Fremont River in UT is running
The little known Fremont River in central UT is running, and on the rise. Our expert UT creek and flow analysts Tim Payne, Sam Chesley and Chris Smith bagged a descent last Saturday at minimal flow. The photos looked good, but more importantly the flows are improving. Although it may dissapoint if you are looking for hard whitewater, the steep mank can be entertaining, and more importantly, it's a very cool slot-like canyon to paddle through. If the flows drop out be willing to head to the nearby slot canyons, or bring a mtn bike for fruita.
Something to consider for this weekend if you want an adventure and prefer to drive as much as you prefer to kayak.
The full run description from Tim Payne:
"The Fremont is an excellent wilderness run that transects the Waterpocket Fold, the uplift that creates Capitol Reef National Park. The trick on this run is to catch it with enough water. You want at least 150 cfs, but you can bash your way through as low as 100 cfs, as long as youíre in your brotherís boat. Our recent run was at 120 cfs and it was very abusive but worth the bonking just to see the place. Camp at the main campground in Capitol Reef, this is the takeout, and put in where Highway 12 crosses the Fremont, just south of Torrey. The run is 9 miles, plan on about 6 hours the first time. Consider putting in late morning to catch optimal flow.
The first two or three miles are mellow class II, things start to get exciting when the canyon closes in. Eddies are small and infrequent on this run. Most of the beginning rapids are straightforward , although blind, class III. When the boulder bashing becomes horizon line scouting, and the drops become class IV, you are near Hangover Falls, the first Class V. Itís easily recognized by the house sized boulder that hangs over the channel from river left. Shortly after this junky, abrupt drop thereís a 15 footer into a deep pool, the lip of this drop has become less crisp in recent years. About 200 yards below Lower Hangover Falls is the next class V, Chunderbunny. You donít want to stumble into this mess, its crux is an 8 foot drop where most of the river smashes into an awful boulder. You can sneak this, but itís not pretty. If youíre thinking about running these drops you should scout Hangover to Chunderbunny together, things happen fast in here. A quarter mile and a few class IVs later, the final V, Fledgling Falls, sneaks up on you. Fledgling is notorious for luring paddlers in with its innocuous entry, and soon theyíre paddling for their life. Donít miss the scouting eddy, and if you do, avoid the nasty sieve on the left of this drop. Portage left, and look for the pictographs. For the next two miles the canyon is very tight, several hundred feet deep, and beautiful. There are a few nasty, pinny jumbles below fledgling, but the whitewater eases soon and itís just a few miles of fast, willow in your eyeball class II to the takeout."
If I get motivated I'll post a photo...