The Beaver is the first run around Golden to thaw and get enough water to be worth kayaking. It also has a perfect progression to warm up on. Starting with a few km of class I moving water (a bit bony) it slowly builds through a few class II rapids with eddies and boulders to get a feel for current changes, a class III, then a longer class III+ rapid before arriving at a horizon line worth a scout. This is a class IV drop during the early spring flows I have seen it at. Almost immediately downstream comes a superb class IV/IV+ double drop.
Back to back 10 foot waterfalls with perfect lips and lots of water to plant your boof stroke on. This double drop is scouted on the right which gives a perfect view of the 1st drop, however, since the canyon pinches together so tightly and vertically, it is difficult to see the landing of the 2nd drop. It is cleanest center-right and the boils from the 1st drop want to push you into the right wall.
High water could make for some scary holes here. Portaging the double drop takes a little bit of work and steep bushwhacking.
The runout has a few more small rapids and fun eddies. Looking downstream toward the runout after the double drop. As you can see this river runs early and cold!
While the Beaver does not have a huge amount of whitewater and might feel a bit scrapy and low at the start, it is well worth it for an early season run. An easy warm up with a couple of very satisfying and confidence inspiring boofs to finish it off.
The Beaver is best run in the spring when the double drop is in. High water would most likely result in portaging the best part of this run. The portage involves a bit of steep bushwhacking and is easiest with a friend. Springtime melt means the road to the put in gets pretty soft and rutted. 4x4 or all wheel drive with ok clearance is recommended.