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Old 02-28-2012   #1
Bozeman, Montana
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 61
Ruby/Horsethief to Cataract Info ?

Anyone have some good info on this?

How do we deal with permits going from westwater to Cataract (can we camp on the boat ramp?)

Good layover options? Side hikes? (I'd love to go to the Dollhouse or the Maze)

River maps with camping info, etc.?

How many days, what kind of river flows? What's the level of Lake Foul right now... will we be smooth sailing in the current or rowing hard the last few miles?


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Old 02-28-2012   #2
TriBri1's Avatar
Tigard, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 768
Some of the info is on my thread from a few weeks ago, Mineral Bottom to Hite Marina float time

The only paper guide I could find is from Belknap.

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Old 02-28-2012   #3
SLC, Utah
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 111
Your hardest permit will be the Westwater section. You'll probably need to plan your trip around that. Lots of slow water between Cisco and the confluence. Plenty scenic though.

The colorado has been fairly well mapped from Ruby to Powell here.

Colorado River - Horsetheif and Ruby Canyons - River Brain

Click on the map or the different run sections for more info.
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Old 02-28-2012   #4
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Paddling Since: 1994
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 884
i have done it twice. both in the fall, low water. both with motors which were heavily used, though not all the time, from below westy to the rapids in cat and then below them to the lake. tons of super slow water in there. moab to potash is more less a lake.

i think my first trip was 18 days and my second 16. both involved layovers in cat for hiking.

plan for wind. last time we were motoring through the moab daily and could barely get downstream with the huge winds. commercials in the daily were pulling over and taking out above their planned takeouts and one group lashed on and got a ride from us. not sure how common huge winds are in that area. sustained wind could seriously delay a trip of that distance without a motor. if you were on a hardened schedule it could mean a true sufferfest. (this is where randaddy chimes in and says what a real man would do, we all know how he feels. save us the lecture.)

if you did it at high water (which i'd like to do sometime) you could forgo the motor and make it in a reasonable amount of time without rowing hard, day in and day out should you get sustained wind.

not sure about lake levels right now. it was up quite a bit but they have been dumping a bunch of water into the grand all winter.

as mentioned, westwater will be your only permit obstacle, secure that and youre golden.

dolls house is sweet. we rimmed out in X( or was it Y???) last time and it was pretty cool. lots of good other short hikes to ruins, pertified wood and all kinds of stuff down there. most of it is in the belknap. hike around and find something new. one of my favorite trips on years when permits and invites come up short and im looking for a long getaway.

if you can get people to come in and out you can make the shuttle easier and cheaper to deal with, as well as get fresh supplies.

hope that helps.
zach baird
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Old 02-28-2012   #5
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 883

Get your WW permit and there should be no problem getting paper for a Cat launch a few days later -- depending on how much time you want to take between Cisco and Potash.

I did Westwater to Hite solo a few years ago. The flow was around 7-8k cfs, and I took 12 days, IIRC. I didn't have much wind, and wasn't on a hard schedule; there certainly was no need to mount up the motor above the lake. One day I did 15 miles just drifting and gazing at the canyon -- only using the oars to re-position in the current every now and then.

But I sure was glad I had the motor for the last 20 miles. And that was when the lake was a fair amount lower than it is now.


Rich Phillips
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Old 02-29-2012   #6
RFV, Colorado
Paddling Since: 94
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 234
I do this trip every year, It's my favorite thing to do. I take 2-3 weeks but then my lifestyle permits this. I have an April 20th westwater ticket this year. Probably be at potash about may 1st. As Zac said, Depending on the time you go. The wind is your only delay factor. Although for Cat your permit doesn't start at the ramp. So if you have to make up a day or 2 it's easy. Cat permits are not like like others. You simply go down to the office and pick it up on the day of your arrival. Of course you need to call them 30 days out. If you are late it's no big deal. I don't use motors ever! Although I have been tied to Zac a couple times. Your deciding factor should be "High Water" If you can handle it try to go in May-June. this will make for a much more enjoyable trip.
As far as camps, They are everywhere.

Big Dave
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