Saint Vrain Creek, North, Colorado, US
|Usual Difficulty||IV(V) (for normal flows)|
|Avg. Gradient||110 fpm|
|Max Gradient||133 fpm|
|NORTH SAINT VRAIN CREEK BELOW BUTTONROCK (RA...|
|codwr-NSVBBRCO0||250 - 900 cfs||IV(V)||00h44m||115 cfs (too low)|
The stretch of the North Saint Vrain from the outflow of ButtonRock Dam to the Apple Valley Bridge, is comprised of two secions of whitewater.
The first strech, which starts from the public parking lot of ButtonRock, is known as the Proving Grounds. This section is the gnarlier of the two, but lower in quality than the piece downstream.
There are several slightly steeper mazing boulder gardens in the Proving Grounds. Scouting is a good idea, as knowning which door goes where would be hard to determine from river level. Even better yet, take someone who knows it.
Shelly's Cottage, the section directly after the Proving grounds, is made of classic class III low volume moves. The steepest, but still very friendly, of the drops is dubbed Leo the Lion. This drop can be seen directly down stream of the bridge, that you will turn left over to get onto the accsess road.
All drops can be scouted from the road, and is good read and run. That being said, be heads up for all normal hazards, namely wood.
Take out at the Apple Valley bridge, or just keep going down stream into Lyons.
To Get There: NORTH out of Lyons on HWY 36 towards Estes Park and after three miles turn left on CR 80. The "Shelly's Cottage" sign in the most spottable marker. There is a lot directly left of the bridge, this is a common take out for a group who ONLY wants to run proving grounds.
Drive further down the drit road, scouting the drops as you do. For Shelly's down, which I reccomned over proving grounds, park in any good spot you can find, making sure you get high enough up the road for the best rapids.
If you want to put on higher, follow the road all the way to public parking for ButtonRock, put on and paddle down as far as your heart desires.