pipeline Rapid (Class III) - Royal Gorge

The final rapid of consequence in the Royal Gorge, Pipeline Rapid is a simple class III rapid that is usually only tricky at lower flows. This is where Cañon City’s historic pipeline crosses over the river from river right to left. It’s the same pipeline that originated way up in Pumphouse Rapid near the beginning of the Royal Gorge. 

At nearly every water flow rafts start on the far left side of the river channel where the majority of water is flowing. As you approach the pipeline be ready to charge from left to right as you descend the main drop in the rapid. At low water be aware there’s a large shallow rock set in the middle of the main channel, so be sure to head left or right or you’ll find yourself high-centered with deep flowing water all around you – kind of a tough spot to get out of!

illustration of bighorn sheep and arkansas river
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