South Platte, North Fork - 02. Buffalo Creek to South Platte

South Platte, North Fork, Colorado, US


02. Buffalo Creek to South Platte (Foxton)

Usual Difficulty III-IV (for normal flows)
Length 7 Miles
Avg. Gradient 60 fpm
Max Gradient 90 fpm

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
codwr-PLABAICO0 190 - 10000 cfs III-IV 42d00h32m 91.3 cfs (too low)

River Description

Put in about two miles northeast of Buffalo Creek on 96 Road near Ferndale. This road follows the river for the length of the run. Numerous options for a take out exist downstream below the junction of 96 and 97 Road. A run all the way to South Platte (N. Fk. and S. Fk. confluence) is possible. Be careful in the area of the put in. No Tresspassing signs abound. Find a launch area that is not posted and has parking. Be sure to put in upstream of the boulder garden. It's the nicest rapid on the run (class IVish). Below the 96/97 intersection, the river narrows somewhat and becomes mildly continuous as the gradient begins to increase.

Minimum flows are about 300cfs. Minimum recommended flows are 400cfs. Class IV above 600cfs. Typically, runnable flows are only achieved when West slope water is diverted through the Roberts tunnel from Dillon Reservoir. May or may not run during normal (snowmelt) paddling season. Possible off-season potential (May, August, September).

The shuttle roads tend to be extremely dusty and rough. Look out for fisherman. This area tends to be very busy, especially on summer weekends. Scenery is excellent, but not wilderness. An excellent technical-intermediate run. Waterton Canyon run is just below the confluence and is also a great intermediate run if you don't mind using your shoulder for a shuttle.

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2009-02-16 20:20:49


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.
October 26 2016 (818 days ago)
Nik and Allison WhiteDetails
The top section (commonly known as the "boulder garden") is runnable down to about 180cfs at the
boat scrapiest. It all channelizes really well. Definitely a bit tight and a bit more pin potential
but a lot of fun. Putting in above the boulder garden and going upstream in a long boat is also
fantastic for attaining at about 220cfs.
June 17 2008 (3871 days ago)
x (1)
Just FYI for people new to the area: This section is commonly called the 'Foxton" run by locals. As
of June 17 2008, my beta on the run indicates that it's running at ~800 CFS: 200 CFS above the
level making it a class IV according to AW. H20 Temps in the area this weekend were 8єC. Day highs
are in mid 80єs. the combination of temps makes for good refreshing runs, swims are COLD.