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Steep Creek Championship

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Dropping a whopping 480-feet per mile, Homestake Creek is a paddling gem that was once known only to Vail Valley locals.

EVENT UPDATE: Due to low water levels on Homestake Creek, the Vail Valley Foundation is currently considering moving the GoPro Mountain Games Homestake Steep Creek Championship race from its original location on Homestake Creek to Dowd Chute on the Eagle River, near Eagle-Vail. Please check back for more information.

In 2002, local weatherman, shuttle driver, and pro kayaker extraordinaire Ken “Hobie” Hoeve hosted a successful grassroots race on the creek with no more than a keg of beer waiting at the finish line.The next year Mountain Games took Homestake Creek nationwide as some of the world’s best paddlers hucked their meat down drops like “Leap of Faith” and “Piece of S**t.” Race rules are simple – the fastest time to the finish line of the ¼ mile creek wins.

Thursday, June 7


IMPORTANT: Registration for this event closes Wednesday, June 6 at 6pm

The Steep Creek Championship is for serious Class V kayakers.  Pins, swims and injuries happen here, even to top athletes. The course is on Homestake Creek located outside the town of Red Cliff and is approximately ¼ mile long and drops 480 per mile. All competitors must have successfully navigated the course prior to the competition.


Open-Men / Open-Women



Boats must be plastic, production whitewater creek boats under 9′ length with bulkhead footrests and appropriate grab-handles.

Pre-production, modified or non-creek specific boats within the standards of modern creek-specific designs may be allowed, but only with prior approval of the Race Directors.

Athletes must dress for creek-boating Class V whitewater; Rescue-certified PFDs are recommended.

Full-face helmets and elbow pads recommended. Low-protection slalom helmets are prohibited.

Unsafe or excessively used equipment (such as: excessively worn PFDs, unsuitable helmets, damaged boats, spray skirts with holes, inadequate footwear etc.) may be deemed unsuitable.

Throw bag required. Float bags strongly encouraged.

All athletes are required to have their have their boat washed onsite prior to training and racing at the designated boat wash station or they will be subject to disqualification. Please be respectful of the US Forest Service for allowing us to use this precious resource.

Athletes must wear competitor bibs outside their PFDs at all times.



All competitors must have successfully kayaked Homestake Creek prior to competing.

Women will compete first. Athletes’ start time within each division will be determined by date and time of registration. Those registering first will start last in their division. Special requests for start times will NOT be accepted. Athletes must adhere to the start position he/she is given.

The race will be run in a time-trial format. Women will be sent out in two (2) minute intervals and men will be sent out in one (1) minute intervals. Athletes’ bib and start times will be electronically and manually recorded at the start and finish line.

Athletes start on the designated starting ramp. The race starter will give each athlete a 30-second and 10-second warning and begin the start countdown at five (5). At “go”, the athlete will be released. Finish times will be recorded when the athlete crosses the finish line.

At minimum, the top 50% of athletes competing in each division will advance to the second round. Ideally, 5 women and 10 men will advance to the one-run final round. Exact competition format to be determined an announced based on entries and water levels on the day of the race.

Due to downstream hazards, all athletes must take out at the designated take-out or they may be subject to disqualification from the event.


The course is on Homestake Creek located outside the town of Red Cliff and is approximately ¼ mile long and drops 480per mile. All competitors must have successfully navigated the course prior to the competition.


I-70 west to exit 171, Minturn/US Highway 6 & 24. At bottom of ramp, take right. Follow Highway 6 & 24 about 30 minutes. Cross over the Red Cliff Bridge. About 1.4 miles past the bridge, take a right and park. Walk down the hill about 100 yards to the start line. Parking is very limited so please carpool with friends.



LAUNCH PRICE – 24HRS ONLY (1/26 @ 4PM – 1/27)


EARLY BIRD (1/28-2/28)


STANDARD (3/1-6/5)


EVENT (6/6-6/10)



total prize purse: $7,000

1st – $2,000
2nd – $1,000
3rd – $500

1st – $2,000
2nd – $1,000
3rd – $500

Price & Prizes
race start & finish:

Red Cliff, Colorado

2018 Steep Creek Championship – COURSE MAP


Steep Creek Championship

homestake creek

red cliff, co

This ¼ mile stretch of creek near Eagle County’s oldest town, Red Cliff, is the location of the Steep Creek Championship. Homestake is for experienced kayakers, but spectating the race is extremely fan-friendly! By car it takes about a half hour from Vail Village to reach Homestake Creek for the competition.