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Old 07-06-2016   #11
Salt Lake City, Utah
Paddling Since: 1989
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 76
Bump. Any other updates.

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Old 07-06-2016   #12
Electric-Mayhem's Avatar
Lakewood, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 436
I went last week and the first couple days were pretty brutal honestly. Sand Wash wasn't as bad as I've seen it in the past, but was still pretty horrible and depending on where you were they could be really bad. Avoid the willows and trees for sure. It wasn't bad at all while on the river unless you got really close to shore though.

We stayed at one of the 76 mile camps the first night and it was almost maddeningly bad with mosquitos. I had a bug net mask and long sleeved shirt and pants and they were still biting through. 2 layers on the shirts helped though. After reading about Thermacell lanterns I got one and it probably helped a little but was still really bad and we all got in our tents by 8pm.

We stayed at Dripping Springs the second night and it was noticeably better. Mosquito's were still there but not bad, but the Knats came out in force at dusk. They don't bite, but they are constantly flying in front of your face and landing all over and they are relentless. I thought it wasn't going to be bad while it was sunny and breezy, so I set up my raft to sleep on but once it got dark they came down on me and I had to setup my tent to get away from them.

We did two nights with a layover at an unmarked beach camp above Joe Hutch Canyon rapid that was downright pleasant. They still were out after Dusk, but completely manageable during the day and a tent kept them away at night.

The last night we stayed at Rabbit Valley and the bugs were almost completely gone. No Mosquitos at all and the Knats had mostly retreated. That was my favorite camp in general and I'm glad we stayed there instead of trying to hit Poverty, Rattlesnake or School Section. Its worth the extra 3 miles on the last day to not be camping in Tamarisk.

I guess my recommendation is to try and get below Jack Creek on the first day if you can. That will get you passed the heavy Mosquito zone. My biggest regret on this one was not buying the Big Agnes Deep Creek shelter with the bug net add on like I was thinking about. It would have made a huge difference for hanging out around camp and BSing. Definitely come prepared with a good head net and a couple layers of light long sleeve shirts and a decent bug spray. The Thermacell lantern helped a little, but wasn't enough to drive them away. The camps with a lot of willows, long grass and tamarisk will be the worst for bugs, so choose the big sandy beach ones with a Cottonwood or two for shade.

I can't say it ruined the trip, but if I could snap my fingers and make them go away it would certainly make for a much more pleasant trip. I'm certainly not gonna rush to do another Deso trip this year until bug season is over.

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Old 07-24-2016   #13
CBrown's Avatar
Evergreen, Colorado
Paddling Since: '92
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 347
We just did a week down and the bugs were minimal at the put in. The bugs were pretty bad the first night on the river. If you can do 25+ miles the first day, bugs will be minimal. If not, mosquito gear is the way to go. The rest of the canyon after the first night was virtually bug free. What a cool place!
"We're gonna need a bigger boat"
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Old 08-02-2016   #14
FoCo,NoCo, Colorado
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 280
Launch Friday
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Old 08-02-2016   #15
Salmon, Idaho
Paddling Since: 98
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 3
Once the river has peaked you need to be prepared for a serious mosquito problem. Some years are better than others but when it's bad, Sandwash is about as bad as anywhere in the continental US. The Josquito situation improves once the canyon narrows but it won't be mosquito free. BTW ran Westwater last week and the ranger told me they had a reported case of Zika virus in Moab.
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Old 08-15-2016   #16
Gunnison, Colorado
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 2
from other deso bug posts

Our group exited Deso / Gray yesterday (Wednesday 8/10/16). We had an excellent trip. The road into Sandwash was graded and smooth - no issues. There were very few bugs at the put-in, and even fewer down stream - bugs were a non-issue. The flow at the time of put-in was around 2K, and dropped slightly for the first few days. We did the trip in 8 days, including 1 layover day, without a motor. There were minimal headwinds on day 1, but we had significant headwinds every day thereafter. We were rowing nearly constantly. We drank less beer than anticipated because when you took time to crack a beer and take a few sips, you were blowing upstream. There was a significant storm around day 5 - we were at Chandler, on the left side - the rain, wind, and lightning were impressive all night. Some upstream canyons blew out out, because the river was extremely brown and very debris filled the following day. The massive thunder rolling from below us, up the canyon, and past us was amazing. There was plenty of beach camping, and we had no rain during the daytime hours. Swimming was great and we spent considerable time in the river. The only oddity was related to the shuttle. Of our group of 4 vehicles, we had 4 flat tires. All were repaired by the shuttle company and our cars were ready to go at the take-out. Upon inspection, there were several more cars in the parking lot with repaired flat tires. My guess is that our cars were shuttled after the big storm and the road to Sandwash was a mess. We plan to call the shuttle company to get the details, as this has not been our normal experience. My recommendation would be to make sure you have good tires and a solid working spare. We did not see any bear, or signs of bear. We saw deer, sheep, and many blue heron. We did not see any ringtail or chupacabra. None of the rapids presented significant concern at the current flow. We took a quick look at Cow Swim, but that was all. We had a group or 8 adults and 7 kids (12-16 in age). All in all it was a blast, but I would consider a motor in the future at flows below 3K.
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Old 08-15-2016   #17
Daryl's Avatar
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1989
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 98
The washout of Sandwash Rd must have been biblical. Melinda from River Runners made some public service announcements last week on a few facebook groups like Utah Rafters and Western Colorado Rafters stating a few best practices and what RR has to do when tires get punched shuttling vehicles to the takeout. Sounded like they had to drive over sharp jagged road after all of the dirt flushed downstream.

Sounds like you had a good trip otherwise. Love that you had a plethora of kids on the journey too.

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