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Old 06-02-2010   #1
Ashland, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 107
Desolation-Gray in August?

I have a chance to row Desolation-Gray in mid-August this year, and I'm wondering about the flow. I've done a little research that suggests anything below 2000 cfs will be pretty rocky and slow, but I'm interested in your opinions and experiences on the Green. It looks like a tasty flow of 20,000 cfs right now, which my crude analysis of historical flows and this year's snowpack suggest might give around 3000 cfs in August.


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Old 06-02-2010   #2
Silt, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 75
I did this trip about 10 years ago in early August and the flows were 1800 and dropped as we went. It was a dry year but still well worth it, not to mention the bugs were not that bad! We actually would walk and swim our boats along the first couple of days. The river bottom was nice and sandy, not to mention it was very hot. You did need to be careful what channel you took as some got very shallow.

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Old 06-02-2010   #3
Barney Fife's Avatar
Grand Junction, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 174

I was on that trip with Highside and as he says, it was well worth it. Beautiful trip...and at 3000 it would be plenty full to have a lot of fun
"If you boat with your mouth open in the wind and put your tongue against the roof of your mouth, its impossible to pronounce a word that begins with the letter 's'."
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Old 06-02-2010   #4
DeeGardiner's Avatar
Sandy, Utah
Paddling Since: 1975
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 83
I have run Deso in Aug two or three times. I think the first time the flow was around 1500 cfs. We didn't have any wind the entire week, and it was a very relaxing trip. The kids played in the water most of the time and loved it.

On another trip the flow was down to 800 cfs and we had strong upstream winds the entire week. It was a death march - very tiring. We ended up having two people on the oars (push-pull) to make headway. We should have planned for 7 days instead of 6.

The rapids were not a problem even at those low flows. Some rapids had rocks, but with good river reading skills they were easy to avoid.

Just don't expect any big water. Enjoy the warm temperatures (air and water) and reduced mosquitoes and you should have a great trip. Definitely worth doing.
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Old 06-03-2010   #5
Chip's Avatar
SE, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,098
If you don't mind desert heat and some rock-dodging, go for it. It's a beautiful trip through deep, haunted canyons with great hikes and lots of intriguing historic and prehistoric sights.

Early in August = more bugs and more whitewater. Another possibility is a flashflood (search Joe Hutch Rapid for a recent result).

A bimini or umbrella might be a good idea, along with a extra-big cooler and plenty of ice.
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