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Old 08-14-2007   #1
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 2
Flaming Gorge to Lodore

Hi everyone. This is my first post and I'm seeking info on the above run. Specifically, we are contemplating doing this in the 8/24 to 8/29 time frame. According to this site, Bureau of Reclamation - Upper Colorado Region Water Operations: Current Status: Flaming Gorge Reservoirflows will be in the neighborhood of 800 cfs and I am looking for opinions/facts/experiences as to whether this is adequate or not. Skill level of those involved is Class III, we have not done this run before and we will be using SOAR 16 canoes. Any info will be much appreciated, thanks!

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Old 08-14-2007   #2
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Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 614

My spouse and I used a SOAR to do this run a few years ago in combination with doing a trip thru Lodore. The flow was 800 CFS and I liked the trip. The rapids are straight forward class IIís with Red Creek at mile 10 standing out only because of length. The first part thru Red Canyon goes fast and the BLM/USFS has established campsites. The country opens up after 15 miles with a choice of takeouts. The current slows but continues thru Swallow Canyon with scattered picnic tables on the left bank most with vehicle access. Deadwater starts at the Swinging Bridge ( mile 29 ) and continues to the Lodore ramp ( mile 45 ). Afternoon winds would be a pain below the Swinging Bridge. We did the full run with two nights. Technically, the NPS doesnít want you taking out at the Lodore ramp unless you have a permit to continue thru Lodore.

Iíd like to do a trip with you someday. We ran Browns on Saturday and you can see our picture here:

Bye, Bruce

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Old 08-14-2007   #3
Westminster, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 524
I've never been clear on the exact rules, but I've heard that the wildlife refuge either doesn't allow or doesn't encourage camping. Ed at River Runners ( "Self-guided, full support river running and white water rafting adventures: safe shuttle services, full or partial support river trips available, and complete, delicious meals are prepared. Whitewater river trips include: Gate of Lodore, Lower Yampa ) might have more up-to-date information.

Cadster wasn't kidding about the deadwater. I've never seen a river move so slow. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2007   #4
student, slacker, nose picker, ski boot fitter/fly fishin' guide
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 52
Cadster has it right, I used to guide flyfishing/row dory's on that stretch for 7 years.. It's a super easy/mellow float. -especially after mile 15 or so.. Red Creek rapid is the only one you might have to watch out for bc of length and rocks at 800 cfs. Some guides would make their clients walk around the rapid on the obvious river left trail, while they took the drift boats through at gets pretty thin/rocky with fast water.

camping on the B section below the damn is first come/first serve, but you still have to reserve a site with the little hole camp people.. after that, I believe you can camp in any of the sites downstream of the sec. B take out at Indian crossing..-those camp hosts might know the Beta on camping in the refuge..

in any case.. bring a flyrod bc you'll see more trout than you've ever seen in your life.. and they get huge down below red creek rapid, and thru the refuge..

beautiful float.. gin clear water... ~Mike
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Old 08-14-2007   #5
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Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 614
The only places that I saw desirable for camping in the NWR were at the Swinging Bridge and the main campground 8 miles downstream. Both of these places are used for car camping and easily accessible from the river.

The main refuge campground is the last good river access before entering the Monument.
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Old 08-16-2007   #6
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 2

Thanks everyone for the info. You folks are a friendly and helpful bunch!
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Old 07-12-2010   #7
Durango, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 16
Flaming Gorge to Lodore

I know most fishermen take out at swinging bridge. We have a Lodore permit & are looking to float it all of the way from the dam. We'll be on rafts, how many days would you expect it to take to get to Lodore? We have alloted two full days, then plan on doing the last 10 miles or so into Dinasaur & the ranger station on the third day. Current flow is ~1750cfs. Will we have any time to fish? How brutal is that last 20 miles? Any Camping suggestions?

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