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Old 04-07-2015   #1
Evereywhere, State of Bliss
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 169
Desolation Canyon

Couple weeks away from my first time down Deso. So excited. Hoping for some beta on the flow. Looks like its peaking right now or will be pretty soon. Trying to pull off a 5 day Sand Wash to Swazey's. Wondering what kind of miles we can realistically accomplish with a 6100 cfs flow. any word on the bug situation down there? Heard it can be epic. Figured we'd be ahead of the bug hatches with an April trip, but with this year's snowpack is killing my buzz daily and making me think I'll be arriving to Sand Wash just in time to be dinner. Any must see stops, awesome campsites or trip reports that can be shared would be appreciated. Thanks.

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Old 04-07-2015   #2
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Buena Vista, Colorado
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Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 4,207
Did it last September with a flow of 2500-3000 in 5 days without a problem. My favorite camp was river left just below Chandeler Falls. Its worth getting the Indian permit for camping options.

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Old 04-07-2015   #3
Whetstone's Avatar
Boise, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1976
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 362
Deso is a awesome trip. I cant imagine it's high water this early. Usually peaks the 2nd or 3rd week of may. Get early starts each day to hopefully avoid afternoon winds. Your 5 day schedule can get screwed by high up canyon winds. The top 20 miles out of Sandwash is flat so plan on steady rowing that first day to make you miles. Side canyon hikes are awesome. Rock Creek is probably the best one but Fire Water canyon is good and there are numerous sites with ancient rock art. The scenery is amazing. Camps are good but having the Ute permit opens up many more options on river left. Camping can be competitive on the last day above Swazey's so one more reason to get a early start. The bug explosion generally begins in June but who knows. If a drop in water levels coincide with a couple warm days they could hatch but its pretty early for that. The screen cabins at Sandwash are worthvthe $20. Have a great trip and give us a trip report when you get back.

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Old 04-07-2015   #4
cedar city, Utah
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,928
You are going to be pushing through the spring winds which can be epic in April. That said, 6000 cfs is plenty to make it in 5 days.

Bugs should be non-existent considering the night time lows.

First day will be slow and limited miles. You start making good distance after Jack Creek which tends to be mid to late on day 2 for most folks.

Campsite competition should be minimal with 2 launches a day in April but it never hurts to pick up the cheap Ute permit to open campsites on left.

Have a great trip.

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Old 04-07-2015   #5
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Fraser, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Jan 2015
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I've run deso 3 times now and i think you could spend a life time exploring side canyons and looking at petroglyph's, theres just so much down there.
Ran it the lowest a little bellow 2000 and it was fine, coal creak was preaty bony though.
Shuttle is long and worth paying river runners to do, rough road to sand wash.
Hit it late may when it was peaking at 16000, no bug problem and white water was tons of fun! Sounds like if there are mosquito's sand wash is the worst.You can reserve a screen tent @sand wash through if you want.
River maps makes a great guide for this section, at least scout joe hutch canyon, they list a couple others that are worth a scout, depending on water level. Use good judgement, you are a long ways from help on this section!

Think even if there are some bugs you will still have a great trip, In my opinion deso is preaty awesome!
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Old 04-07-2015   #6
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Fraser, Colorado
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Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 1,044
Make sure all trucks and trailers have a full spare each, and trailer hubs are recently serviced and greased, and good rubber on there tires. Ranger last fall told me one of the groups had there tire and front axel tear off because they was driving to fast! Watch for oil patch vehicles haulin A#* after turning off of 40
Have a great trip!
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Old 04-07-2015   #7
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Louisville, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 64
I did it once in four days at 6500 but it was too rushed. It was early May and do bugs but the Bears were awake. Side creeks were running clear and plentiful so we picked up additional water that way and treated it.
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Old 04-07-2015   #8
Helena, Montana
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 25
What's your launch date teton? I'm starting on the 25th with a group from here in MT.

My favorite camps are probably Below Wire Fence and Jack Creek.

We launched a few days earlier last year and I don't remember any bugs at all. We did have quite a bit of wind and one day of nasty cold rain, which we (wisely) turned into a layover day.
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Old 04-07-2015   #9
Grand Junction, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2012
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 102
Above Wire Fence is really good too. You can walk around easily from Above and decide which you like better.

Bugs shouldn't be a problem but expect at least one of your days to be miserable cold/rainy/windy, it is almost a sure thing when you're out there for 5 days in April.
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Old 04-07-2015   #10
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 16
Keep an eye out for lions man and cedar ridge camps those are great, the pictographs up rock graph are awesome

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