My wife and I ran the "box" canyon of the lake fork of the gunnison this past Sunday. I got a little beta from one of the fly fishing shops called the sportsmen. Even though he was not a whitewater guy, he was super helpful and very respectful. We put in roadside at a little turnoff around mile marker 79. Took out at the Gate campground. As far as the run itself, NOT a whitewater run, but a very quality 11 mile float through a really beautiful canyon. I was quite impressed and had a great time. There was one split in the river which would get someone in trouble, about 2/3 into the run, where you can't see left around the bend but you can see right. We went right, and lucky because of a downed tree without much eddy access before it was on the left. Another downed tree was fully across the water within the last 2 miles but easy eddy access right before it. As far as bridges, if I remember right, the first couple we had to duck but we could get underneath (we were in a shredder). There was a bridge that gave access to an old cabin, we portaged it to the left. Would have been really dicey to get underneath. All the rest were no biggie. We had flows of a 1060. We encountered zero fences however the fly fishing guide said we might at anytime.
On Monday, we scouted the downstream stretch before the blue Mesa reservoir. I had huge hopes of running this stretch, as it rarely has water, especially at a time I could ever get to it. 1000 CFS seemed like it would be sweet. We drove the road (entirely roadside). The first few miles looked like it would be fun, class III, with a log portage in some slack water. About halfway into the run is rattlesnake rapid (IV). The entrance to rattlesnake looked fun but then right in the middle/crux was a big ass log that ultimately made the entire rapid unrunnable, at least for this baby daddy with his baby's momma in the shredder with me. It would have been a crappy portage. We scouted the rest of the run, not really worth it to us to blow up and suit up, mostly class II and easy III for a couple more miles to the take out.
Bottom line for my trip report, if your not after adrenaline, but psyched for beauty, seclusion, and a wilderness feel...checkout the Box Canyon. Pretty cool for sure.
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