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Old 10-25-2008   #1
fort collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1994
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 60
Westwater to Moab Thanksgiving Week

I am thinking of a flatwater float from the westwater takeout to Moab, the Sunday - Wednesday of Thanksgiving week. Has anybody done this? Any problems finding campsites? Anyone interested in coming along? If I wind up doing this on my own, does anyone know if anyone in Moab who would be willing to run a shuttle (I thinking of commercially - the jeep/river/adventure outfitters)

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Old 10-26-2008   #2
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 71
be prepared

i thought i'd love thaT STRETCH AS A UNDER USED FAMILY FLOAT for 7 days,but can only speak of a trip done 7 yrs ago,cisco to moab.only one camp, river left, within 2 mi of cisco put in,usually filled w/comm traffic.after that,way too much tamarisk,on both banks---armor plated;what few openings we came across,were usually private land,and we respected that.except for possible sand islands,we found little usable camping til we got past dewey bridge(RIP)----very un-fun.however ,tammy beetles,and eradication programs,may have changed that problem,for the better!i say,go prepared for bad/tuff camping options,and you wont be stressed.anyone else have an update?

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Old 10-27-2008   #3
eagle, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 42
We did it a couple of years ago as a 3 day trip. Camping is OK; we used the site below Dewey Bridge and a site at Onion Cr (river R about 1.5-2 mi below Hittle Bottom). Onion Cr was a very nice site. You might have better luck finding sandbars etc this time of year, we did it in May. It's all flatwater until Hittle Bottom (the Moab Daily) then some riffles and small rapids from there to Moab. It's a pretty section of river with good views of Fisher Towers, excellent for families, the road follows the river from Dewey Bridge to Moab but usually is not to obtrusive. Overall I'd say it is worth doing, you'll likely have the river to yourself at that time. We used Red River Canoe in Moab for our shuttle; this is not really what they are into and last time I checked with them they reccommeded Coyote Shuttle in Moab, I have not used Coyote so cannot comment on them. Let me know if you have any other questions. Depending on your desires / constraints Ruby/Horsethief could be another option.
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Old 10-27-2008   #4
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Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 05
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,477
I did Ruby/Horsethief last Thanksgiving and it was beautiful. Plenty of camping as we were the only people out there. We saw tons of wildlife- eagles, turkeys, deer, etc. It was about 50 during the day with sunshine, got below freezing at night. We didn't even take ice for the coolers and all the food stayed good for 4 days. We had a big Thanksgiving turkey fry at the Westy putin with all the fixins.

Then we ran Westwater in one day at the end. After the rapids we were all very cold and wet, but it was worth it. It's important to have plenty of gear- I'd go with all my whitewater gear and skiing gear.
If I don't get my San Juan permit, I'll be there again this year.
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Old 10-27-2008   #5
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 71
folks---reread his trip info;i believe he's talking about cisco landing to moab,not ruby,not westwater proper,not dewey bridge,to moab!i guess im just as curious,as he, to see if there is any improvement to camping,between cisco to dewey;otherwise i still regard that as a "no mans" camping stretch.......
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Old 10-27-2008   #6
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Summit, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
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Did it 10 years ago in 4 days at high water (20G's ish). Fun trip, camping was good for the first 25 miles from Cisco to Hittle and so-so after that. Wish I could give you better beta but it was just too long ago.
"The world would be a better place if everyone kayaked."-Brad Ludden (Valhalla)
"You only get one chance to run a drop blind."-DD
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Old 10-27-2008   #7
dgosn's Avatar
San Juans, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 485
Watch out for the eagle eyed rangers on the road. I cant off hand remember where the life jacket rule goes into effect, but at one point PFDs are required. I know a few friends that got in trouble for that on the flatwater, and even more trouble because of the flat water festivities. One group got busted by ranger dick in the bushes with a spottin scope. Both group were busted by rangers driving along river road.

If you see a ranger with a spottin scope a signal mirror may be fun.
Sport Climbing is Neither
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Old 10-27-2008   #8
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Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,727
pm zbaird or pasta. They did that stretch last year. made it sound a little better than some folks are saying. Also the Tammie is well on its way out through there. The trees aren't gone yet, but they are almost all dead. The Beetle is absolutely working to kill all of the tammies. There will not be any shade in our desert canyons for quite a while now. Probably a great thing for future generations, but the verdict is still out for ours....

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Old 10-28-2008   #9
fort collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1994
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 60
Thanks for all the info guys. I am indeed talking about Cisco Landing to Moab. I am passing on Westy, cause I don't think I am going to want to get wet that time of year. At least not this far north. I'll let you know how it goes.
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Old 10-31-2008   #10
Moab, Utah
Paddling Since: 1979
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 52
Getting some good advice - I live in Moab, and that is one very slow, calm, peaceful float - usually lots of bald eagles, but nearly all land is private. The tamarisk has been beaten down pretty good by the beetles, but it is definitely NOT dead - it goes into "hiding" when the bugs are active. If you're only planning a couple of days, camping below Hittle (on the daily stretch) is no problem, but above it's still sketchy. There may still be few islands or sand bars from the high water this year. And Coyote is a good shuttle company, but call Theresa at Red River Canoe - she's not busy right now and maybe could use a little cash. Enjoy!

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