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Old 03-15-2011   #1
Eureka, California
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 32
Desolation canyon?

Hello everybody,
Iím new to Mountain Buzz, and hope you will be able to help me
Iím part of a group that was able to secure a permit for Desolation Canyon in late June. Two rafts, a cat, and 6 canoes.
I believe, late June flows will be anywhere from 6000 to 9000 CFS, and have been told that if everybody is comfortable doing the Lower Salmon at 6000 to 7000 CFS, then we have the skills. True or false, or any thoughts in between that?
What about Joe Hutch? I think Iíve read most of the posts regarding the big blowout, and last yearís trips, but most of the write upís seem to be over 12,000 CFS. Our rafts shouldnít have any problems, but any thoughts regarding the open boats?
Water. The drinkable kind, preferably with the sediment load removed. Do people filter and drink the river water? Or, carry all of their water, or collect and filter from side streams?
And thanks for the heads up regarding bringing lots and lots DEET

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Old 03-15-2011   #2
sandy, Utah
Paddling Since: 1983
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 148
Even at lower water those canoes will have a hard time if they don't have floatation. I hit Joe Hutch at 17,000 or 18,000 on June 10th two years ago. So there can be a chance of higher than exspected levels.

Rock creek has a nice fresh water stream that you can filter water from.

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Old 03-15-2011   #3
Eureka, California
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 32
All of the canoes are "whitewater" canoes properly outfitted with air bags, thigh staps, lots of rocker, etc etc. Canoes will also be carring their personal gear to add a twist to things.

We launch June 25th.
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Old 03-15-2011   #4
sandy, Utah
Paddling Since: 1983
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 148
Then you have nothing to worry about. The water will be so warm you won't care if you swim.
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Old 03-16-2011   #5
The Russian
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SLC, Utah
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1,380
Joe Hatch has a great big pool at the bottom with a big eddie, even if you swim you won't have to swim very far. Joe Hatch is a lot bonnier at lower level. Just stop and scout on river right.

If you have rafts, just bring the water with you. But Rock Creek is very clear water for filtration if that's your style.
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Old 03-16-2011   #6
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Golden, CO
Paddling Since: 1856
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 339
I would plan on bringing all your water. The fresh water sources are hard to find and the Green is like choclate milk. Bring a filter just in case. It shouldn't be too hard to skirt the holes in Joe Hutch just don't get sideways. I'm pretty sure you could portage a canoe on river right if need be.
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Old 03-16-2011   #7
Summit County, Colorado
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 153
You can filter water at Rock Creek and at Chandler Creek. We've done Deso in August the last 4 years and have been able to get great water at both places. Chandler Creek was actually better than Rock Creek last year. Just filter and you're good to go! Those are also nice spots to bathe off, just be sure not to get soap in the creeks. We've never been able to filter water from the river, as it's just waaaay to silty and chocolate milk. Both Chandler Creek and Rock Creek are easy to find and noted on maps and were even marked on our GPS. For Chandler Creek, I'd pull over after the rapid - there is a nice big beach (or there was at our flows in Aug) and camp river-left (you'll need the Indian permit). You can hike back up to the creek from the camp/beach. There's a nice trail that will take you right to the creek. To be safe, ask the ranger before you launch. He'll be able to tell you where the best water is located at the time of year and river flow. Enjoy your trip!
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Old 03-16-2011   #8
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Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 683
Rock creek for sure. Plus you want to stop there anyway for the ranch. I’ve always just seen it crystal clear, we don’t even filter, just iodine it. Seemed like Chandler was pretty skimpy last year when we camped there (the creek, the campsite is nice but the beach a bit rocky) unless I’m getting my spots confused, don’t have a map in front of me. Fun rapid to play in to make runs with a ducky or something.

Sounds like you will be good to go. Having never seen them you might want to scout Cow swim (joe hutch canyon), wire fence, three fords, and I’m blanking the name of the one lower down with the big hole on the right side filled with jagged rocks. You can’t see it from above until you are right on it in the raft. No big deal if you know it’s there. I’m sure someone knows or I can find it later.
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Old 03-16-2011   #9
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C. Springs, Colorado
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,443
Rock creek, Chandler, and the Indian Hotel are the places we use to fill.

I got Giardia from Rock Creek a few years be careful. I've drunk out if it before without problems........but I'll never do it again without filtering. The Moonshiners cabin at Firewater Canyon has a spring next to it where you could fill canteens and small water jugs. The water there is mighty tasty but the spring is slow for Poison Ivy.

I don't know if it is allowed, but there is a good water source and tank at the old indian hotel at the bottom of Desolation and before Gray. I forget the name of it......It's a bit of a walk to get up to where the hose comes out of the spring....which is next to the water tank...hint..hint..... but we use to fill there on High School trips and have the kids carry them back to the filtering required.
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Old 03-16-2011   #10
vernal, Utah
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 27
Carry all your own water because of the oil and gas drilling activity. There's a possibility that drilling fluids are in the water going into the side streams. Even the commercial outfitters carry their own water.

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