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Old 02-26-2011   #1
Boulder, Colorado
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 42
Minimum flow for Yampa?

I was wondering if anyone had an opinion about minimum flows on the Yampa river. We would probably be in canoes, which would need less water, but we might have a small raft along as well.

The numbers I have say 1000 cfs minimum for rafts, and around 400 cfm minimum for canoes. Does that sound right?

I am talking about the lower Yampa, through Dinosaur National Monument.


Open boater.
raferguson1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-2011   #2
Mancos, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 4
We have tandem canoed the Yampa 3 times during the low water season, once each at 450,550,600 cfs.We carry a fair amount of weight [17' Tripper fully loaded] and for us 400cfs would be the minimum.We ran Warm Springs at 600 but portaged the other times.In three trips,all in late July,we have yet to see another soul on the Yampa [although the last 21 miles on the Green is always busy].We took a big 16' cat down once at 1050 with few problems.

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Old 02-26-2011   #3
Colo Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 599
Yes on the 1000 minimum for the raft. I've never rafted Yampa when it's been that low, but that's what I've heard, too.

I've done two ducky trips with minimal gear late in the Yampa season. The flows were something like 500 or so and that was fine for us and I would presume for a canoe, too. More than fine, it was fun.
David L is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-27-2011   #4
aurora, Colorado
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 107
Ive had a (too) heavily loaded 17 footer bucket boat down the yampa at about 880 cfs. very bony. but, if you pack light and plan long days on the water, it can be done.

However if you have 1k, rafts are golden. still figure long days on the water. low water scout big joe (only one line) and (of course) warm springs. and bring a pin kit. did have everyone walk warm springs but me and a swamper. for weight mostly. do you have a permit, or are going for a post high use call in permit?
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Old 02-27-2011   #5
Westminster, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 524
I took an 18' commercial boat through once on 800 and dropping. We had another trip 2 days behind us. I think I ran Warm Springs around 600 cfs without much problem, while our other trip had about 500 and said they barely scraped through. That trip was still easier than pushing the same boat through Lodore on 800 cfs though.
And I disagree with long days on the water - they're only long compared with a flood-stage Yampa day which is an hour or two of floating each day.

I won (for the first time ever!) a July launch, and am crossing my fingers it stays above that 1000 cfs threshold for our launch day. is offline   Reply With Quote

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