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Old 08-13-2016   #1
GWS, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1992
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 486
Quick cataract trip? Shuttle Info?

Hey cataract experts,
Is it reasonable to do a cat trip, with a motor, In 4 days? That would be putting on Friday and taking off Monday (and driving back to Vail area)?

How does paid shuttle work? Do we drop cars at the put in and someone drops them at the take out or is it a different set up?


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Old 08-13-2016   #2
Grand Junction, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2012
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 102
Are you already gonna be in Moab Thursday night and able to get an early start on Friday? It will be much more leisurely/enjoyable that way.

Even if you didn't have to drive back to Vail Monday would be a long day. If the weather cooperates you may be able to get home by 8 PM with an 8 AM departure from camp. If anything happens (run out of gas, get a late start, wind/monsoon) you might want the flexibility to camp somewhere if you get too tired to keep driving.

I don't know about every company that runs shuttles, but they should take your rigs from Potash to Dirty Devil.

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Old 08-13-2016   #3
Canon City, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 427
We have done 3 day Cat trips with rafts and a motor. Motor all the way to Spanish Bottom the first day- ~12hrs on the water. Run the rapids day 2. Get as far out as possible, say, Ten Cent. Motor out day 3. If you do something closer to that than truly taking out late on day 4, you'll have the flexibility of camping closer to the takeout, or at the takeout, or somewhere on the way home.

That said, the 3 day trips weren't that much fun. If it were I, I would much rather front-load the miles even though the camping is much better above the rapids since it is just such a long day to get from the last good camps to Dirty Devil or Hite.
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Old 08-13-2016   #4
Dave Frank's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,727
Night floating/ motoring is the ticket to making this happen on such a tight schedule.

The only time I've done Cat, we launched from potash in the dark and motored into the wee hours, then literally went to sleep floating. We woke up eddies out against a cliff and I couldn't have told you which way was upstream until dawn. We motored the rest of the way to Spanish bottom and camped around the first few Rapids, X or Y canyon maybe. We spent two days, maybe two nights even, at this camp with a nice surf wave and spectacular beaches.

We ran all the rapids the following day , and motored I to the evening.

We again went to sleep drifting and woke up with just a few hours of motoring to reach the take out in the am.

That program would work, minus our stay over camp.

Be a small organized group, with easy meals to make on the boats.

Motor failure would render this impossible.

It's not the list relaxing way to run Cat, but if you don't have time and really want to run the canyon, it can sure be done.

Shuttle can be pre arranged to move cars from put in to take out.

Arrange it early and maybe even mail them the spare keys.

This is exactly how Randy would do it!

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Old 08-14-2016   #5
Delta, Utah
Paddling Since: 1988
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 3
Cataract Shuttle- we like CoyoteShuttle out of Moab, talk to Kristi at 435.260.2097
Leave vehicle at Potash Putin parking lot and they will leave vehicles at Dirt Devil takeout.
cataract canyon can easily be done in 3 days & 2 nights (if you hire shuttle) and use outboards (We like 8hp). Day1- motor to Rapids, Day2- rapids, and Day3 motor out. We end up doing it a lot. It's better with 4 days which we use as a layover day. We just did a 3 day over the 4th. Due to people's work schedules, tough to get everybody together unless it's a quick 3 days.
Good Luck
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