Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 01-03-2015   #11
cedar city, Utah
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,932
Never flown with Redtail but did with my boss when I worked in Moab and the flight path is obviously stunning. None of my friends have ever wanted to be in such a small plane though. Would love to see it again.

The one down side to the Green River stretch is the just plain sucks as a "ramp". And some people don't like the drive down the switchbacks but I haven't used that put-in since the big rains so I have no clue what the exposure on the new road is like.


restrac2000 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2015   #12
Pleasant Valley, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 95
Hmm... I have never seen the road or ramp in a condition that I didn't believe was suitable, especially considering the remoteness of the run. The Grand County and the NPS have a lot of interest in maintaining the road and I have always thought they did a good job maintaining access.

Captain is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2015   #13
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 149
I've run it higher, but typically reserve Cataract for late August or September once miserably low water sets in everywhere else. I love cat that time of year. Its hot, but bring the flip flops, wide hats, sunscreen, cold drinks, sun shades/umbrellas, water guns, and a good book to read and its a great time. There are beaches galore, until you get to the end of the rapids.

The rapids at lower levels are distinct pool drop, but still plenty of fun and some seem to get bigger the lower it gets (a la Westwater) and will still flip a boat. Great surf in a few spots (5 & 10, etc.) if thats what you're in to. Big Drop 2 is relatively easy line to either side of the center rock but worth scouting. Last run I did around 9K, we took it lightly and ended up with 3 upside down boats and passengers on both sides of the river above Big drop 3. Big Drop 3 is a technical rock garden class IV at low flows--definitely the must-scout crux and a totally different character than during run off and you have to be on your game to hit the few slots that are available. IMO, #15 - "Hell to pay" is the only other rapid approaching IV and worthy of a scout if you don't have some baseball diamond analogy to go by (who's raft is on second?). Interesting story about #15 that I just found.

To each his own, but we use the motor top and bottom since a 4 day trip works better for more of my group than a 6-7 day trip would, but I'd like to paddle the whole thing some time (or at least down to the lake). I can't remember ever seeing a ranger at the put-in--but I almost always encounter one in a motorized J-Rig around Spanish Bottom, checking motor registrations, fire extinguishers, groovers and other regulated stuff as well as making sure you signed up for camps. (And wear your life jackets after the confluence or get yelled at!)

Sandbars on the top flats become more of an issue once you get below about 5000 (combined) but can be avoided if you have a sandbar prophet at the helm.

Camp at Spanish Bottom and hike up to the Dollhouse. Have passengers hike the Loop. Those are the two we always hit, but there are other good hikes if you have more time.

At any time of year, don't plan on camping once you get past the rapids unless you have fresh, firsthand knowledge that a few camps actually exist and will accessible down there. Well before you hit lake level, the silt banks will set in and they don't facilitate riverside camping. The few times we've gotten to the tail-end flatwater and expected or needed a camp have been "interesting" nights either on puny mud bars or sleeping on the boats.
benR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2015   #14
Moon's Avatar
Silt, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 193
great info, thanks
Moon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2015   #15
Bigdrops's Avatar
Moab, Utah
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 70

Hell Yeah June should be Great! On average High water peak is June 5. I hope we have another good year. Last year Cataract peaked at 60k, YeeHa!
Bigdrops is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2015   #16
DesertRatonIce's Avatar
Buena Vista, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1982
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 217
Cat is a great Run. I prefer to run it in September and that is from Potash. The first 44 miles on the Colorado is flatwater. For our group, we love it. We float from morning to sundown. One time we clipped our boats all together and just floated all night on the rafts. We stayed on the Rafts for 28 hours and on the Start of Day 2 we were almost to Spanish Bottom. The stars in the middle of the night are amazing and will rival any place.

There are some amazing hikes and ruins to see. Everybody knows about Spanish Bottom but there are some more amazing hikes before Spanish Bottom that not a lot of people know about. A guide book has more beta, you should check them out.

In September, the Rapids are Pool Drop. 5, 10, 15 are great rapids at these levels. There is an awesome beach camp right next to #10 and it has great eddy service at around 8000 cfs. We did a lay over there last year and it was like heaven, just surfing a semi big wave and doing it over and over again.

If you are lucky enough get some rain, you will love it. The waterfalls that come off the top of the Canyon are Amazing. You will want to eddy out and just stare at them. It is something to see. Stay on the Opposite side of the falls because rocks have come down around us. The vibrations of the rocks are something to feel, even in your boat.

The Big Drops are pretty good to go. I always like to Scout #3. A lot of people at lower flows like to go right. I still like to go the standard left line. It is technical but the drop is better and it really is the last sort of rapid that has any moved left to make in it. There are a few more rapids starting to show up as the lake is getting lower.

I have always liked to take out at Dirty Devil. The hike for your gear is way easier and it is closer. At lower flows, you will not want to take out at Hite, it is a total bitch.

We always did our own shuttle. A caravan of people would take cars to dirty devil while the rest started getting their boats together.

