rapid5.0Waterfall Photo
2.5S-turn RapidIVWaterfall
2.6Boof RapidIV+Waterfall Photo
2.8Tower RapidIVPortage Hazard Waterfall Photo
3.0Boogie WaterIV
3.6Slurry Pipe Rapid5.1Hazard Waterfall Photo

Rapid Descriptions


Gilman Gorge - Put-in

Gilman Gorge - Put-in
Photo by Thomas O'Keefe © taken 06/05/04 @ 235 cfs

Upper Half (Class IV)
The first 2 miles consists of fast-moving, read and run class III and IV rapids.

Gilman Mine (Class N/A, Mile 2.0)


Photo of Mike Rausch by Thomas O'Keefe © taken 06/05/04 @ 235 cfs

You can't miss it.

Fall Creek Rapid (Class 5.0, Mile 2.2)

Gilman Gorge - Fall Creek First Drop

Gilman Gorge - Fall Creek First Drop
Photo of Eric Bessette by Thomas O'Keefe taken 06/05/04 @ 235 cfs

Starts at railroad overpass. Fall Creek comes in on the left. Longest rapid of the run. Builds up to 10' crux drop about 2/3 of the way down, which becomes a sticky hole at higher flows. Technical run-out. Scout before the bridge or just after.

S-turn Rapid (Class IV, Mile 2.5)
Can be run down right or left channel.

Boof Rapid (Class IV+, Mile 2.6)

Gilman Gorge - Boof Rapid

Gilman Gorge - Boof Rapid
Photo of Mike Rausch by Thomas O'Keefe taken 06/05/04 @ 235 cfs

Fun, technical 5' boof in the middle of this one.

Tower Rapid (Class IV, Mile 2.8)

Gilman Gorge - Tower Rapid

Gilman Gorge - Tower Rapid
Photo of Eric Bessette by Thomas O'Keefe taken 06/05/04 @ 235 cfs

This double drop rapid is identified by a large rock tower on river right. Look for a riverwide log at the entrance, which may need portaging, depending on water level. UPDATE - in the Spring of '04 local boates cut out the left end of the log, creating a means for passage without a portage.

Boogie Water (Class IV, Mile 3.0)
Primarily read and run with a few holes to punch.

Slackwater (Class II, Mile 3.1)
1/2 mile of class II.

Slurry Pipe Rapid (Class 5.1, Mile 3.6)

Gilman Gorge - Slurry Pipe - Bottom Half

Gilman Gorge - Slurry Pipe - Bottom Half
Photo of Eric Bessette by Thomas O'Keefe taken 06/05/04 @ 235 cfs

Contrary to CRC, most local boaters run this rapid on a regular basis. A definite scout for a newbie. This steep and manky rapid starts at the railroad bridge and contains some artificial hazards. Watch out for the sticky "guardian hole" located directly under the bridge, which is generally snuck on the right or left. Lots of sharp rocks so stay upright. Although AW rates this as a "Standard Rated Rapid" of 5.2 difficulty, this rapid is probably better classified as a 5.1 at low to medium flows and a 5.2 at high water.

Tigawon Road (FR 707).

User Comments

Users can submit comments.
June 2 2012 (2418 days ago)
Craig PhillipsDetails
Large River Wide telephone pole is currently at the top of Fall Creek Rapid. You can get out at the
bridge and put in where the pole is wedged in. Will update this summer when we can get it out. As
of Late May 2012 the log was pulled up on shore. It will be back in the river with high water of
2013 if its still there next season.
May 11 2012 (2440 days ago)
Craig PhillipsDetails
The current gauge is the Eagle Source. Homestake meets the source at the start of the run, and this
is the boogie water. Once you get to the meat (i.e. fall creek rapid) of the run you get a boost of
cfs from fall creek coming into the river. The best gauge to use for this run would be the Eagle
near Minturn. The lowest its been run of late is 150, but I wouldn't recommend going in until
roughly 275-300.

Associated Projects

  • Basin Non-Consumptive Needs Assesments (CO)
    AW is working to define stream-flows that meet recreational boating needs across Colorado. In both the Colorado and Yampa River Basin's, AW has helped develop baseline data for whitewater recreation