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Old 09-17-2012, 10:44 AM
 
Location: Bel Air, California
20,344 posts, read 20,421,819 times
Reputation: 31588

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Looking for something a bit off the beaten path for an upcoming trip to Rocky Mountain National Park vicinity and I couldn't help but notice a long irrigation tunnel that runs underneath the park. This tunnel is evidently 13 miles long and 10 feet wide and it appears to be a straight shot with just a 100 ft drop in elevation. I would like to take a little rubber through this. Figure the inlet at Grand lake shouldn't be too hard to spot. I'll tell my wife we're going fishing and we'll paddle closer and closer until it'll be too late to turn back. I'll bring a flaslight and a gun to shoot anything that get's in our way and figure we'll pop out at the other end in an hour or so. Has anyone done this before, and is the outlet blocked by anything that might be inpenetrable when we get there?
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Old 09-17-2012, 10:55 AM
 
Location: Aurora, CO
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It sounds like you're referring to the Alva B. Adams tunnel, and I could be mistaken, but I'm reasonably sure it's not open to the public.
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Old 09-17-2012, 11:03 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
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You will find plenty of barriers at the inlet. But I too have considered this. ESPECIALLY about 80% through my pack trip from Grand Lake to Bear Lake. "There must be and easier way..."

As a kid... (centuries ago) the irrigation canal portion passed through our ranch. I went fishing very occasionally, but in 30 - 40 minutes I always had my limit! (Using ample supply of grasshoppers)
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Old 09-17-2012, 02:01 PM
 
2,253 posts, read 5,835,868 times
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Wink Rafting excursions

Uh, yeah, there would be a few obstacles.

I can't vouch for the Grand Lake side of the Alva B. Adams Tunnel, or whether you could find a way to float into it, but suspect not, as being familiar with the East Portal where what is left of you would presumably emerge.

The East Portal can be easily reached by driving up to where Highway 66 dead ends (having earlier diverged from the road to the main entrance of RMNP, and thence past the YMCA of the Rockies). Just beyond this end loop in the road and small parking area is a campground, and just beyond that on a dirt road gated to public vehicles is the dam of a small reservoir.

At the far end of that "lake" is a tall electric transmission tower from what must be the hydropower generated by this falling water. There is a distinct and strong current there, but all issuing from below a floodgate of sorts (there being no visible pipe or its exit). So assuming you got this far in your excursion unscathed, surely thoroughly trashed in being squeezed through these hydro impellers.

If that doesn't seem daunting enough, then consider the other end of this reservoir, and the outlet. There is some fencing there to keep the unsuspecting out, but one can easily get close enough to have a good look. The water passes past two buoys attached to a rope from one side of the spillway to the other. Then it arcs downward with a decided momentum. At that point it passes through about forty feet of narrowing concrete flume, the top covered with corrugated metal sheeting. The water is briefly visible again at the far end of this in some sort of concrete induced caldron. Once cannot exactly see where it goes, only a lot of roiling and bubbling going on.

The enterprising would have little problem circumnavigating any errant fences and so forth, and quite easily launch themselves down this spillway. Although do consider, if having made it that far, that there are some rather long and nasty looking pipes to navigate before flying off into Marys "Lake" at the end of that on the way to "Lake" Estes (via more pipe). So maybe try this first, and if in any semblance of one piece afterwards, then start from the Grand Lake side.

But something simpler, and perhaps even more survivable, would be to travel well up along the Cache la Poudre River on CO 14 to Poudre Falls. There are essentially three large waterfalls in sequence there, each followed by a pool of some length. The first two waterfalls should be gnarly enough. But the adventurous will want to go for the third as well, if not just that first. From directly above (meaning having climbed down some from the nearby road), it is an imposing sight. This large amount of water is funneled between high rock walls, and in a moment smoothly and quickly shelving over a curving underlying rock edge to disappear from sight. Far below, like maybe eighty or one hundred feet, is its following pool. It seems a mighty force of nature delving swiftly into her bowels, only of course all at last open to the sky above.

Maybe try that first, or even just look at it, and then consider how much enthusiasm for hazarding man-made pipes. Really, a lovely idea—only unfortunately they didn't design it for rafting.
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Old 09-18-2012, 02:28 PM
 
Location: Bel Air, California
20,344 posts, read 20,421,819 times
Reputation: 31588
Quote:
Originally Posted by Idunn View Post
Uh, yeah, there would be a few obstacles.

I can't vouch for the Grand Lake side of the Alva B. Adams Tunnel, or whether you could find a way to float into it, but suspect not, as being familiar with the East Portal where what is left of you would presumably emerge.

The East Portal can be easily reached by driving up to where Highway 66 dead ends (having earlier diverged from the road to the main entrance of RMNP, and thence past the YMCA of the Rockies). Just beyond this end loop in the road and small parking area is a campground, and just beyond that on a dirt road gated to public vehicles is the dam of a small reservoir.

At the far end of that "lake" is a tall electric transmission tower from what must be the hydropower generated by this falling water. There is a distinct and strong current there, but all issuing from below a floodgate of sorts (there being no visible pipe or its exit). So assuming you got this far in your excursion unscathed, surely thoroughly trashed in being squeezed through these hydro impellers.

If that doesn't seem daunting enough, then consider the other end of this reservoir, and the outlet. There is some fencing there to keep the unsuspecting out, but one can easily get close enough to have a good look. The water passes past two buoys attached to a rope from one side of the spillway to the other. Then it arcs downward with a decided momentum. At that point it passes through about forty feet of narrowing concrete flume, the top covered with corrugated metal sheeting. The water is briefly visible again at the far end of this in some sort of concrete induced caldron. Once cannot exactly see where it goes, only a lot of roiling and bubbling going on.

The enterprising would have little problem circumnavigating any errant fences and so forth, and quite easily launch themselves down this spillway. Although do consider, if having made it that far, that there are some rather long and nasty looking pipes to navigate before flying off into Marys "Lake" at the end of that on the way to "Lake" Estes (via more pipe). So maybe try this first, and if in any semblance of one piece afterwards, then start from the Grand Lake side.

But something simpler, and perhaps even more survivable, would be to travel well up along the Cache la Poudre River on CO 14 to Poudre Falls. There are essentially three large waterfalls in sequence there, each followed by a pool of some length. The first two waterfalls should be gnarly enough. But the adventurous will want to go for the third as well, if not just that first. From directly above (meaning having climbed down some from the nearby road), it is an imposing sight. This large amount of water is funneled between high rock walls, and in a moment smoothly and quickly shelving over a curving underlying rock edge to disappear from sight. Far below, like maybe eighty or one hundred feet, is its following pool. It seems a mighty force of nature delving swiftly into her bowels, only of course all at last open to the sky above.

Maybe try that first, or even just look at it, and then consider how much enthusiasm for hazarding man-made pipes. Really, a lovely idea—only unfortunately they didn't design it for rafting.
damit, leave it to the man to always be a stinky dingle
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