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Old 06-01-2011   #1
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 2,239
San Rafael Swell questions

We are headed out to the Swell area for 5-6 days for a mixture of desert floats /ducky rafting,slot canyon hikes,and some light creeking. I was wondering about the availability of camp spots right on Ferron/Cottonwood/Huntington.I know there are some campgrounds are they;

a] any good?
b]likely to be full weekend ?weekday?
c] easy to access/lap good 3-4 rapids near the camp spot?
d]anything close to Left Fork/miller flats?
e] is there good primitive camping on the river?

Also what is up with flows?The box is 500+ but only Ferron seems to be going so far,any predictions when Huntington and/or Joe's Valley might go?Any recommended hikes of moderate length?

Thanx Jay

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Old 06-01-2011   #2
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 2,239
oh,how long might the Boxes have water? I want to go back out there after peak to run it at low/med if I can find someone else to go.

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Old 06-01-2011   #3
Provo, Utah
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 114
San Rafael

Miller flats is under several feet of snow. Getting to the put in for the left fork of Huntington creek will require a 3 mile hike through snow and then some. Also wood is definitely a big issue in there right now, but there is plenty Of water.

Apparently there are a couple of really good sections on the main part of the Huntington creek from the left hand confluence down. Wood is an issue there as well and atleast one boat was lost over the weekend so scout it well.

Joes was fun and a little bouncy at 250 cfs this last weekend. The upper black box was absolutely amazing at 600 cfs. Seemed like the perfect flow to me. Seriously it was the trip of a lifetime.

Lots and lots of camping in the swell. There is a campground at the put in for the upper box and lots of unmarked campsites along the way. There is camping at the takeout for cottonwood creek/joes valley.

Hope some of that helps!
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Old 06-01-2011   #4
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 2,239
thanks afaust.So they are running,just diversions before the box I guess,GOOD!
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Old 06-01-2011   #5
Rez072's Avatar
Moscow, Idaho
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 88
Check out all the threads from this year, and previous years for that matter:
Black Boxes SANDBAG
San Rafael Swell; Black Boxes @ minimum 6/15/10
Maybe there would be some changes at higher flows, but we seemed to like the 2nd box better. Camping in between the boxes is phenomenal. You can either car camp at the end of the road or down by the put-in/take-out meadow.
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Old 06-01-2011   #6
rg5hole's Avatar
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 06
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 450
to add for the black boxes... there is no camping in either box...the only option I recall is at put in - mid way between boxes - and take out

also, if you are not comfortable in solid class IV you need not be in there as you would be putting yourself and your group in jeopardy.
I've never boated before, but I have posted a lot on Mountain Buzz!
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Old 06-01-2011   #7
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Apr 2007
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Yeah rg5hole I know what you're saying. I am almost as obsessed with this run as you .On this trip we're doing mostly mellow stuff.I just wanna camp near some stuff i can lap or run solo to shake off the rust, only been out once so far.Want to do the Box [es] on a later trip,which was my question ,any guesses as to how long it might still have a runnable flow?
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Old 06-02-2011   #8
C-dub's Avatar
Salt Lake City, Utah
Paddling Since: 02
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 183
There is a ton of snow left. Thinking that whole drainage may make it to July or perhaps later. Runoff really hasn't started in that area yet. Joes, aka cottonwood is a good roadside solo option with camping in the area(been holding around 250cfs). Also check out the muddy. Ran that Sunday and wow. 2 hours south of that area but has had the highest flows since the 80's. 11 of 16 miles in a slot canyon. Definitely worthwhile if only a class II run. Took us four hours. Good luck.

God Bless SKA Brewery-Sturgeon General
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