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Old 09-22-2010   #1
Charlottesville, Virginia
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 38
Whitewater near Provo, Utah?

I am from Virginia, but my girlfriend is applying to a job in Provo. What is the paddling scene like out there? How long is the season (would like to paddle more than a few months during runoff)? What are the best class III-IV+ runs within 2 hours of Provo and when do they run? Just need the beta!

It looks like Sixth Water creek is the local gem. How long is the season for this creek?

Thanks in advance!

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Old 09-22-2010   #2
alta, Utah
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 121
Do not move to provo having much of an expectation about whitewater. that being said first, the spanish fork river (class II) and the provo river (class II+ w/ one III under bridal veil falls) are your only "after work" runs and typically have boatable water in may/june only. An hour or two drive away from Provo is the mighty weber (popular day section hen/tag=class II...and can be run all summer) and the Price river (seasonal). During runoff season, the weber has a good park and play wave and a "decent enough" 1-2 miles of "fast IV" boating on "the bend." 3-4 hours drive gets you to the murtaugh, black canyon of the bear, "joe's valley", muddy chute's, black box's, and a handful of other "must-do's." if you enjoy powder skiing, can deal with all the stores closing on sunday, 3.2 beer, and can be tolerant of "intolerant churchy people"......prepare to cream your jeans. provo and the wasatch front in general aren't really close to good whitewater...but, it is centrally located to some of the best. a good half a day drive gets you to westwater, cataract, ladore, southern Idaho...and my personal fav...jarbidge/bruneau.

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Old 09-22-2010   #3
windriver's Avatar
Jackson, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 66
Provo's not as bad as everyone would like you to believe

Provo is an easy place to hate, but has some real positives that are often overlooked. I have been going to school in Provo for the past 2 years, so I can give you a local opinion. No, there isn't 5 killer class V creeks 5 minutes away, but there is some decent paddling year-round. The Provo river in lower Provo canyon is a great after work run 10 min. away when it's running (III+ - IV-), and the upper stretch is very scenic and great for teaching beginners and has water from mid april to mid september. The spanish fork river is another okay after work run that has water mid-april to mid-september. Sixth Water creek is short, but way fun, but is a little further of a drive.

Run-off generally occurs from mid-april to mid-june and there are a variety of creeks and rivers along the Wasatch Front that provide some good fun for various skill levels. There's a fantastic play wave that comes in on the Weber river during high water, and another playpark that has okay hole surfing throughout the summer.

As has been stated, the best part about Provo's location is it's close proximity to various world class kayaking destinations. Fantastic boating on the Green and Colorado Rivers and their tributaries as well as some big water fun a couple of hours away in Idaho. Jackson Wyoming is a halfday drive away as well.

On the non-paddling side of things, there is great resort skiing in every direction, and fantastic backcountry opportunities out your backdoor. Also some great fly fishing if you're into that. Fantastic mountaineering opportunities during winter on Mt. Timpanogus which towers above the valley along with plenty of other peaks nearby. A lot of rock climbing and ice-climbing nearby as well.

Culture: A vast majority of the people in and around Provo are of the LDS (Mormon) faith. This means that people are quite "churchy" and people are very committed to their faith, but by no means intolerant of others....although there will always be a few bad apples that people will judge the whole faith by. I'd recommend learning a little about the faith before moving here...preferably from a legit source like rather than some skewed biased person/website. If you come here, make Sunday your day to play cuz everyone else will be in church and you'll have the rivers/mountains/snow all to yourself.

Hope this helps.
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Old 09-23-2010   #4
alta, Utah
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 121
While I am loathed to hijack this thread into a new area of discussion outside of those topics requested by the OP.......the 3rd poster, Windriver, is obviously butt-hurt (Butt-hurt as all buzzards know is that special feeling deep in your ass after it's been kicked and/or fucked hard. It is a common ailment amongst losers on the internet. It is usually characterized by noisy whining and complaining after being pwnt or otherwise outdone in any minute and insignificant way.)

By referencing me and my post as the source of "skewed and biased" information with respect to the fine people of Utah county...Mr Windriver attempts to pull the wedged cactus out of his rectum by citing (gulp) know, that unbiased, grounded, and accurate beacon of truth to all things righteous, good, and Mormon (CTR). I am sure there is no biased or one sided information located amongst the pages of And speaking of tolerance vs, intolerance, I heard that BYU is on the verge of opening the doors of the Marriott center to host the next NORML conference and the BYU student center is about to consider sponsoring GBTL student gay pride marches. In fact, next week the good folks from planned parenthood will be on-sight and handing out condoms in the student center or BYU dairy.

