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Old 07-05-2011   #1
Ft collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 3
Deso in July this year

I have a permit for July 19 and one first time river rower for one of the boats. Not to mention (6) 13 yr olds on the trip. Looks like unless flows drop down below about 20,000 we will be looking for an alternate vacation. Am I nuts?

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Old 07-05-2011   #2
Glenwood Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 47
We got off on June 26th. We had three boats of which one was a first year boater. The hardest part with the big water was getting off the river to camp, lunch and hike. Three fords and lots of other small rapids were washed out. Riffles on the map were not even noticable. Watch for holes where there is nothing on the maps. You just need to be paying attention since the bigger water demands setting up where you want to be earlier.

Other than the big water, I thought the rapids were more technical at 9500.

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Old 07-05-2011   #3
Fraser, Colorado
Paddling Since: 80's
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 30
IMHO, Deso is most active in the 16K-17K range. Flows above that level washes most of the rapids out. Below that level requires you to read the River channel more closely, but the current is slower, and in July, the water is a bit warmer. Our late May trip @ 32K was one of the most pleasant and relaxing, of my 20 plus trips, on this outstanding float.
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Old 07-05-2011   #4
Pcdc2's Avatar
Salt Lake City, Utah
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 102
We just got off a five day trip yesterday (the 4th) (as well as a 5 day trip over Memorial day weekend at the end of May). Flows ranged from about 36,000 to 38,000. It is nice at these levels because there is a lot of current in the canyon which means not a lot of rowing against the wind. All of the rapids are quite straight forward. There are a number of large holes to avoid, but the river is so wide right now that it is not difficult to miss the stuff you want to miss.

If you have veteran rowers to help with your first timer I would think you should be fine. Put the first timer in between your other boats and have him follow your lines. Cow Swim (Joe Hutch Canyon) looks mean but is an easy move. I suggest taking the left tongue and pulling right after the big waves on the top river right, away from the wall.

As far as your kids go, keep them in life jackets when they're near the river and you should be good. If I were in your shoes I wouldn't cancel. But if you don't feel comfortable don't go.

One other note...the mosquitoes were pretty nasty so bring plenty of bug spray. If you have a mesh tent or something to keep bugs out I would take that as well. Let me know if you have specific questions.
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Old 07-05-2011   #5
Ft collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 3
Were the bugs bad the whole way down or just the first night as usual??
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Old 07-05-2011   #6
Pcdc2's Avatar
Salt Lake City, Utah
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 102
They were pretty bad at the put in. We rigged in full mosquito getup including mesh face masks. The first night we camped at the Mushroom rock camp and they were there, but not horrid. I would recommend sleeping in a tent as opposed to straight on pacos.

They got progressively less annoying as we got down river, though I would try and find camps with big open spaces and not a lot of brush/tamarisk (easier said than done at high water). We camped river left below dripping springs in what would've otherwise been an awesome camp, but the bugs were terrible.

I think a mesh pavilion would've been seriously awesome, but we didn't have one.

I guess in short, I would prepare for the worst just in case. But if you can pick good camps they should get better and better. The put-in was termed "mosquito hell" by our group.
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Old 07-05-2011   #7
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SLC, Utah
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1,380
Deso at 20k is a perfect for beginners. Lower than that will get more technical. I've taken a lot of newbie boaters down Deso at different levels and everyone were fine. Scout the obvious rapids (Steer ridge, Joe Hatch, Coal creek) and explain the runs to the newbies. Once they see your lines it will be easy to follow. Explain the must make pulls, the tongue and keeping the bow down current. People learn quick, especially the ones who pay attention
Have the more experience boat run Joe Hatch and park in the eddy at the bottom, then run a boat with all the kids. Have the bottom boat act as safety. Joe Hatch is too fun for kids to walk it. I've had my son run it at 6 and 7 years of age with me.

I will be one day behind you on Deso, so I can pick up your yard sale if it happens lol.

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Old 07-05-2011   #8
Littleton, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 10
Sadly we are bailing on our permit for the 7th. We would have had 7 kids between the ages of 5 and 10, and (Even with something like 20 trips through the canyon) it does not feel responsible to take kids down at this water level.
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Old 07-05-2011   #9
Ft collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 3
Funny I will send you my address
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Old 07-05-2011   #10
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1981
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 5
We ran it from June 28 to July 3. Water levels between 36 and 38. Three oar boats and a paddle. Kept a close eye on the paddlers, but they did great. Lots of great holes and hydraulics. Bugs calmed down by Cedar Ridge.

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