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Old 05-03-2011   #1
SummitSurfer's Avatar
Summit County, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 435
GPS Coordinates for Ruby/Horsethief Campsites

Ever wonder "how much further" or I wonder if I can make this campsite before dark? I know I do.... I couldn't find any coordinates on the net, so when I did this river over the weekend I decided to bring the ole GPS along for some techno fun. Everyone knows where the boat launch is so I left it off. These are in order as you float down the river. I've left off each Cottonwood site except for #1, you have to count the rest from there....if you can't find the other Cottonwood sites after shouldn't be on the river.. ha ha!

GOOGLE EARTH USERS: If you want to go see the sites from the sky and just check the river out from satellite imagery, make sure you use the right format I used for the coordinates. Here is how to make sure you have the right settings. Go to Google Earth>Preferences>3D View tab; below you will see "Show Lat/Long", pick the first option on top "Decimal Degrees". Your done.

GARMIN GPS USERS: Go to Main Menu>Set Up>Units; Under position format select "hddd.ddddd". This should also automatically change your Map Datum to "WGS 84". Exit out your done and ready to hit the river.

1. Rattlesnake (8 person) 3 miles. Very small. Plus, your not even launched and paddled 4 times and your at this site!!

2. Bull Canyon (Large) 3.3 miles. A big group could have a lot of privacy from each other here, with tons of shade and its your own little dead end canyon. My favorite!

3. Cottonwood Site(s) (multiple large) 5.9 miles. Large areas for many tents, medium shade from the Cottonwoods.

4. Saltcreek Site (10 ppl) 8 miles. I stayed here my first trip and I liked it but cant put my finger on why. I do know this is the last campsite the train doesn't pass in the middle of the nice which is nice!

5. Fault Line Site (Large party) Approx 10 miles. This site can be tough to get in and out of due to shallow water 25-40 ft from shore. You might have to drag your boat across some shallow areas. But beautiful site.

6. Mee Corner (All somewhat large) Approx. 13.7 miles. Another beautiful area. Next time I run Westwater I think we are going to stop for the night.

Mee Corner Site:

Mee #1 Site:

Mee #2 Site:

Mee #3 Site:

Mee #4 Site:

Mee Canyon Site: Seems to be the Creme de la Creme of Mee campsites! If your going to be camping a couple of days with friends and family, this seems like the place to go with some nice hikes into the canyon!!

Black Rock Campsites: 15.9-16.8 mile marker. Most popular and first to go of all campsites. Seems this is the place to go for THE party. Some small and some large. Sorry I started with site #4 and up.
Black Rock site #4:

Black Rock site #5: a FAVORITE. Large site with little shade but pretty cool area.

Black Rock site #6: another FAVORITE. Larg site

Black Rock site #7:

Black Rock site #8: If you have kids, this is the one you want for exploring the little rooms and naturally occurring jungle jim for climbing. Has a few good trees, which help block the wind and is my favorite of the Black Rock sites. Not alot of beach, but place to land you boat with nice eddy to play in.

Black Rock Site #9: Another all time favorite of many and usually the first site to get taken. Tons of beach for the kids or laying out. Nice eddy for the kids to carefully swim in. This site will fit large groups but in close proximity of each other.

Knowles Canyon: Sorry missed the site and didn't get a GPS reading. It is however at mile marker 18.

State Line Campsite (Sorry don't know the appropriate name): Fair size site. Mile marker 20.4. If you look to your right you will see painted on the wall (gruff ) "Utah/Colorado"

Eagles nest river left in Cottonwood tree. Many Eagles in this area, we counted 6 in this general area. Many times right overhead!!

Westwater Rangers Station:

Now, some of you will find this completely useless because you are river Gods and Goddess' but its my hopes 1st timers will find the information useful. I am no expert in this canyon(s) and have only done it 3 times and each time I learn something new, like Bull Canyon is truly a remarkable place and quickly becoming my favorite site. The only fault is that its so far up river for those traveling with next day Westwater permits.

Hope you guys enjoy, be safe out there.

