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Old 08-15-2011   #1
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 47
Cataract Canyon Camping Below the Rapids

If someone has recently finished a trip in the last few weeks, Could someone quickly let me know if Dark Canyon, Gypsum, Sheep, or any of the camp sites were usable at these High Lake Levels. We are guessing NOT, and thinking we'll have to go all the way to the cars from around the BIG DROPS.. Also, How was Hite, and does it look usable for a few more weeks?

YES motors.. YES Shade.. YES Gas.... YES Whiskey.. this ain't my first RODEO!

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Old 08-24-2011   #2
TOUCHDOWN, Mississippi
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 144
anybody know about this? specifically dark canyon??

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Old 08-24-2011   #3
Estes Park, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 35
There is sand on river right across from Dark Canyon as of last Saturday, might be getting steep though with lake level dropping
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Old 08-29-2011   #4
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 11
River right just upstream of Rock Canyon was doable.
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Old 08-29-2011   #5
Jackson, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 1
Just got off it on Monday. Pretty brutal silt/mud fiesta on all the banks at and below Gypsum. There is a sweet beach river right 1.5 miles upstream from Gypsum. (Can't remember the name)The last rapids are not there due to high lake levels, so it's doable.
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Old 08-30-2011   #6
Tahoe City, California
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 13
would this camp 1.5 miles upstream of Gypsum be doable with a big group? like 28-29 people? Is Gypsum underwater? Could you camp there? Thx.
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Old 08-31-2011   #7
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 47
I have been trying to get a hold of the River "PATROL" Rangers for a few days about this Topic. They are not answering the phone. Other threads mention some Camps with "ify" quality below Gypsym. I think were going to shoot for a longer day and spend the night at Big Drop 1 beach. Then wake the next morning finish the rapids and motor out. Our group has grown to a size that we wont fit on the "private" camp across from Dark Canyon. And... Since the camp was built by commercial opperators, I dont want to interupt their plans.
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Old 09-15-2011   #8
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 25
I'm headed down Cat in mid-October and looking to hike in Dark Canyon. I think we're going to have around 20 or so people. Would the "private" camp across from DC work for a group of that size? I'm not too concerned about the commercials as we'll be mid-week in October and don't expect too much traffic.
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Old 09-15-2011   #9
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Evergreen, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1985
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 4
We had a group of 14 and camped just below the big drops on RR a week ago (Lower 24?). With about a 10am start we were able to float the remainder of the river and motor all the way out to Hite by about 6pm. 3 15-16 ft rafts with one 3hp and one 4hp motors. It was a long day, but doable.

It did look like there were a few spots on the lake where we could have camped along the way, but none were particularly appealing. We didn't go into Dark Canyon.
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Old 09-15-2011   #10
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 47
Here is the skinny, we stopped at the Camp across from Dark Canyon. It is Crusted but campable. If there is the slightest amount of rain it will turn into a MUD PIT. It should hold about 15 people. As for getting up the silt lines and into Dark Canyon, we did not explore. It will be a real challenge, but I am sure very rewarding. The lake will continue to fall for the next few months so the challenge of getting up the vertical silt pile will continue to be a challenge. When the lake is really low the silt pile runs the risk of falling and hurting people so be careful. The other day it looked like the climb would only be 10 feet, but like I said we did not row into the mouth of the canyon. Maybe people have cut an entrance into Dark this year.. ENJOY!

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cataract, cataract canyon

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