Woods Creek - 01. Henderson Mine to West Fork Clear Creek


Woods Creek, Colorado, US

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01. Henderson Mine to West Fork Clear Creek

Usual Difficulty V (for normal flows)
Length 0.5 Miles
Avg. Gradient 430 fpm
Max Gradient 430 fpm

Woods Creek


Woods Creek
Photo of Adam Barron by Brian Adkins taken 06/03

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
WEST FORK CLEAR CREEK ABV MOUTH NR EMPIRE, CO
usgs-06716100 200 - 400 cfs V 00h38m 298 cfs (running)


River Description

This is a crazy little steep creek at the very bottom of Berthod Pass, best run in conjunction with the West Fork Clear Creek. The main attraction for this run is the 1st hundred yards in which you lose a good 300 foot of vertical! Put-in on a small reservoir for the Henderson Mine, then slide over a sluice dropping 200’ vertical down the side of the impoundment that dumps you directly into a steep Class V cascade. At the bottom of the cascade hike back up and do it again a few times! Once you’ve had your fill of that continue downstream for ¼ mile of silly steep Class V-, but make sure there isn’t new wood before committing. Once you reach the confluence with the West Fork get out immediately river left, just downstream is a river-wide strainer. From here portage straight up and out of the river gorge and through the woods to the hairpin turn at the very bottom of Berthod Pass/Hwy 40.

A word of caution! Since the dam, and the area around the creek, is owned by the Henderson Mine there has been some debate over what their reaction is going to be when they find out that it is being kayaked! Currently there is no trash-rack at the top of the sluice, and there are no “no-trespassing” signs on the access road, even though it is obviously private. Please be stealth at the top of the dam, and if you see mine personnel hanging out or driving around don’t run the sluice!

For pics of Woods Creek and many other Colorado classics check out my Webshots photo album.

To Get There: From I-70 take the Berthod Pass/Hwy 40 exit and drive to the first hair-pin turn at the very bottom of Berthod Pass. Take a left on the dirt road that comes in at the hair-pin and drive ¼ mile until you see a smaller dirt road heading down and to the left. Down this road it is only about 100 yards until you reach a gate. Park your car here and shoulder your boat, the put-in is about ¼ mile past the gate. As described above, the takeout is at the last hair-pin turn on Hwy 40. From there you can just shoulder your boat and walk back to your car.


StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2009-02-23 16:24:25

Rapid Descriptions

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