Late: Cataract Canyon Update
We ran the canyon in mid-March and were pleased by current conditions (if you like technical water).
Plenty of camps below Imperial are available. We stayed one night across from Dark on a massive bench. Looked camp-able around Sheep as well. Several options above Dark and more around Gypsum.
Takeout @ Dirty Devil is in great shape.
A rapid has formed below the takeout that I haven't seen before but it had been since 2009 with my last trip. Kinda of shocking to hear it as approaching takeout at the water was almost dead in last 6 miles from Dirty Devil. Plenty of flow to easily get out in 1.5 days from Ten Cent.
Mile Longs are a blast around 6k. River has actually dropped since our trip. Ben Hurt was a fun, fast run down the right channel. A few more rocks exposed than I was used to from previous runs. Was glad to have paddle assist with my old 18' Bucket boat.
Tight moves on Big Drop 2 for larger rafts but it was a fun technical run to the right of the marker rock. Big Drop 3 is steep at low water but the same classic line.....plenty of opportunity for mishaps if you don't hit the slot right.
Overall the waves seemed spikier and the run much more technical that the 7-10k range I was used to. Mile Long section actually reminded me of some of the rapids in Westwater. Forgot how much I love that canyon though. Tried all new campsites from previous trips and realize its hard to go wrong in there off-peak season.
Have a good season and great runs, everybody.