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Old 06-22-2015   #1
DENVER, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 2
Dominguez Canyon

Hey there. A group of us are planning a Dominguez Canyon trip from Friday to Monday. None of us have floated this stretch so any extra information would be super helpful. The plan is to camp somewhere near Escalante on Friday night and run the shuttle down to Whitewater for Monday.
I was thinking maybe make a short Saturday to avoid the crowds down at the mouth of Dominguez and camp there Sunday. Float 14 miles down from Big Dominguez camp to Whitewater on Monday.
My primary concern is the level of the water with a 6 yr. old. She's been on a raft a few times before but was wondering about strainers at this level. The other concern is with the put in and takeout. Outside of myself, I've only got two other full strength adults to load and unload a 14' boat with fishing frame.
I should mention as well that our oarframe is new this year. We all have a lot of experience on the water but we don't have a ton on the sticks. So looking for a good entry level Class 1-2 trip for the kid, 3 adults, and dog.
Also, I've heard of a lot of car break ins at Whitewater as well so any info there would be helpful.
Has anybody out there been on this stretch recently? Camping near Escalante? Thoughts on the current plan as to put in, Take out, and campsites? Thanks a bunch.

mountainfreak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-2015   #2
Montrose, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 128
For the most part, it is a big, wide river and any strainers should be easily avoided. There are only a couple of areas for rapids, and those will likely be simple at this water level. Put PFDs on the 6 year old and the dog, and don't let them take it off! There will be some fast water and currents, but in the boat should be fine.

Many of the camps may be difficult to get in and out of with these flows. Another option for camping is BLM past Bridgeport on the east side.

The take-out for Whitewater should be manageable with 3 adults. It is certainly easier than carrying boats under the trestle at Bridgeport.

QuietHunter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-2015   #3
Montrose, Colorado
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 70
There's a nice camping area at Potholes, several miles up Escalante Canyon. It has shade, a picnic table and vault toilet.

If it is still running high, you'll make good time on the river. The Whitewater take-out only has room for one boat at a time, and it can be tough to hit it when the river is this fast. You'll need to be on your game. Be sure to have a good look at it when you run shuttle.

There is at least one shuttle service permitted through BLM for that section if you are concerned about break-ins at Whitewater. Info here.
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Old 06-22-2015   #4
DENVER, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 2
Thanks. Any alternative take outs to whitewater?
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Old 06-22-2015   #5
Montrose, Colorado
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 70
Originally Posted by mountainfreak View Post
Thanks. Any alternative take outs to whitewater?
No, none that I know of. It's do-able, but you'll need to be paying attention and have your boats spaced out enough so that you'll have time to get the first one out of the way before the second one gets there.

Like QuietHunter said, it's still way better than going under the RR trestle at Bridgeport.
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Old 06-22-2015   #6
Plunk your magic twanger!
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New Castle, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 1,105
Dominguez Canyon

The next possible takeout is at the highway bridge 1 mile down river. It was a way better option at 10,000 Cfs. We parked five boats there. Not sure it is a viable option now but it's right there and wrath a look. I personally hate the Whitewater ramp.

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Old 06-22-2015   #7
Grand Disfunction, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 37
shuttles also available from American Spirit Shuttle 970-523-7662
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Old 06-23-2015   #8
Durango, Colorado
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 29
I finally got tired of repeatedly having my car, and those at the takeout, broken into so I quit floating that stretch of river.

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