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Old 09-30-2010   #1
yakkeranna's Avatar
Canberra, OZ
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 168
Diamond Creek vs. Pearce Ferry (Grand Canyon Takeout)

Any advice about which takeout to use? I'm leaning towards Pearce Ferry because from what I understand, the shuttle and Native use fees will be less expensive (??), and we'll get to run a few more rapids.

Also, has anyone run the Pearce Ferry Rapid (~1/2 mile downstream of the takeout)? Would it be really troublesome to go run that in a kayak and then hike back up to the takeout? From what I've read, it's supposed to be gnar.

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Old 09-30-2010   #2
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,133
Pearce Ferry is MUCH cheaper: shorter shuttle, NO Indian fees.

Adds a day of great rapids, adds a great hike, adds more time in the Canyon!

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Old 09-30-2010   #3
The Mogur's Avatar
Oregon City, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1972
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 457
I too vote for Pearce Ferry! No fees, no long drive up a bad road, no working around the schedules of the Indian's trips. Just better all around. And yes, you do get to see the waterfall in a cave at Travertine Creek, and you get to run Killer-Fang Rapid. Really, the only drawback I can think of is the paucity of campsites below Spencer's Canyon. We camped at 261, despite the continuous procession of Indian helicopters, because we hadn't seen any other possibility for hours.

We ran Pearce Ferry Rapid, but that was before it turned vicious. There was no take-out at Pearce Ferry at the time, so we were on our way to South Cove.

We mounted up a 3-horse Nissan outboard at Bridge City, strapped all 5 rafts together, and motored out from there. Very relaxing two day cruise. It was wonderful to hit the clear, warm water of Lake Mead after 21 days of ice-cold silt. We camped on a beach a short distance from South Cove and did a morning take-out the next day.
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Old 09-30-2010   #4
Beaverton, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 569
I'm going in February and heading to Pearce.

This just looks too easy to pass up:

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Old 09-30-2010   #5
mgpaddler's Avatar
Cottonwood Heights, Utah
Paddling Since: 1972
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 61
I took out at Pierce on my last trip in March of this year. After 24 take outs at Diamond I was amazed at what I've been missing. I could do without the Helicopters but would likely never consider Diamond again. Would prefer to have a motor for the last day but found the current moved us right along just fine. Have not tried a night float but many friends have and really enjoyed it. Diamond to Separation is well worth the extra time.
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Old 09-30-2010   #6
no tengo
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Baytopia, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1876
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,768
the biggest disadvantage by far taking out at pierce is the relentless helicopter apocalypse now war zone from just below the last rapids to pierce.

of course it is much cheaper to take out at pierce, but consider the cost of 2 or 3 extra days off work.

so if you have the time go for pierce and consider a way to blast through that last 30 miles of helicopter alley as there is hardly any camping anyway.
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Old 09-30-2010   #7
Beaverton, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 569
Do the helos die off in the winter?
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Old 09-30-2010   #8
Horserump, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1975
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 458
Bring potato guns and pick off some helios. Between the Hualapie air force and navy it can get to be a bit much. But there's some pretty canyon down there.
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Old 09-30-2010   #9
Boy Howdy!
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Colotucky, USA
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 1,054
Originally Posted by brandob9 View Post
Do the helos die off in the winter?

Who's your monkey?
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Old 09-30-2010   #10
Breckenridge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 79
So, as mentioned above the camping is very slim below Separation. The current does move along very well and indeed the helos suck. Whatever. It's worth it. So, this last spring I did a trip at flows between 6K and 12K. We hiked Travertine Canyon mile 229.3 and it is really nice (short). Camped at Bridge Canyon mile 235.2 and it was ok - small group - with an OK hike. We had no head winds the following day and floated to seperation and hiked, floated on and camped at mile 259 on the right on a a micro-bar/ledge a water level. It was truley tiny. Helocopters landed across the river on the rim and we were within hollering distance of the passengers. We toasted them and yelled at them in a friendly way. The next morning we got an early start and floated (still no headwinds) and hiked really lovely Coumbine Falls Canyon at mile 274.9 Left ( hard to spot), then floated/rowed into the wind a short while to mile 277.5 on the right. Here we camped on some ledges. The good part of this was that we were still in the canyon, and not near any other campers. It is small and offers a very small kitchen and maybe 4 tent sites max. Right after that, the next morning, we floated on to Pearce Ferry passing huge beach camps on at 279 and at 280. There were multiple groups camping at both both spots, but it was easy access and sand - so if you are into a big party scene this may the place for you - if you are into a last night pary with the folks you came with, the ledge camp may be the way to go. I hope I always can go on to Pearce. It was super relaxing, but I guess we got lucky in that we had very little head winds - like a half a day of head winds below Diamond. The current is moving, though the water is flat. Enjoy!

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