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Old 04-03-2006   #1
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,097
Looking for Ruby Horsethief Info???

Thinking of doing Ruby Horsethief with the family in two weeks. I am looking for info on camps and side hikes. I haven't found much info, except that there are numerous camps in the black rocks area, and that there are some arches way out there. We will be a party of 4. Looking for a good camp and for some nice side hikes. If anyone has more info I'm interested.

Based on previous posts, it sounds like putting in at fruita helps to lower the risk of break ins, so I'm up for that.


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Old 04-03-2006   #2
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 122
Ruby/Horsethief is a nice float, no whitewater at all. Even with out that it is a beautiful run. There is good camping at Cottonwood and Black Rock. Each area has multiple spots, sign in at the put in at Loma and see where others might be camping. Loma is the best put in, which is about 2 miles west of Fruita, arrange your shuttle to the Westwater put in to avoid break ins. Make sure to bring the groover and a fire ring. Also wood can be sparce at black rock so forage for it earlier. As for hikes there is great hiking in Mee Canyon and Rattlesnake Canyon. Mee has hoodoos and great geology within about two miles from the river. Rattlesnake is a bit longer, probably about 5 miles, but there is a large concentration of arches in that area. This is a great mellow float and can be very enjoyable. You may want to avoid weekends to insure camping spots are available.

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Old 04-03-2006   #3
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 122
Also here is a website to check out.
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Old 04-03-2006   #4
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 206
Pretty much what he said ^.. If you set up your shuttle through Rimrock in Fruita (They may not be in service for the season yet) you can park your cars there for security. We usually have them put us in at the Loma boat launch and skip the flat boring section leading in to the run. Rattlesnake canyon is a long hike (1st big canyon on the left when you begin downstream) we never made it to the arches, the trail fades out towards the end and we ran out of time. If you are doing a one nighter Blackrocks is just a little over halfway. If you are doing a two nighter I would recomment Cottonwoods on the 1st night (it is located on a long left hand bend with a large grove of cottonwoods hence the name) and the beach on the left side at McDonald canyon the second night. You can stop at McDonald canyon on the right and hike up and see indian pictographs and petroglyphs and then do a hard ferry accross the river to get to the campsite. The BLM has a good map of that section with all the campsites listed as well.
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Old 04-03-2006   #5
Renaissance Redneck
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Huson, Montana
Paddling Since: 1988
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 988
Best not to leave a car at Loma, I've heard of breakins.
Get on early for your second day, I've pushed hard into a brutal headwind for something like 5 hours to get out from black rocks.
"You're gonna be doin a lot of doobie rolling when youre LIVIN IN A VAN DOWN BY THE RIVER"
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Old 04-03-2006   #6
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SLC, Utwah
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 106
Ruby/ horsetheif should be beautiful in an a couple of weeks. The creek coking out of Mee canyon might be running warm wit some good pools to relax in. On the weekends black ro cks can get pretty full. If all the spots ther are taken, Knowles canyon has a spot just a liitle further down on river left. The only place where you can find more arches in one area other than rattlesnake canyon is Arches N.P.. The hike from the bottom is pretty difficult though. I did this trip last April in a canoe and it was perfect.
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Old 04-03-2006   #7
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 28
BLM website

Not sure of the address, but the BLM has a great river map of ruby horsetheif. I printed it off one time and it was very helpful for a weekend canoe trip. showed lots of camps and good side canyons. Researh BLM for the site, good luck and have a blast.
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Old 04-03-2006   #8
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 567
The best hike i have done there is to the rim at black rocks. We got to the top in about 20 - 30 minutes for sunrise and it was awesome. great trail up. Just walk toward the wall and you can see the stacked up rocks at the top. There are lots of game trails and you just follow them up and it gets fairly developed. There is another nice hike out of mee corner, before Mee Canyon. it goes up high as well. Cottonwood is really nice because it is before the train comes in. Rattle snake will be fine for a group of four. With kids there is a nice pinch point to hike to in less then a mile. There is a nice stopping point just over a mile at a dramatic igneous looking canyon. Once you climb around that you are in for a long hike to the Arches. I did not make it either. Bull Canyon is nice but the landing is rough. The canyon is about 50 yards before you cliff out. Mee Canyon last fall looked like a super fund site with the Tamarisk mitigation. I appreciate what they are doing but it looked grim. There is a camp at the mouth of the creek, bottom of rapid, that is good for four. It will be tough to get a raft up into the mouth of the creek. It was great with canoes. The best kid campsite at black rocks is Number 9 Down low, big bay on river left. really nice low angle beach. other wise #4 above the the big rocks is nice for a small group.

friend of the fork, knife, and spoon
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Old 04-03-2006   #9
Golden, Colorado
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 140
Originally Posted by LSB
Get on early for your second day, I've pushed hard into a brutal headwind for something like 5 hours to get out from black rocks.
Second!!!! I got totally stuffed after just 4 miles on day one on my first trip down there. It was impossible to make down river progress. Got started before sun up to finish the other 23 miles the next day. I thought I was going to get stuck and miss work on Monday.

It's a great float though. Just realize with all the flat water, you are at the mercy of the wind gods.
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Old 04-04-2006   #10
Golden, Colorado
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 140
Maybe you already know about it but just a heads up about the new user fees for the put in also... good mbuzz link

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