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Old 07-28-2015   #1
Fruitland, Utah
Paddling Since: 2012
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 6
Looking for the step after deso

My family and I started rafting three years ago. My dad said lets go down deso, so we rented the rafts and went. This will be are third year. Next year I would like to take a step up from deso. Does anyone have any good suggestions for rivers to float in Utah or Idaho? I have a 9 year old who loves it. Thanks

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Old 07-28-2015   #2
Grand Disfunction, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 37
Late season Cataract

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Old 07-28-2015   #3
cedar city, Utah
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,927
Lower water Main with someone who has been before
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Old 07-28-2015   #4
Jackson, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1966
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 427
After rowing Deso, I rowed Gates of Lodore w/o incident. (I was with very experienced boaters and had duckied Lodore w/o incident before, so that helped in the feeling safe dept.; also had additional day trip experience between those two multi days, FWIW.)
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Old 07-28-2015   #5
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Boise, Idaho
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 401
Early season Grande Ronde.
"Thats what" - She
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Old 07-29-2015   #6
Salida, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 727
Westwater. It can be forgiving, but you still gotta bring the a game. It can be the beginning or the middle of an otherwise easy multi day or even week long trip.
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Old 07-29-2015   #7
Castle Rock, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 321
Day trips. Hard moves on easy water. Pick a class II-III section that can be an easy shuttle and you can recover on if you screw up, and hammer that sucker. 'Catch Every Eddy, Surf Every Wave'. You need to develop timing and coordination, without horsing around +500 lbs of gear. Do at least 10-15 day runs, then hit Westwater, MFS, Cat, etc. Get so you can know what move to make, and know you can make that move.
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Old 07-29-2015   #8
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Pleasant Grove, Utah
Paddling Since: 1965
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 10
Split Mountain near Vernal is similar to Deso. Being a day trip you could spend time in Vernal and do consecutive day trips to practice your skills.
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Old 07-29-2015   #9
duct tape's Avatar
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1974
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 633
My list of some rivers mentioned above:

Deso < Main Salmon < Cataract < Gates

Deso at 13K was easy. Wide open lines but some good sized holes you'd prob want to avoid unless going for the big hit. If we go back I'll let my kids, who are all learning, row their own boats there.

Main Salmon at around 8-9K (can't really remember) - pretty much ditto Deso but a little harder with somewhat higher consequences for screwing up.

Cataract at around 10 or 11K (changes sig. at higher flows) - mostly very easy with lots of big waves and holes. Somewhat tougher move at BD3 (left side run).

Gates at 1200-2000 (daily fluctuations for our trip) - really overall not any harder than any of above, except Hells 1/2 where you need to have a good line and make a strong move right or left of Lucifer, depending on flow. Rock was covered at our flow with a large hole below. Best runs went right of Lucifer but some went right over the top w/o serious consequence. Triplet required a good pull or push left away from Birth Canal, and then back to the right to avoid rocks at bottom left. Would not have been tough if I'd looked at it or known about the bottom left rocks, but was pulling like a MF to not go into BC and then looked up for an oh-shit moment at the unknown bottom rocks. Lesson? - scout. Plus there were countless barely covered rocks to get stuck on, just about everywhere. Would likely be tougher at standard summer flow of 800-900 cfs. Day section in Split has at least one rapid, I think SOB, where there was a move right to left with lots of rocks to get stuck or pinned on (but it could have been a bad run by me). The other rapids in that section, including Moonshine, were easy.

Just my thoughts and experience. Others may have different opinions.

- Jon
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Old 07-29-2015   #10
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Sandy, Utah
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 3,120
My step up river was the Main Salmon, and it remains my all time favorite river trip. Exciting but fairly forgiving rapids, and great camping for your family. Lots for the kids to see and do. Mid July to August. Go with folks who know the river, Rapids, camps, sights to see.

Split Mountain would be another good step up day run. I'd avoid Westwater, unless you are up for the excitement and are running it with a very experienced group. When people ask me about Westwater, I tell them that I call it The Luge Run. Fast, kinda scary, and no way out once you start.

"We are all visitors to this time, this place. We are just passing through. Our purpose here is to observe, to learn, to grow, to love....and then we return home."
Australian Aboriginal Proverb
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