Saint Vrain Creek, South - 02. Narrows

Saint Vrain Creek, South, Colorado, US


02. Narrows (SSV)

Usual Difficulty V+ (for normal flows)
Length 2 Miles
Avg. Gradient 248 fpm
Max Gradient 375 fpm

Blue Angel Gone Wrong,1in5

Blue Angel Gone Wrong,1in5
Photo of Matt Booth comin' in hot on Scott Young by Keegan Parker taken 06/30/14 @ 500 cfs

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
codwr-SSVWARCO0 150 - 600 cfs V+ 91d04h06m 7.27 cfs (too low)

River Description

Colorado road side mank at its finest, with a unique touch. 

This tall roadside canyon comes complete with multiple put-in and take-out options for variable spice factor; boasting hairy cascades and gnarly ledges to keep you on your toes the whole way down. 

After driving three miles towards Allenspark, from Lyons on highway 7 you'll come around a corner and see a roughly five foot spout drop, this is 1in5.  

Use the large dirt pull off next to the rapid as a take out.  A large cotton wood tree acts a good marker from river level, if you wish to take out above this one.

It's a good idea to scout this one. Safety is recommended.

The main line on 1in5 is off the left, a good right stroke will bring you home. This drop becomes substantially meatier above 400 cfs. The right side acts as a potential sneak at these levels. If water is running over the rock on river left, it may be a good idea to take out above.

This rapid is ideal for lapping. Get creative with put in methods.                        

It is important to be aware of the cave on the river right side of the pool, created by the boulder that creates the two channels. Too date no person has been stuck in that room, several boats have though. They where in there for quite awhile.

For the put in, drive about a mile and a half up the road, coming around another bend you'll see Jihad, a steep and manky drop, with an out of play log in the middle of two pinches.  Use the first pull off on the right directly adjacent to the drop. Gear up and scout. 

There are several put ins depending on how high you want to walk up. Hiking up the shoulder will bring you to a very steap cascading section, barreling around a sheer corner: The Narrows. If this looks like your jam, keep hiking. If not, put in below all that nastiness. Be aware, put in spots are loose at best.

The top of the Narrows is marked by a river wide ledge drop with a dynamic lip.  This is the one and only, Hot Donna. After running this you're commited to the rest of the section. Find a good spot above to get in and send'er on down. Hot Donna is run off of the left with a big right boof, it is easy to get eddied out on the left after landing.

Next is White Lightening, run down the left; this is followed quickly by two back to back boulder jumbles. Run the first on the left, then hussle back right for the second. Lastly, slip down the left side final pile, dodging a hidden piton rock. Catch the big eddy on the right and breathe a sigh of relief. 

Don't let your gaurd down just yet, you still have a series of class IV+ drops, and then Jihad. The top of Jihad is run down the left tongue, despite what you might think, you won't piton.  The more left you come in at the top, the less difficult the move at the lip will be. Move across the pool toward the right, mind the log.  

Run the second tier from right to left, and take solice in knowing the sketchest part is behind you. The rapids from below jihad are all fun IV+ until 1in5. This section is easily routable with someone who knows the lines. Don't forget to keep your eye's peeled for the 1in5 cottonwood tree.

This run is at the most two miles from the top of Narrows, so lapping is typicaly a popular idea.

As of 2017, several groups have put in above Narrows, but below the confluence, and run through 1in5. There are several technical class IV/V drops in this section, and more than a few log portages.

Have fun, be safe, and don't forget to keep your eyes peeled for wood.


The various reaches of of Saint Vrain Creek,

Upper NSV (Class V+/VI-),
Middle NSV (Class IV/V),
Lower NSV (Class II/III),
Upper SSV (Class V+/VI-),
Left Hand Creek (Class IV).

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2018-12-12 01:44:43


Stream team editor

Rapid Summary

Mile Rapid Name Class Features (Legend)
0.0Hot DonnaVPutin Waterfall
0.1The Narrows, ProperV
0.2Hershey Squirt IVPutin
0.3Ariel's Hole IV+
0.3Bad CatIV+Photo
0.7Triple StepIV
0.8Slippery PeteIV
1.0Speed DatingIV+
1.2This One Gets StickyIV
1.3Reach Around IV
1.4Bridge DropIV
1.4Emergency Exit N/A
1.5Got YaIV
2.01in5VTakeout Waterfall Photo

Rapid Descriptions

Hot Donna (Class V)

The enteracne drop of the Narrows.

The Narrows, Proper (Class V, Mile 0.1)

Commiting, steap and hairy. Mind the rocks.

Hershey Squirt (Class IV, Mile 0.2)

If narrows doesnt look appealing, putting in above this class IV hydrolic is common. 

Ariel's Hole (Class IV+, Mile 0.3)

A sticky ledge, right below Hershey Squirt.  Run on the left, don't under estimate it. 

Bad Cat (Class IV+, Mile 0.3)

Bad Cat

Bad Cat
Photo of Spencer Huff by Hershel Walker taken 08/14/17 @ 500 cfs

The small spout immeditaly after Ariel's Hole.

Jihad (Class V, Mile 0.5)

Jihad Run out

Jihad Run out
Photo of Nathan Werner by Hershel Walker taken 08/14/17 @ 400 cfs

Scout this guy before putting on.  Don't worry, despite what you might think, you won't piton. Mind the log and try to stay upright. 

Putting in below this is common as well. 

Speed Dating (Class IV+, Mile 1.0)

A tight and fast corner, that drops for a while and culminates in a steep ledge boof. 

This One Gets Sticky (Class IV, Mile 1.2)

A river wide sleeper ledge below the run out of Speed Dating.  This one is sneaky and gets quite sticky as the water comes up. 

Bridge Drop (Class IV, Mile 1.4)

A long class IV section, with a flimsy bridge over the river. 

Emergency Exit (Class N/A, Mile 1.4)

A tight move that comes up fast once you have passed under the Bridge Drop bridge.  Run on the left, and be heads up, you will pass next to undercuts on both sides. 

Got Ya (Class IV, Mile 1.5)

A tight slot that can sneak up you, below a shallow section immeditaly following emergancy exit.  Run on the right, think tight. The left line leads to a heavy piton. 

1in5 (Class V, Mile 2.0)

1in5, Right line

1in5, Right line
Photo of Nathan Werner by Hershel Walker taken 08/14/17

The odds against you are 1 in 5. Cool smooth bedrock drop, Class V. 

Big right Boof.

Beware the cave on river right in the pool.

User Comments

Users can submit comments.

No Comments


Calendar Control Date:
Calendar by Date by Title

January 2019



Associated Projects

  • Highlands Ditch Rehabilitation (CO)
    On the Saint Vrain River, in the Town of Lyons, AW is working with a group of fellow river enthusiasts to rehabilitate the Highlands Ditch Diversion to allow for better navigability, fish passage, and