Hitching Westwater back to Loma/Fruita - Mountain Buzz

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Old 07-04-2016   #1
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1985
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 12
Hitching Westwater back to Loma/Fruita

I'm doing some solo paddling this summer and was curious if anyone has had much luck hitching back from Westwater to Loma (with or without a kayak)? I could pre-place a mountain bike and camp the night before riding back but just wanting to keep it a bit simpler. Plus I don't like leaving my boat. Do people feel comfortable leaving their kayak there for say a day?

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Old 07-04-2016   #2
GJ, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2011
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 534
Can certainly be done. Might take 10 minutes to hitch a ride one day, might take 7 hours on another day. So dependent on when people around you are taking off, how much room, which direction they're heading, etc...

Takes ~4 hours for a fit rider to ride the Kokopelli Trail from Westwater back to Loma. Less if you leave the KT and follow the straighter route.

Lock your boat to the same thing you locked your bike to and it'll be fine. As long as you don't leave it overnight (bike or boat) you probably don't even need the lock.
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Old 07-05-2016   #3
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 900

The rangers sometimes used to let folks like you leave gear behind the solid fence between the boat house and the station. Haven't been there in awhile and don't know the layout with the new station, but it might be worth asking about.


Rich Phillips
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Old 07-05-2016   #4
Bellingham, Washington
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 95
I'm a solo kayaker and I hitched Westwater earlier this year... as well as a half dozen other runs and multi-day trips. My best advice is just talk to everyone: Folks at the put in. Folks on the river. Folks at the take out. I always managed to find someone with room on their roof rack or raft trailer to haul me and my kayak back to the put in, usually long before I reached the take out.

Be sure to pay your fair share of expenses including gas, the shuttle, and a tip for the shuttle driver if it's a multi-day trip. If it's a rafter who's giving you a ride, be sure to help them de-rig and load their gear. Make yourself useful! Work your ass off! People were amazingly nice and helpful to me, but I did everything I could to make it a win-win situation, not just charity.
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Old 07-05-2016   #5
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1985
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 12
Landslide, thanks - lots of good advice there. I'll very much make sure to give back and make sure I've got both energy and cash to contribute.

On a side note ever hitched back from The Confluence on Green River? I'd very happily chip in $100+, and some work to get back to Green River UT.

Thanks. Tony

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Old 09-06-2016   #6
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1985
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 12

Should have posted this earlier.

So tried it and in the end I hitched back from Westwater one Monday in late July. Arrived early afternoon but there was little traffic and mostly going the wrong way (Moab). Locked up the kayak after an hour and tried hitching without - took about an hour to get a ride. So not too difficult but I think on the wrong day it could take a long time, and on the right day you'd manage to get a lift for your boat too.
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