Cat is an amazing stretch of water. I have way more beta with lower flows but High water is a different beast. Remember, win or loose , we booze.

A hole so big, it sucked the leaves off the tree.
DesertRatonIce is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2015   #17
Redmond, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1973
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 1,031
Originally Posted by azpowell View Post
i would be interested in joining you! i plan on heading down a few times this year, but like you i have never been down.
Do you have any special ancestors that are familiar with Cataract Canyon?
BilloutWest is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2015   #18
Salt Lake City, Utah
Paddling Since: 1969
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 188
Hite has been closed for several years, although the store is open (check hours of operation first) and there is still a (seasonal?) ranger living there. Last summer NPS/Utah DNR staffed the mussel inspection facility there 9-5 but whether that will be open this year (and when) are good questions. If you park vehicle(s) at the Dirty Devil/North Wash takeout, or at Hite, you need to leave the mussel "self-certification" form on the dash according to NPS (form available through the permit link above, although whether it will continue to be is another good question...).
Lake Powell databases say Hite is "unusable" below 3645 (or 3650) feet lake elevation (full pool is 3700). The floating wharf was still in the water last Fall (2014) but not in use. The info is for power boaters, not floaters.
The last time I took out at Hite was October, 2012, lake elevation was 3620 and you had to row through a "picket fence" of brush to reach the ramp, which was high and dry. Half a dozen trips since and have never seen Hite viable as takeout - you'd have to walk your gear 500 to 800 yards minimum through muck and "quick mud."
Current reservoir elevation is just over 3597.
The Dirty Devil takeout was "improved" last year with road fill added to eliminate most of the "slip and slide" at riverside. It's a steep down for 4WD only but we could usually get a trailer down behind Tacoma and haul rafts up to parking area for deflation/loading. The bathrooms are gross, and the takeout adjoins an informal camping area that usually sees a fair number of campers/RV's, etc. in the immediate vicinity. There have been break-ins of vehicles left at both DD&Hite, but they're rare and we've had none in last 5 years spanning a dozen trips or so.
Camping below Waterhole is not as nice as above but there are more viable spots emerging with continued low reservoir levels. Couple of spots in vicinity of Dark Canyon (one above and one below, both on right) have always been available, the lower one you have to carry gear up to a pretty extensive shelf that can sleep big groups (20+). Most other sites are muck bars that are improving as they dry out, a few down towards Sheep Canyon (Mille Crag Bend) are pretty good with some slickrock access, but not great big camping areas.
If you're not comfortable in big, fast, very pushy water it's best to run after end of June or before early May.
B4otter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2015   #19
finripple's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1988
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 66
Thanks a million, you guys. Really helpful info all around!

Here' some more info from a dory boatman who ran Cataract not long ago:

"We did a 5-boat, hard-hull trip launching on April 1st a few years back (at Green River). It was a 10 day and wish we would have done 12 to 14..(Couldn't have done it with out rafting the boats together and motoring for most of the flatwater). Got slammed by a late winter storm or two, but the level was about right and predictable. (About 8k in Cat.) I think it's fairly predictable between 8 and 20k, and usually holds those levels into the first week of May. levels above 30 k can get pretty crazy for dories. May and June are too unpredictable and can go crazy with high flows, and best not to plan for then. July-Oct. are not bad times either, for the most part and easy to get permits. Bug season height tends to be June-first of July, but depends on how high the water goes."
finripple is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2015   #20
Donkey Punch
dfresh's Avatar
Southwest, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 78
Got a trip at the end of June and looking for some thoughts as to the flows. Never done Cat before and am just trying to get some insight. I had the idea that somewhere around 25K would be the cutoff level for our group, based on what I have heard from other peoples experiences.
Any thoughts as to predictions and what some of the good levels are. Not looking for balls to the walls, but a good safe time with some pucker.

dfresh is offline   Reply With Quote

cataract, cataract canyon

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Topic Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Grand Canyon Dates Available Now! Jan 8 & 11, 2015 GCPBA Boaters Forum | General Boating Topics 0 12-16-2014 10:40 AM
2015 Grand Canyon Launch Dates Expected to be Available GCPBA Boaters Forum | General Boating Topics 0 12-07-2014 10:33 PM
GC March 2015 trip seeks rowers Mark Mills Rafting | Trip Planner 7 06-20-2014 02:26 PM
2015 raft multi day trip suggestions wanted. fiya79 Rafting | Trip Planner 6 06-17-2014 12:43 PM
2015 Grand Canyon lottery duct tape Whitewater Rafting 9 02-26-2014 07:34 PM

» Classified Ads
2016 Demo Boardworks...

posted by 4CRS

Used 2016 Boardworks Shubu 10'6 Inflatable stand up paddle...

Telemark Boots Garmont...

posted by zrafter

Telemark back country or downhill boots size 12 mens ....

Ski Boots Back Country

posted by zrafter

11 1/2 Asolo 3 pin all leather boots. Italian made . great...

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2012 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:24 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.