Anyway, OP....I am just teasing. These are things you are not likely to see on the Breed'em Young Campus or around Provo. It is a conservative town that largely consists of like minded religiously devout folks...who's biggest danger to you, the newcomer, is watering down your beer and puttin a double set of magic underwear on their oldest daughter so you can't pick her locks. As windriver said, most Utah county saints are good solid people and I agree with him. I just think he needs to holster his guns when it comes to saying that Utah-county folks are less tolerant than folks from other parts of the country. I happen to disagree on that point and have just realized this whole issue is worthless without a buzzard poll.

carry on!
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Old 09-23-2010   #5
windriver's Avatar
Jackson, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 66

My post was nothing personal, nor did I intend to reference you're post in anyway. Read it again and I'm sure you'll see that. As for as a reference, it's a pretty logical choice to learn what the faith is about; wikipedia does just as well. And yes, if you're hoping to see a gay pride march through the BYU campus, you'll probably be disappointed.

Most people I paddle with aren't mormon, nor does it ever seem to matter on the river. Just trying to give the guy a little inside info on life behind the "zion curtain".

See ya on the river
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Old 09-23-2010   #6
cataraftgirl's Avatar
Sandy, Utah
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 3,120
I moved from Florida to Salt Lake City 24 years ago, and took up whitewater rafting 13 years ago. You'll find plenty of paddlers & rafters here in Utah. Some groups to check in with ..... Wasatch Mountain Club & Utah Whitewater. Or just hang out at REI, Sidsports, or Wasatch Touring in Salt Lake and chat with folks. Being a rafter, I do mostly multi-day or car camp day runs, and these are plentiful from late April to October in Utah, Wyoming, and Idaho.

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Old 09-23-2010   #7
Park City, Utah
Paddling Since: 1985
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 700
If you move here, don't do it for boating.

Biking, hiking, skiing, fishing, etc are all stellar. Kayaking, not so much.

As previously noted, you drive significant distance to anything that won't bore the crap out of you.

On the religous thing, if you are a religous biggot, it will bug you. If you aren't, you will have some amazing neighbors that do things like shovel your drive way when your gone, or bring by food on holidays.

Lower provo is a tail water that can all be safely tubed. It is a place to padle when you really need to get out, but it is very tame. The Uinta's have alot of creek action, but the lack of boating populace means it's all very woody. Lots of desert boaters here and people running to Idaho on the weekends.
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Old 09-23-2010   #8
Provo, Utah
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 114
Plenty to do...

... You will figure out the culture when you get here, save yourself some time and make your own opinions. Glad to paddle with you any day. I get out 2-3 days a week during the season.

This site contains beta for just about all the runs within Utah.
Kayaking Information

As has been written you are within a 3-6 hour drive of some premier paddling, but there is plenty of after work play within an hour of Provo.

To name a few anywhere from 10 minutes to within an hour of Provo...
IV Bridal veil section of the Provo
-III Spanish Fork
III/IV Red Narrows
IV Sixth Water
IV/V American Fork
II/III Henefer - Taggart (weber)
IV Scrambled eggs bend (weber)
III/IV Ogden Narrows

Riverdale Wave (weber) - Great while its in, but the window is really small.
Ogden Play park - Pretty sad play park really. Shallow, bony and paddle grinding. Fun if you are bored or want to learn to surf.

A few within 2-8 hours... (I will probably miss some.)
North/South/Main Payettes
Main/Middle Salmon
Desolation canyon (green river)
Gates of Lodore
San Juan
Black canyon of the bear
Cottonwood creek
Ferron creek
Muddy Chutes
upper/lower black box
Left fork of the huntington

Kelly's Whitewater play park
Green river play park (Just invested a million bucks into the feature)

and of course more...

Check out and of course the eddyflower beta. Feel free to pm me and I will be glad to send you my info and paddle with you when you get here.
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Old 09-23-2010   #9
Charlottesville, Virginia
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 38
6th water creek?

Thanks for all the great info! I am very curious about 6th water creek It seems like a really nice resource to have when there is not alot of water around.

Is it usually runnable in the summer and fall?

How long does it take to get up there from provo (I have a jeep cherokee)?
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Old 09-25-2010   #10
Charlottesville, Virginia
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 38
summer/fall options

What are boating options for the summer/fall season? Anything I am missing besides spanish fork, hentag, sixth water, and snake canyon in jackson hole?

Does the murtaugh have water in the summer/fall? I read that kayaks can run it low(500-1500).


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