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Difficulty III
Length 13.5 Miles
Gauge GUNNISON RIVER BELOW GUNNISON TUNNEL, CO
Flow Range 280 - 15000 CFS
Flow Rate as of: 22 minutes ago 2070 [CFS] ūüĎć ‚ö†ÔłŹ
Reach Info Last Updated 07/09/2017 8:55 pm

River Description


One mile hike to the put in.

Class III kayak run through a somewhat remote canyon with great river vibe.

Photo courtesy of www.JulieKeller.com.

A description of the rapids can be found here: 
https://www.blm.gov/sites/blm.gov/files/uploads/programs_national-conservation-lands_colorado_gunnison-gorge_NCA_brochure_HI.pdf

Rapid Descriptions

Comments

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Owen Gehling
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1 year ago

At ~1000 cfs this was a super fun class III run with one III+/ IV towards the end of the whitewater, before the short but flat paddle out. Right from the start (after a fun drive to the TH and a pretty brutal hike down into the canyon) there are a bunch of fun 2s and 3s, and most rapids have good recovery pools below them. Definitely get the outfitter at pleasure park to shuttle vehicles to the take out for you! Would be brutal to back-shuttle, and there's a bar at the takeout ramp!

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Simon Krzych
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4 years ago

7-31-14 Ran this at 780 CFS from what the gauge reads. Day trip from Chukar Trail to North Fork. Beautiful river with the rapids getting more exciting as the river progresses. Rented a 13 foot raft from Al at the take out Pleasure Park. G, Jayvin, Sam, Max, Noah paddled the raft, Charlie and Eli as our safety boaters. With the kids paddling, this made for a hard and exciting run. Cable rapid and the one after were tricky but we where able to keep the raft from flipping and all souls onboard. G would enjoy a canoe on most of the river, skipping just a few of the larger more consequential rapids. Our safety crafts were a stand up paddle board and the Spanish Fly canoe, which made for an enjoyable selection of paddle play for the kids. Next time we may have our own separate gear boat and run the river in smaller crafts like the Mini Me and Hand Breaker. Steve @ (928)660-0958 from pleasure park was helpful for info and shuttle. For all our gear, we hired two pack donkeys. From the Montrose airport the drive is one hour more or less on a rough 2x2 dirt road. Flew into Montrose and out of Delta with an easy 20 min drive from the takeout.

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Sharon Schierling
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6 years ago

Rapid descriptions and flow guidelines here: http://www.blm.gov/co/st/en/nca/ggnca/gorgeboatflows.html

Gage Descriptions

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Permits

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Directions Description


We have no additional detail on this route. Use the map below to calculate how to arrive to the main town from your zipcode.

No Accident Reports

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 2017. Online 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 ‚Äď 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‚Äôt 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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Gunnison Flow Study: Success, Next steps underway

10/14/2013
Chris Menges

American Whitewater is pleased release a full report on the results of our summer 2013 Gunnison River Flow Survey, in addition to recommendations for regional water managers. This data will enable the management community to better evaluate opportunities to protect recreational flows in the Gunnison Basin now and into the future. Please read the post for full results and how we are using them.

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Action Alert: Take the Gunnison River Flow Survey, win KEEN shoes

6/21/2013
Chris Menges

If you have ever paddled Gunnison Basin Runs like Oh-Be-Joyful, the Taylor, the Uncompahgre, the Black Canyon or Gunnison Gorge, please help us protect flows on these western Colorado gems by completing the Gunnison River Flow Survey. When you do, we'll enter you in a drawing to win a free pair of KEENS!

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Flow Updates: Taylor, Black Canyon, Gunnison Gorge

6/19/2013
Chris Menges

The Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) recently circulated updated information on dam releases that will affect regional whitewater runs, paddling opportunities and environmental flows on the Taylor River and on the Gunnison RIver in the Black Canyon and Gunnison Gorge. This post contains information on these updates.

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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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Attend our Upcoming Ridgway and Montrose (CO) Boaters Meetings

5/6/2013
Chris Menges

AW will be hosting public meetings for local boaters in Ridgway, CO on May 14 and in Montrose, CO on May 22. These ‚Äėregional paddlers dialogues‚Äô are a part of our efforts to define and protect recreational flow needs throughout the seven-state Colorado River Basin, including stream segments throughout the Gunnison Basin.

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2013 Gunnison Flow Survey is live. Share your thoughts & protect rivers!

4/30/2013
Chris Menges

American Whitewater (AW) is pleased to announce the launch of our 2013 Gunnison River Basin Flow Survey. By participating in the survey, you can help us define recreational flow needs thoughout the Basin, and protect flows in the future. Your participation is incredibly valuable; the more responses we get, the more robust our findings will be which will strengthen our represention of paddler interest.

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AW Needs Your Input On Western River Flows!

10/25/2011
Nathan Fey

Colorado River Basin - American Whitewater is asking for paddler input on flows and recreation quality for rivers across the Southwestern United States. We are gathering this information to help define recreational flow-needs, and to inform the US Bureau of Reclamations' Colorado River Basin Supply and Demand Study. Whether you live in Boston, San Francisco, or Jensen, UT, your input will help AW protect healthy rivers - TAKE OUR SURVEY TODAY!

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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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Gunnison's Black Canyon NCA Increased

12/1/2003
Jason Robertson

The House of Representatives passed S. 677, the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park and Gunnison Gorge National Conservation Area Boundary Revision Act of 2003. A map of the new boundaries is available.
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Molly Buirgy

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Nathan Fey

Colorado Stewardship Director

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Kestrel Kunz

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Bill Hunt

Revisions

Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1190196 04/19/09 Molly Buirgy n/a
1202481 07/31/13 Nathan Fey
1207917 07/09/17 Kestrel Kunz Reach # fixed
1204250 06/06/17 Bill Hunt Added link to BLM info on the rapids.