Piedra - 02. 1st Fork Bridge to Lower Piedra CG

Piedra, Colorado, US


02. 1st Fork Bridge to Lower Piedra CG (First Box Canyon)

Usual Difficulty III-V (for normal flows)
Length 10 Miles

First Box Canyon, Piedra River

First Box Canyon, Piedra River
Photo of Craig Blakemore by Mark Blakemore

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
usgs-09349800 400 - 3500 cfs III-V 69d21h29m 52.3 cfs (too low)

River Description

This is a great class IV+ to V run. To reach the put in, drive up the first fork road just East of where highway 160 crosses the river. The takeout is up this road also, just before the road leaves the river. If the gate is closed, you will have to run the upper section as well and do the long shuttle thing.

This run changed due to the flooding of 2005, and now the 2nd mudslide rock has 'opened up' a bit to make it slightly easier. Always scout this and consider portage or lining on the right and watch for wood!

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2009-04-19 12:06:20


Stream team editor

Rapid Descriptions

icon of message No rapids entered. If you know names, and locations of the rapids please contact and advise the StreamTeam member for this run.

User Comments

Users can submit comments.
May 8 2009 (3545 days ago)
x (1)
I called the forestry service (5/08/09) and they told me that the bridge has been removed, but be
sure and scout ahead just incase they were misinformed. Also, no word on the giant tree blocking
most of the river (at low flows) a mile or two downstream of the bridge. If it is still there,
there was a small opening on river right last time I ran it. Be safe and have fun - John B.
March 12 2008 (3967 days ago)
Ben VanCampDetails
On 3/12 the USFS notified AW that a bridge had fallen in the Piedra. Check out:
http://www.americanwhitewater.org/events/info/piedra_poster.pdf for more information
May 30 2005 (4984 days ago)
Fremont ShieldsDetails
05/23/05 we ran this stretch at >3,500. Expect several big water-style class V drops that would
be very, very difficult to portage, in addition to the mentioned mudslide drops. Both mudslides can
be easily portaged; however, if you elect to also portage the runout (V-V+ @ >3,500) to Mudslide
#2 it's possible to carry down river-right then lower boats to a good launch point at bottom of
runout. This whole lower section is markably more difficult and constricted than the top section at
high water.
April 15 2005 (5029 days ago)
john wadeDetails
Hi everybody, I was just looking at the site and found a couple of the rapids named incorrectly.
<br />
The rapid in the pictures above that is named Eye of the Needle is one of the first drops of the
lower (first) box and could be First Mudslide Rapid or Little Eye. <br />
The drop that is labeled Mudslide is actually the Second Mudslide Rapid or Eye of the Needle. When
you look at the picture you can see that the left line looks pretty bad and has caused alot of
swims over the years. It has lead to alot of bad situations because the runout below, if you go
left, is a pretty technical boulder garden (V) that I sometimes consider harder than the right move
around "pillow rock." <br />
Just wanted to help out, John