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
Bear Creek At Mouth
USGS 06711500
21 cfs 2.5 ft
Coal Creek Near Plainview
USGS 06730300
0 cfs 0.1 ft
Fraser River Blw Crooked Cr At Tabernash Co
USGS 09033300
53 cfs 3.0 ft
Colorado River Below Lake Granby
USGS 09019000
76 cfs 3.8 ft
Bear Creek Above Evergreen
USGS 06710385
33 cfs 4.5 ft
Berthoud Pass Ditch At Berthoud Pass
USGS 09021500
2 cfs 0.5 ft
Boulder Creek At Mouth
USGS 06730500
11 cfs 9.1 ft
Clear Creek At Golden
USGS 06719505
132 cfs 4.2 ft
Cherry Creek At Denver
USGS 06713500
32 cfs 3.5 ft
St. Vrain Creek Below Longmont
USGS 06725450
-999,999 cfs ft
Snotel Site Snowpack 24hr Change

Outdoor Recreation

Ski Area Snowpack Air Temperature 5 Day Forecast
Eldora Mountain Resort 24" 67° 0"
Echo Mountain Park 18" 63° 0"
River Run Streamflow Length Class
Golden Whitewater Park 3.92cfs 0.75 Mi II+
Main Section 55.3cfs 3.0 Mi IV+ to V
Idledale to Morrison 11.2cfs 3.0 Mi IV+ to V
Tunnel 1 to Golden Whitewater Park 60.7cfs None Mi III- to III+
Lower Boulder Canyon 42.0cfs None Mi IV- to V-
Steven's Gulch to Bridges Take Out 182.0cfs 12.0 Mi III- to IV+
Upper South Boulder Creek 5.0cfs None Mi V+
Upper Narrows 182.0cfs 0.5 Mi V- to V+
NSV 37.8cfs 13.0 Mi V+
Lower North Fork 182.0cfs 11.0 Mi III
Upper South Boulder Creek 5.0cfs None Mi V+
Filter Plant 3.92cfs None Mi II to III+
Gnar Section 405.0cfs 1.0 Mi V+
Filter Plant 3.92cfs None Mi II to III+
October Hole 37.8cfs None Mi II
Lower Narrows 182.0cfs 0.5 Mi V- to V+
SSV - Confluence to Picnic Grounds 37.8cfs 5.0 Mi V to V+
Upper Clear Creek 60.7cfs 2.5 Mi IV- to IV+
Middle Narrows 182.0cfs 1.0 Mi IV to V-