Published on July 17th, 2023 | by Paddleworld

Packrafting Upper Cherry Creek

Join Leftcoastadventure on their 3-day Packrafting trip down the Upper Cherry in the Summer Solsitice of 2022 in their Valkyrie Packrafts! A sweet river for a packraft and also very remote!!

Day 1: We hiked in via Bourland Meadows and over West Cherry, which shortens the approach by several miles but cuts out many of the day 1 slides. The gauge was down this summer, but we estimate the flow was around 75cfs when we put on. We paddled down to Pre-Cherry Bomb Gorge, then switched modes and backpacked on river left to New Flintstone Camp.

Day 2: We spent an entire day lapping Jedi Slide and the Teacups, which was one of the most glorious days of paddling I’ve ever had.

Day 3: We paddled down to Groove Tube to scout Perfect 20 and Double Pothole. I set safety and then portaged river left, while Will ran both drops. We rejoined below Double Pothole and ran a few more slides and rapids. Once we got down to the West Cherry confluence, we had lost so much water that the mank rapids were becoming unrunnable. We hiked out at West Cherry and back to our cars, no shuttle required. Mad thanks to Will Blum for dragging me down this run and remembering every single drop in perfect detail.

Note that while many rapids in this video look easy at our level, it is still a remote class IV-V wilderness run with dangerous potholes and difficult portages. This run should not be attempted by anyone who doesn’t have experience with steep creeks, backcountry route finding, and swift water rescue. The South Fork of Silver Creek above Icehouse Reservoir (South Silver) is an excellent front-country day run to practice for Upper Cherry.

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