South Platte, Colorado, US
|Usual Difficulty||III-IV (for normal flows)|
|Avg. Gradient||74 fpm|
|SOUTH PLATTE RIVER AT SOUTH PLATTE|
|codwr-PLASPLCO0||300 - 5000 cfs||III-IV||01h47m||230 cfs (too low)|
The South Platte River in Waterton canyon is a short run, good for regulars afterwork or while in the neighborhood. There is no shuttle. Simply walk back up to the cars at put-in.
The Waterton Canyon run starts out as a mild moving stream with only a few small waves. 1/8 to a 1/4 mile into the run, the river picks up a little., and the run starts to develop character.
Waterton has plenty of play spots with typical Colorado roadblast rocks in the riverbed.
S-turn rapid ends in a pool with an horizon line at medium to low flows.
The horizon line marks Green Bridge rapid.
This drop is fairly straightforward but note: There is rebar on the old bridge piling if you choose one of the less obvious lines.
Below Green Bridge Rapid is a small pool followed up by Avalanche rapid, straightforward on the
right with a broaching rock on river left.
After another small pool you will arrive at Vertical Blender. This drop has two distinct ledges and some holes. The bottom of Vertical Blender is the reservoir and the takeout.
Better action at higher flows.
Historical note: A great whitewater canyon was once downstream of Waterton.
The former canyon was inundated by the DWB Denver Water Board to make Stronia Springs and thus drown the former true Waterton canyon.
|Mile||Rapid Name||Class||Features (Legend)|
|0.3||S-Turn / Initiation||III|
|0.6||Green Bridge Rapid||III+|
This is a extensive almost 1/2 mile long rapid. Most of this is wave train with holes and eddies.