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Old 02-01-2010   #1
Park City, Utah
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 227
Hiking Around Westwater's Rapids

It is getting close to applying for some Westwater permits and I was wondering if it is possible to hike around the stretch of the bigger rapids? I was hoping to take my daughter, but when we get to the start of the rapids to hike my wife and her down to where it gets calm again. My mind was pretty polluted when I did Westy last year, and I remember the rapids being about 3 miles long. So I was hoping the hike wouldn't be much more that that. If it is possible is river left or right any better?

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Old 02-01-2010   #2
kayakfreakus's Avatar
Steamboat, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 887
I remember people walking Skull before, it can be done on river left. But I do not think it is possible to hike them all easily. Remember that in a couple places you are fairly gorged in and having to retrieve swimmers/gear to moving rafts as there was no "shore" to move them too.....

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Old 02-01-2010   #3
hotchkiss's Avatar
Pejivalle, Costa Rica
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 188
I do not think it is possible to hike the rapids, especially as a young girl. Still, I think she would love the trip and you would be happy you took her. There are other options, sending her down with rafters who are familiar with Westwater while you followed.
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Old 02-01-2010   #4
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Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
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Sounds like a bad idea to me. I've never tried it but it seems like the hike might be more of an adventure than the rapids. If you're looking for a mellow family trip why not just do the section above?
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Old 02-01-2010   #5
mountains, Colorado
Paddling Since: '92
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 418
Ask the rangers. It seems like it could be done. You would need to start fairly immediately after little D. I'm not sure which side of the river would be better.
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Old 02-01-2010   #6
Horserump, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1975
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Posts: 458
You can hike around skull on the L the rest have no real hiking around options in the canyon maybe the section below Dewey bridge or the Delores
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Old 02-01-2010   #7
no tengo
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Baytopia, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1876
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how old? I think I will finally be taking my 7 yr old this year at late summer lower flows (she will be almost 8 by then and has been swimming). walking around would be rather challenging.
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Old 02-01-2010   #8
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Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 05
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,477
The hikers would be completely out of sight of the boats on the water at most places. It would be difficult to set up a rendevous point after the rapids.
"There is NOTHING--absolute nothing--half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. Look here! If you've really nothing else on hand this morning, supposing we drop down the river together, and have a long day of it?" -Wind in the Willows
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Old 02-01-2010   #9
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steamboat Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 71
I do not think hiking around the rapids could be easily done. I have seen people hike around skull because they lost a boat, and they still had to jump into the tail waters of skull where the current is still quite strong.
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Old 02-01-2010   #10
Denver via GJ, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 333
Big factor is what the flows are when you put in. I think if you get below 10,000 you should be able to eddy out for most rapids to walk (Rafter's correct me if I am wrong on this because I am a kayaker and eddying out is obviously much easier). Beyond those flows it may be too hard to eddy out, or put you in a bad spot to set up correctly to run the rapid any ways. There are others on hear that know a lot more about this stretch, but it is something to think about. Walking the whole section would likely be a pain and not worth it.

"I plan to leisurely advance through my existence" - Terry Fuhrman 1991
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