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Old 05-14-2011   #1
Ketchum, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1985
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 3
Escalante River, UT

Anyone been on the Escalante recently?
How were the flows and know any projections?
Any info would be appreciated.

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Old 05-15-2011   #2
Chip's Avatar
SE, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,098
32 cfs now, just dropped from about 90 which is a lot of water for that channel. Here's the major source snowpack graph:

To summarize, it's melting fast. If you get on soon, you might have enough water to get down.

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Old 05-16-2011   #3
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 1,302
I would not trust that gauge completely. I drove by on 5/1/11 at the put-in and there was roughly 30-50 cfs in the creek, enough to start a float. The gauge read 7 cfs that day. On 5/1 there was a lot of snowpack left, but it's been hot...
Kyle McCutchen
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Old 05-16-2011   #4
Kanab, Utah
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 10
I don't trust the gauge either.

Just had someone check out the Escalante River at the Highway 12 bridge. Estimate that its running at 50 cfs. Plenty of water to run in a ducky. It may be a little bumpy until Boulder Creek comes in, but should be fine after that. Based on past year's patterns and looking at the snowpack graph, I would say that there is at least another two weeks of good runnable water left, maybe longer.

Wish I was going this year, but the schedule just won't let me...
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Old 05-16-2011   #5
pocatello, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 471
The gauge is terrible. ran it in duckies launching at 7cfs and had fun. got out of the boats 5x or more a day to drag boulder gardens- but it was fun.
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Old 05-16-2011   #6
Chip's Avatar
SE, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,098
The gage is upstream near town, where there are irrigation take-outs. Between the gage and the Hwy 12 bridge are three major confluences with snowmelt headwaters: Death Hollow, Sand Creek, and Calf Creek. If those are running strong, then you can have a good water level despite a low reading on the gage upstream.

But those of us who live a couple days drive away and need to plan in advance will look at whatever source of info we can get.
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Old 05-17-2011   #7
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Cedar City, Utah
Paddling Since: 1963
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 33
Thanks for your comment, Chip. I currently maintain the Escalante River gage. Much of the flow of the Escalante River upstream of town is captured in Wide Hollow Reservoir. Pine Creek enters the Escalante just upstream of the Escalante River gage. There are significant inflows between the gage and the SR-12 bridge, as Chip mentioned. Boulder Creek inflow downstream of SR-12 can double the Escalante flow. The gage is operated for water rights and hydrologic study purposes.

09337000 Pine Creek nr Escalante gage is the best indication of runoff trends in the Escalante tributaries. These tribs drain the south flank of Boulder Mountain. If considering the quality of data, look for the little red asterisks on the discharge graphs which indicate recent measurements.
In life, pain is unavoidable, suffering is optional.
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Old 05-17-2011   #8
pocatello, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 471
perhaps I should have said "the escalante gauge is not a great way to predict boatable flows. Look at the other tribs and call a local to get more info."

I actually call the shuttle company and see who else is launching. At least then I know if it is miserable we will be miserable together.
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Old 05-17-2011   #9
Boulder, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2003
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For comparison, 1993 and 2005 had some sizable flows. That's what you really want to see at Widstoe.
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Old 05-21-2011   #10
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 1
Just got off a 7 day trip on the Esacalante River and flow was good. First time running this so have no basis for comparison but there were only three portages and a hand full of shallow spots that we had to drag a very short distance.

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