Class III+

General Information

  • American Whitewater Page : South Platte, North Fork -- Buffalo Creek to South Platte
  • Foxton is a section of the North Fork of the South Platte River that lies in the front range about an hour from Denver. At lower flows, it is a great testing ground to improve your paddling ability. There is a road that runs alongside the entire run, which makes for great scouting opporunities, as well as very easy options to run laps on specific sections.
  • The run is listed as 7 miles long, but it ends at the beginning of the Waterton Canyon section, which allows you to keep going and extend the run for another mile.

    • The run has a boulder garden section near the start, which at flows above 600 is listed to go as class IV.
    • A calm section between the boulder garden and S Foxton Rd.
    • After this calmer section, the river gradient starts to pick up a bit, and there are a number of sections of rapids, the vast majority of which can be seen by driving down the road towards Waterton Canyon.

River Sections

Boulder Garden

  • The boulder garden section (covering this section of the river) is certainly one of the most technical sections, and should be scouted before heading into it for the first time. This area is where I really developed a lot of my boat control, by biting off progressively longer and longer sections of this boulder garden to run laps on. With the packraft, it is really easy to just hop out, and walk back up the road and run it over and over again, learning how the boat reacts and trying to improve your positioning and lines.

Remaining Sections

  • Just before the intersection with S Foxton Rd, which leads back up to 285, is an fun rapid that can form an interesting feature, especially above flows of 600 or so. It forms a lateral wave that you will need to be ready for. It is a popular spot for fisherman and there is parking nearby on the road to scout it out.
  • From here, the river gradient starts to pick up a bit, and there are a number of different rapids, the vast majority of which can be seen from the road. A few of them are a bit larger than the others, but in general this section can be pieced together slowly progressing up from Waterton to the start of it, gaining comfort with each rapid as you go.

Optimal Flow levels

  • Low flow - Below 300, the boulder garden section is highly chanelized, and can be run even below 200. At thes flows it is not pushy, but still requires good boat control to navigate through all the boulders effectively. The rest of the river will be quite boney below 300, but you should make it down without having to get out of your boat.
  • Med flow - Between 300 and 600 would be considered the medium level flows for this run. As it approaches 600, sections in the boulder garden get quite a bit pushier, and other features downstream become larger.
  • High flow - Above 600, the run officially gets a class IV designation from American Whitewater. I haven't run it much above 600 yet, so I don't have a lot of beta to offer on the higher end of the spectrum of flows.

Video Footage

I am only relaying my experiences and in no way am I giving you advice on what is safe. Every person ultimately must be responsible for themselves. Do your own research and be honest with yourself about your abilities.