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Old 06-01-2010   #1
Cheyenne, Wyoming
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 26
Trip Suggestion for wife and myself

My wife and I are getting our 13' raft tomorrow. We plan on running the N. Platte from Pickaroon to Treasure Island a few times next week and possibly the Big Laramie (Woods Landing section) to get the feel for the boat and whittle down our camping gear selection. I just finished The Complete Whitewater Rafter. My wife has R2ed the Grande Ronde at lower flows in a cheap raft a bunch of times. I too have R2ed a couple of times on the Grande Ronde and oared a few times with an electrofishing boat for the Wyoming Game and Fish. I reckon we've both done a few Class II rapids (over and over), so we are pretty inexperienced.

We are looking for suggestions on a two or three night rafting/fishing trip suggestion (we aren't trying to get killed). We have considered the Bighorn up in Montana and the Green in our state. Both those rivers seem more like a float (which is a good idea for us). Anyone have a better suggestion than the Bighorn or the Green?


Michael and Maggie

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Old 06-01-2010   #2
El Flaco's Avatar
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1984
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 1,879
The Green below Flaming Gorge is pretty chill (class II) and it's amazing - very scenic, lots of campsites. maybe a 5 hour drive from where you are.

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Old 06-01-2010   #3
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SLC, Utah
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1,380
You could always do the daily on the Snake
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Old 06-01-2010   #4
Cheyenne, Wyoming
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 26
Awesome suggestions. Considering we are both work in education, we have a summer to explore both those options.
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Old 06-01-2010   #5
Chip's Avatar
SE, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,098
I live on the Big Laramie and near the North Platte, so I guess this comes from a "local."

The best whitewater is Northgate Canyon, from the Routt launch to Six Mile Gap: about 3-4 hrs. with some stair-step class 3 or 3+.

Pickaroon is rather hard to access (so I've heard, and chose not to use it). For a long daytrip with moderate rapids, you can carry the boat (13 footer shouldn't be too bad) down 1/4 mile of trail at Six Mile Gap and float to Bennett Peak (campground and boat ramp). The shuttle, much of it on dirt roads, takes at least 2 hrs r/t.

Another day trip with a wee bit of rock canyon at the start, is from Bennett Peak to Treasure Island or Saratoga. Shuttle takes about 1-1/2 hrs. Treasure Island to Saratoga is all valley-bottom gravel-bed channel, about 3-4 hrs., easy shuttle.

You can chain the runs (Six Mile to Treasure Island or Saratoga) for overnight camping.

For the Big Laramie, send me a PM- I might be able to float with you and run the shuttle. It's flowing fast, and Jelm to Woods Landing takes about 45 minutes. It's a good run for getting used to your boat, with a short shuttle (you can do laps), and a saloon at the take-out.
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Old 06-01-2010   #6
cataraftgirl's Avatar
Sandy, Utah
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 3,121
My favorite float & fish is the Southfork Snake below Palisades Reservoir. It's east of Idaho Falls in Swan Valley. I was just there this past weekend. Great fishing, moving water with an occasional riffle, but no real rapids. Wonderful scenery and great camps. We usually put-in at Conant and take out at Byington for a total of 25 miles. You can put-in closer to the dam for a longer trip, but the designated camps are below Conant. There is a ranger station at Conant where you have to register for camps and can get river maps and info. You'll need a firepan and a river toilet. Southfork Outfitters can do your shuttle and give you fishing info and licenses. This is a great weekend trip where you can hone your river camp skills without too much danger or stress. Look for bald eagles, osprey, sandhill cranes, and moose. The fishing is very good. You'll see lots of drift boats and fishing outfitters. If you go mid-week, you'll have the most privacy and better choice of camps. Have fun wherever you go. Welcome to the wonderful (and addictive) world of rafting.
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Old 06-01-2010   #7
Chip's Avatar
SE, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,098
Southfork of the Snake is gorgeous: gravel bed channels through cottonwoods. Amazing in the fall when they turn bright gold.

If you head for the North Platte (also good fishing) and the Big Laramie, you can also put in a day or two on the Poudre, which has a good variety of runs as far as difficulty. And within a half-day's drive, you could also try some moderate runs on the upper Colorado or the upper Yampa.

Which ought to get you well-adjusted to your new raft.
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Old 06-02-2010   #8
Cheyenne, Wyoming
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 26
Chip, I'll PM you about getting together to do the the Jelm to Woods Landing section. Thanks cataraftgirl for the info on the Southfork of the Snake.
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Old 06-15-2010   #9
Thornton, Colorado
Paddling Since: 86
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 1
An easy, forgiving multi-day is the Pumphouse to Catamount section of the Colorado. Easy rapids, plenty camping spots and easy access.
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Old 06-16-2010   #10
Cheyenne, Wyoming
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 26
Thanks guys for the information. Pumphouse to Catamount is a great suggestion. We are going to float the upper Green (below Fontenelle Dam) next week. Hopefully when we get back water levels will be low enough for us to run more local waters.

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