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Plateau Creek: Spring Runoff from the Grand Mesa

Fleming Point to Big Wash | Average CFS: 1,385
After Work Adventures | Tuesday, May 23, 2023

While Jackson and I were floating through Little Yampa Canyon a few days ago we were talking about where we wanted to go next and decided that it was finally time for us to paddle down Plateau Creek after work this week. This is a creek that is very close to home that we have wanted to check out for quite a long time, but some years it’s hard to catch enough water to make it happen during the short spring runoff window. This year happens to be one of those rare years where there is enough water up on the Grand Mesa to get on Plateau Creek for an extended period of time and we wanted to take advantage of that opportunity. We left from work, dropped off a car at the mouth of Big Wash, where we planned to take-out, and then drove up the canyon a couple more miles to a put-in just below Fleming Point.

The clouds were looking nice against the canyon walls as we inflated our duckies and got changed.

Plateau Creek Canyon

Jackson waiting for me to finish getting ready so we could take off down Plateau Creek.


We were on the water just after 5:00pm and the creek was moving pretty quickly at first.

Ready To Go

The longest and biggest rapids along the whole stretch were only about a half mile after the put-in. Jackson actually got knocked out of his boat when he hit a hole at the wrong angle, but he managed to hop back on in a matter of seconds and continued on down the creek with no other issues.

I knew I probably wasn’t going to be taking many photos during this run since I would need to concentrate on staying upright and on my boat, so I had worn a helmet camera to try to get some video along the way, but unfortunately it did not record for some reason and I have no video clips to share this time and very few photos.

The creek did mellow out a little bit after the first couple of miles, so I was able to take a quick photo or two of Jackson ahead of me.

Floating Plateau Creek

Floating Plateau Creek II

Plateau Creek

Plateau Creek

The view from my inflatable kayak.

Plateau Creek View

We made it the five miles to the take-out at Big Wash in just about 40 minutes, so it was a pretty quick ride and a perfect run for another After Work Adventure! We heard a couple distant rumbles of thunder from up on the Grand Mesa while we were packing up our gear to head home. While the water is still up and the temperatures continue to rise we are hoping to get back on Plateau Creek at least one more time this season.

>> Plateau Creek Photo Gallery



Plateau Creek Map

Highway 65 Bridge to the Colorado River


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