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Old 05-04-2011   #2
Thronton, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 665
Wow! Nice work. Thanks for these. Can you do this for all the rivers? Maybe throw in some coordinates for the rapids too (on the other rivers)? LOL

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Old 05-04-2011   #3
SummitSurfer's Avatar
Summit County, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 435
I'm on it...ha ha.
Eventually I think I will add other rivers especially if no one else is giving the coordinates and it doesn't take long to do.
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Old 05-04-2011   #4
SLC, Utah
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 111
Enter those points here:

Colorado River - Horsetheif and Ruby Canyons - River Brain

Then everyone can easily download a GPX file they can import into their GPS devices.

Check out desolation, westwater or the grand canyon on riverbrain to see what's possible on mapping info about rivers.
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Old 05-04-2011   #5
SummitSurfer's Avatar
Summit County, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 435
River Brain....... Uggghhh..!! I already gave up several hours the other night on this thread. I can't make any promises that I'll get around to pluggin those in anytime soon..maybe! We will see if I catch my second wind.

Feel free to copy and paste them though....I don't have the copy righted!!!
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Old 05-05-2011   #6
Carbondale, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 262

Nice work!

Just curious, I have tossed the idea around to get a GPS but have never pulled the trigger. What kind of GPS are you using? I have no experience with them but would heed more advice from a rafter that is using them then a hiker/backpacker at REI or some other retail establishment...

Thanks for any advice!
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Old 05-05-2011   #7
Grand Junction, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 52
Here's another way to pick up co-ordinates. Use Google earth and locate the area that you are interested in. Zoom in and continue to center on your location of choice until the resolution gets so bad you can't see much. Move around until your exactly centered on your spot at high magnification. read and record the lat/long of this location.
Again it is very important to make sure that you record or make note of the map datum(WGS 84, NAD 25, etc) in use during your Google Earth search.
These co-ordinates can then be loaded into your GPS and used as Waypoints or your can mark them on a map and use the GPS to "home" in on them as you travel. Note again that you GPS must be set for the same map datum that was in use when you got the co-ordinates from Google Earth.

This method worked nicely on our Salt River trip last year.
Happy hunting

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Old 05-05-2011   #8
Grand Junction, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 52

A basic Garmin has proven to be more than I can make full use of. These units cost less than $200

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Old 05-05-2011   #9
SummitSurfer's Avatar
Summit County, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 435
COLORADO ICE: Yea.....I tried that but the satelite imagery for Ruby Horsethier is not detailed enough to know where the campsites were and or the name of them. It was just me and my 4 year old daughter for this camp trip and before leaving was wanting to plan how long we were on the water and campsite. But without the campsite names I couldn't sign up for them at the put in. But I have them in my Google Earth Program now.

Calendar16: I agree with Colorado Ice. You don't need much in the way of a GPS. I have a Garmin Vista eTrex which is simple to use, has a easy user interface and seems like just the right amount of bells and whistles. I did look at a unit that monitors barometric pressure and temp etc to forcast the weather, which I think would be nice to have on the river. What ever you do, when you figure out the unit you like ie Garmin eTrex Vista (COLOR UNIT IS NICE!) buy it on line. Just Google search it and you will get them cheap. These units either work or they don't there is little in between. Like I said earlier, they are a great help to forcasting your river travel time and location to were you are trying to get. With a GPS you spend less time guessing "how much farter" and more time enjoying your time on the river.

Here is a google search I found: Garmin eTrex Vista HCx - Hiking GPS receiver - TFT - 176 x 220 - color#

The key is spend some time playing with find it fun and interesting and thus you will learn it ver quickly.

One other note on the gps. If you are going into an area your not familiar with I take it and it tracks me. This allows me to venture out without knowing exactly where I'm going. I found it a big help in Italy and France.......I could just set out running around town, then when I was ready to go back to the hotel I hit "Track BACK" and it takes me back home or takes me the shortest route back to my hotel.
Hope that helps.
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Old 05-05-2011   #10
Central, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 90
Thanks, SummitSurfer! Great resource.

I put those coordinates into Google Earth, here's the KML file people can download -- most GPS units can import those, AFAIK. Save the attachment, rename it to end with .kml (not .kml.txt) and Google Earth will open it up too.
Attached Files
File Type: txt RubyHorsethief-camps.kml.txt (18.6 KB, 150 views)

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