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
South Platte River Above Cheesman Lake
USGS 06700000
99 cfs 5.0 ft
St. Vrain Creek At Lyons
USGS 06724000
17 cfs 2.8 ft
Coal Creek Near Plainview
USGS 06730300
0 cfs -0.2 ft
Ranch Creek Near Fraser
USGS 09032000
6 cfs 4.6 ft
South Platte River At Waterton
USGS 06708000
19 cfs 0.6 ft
South Platte River At Englewood
USGS 06711565
35 cfs 1.3 ft
St Vrain Cr Blw Boulder Cr At Hwy 119 Nr Longmont
USGS 06730525
78 cfs 9.6 ft
St. Vrain Creek At Mouth
USGS 06731000
122 cfs 1.6 ft
South Platte R At 64Th Ave. Commerce City
USGS 06714215
7 cfs 1.4 ft
Cabin Creek Near Fraser
USGS 09032100
2 cfs 1.7 ft
Snotel Site Snowpack 24hr Change
Stillwater Creek
SNOTEL 793
1" 1"
Jackwhacker Gulch
SNOTEL 935
1" 1"
Echo Lake
SNOTEL 936
1" 0"
Crow Creek
SNOTEL 1045
1" 1"
Loveland Basin
SNOTEL 602
1" 1"
Lake Irene
SNOTEL 565
1" 0"
Black Mountain
SNOTEL 1161
1" 1"

Outdoor Recreation

Ski Area Snowpack Air Temperature 5 Day Forecast
Eldora Mountain Resort -1" 66° 0"
Echo Mountain Park 1" 61° 0"
River Run Streamflow Length Class
Lower Narrows 76.7cfs 0.5 Mi V- to V+
Upper Narrows 76.7cfs 0.5 Mi V- to V+
Middle Narrows 76.7cfs 1.0 Mi IV to V-
Filter Plant 2.85cfs None Mi II to III+
Upper South Boulder Creek 26.6cfs None Mi V+
Lower North Fork 76.7cfs 11.0 Mi III
Main Section 7.98cfs 3.0 Mi IV+ to V
October Hole 17.4cfs None Mi II
SSV - Confluence to Picnic Grounds 17.4cfs 5.0 Mi V to V+
Lower Boulder Canyon 13.7cfs None Mi IV- to V-
Gnar Section 588.0cfs 1.0 Mi V+
Tunnel 1 to Golden Whitewater Park 74.7cfs None Mi III- to III+
NSV 17.4cfs 13.0 Mi V+
Golden Whitewater Park 2.85cfs 0.75 Mi II+
Upper Clear Creek 74.7cfs 2.5 Mi IV- to IV+
Upper South Boulder Creek 26.6cfs None Mi V+
Idledale to Morrison 8.83cfs 3.0 Mi IV+ to V
Steven's Gulch to Bridges Take Out 76.7cfs 12.0 Mi III- to IV+
Filter Plant 2.85cfs None Mi II to III+