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Old 07-01-2007   #1
moving water, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 2
questions on Lodore trip

I've got a Lodore trip coming up.

Any suggestions on how to best deal with the bugs?

My wife is going in a ducky. She's decent but not great in the boat. Class III should be no problem for her. Are any of the rapids tricky at this low water? Do you have suggested lines for these rapids?

Are any of the side hikes must-do? Butt Dam Falls?


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Old 07-02-2007   #2
Chip's Avatar
SE, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,098
No clue on the bugs. Headnets, garlic, DEET, etc. Scrape 'em off into the spaghetti sauce.

As far as the rapids, at low water, most are read & run. There are a few spots where a duckie might fetch up on a boulder (Disaster Falls and Hell's Half-Mile).

But if she's got someone she can follow, who'll take a straightforward line on the class III runs, catch an eddy at the tail, and retrieve, she should be fine. Just keep an eye cocked.

It's a beautiful piece of river.

yrs, Chip

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Old 07-02-2007   #3
Gnarnia, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 651
Lodore is sweet. Great camping, beautiful scenery and a some really fun rapids. My first time down the river was fluxuating between 1100 and 1700 cfs, depending on what they were doing at the Flaming Gorge dam.

The first rapid is Winnies Grotto. It's an easy class II but if you screw up and hit the rock in the middle, you're probably going to flip. Start center with your stern pointed at the right bank and pull back towards river right. Should be no problem.

Next up is Disaster Falls. There's upper and lower. Upper is a straightforward drop through a hole and some waves. There's only one line through - it will be obvious. There's a huge eddy on river left above the drop and there will like be other parties scouting. Scout from the river left bank.

Lower Disaster is fairly easy and generally run left of center. However, there's really no good way to scout the rapid so take it slow, read and run and you should have no problems. Be sure not to get too far right. At certain water levels (low water) there's a small island that separates the current. The right channel leads you into a nasty overhanging wall that could cause problems. The last time I ran Lodore, a raft ran right of the island, slammed into the wall and one of the passengers broke an arm. Stay left and watch out for the rocks (mostly small but lots of them at low water). The rapid is bony in places and can trip you up.

Up next is Triplet. There are essentially three distinct rapids in Triplet. Hence the name. The first is a shallow rocky stretch of water that's fairly straightforward. Generally you want to start right of center and work left. There's a prominent pointy rock near the bottom of the rapid and you want to be left of that rock. it's not too hard.

Second part of Triplet is more or less a slot between two rocks. It's an obvious route but be mindful of the wall on the right. Stay away from the wall.

The last part of Triplet is a hard left turn through two boulders. You want to start center and work left away from the overhanging wall/slot. If you go into the slot, known to some as the 'birth canal', it will be a royal pain in the ass. Just stay left and watch the rocks at the bottom of the rapid. You can get a great scout from the Triplet campsite on river left. Follow the trail downstream through the campsite and you'll be able to see the entire rapid.

Hells. Hells is fun. There's a huge pool above the rapid and a great scout on river left. There are several routes through Hells (depending on water) but the easiest is to follow the obvious tongue of water, missing the rocks on the right. At the end of the tongue is Lucifer rock. You can either go right or left, dealers choice, but the right is probably easiest. You'll have to pull hard to the right but it's not too difficult. Just set up early and be ready for the move. Hells is long and fun. Enjoy the ride.

Lower Hells is basically a rock garden that is read/run. A run more or less down the center should get you through.

That's it until Split Mtn. There you'll find Moonshine (easy), SOB (run far right), School Boy (straight forward) and Inglesby (run left of the giant rock).

Have fun...
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Old 07-02-2007   #4
moving water, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 2
Thanks much JBL. Good info.

Anyone have suggestions on side hikes? There's got to be some good ones.
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Old 07-02-2007   #5
Westminster, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 524
Pretty much every camp in the canyon has a hike.
W&C - hike downstream to Winnie's Grotto (or pull in just below the rapid)
Pot Creek - explore up the canyon - no real destination
Kolb - okay, I lied, not every camp has a hike...
Rippling Brook - A really cool wisp of a waterfall up the side canyon between the two camps
Wild Mountain - Up to an rock overlook directly above the camp
Limestone - Up to an amazing overlook upstream from the camp and then on to a really small seep waterfall
Echo Park - Along the road to Whispering Cave and then further to some huge petros
State Line - #2 with no hike
Jones - Butt Dam and petros - then if you're feeling energetic explore the canyons up above the falls
Comp - stop at the day use post at Jones, the camp is a beach with cliffs and juniper
Cove / Big Island / Island Park - you could hike the 9 miles back to Jones Hole...

My personal favorites are Limestone and Winnie's.
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Old 07-03-2007   #6
TimWalker's Avatar
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1992
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 205
Not much to give on the side hikes or rapids (all read and run) but the shuttle can be spiced up if you don't mind poneying up the dough. We took the plane shuttle and it was awesome!! Flying straight up the canyon was gorgeous and the landing, well, it was more adrenaline than any of the rapids. Great trip, great fishing.
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Old 07-05-2007   #7
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 67

regarding the bugs, make sure and bring a tent! sucks to be woken up by their buzzing in your ear at 5am. the only bug juice that worked in our group was the REI brand of heavy duty chemicals... I think it's 99% DEET O
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Old 07-05-2007   #8
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 76
Originally Posted by TimWalker View Post
Not much to give on the side hikes or rapids (all read and run) but the shuttle can be spiced up if you don't mind poneying up the dough. We took the plane shuttle and it was awesome!! Flying straight up the canyon was gorgeous and the landing, well, it was more adrenaline than any of the rapids. Great trip, great fishing.
we've got a trip aug. 3rd and looked up the go. out of business.

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