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Old 03-31-2016   #1
Breckenridge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 9
Cisco to Moab in mid May

Hey all,
I am looking at taking a few days to float from the Westwater takeout down towards Moab. I know it's a pretty mellow stretch and mainly just looking for an easy few days with some friends. I was curious if anyone had any input on that stretch, mainly on campsites. I haven't found much for maps or any threads on here that shed much light on it. How many days/nights should I allow? I figure by mid May the flows will have picked up enough that there will be some current. Thanks in advance for any insight!

That's just like...your opinion man
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Old 03-31-2016   #2
Salida, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 727
There's quite a bit of private property on that stretch, but it isn't very long and there should be enough water to move you along in May. You will find a camp or two above Dewey. The Onion Creek camps are all pretty sweet.

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Old 03-31-2016   #3
Centerville, Utah
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 18
I floated that stretch between Cisco and Dewey couple times as a guide working down there few years back, can't say I'd do it again haha! There's just not much to see scenery-wise, and like DoStep said there's a surprising amount of private ranch land as well.
The only blm site I know of is Fish Ford, it's a dirt boat ramp/car camp site on river right, but I don't think it's more than a handful of miles downstream of Cisco. In fact you can check it out on your way to the Cisco ramp by taking the right turn at the fork instead of the left if you want. If you got a late start that'd be my suggestion, though I did camp a little further downstream on the left once, on what was likely ranch land as there were cow-pies everywhere.
Mid-May should have a lot of fast current though, so if you start at a decent time you could easily make it to Dewey Bridge for the first night. That would make for a shorter second day though as I would also highly recommend staying at one of Onion Creek sites. There's 3 of them immediately after OC rapid all on river right, first 2 are the best imo.
Just take your time 2nd day, there's a side canyon couple miles downstream of Dewey that'd be worth exploring, also a big rock feature just past the rich guy's house on the left that you can cliff jump off of
Or hell if you get to camp too early, just explore the area behind the camp, or walk upstream and swim the rapid back down.
If you're going all the way to the Moab bridge, 3rd night at Big Bend campground is your only option really, river left and first come first served camp sites that are a bit of a walk from the boats.
Anyways, I've said too much already but if you have any questions let me know! Have fun, that daily stretch has some of the best scenery anywhere
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Old 04-02-2016   #4
Breckenridge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 9
Thanks for the feedback. I'm not totally set on that stretch but wanted some info on it. I have done the day float near Moab and it was beautiful. Just looking for somewhere that would likely be warm and nothing crazy as it will be my first trip in my newly rigged boat.
That's just like...your opinion man
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Old 04-02-2016   #5
Salida, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 727
I highly recommend it. Motors are prohibited on the stretch and it is quite the wildlife trip. Once I had a turkey wake me up with a full volume gobble 3' from my ear at dawn. I've camped on river left directly across from Fish Ford. It's about 5 miles from the Cisco Ramp to Fish Ford, use the rightmost braid from Cisco and when it all comes back together, it'll be on the left. Not sure if you could pull across from Fish Ford. There's a road that reaches the river left, but neither roads nor cowpies can be a sure sign of private land. Flat water all the way to the Moab Daily stretch where the desert views abound.

You'll get to float by the Dolores Confluence and the astute observer may catch a glimpse of the big ladder. Camps become a little more common at Dewey and its not the longest day I've ever had by any stretch to get there from FF, but it is slow with low water. One of the last rapids on The Daily can flip the unwary boater at 12-15K and up.

It makes for a great weeklong trip if you start in Fruita/Loma, but of course the WW permit system comes into play.

I just peeked at my BLM map and it doesn't delineate private/public lands. Perhaps the USGS will?
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Old 04-04-2016   #6
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silverthorne, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1992
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 85
I ran that section several years ago in May and the camps around the Onion Creek area were all taken by Outfitters doing training so when you hit that stretch try to get there early.

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