Yampa Canyon - how low is to low? - Page 2 - Mountain Buzz

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Old 07-18-2016   #11
Fraser, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 3
having never been down that low i would not like to speculate. I would think it might be done running by then.

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Old 07-22-2016   #12
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 7
Yampa 500cfs

Just got of Yampa July,22,2016. Took a over loaded Beverly hillbilly 16 ft NRS, and a 12,6 raft fully loaded. Launched at 600cfs. 1st and 2nd days each boat got stuck about 4 times. Each time just got out and pushed it off with out helping each other. Lots of moves to avoid all the sticky rocks. The 12,6 had an easier time, but in the end both had that same amount of times being stuck on rocks. Big joe, No problem. There is only a right run for rafts. River improved a lot after Harding Hole. Warms springs the 16' raft ran left, middle left. We pinballed most of the run. It's a IV at this level, but a slow moving one. The 12,6 we pushed over some rocks right then went middle, then left. It was a bit sketchy for both runs, but there is a path. Now the trip was amazing. Clear warm water with incredible sand bars and the Gem being Box Elder 3. The best craft now would be 2 person ducky or white water canoe, or a soar. Go back pack style and have an amazing trip. Didn't see a single person on the Yampa. 500cfs is the lowest for a raft!
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Old 07-23-2016   #13
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 17
Good information!! And with you're post, our trip leader got a call from the ranger station saying don't show up with rafts, looking at used canoes to buy, or if any one knows a place to rent ww canoe or SOARS(never heard of those) that would be awesome. I'm amped because I think we have box elder 3, can't remember the camp list right now thOugh.

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Old 07-23-2016   #14
Pullman, Washington
Paddling Since: 92
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 204
Yay Box Elder 3 - where you can eat your breakfast and watch the BASE jumpers poach the cliff opposite. Scared the crap out of us when the first one came over.
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Old 07-24-2016   #15
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 7
One other detail I forgot are the islands. There is one where 65% of the water flows to, but widens and thins down to cobble and is impassable channel for all craft. A small boat can be carried over it. If we had picked that channel we would have had to push the rafts back up river a half mile to get into the correct channel. We used an inflatable kayak to help guide our way to the deepest parts of the river.
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Old 07-26-2016   #16
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 16
My 2 cents - just got off the Yampa 7/24. We ran a 16' Trib, Williwaw 1.5 and 5 duckies. Our loads were moderate, not light. Flow at Deerlodge was around 570 when we launched, around 500 when we ran Warm Springs. The rafts got hung up a few times on sleepers and in shallows, other than that, we had no problems. We scouted Big Joe and Warm Springs. The first drop in Big Joe is a rock slalom. Warm Springs - the first drop has a few large boulders to slalom through. We portaged the duckies around the first drop. The rafts ran the first drop without passengers. I tried to pull behind the big rock in the center with the 16' but there was not enough space so I ended up doing a bit of rock pinball to get through. My friend in the Williwaw was able to push through the tight spot, tuck the oars, and slide between the big rock in the center and the rock on the right.

We had favorable winds most of the trip, and averaged about 3 mph down to Harding Hole, 2.5 mph after that.

Caveat - we are both experienced technical boaters. If you're comfortable running the Gunnison Gorge or Browns at 500 cfs, or the Middle Fork or Selway at low water, you should be fine on the Yampa at those levels, provided your boat is not too heavy.
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