Lower Boulder Canyon


As a Boulder local, I have a love hate relationship with Boulder creek.  It's Boulder's main artery and so much fun at elusive high flows, but so rocky and poor quality at low flows.  Why people insist on dropping everything to run this stretch of "almost" whitewater at 200 cfs is beyond me, especially since there are almost always better options with just a little extra driving.  Maybe it's the hords of slightly intoxicated college girls in bikinis tubing through the sticky whitewater park in town.  For me, the run gets good when the tubing ban goes into effect for the creek (about 500 cfs).

Suggested river levels for paddling this section of the Boulder Creek are between a bare minimum of 250cfs and a high of 1,300cfs. River conditions sourced from USGS 06730500, the Boulder Creek At Mouth Remember only watercraft are permitted at Lower Boulder Canyon.

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Area Hydrology

Gauge Streamflow Stage
Clear Creek At Golden
USGS 06719505
300 cfs 4.9 ft
Fraser River At Winter Park
USGS 09024000
27 cfs 1.1 ft
Middle Boulder Creek At Nederland
USGS 06725500
143 cfs 1.9 ft
Monument Creek At Palmer Lake
USGS 07103747
1 cfs ft
Harvard Gulch At Harvard Park
USGS 06711575
0 cfs 10.2 ft
South Platte R At 64Th Ave. Commerce City
USGS 06714215
314 cfs 3.0 ft
Ranch Creek Blw Meadow Cr Nr Tabernash Co
USGS 09033100
41 cfs 7.3 ft
Left Hand Creek At Hover Road Near Longmont
USGS 06724970
7 cfs 5.8 ft
S Clear Cr Abv Lwr Cabin Cr Res Spilwy Nr Georgtwn
USGS 06714500
30 cfs 1.4 ft
Little Dry Creek At Westminster
USGS 06719840
0 cfs 7.4 ft
Snotel Site Snowpack 24hr Change

Outdoor Recreation

Ski Area Snowpack Air Temperature 5 Day Forecast
Eldora Mountain Resort 24" 70° 0"
Echo Mountain Park 18" 66° 0"
River Run Streamflow Length Class
Filter Plant 3.92cfs None Mi II to III+
Steven's Gulch to Bridges Take Out 182.0cfs 12.0 Mi III- to IV+
Filter Plant 3.92cfs None Mi II to III+
Upper Clear Creek 60.7cfs 2.5 Mi IV- to IV+
Idledale to Morrison 11.2cfs 3.0 Mi IV+ to V
NSV 37.8cfs 13.0 Mi V+
SSV - Confluence to Picnic Grounds 37.8cfs 5.0 Mi V to V+
Main Section 55.3cfs 3.0 Mi IV+ to V
Upper South Boulder Creek 5.0cfs None Mi V+
October Hole 37.8cfs None Mi II
Upper South Boulder Creek 5.0cfs None Mi V+
Lower Boulder Canyon 42.0cfs None Mi IV- to V-
Golden Whitewater Park 3.92cfs 0.75 Mi II+
Gnar Section 405.0cfs 1.0 Mi V+
Lower North Fork 182.0cfs 11.0 Mi III
Tunnel 1 to Golden Whitewater Park 60.7cfs None Mi III- to III+
Lower Narrows 182.0cfs 0.5 Mi V- to V+
Middle Narrows 182.0cfs 1.0 Mi IV to V-
Upper Narrows 182.0cfs 0.5 Mi V- to V+