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Old 01-25-2011   #1
Salt Lake City, Utah
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 2
Dirty Devil River???

I am thinking about rafting the Dirty Devil from Hanksville to Hite early this March. I know it is not doable year round due to low flows, but it looks like early march averages around 125 cfs. Does anyone know it this is a doable flow? Or what a good threshold is? Any info about the trip or river would be much appreciated.


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Old 01-25-2011   #2
Kayenta, Arizona
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 95
Best Info I have seen


I too have thought about doing this little gem in the early spring one of these years.

Dirty Devil River Float- Hanksville to Hite Marina, Utah

In my research, here is the best web-site I have come across that offers pretty solid info and good description. Hope it helps, if you get on there have fun and tell us about it.


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Old 01-26-2011   #3
over the horizon
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Carbondale, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 267
The hydrograph is rank with spikes if you look back over the years. I've always wanted to catch the Dirty Devil in flood and see what the ride is like. It went over 25000 cfs for a day or two in 2006! Have a great time and post a TR here. March looks like the best bet for any sort of flow.
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Old 01-27-2011   #4
Salt Lake City, Utah
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 2
After studying this trip I decided I need more time than I have to really do it right. I would want to spend some serious time hiking and exploring the side canyons and would need 7-14 days which I don't have this trip. Definately will get it one day though.
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Old 01-02-2012   #5
Tacoma, Washington
Paddling Since: 1977
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 10
Dirty Devil

I've done the Dirty Devil, and I'm suspicious of the flow numbers in that report. Relatively recent irrigation changes make the historical flows a bit harder to interpret, and perhaps lower than you might think.

The number I heard to be able to get close to paddling the river was 200 CFS.

When I did it, in May, I had between 25 and 50 cfs over two weeks. I walked probably 75% of the river, on Sand, towing a whitewater open canoe. That flow range is available all year, during May temps were over a nice range and splashing through the sand bars was fun, if a bit slow. I was able to carry enough camp gear and food to be very comfortable.

I will do this one again, and it will be more likely that I'll risk the flash floods of late summer than the cooler weather of March - unless my schedule gets so flexible as to match what are very rare trully paddleable dates.

Here are my pics:

Two Weeks in the Dirty Devil Canyon (Motley Blog)
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Old 01-02-2012   #6
Salt Lake City, Utah
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 35

Here is a trip report from a solo run I did in the 2006 flood mentioned above. This is a awesome run and would only be better with more flow.

I was able to get on the Dirty Devil this weekend for a sweet solo run. On Saturday I completed a 1 day decent of the dirty which is 80+ miles from the bridge at Hanksville to the bridge near the take out at Cataract canyon. I estimate the flow was between 15,000-20,000. The scenery is epic rivaling and other desert run I've done. The last 20 miles is a box canyon that typically contains a little stream bed gouged out of tamarisks and sediment. When I went on Sat it was wall to wall water to whole way. It was amazing to see a desert canyon alive with so much water. Rare moment in time in a cool place. I would highly, highly recommend it even at low flows. I wanted to stop in places and check out some of the side canyons (looks like sweet hiking) but was to busy paddling my ass off so that I didn't run out of water and get stuck in the canyon. I camped Sat night near the bridge close to Cat. The next day the river had dropped 10 ft, down to about 2000 cfs.

People at the hole-in-the wall gas station said Lake Powell climbed 3.5 feet in 20 hours. They also said it was the highest the dirty devil had run since 1957. I got a ride from a group who did Cat and they said it went from 6500 to 35,000 while they were on the river.

At this flow it was class 3, mainly 6-8 foot sand waves and two class 4s. Not exactly the gnar but still a once in a life time flow.

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Old 01-02-2012   #7
Paddling Since: 96
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 1,373
Thanks for the info guys.

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