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Old 04-30-2013   #1
asheville, North Carolina
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 1
Rafting Expedition Cataract Canyon

Anyone have any experience going down Cataract Canyon in September? I am looking at renting a boat from a company out of Moab anyone have any advice on who to rent from? How many days to plan for? Best resource for maps and information? Thanks

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Old 04-30-2013   #2
prescott, Arizona
Paddling Since: 1982
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 276
beautiful time of year to go. could be warm but cool nights.

probably low water this year.

this will start a huge argument but i would and do bring a motor. it's all flat water to the rapids and flat water and lake at the end.

i usually do 2 nights of motoring to spanish bottom, a layover day to hike to the doll house, a day to run the rapids and another night on the lake. others may do it in less. finding a camping spot on the backwaters of the lake is iffy at best. i've rowed the whole thing before and it's doable. if the winds come up it can be epic especially on the lake end.

coyote shuttle is who we usually use. they are good folks if you need one.
i don't know who to tell you about rental gear. others will surely chime in.


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Old 04-30-2013   #3
prescott, Arizona
Paddling Since: 1982
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 276
these guys will have the belknap guide for that run, if you decide to launch on the green or the colorado (i prefer the co side myself).

Canyon Voyages Adventure Company - Moab rafting trips, kayak adventures and boat rentals. - Store

they also rent gear and seem like great folks every time i've been in there.
i have no personal experience with renting stuff from them though.
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Old 04-30-2013   #4
Highlands Ranch, CO Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 482
I am biased as they are friends of mine but Canyon Voyages are great people and will take good care of your needs.
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Old 04-30-2013   #5
Salt Lake, Utah
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 68
not sure on the rental situation, but i'd imagine there would be options in Moab...potentially even renting from the commercial guys (as September is likely a pretty slow time of year for them). I too second Coyote shuttle, they may even be able to get you in touch with the right people for the rental stuff.

Anyway, expect super super low water (~2000 cfs pre confluence), which in turn will mean a bit float down to the confluence without a motor assist (3 days). However, September rain in the Rockies can happen and spike the river quite dramatically sometimes, i just wouldn't plan on it. Lower Brown Betty is my favorite Camp in Cat and has great access to the Doll House, so a layover day there is my recommendation. Anyway, should be two solid days of white water from there before reaching what was Lake Powell when full. I won't be surprised at all if you actually have current all the way to the take out, as the lake is over 100 below full and likely will only be lower by then. The problem however, is that there are no longer good places to camp because of the silt deposits that built up when Powell was full. So....i'd try to camp near one of the last rapids and make a big push out the next morning before the infamous afternoon winds pick up.

If you are on a tight schedule a motor would be nice, but it's also going to be one more piece of the puzzle you'll have to put together. If the lake were high, i'd say it would be a must but it'll basically be a river from start to finish, just a slow one for most of it. Without a motor i'd recommend 7-8 days with a layover day in the middle. just take your time and enjoy the scenery you won't see too many people down there that time of year. With a motor you can easily take 3 days off that.

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Old 04-30-2013   #6
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 321
Cat is all about the party barge! Barge up anywhere from 3 to 11 rafts (my personal range thus far) of your best friends and motor on through the flat while you party! I'm normally not a motors guy but this is a river where they make a big addition! I second the 6 day schedule with a layover at Spanish bottom or Brown Betty so you can hike to the Doll House. High quality side hike. Even at low flow, cat is still good, just watch the sand bars in the first 50 miles with the motor. If you don't motor, take 7-8 days and plan to work a lot harder.
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Old 05-01-2013   #7
stupka's Avatar
Gunnison, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 60
Does anyone know where we could rent a motor and what the price range looks like? We're putting in on Cat in 2 weeks...
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Old 05-01-2013   #8
Salt Lake, Utah
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 68
not sure on the motor rental but at least you'll likely have some decent water to push you down....maybe 10 K preconfluence.....15 K definitely makes a difference

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