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Old 08-23-2013   #1
Front Range, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 79
Ruby Horsethief vs. Cisco to Moab

I have done a lot of overnight rafting trips in the past, but this is the first time I am going with my wife who has never been on an overnight trip. My goal is to have great time on a very scenic part of the river so we can do more of these.
I am thinking either Ruby Horsethief or Cisco down to Moab. Any recommendations on one over the other? Which do you think is more scenic? Which has better camping? Has better side hike opportunities? All around a good time. I donít think I can go wrong with either, but thought I would ask the experts.
Thanks for the beta.

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Old 08-23-2013   #2
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Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 337
Not sure how long your planning on going but those are 2 very different lengths of trip. Cisco to Moab I think would probably take 4 days. I have done Dewey Bridge to just past the Moab Daily TO. And that was 2 days but we had wind that pinned us down. RBHT is a 2 day float.The water is mostly slow moving on both sections but I think that Cisco to Moab is probably slower. Camping is a little harder to find in this section as well. It is also primarily roadside. Drawbacks to RBHT is you have to deal with the permit system but you'll get a guarenteed campsite. Overall I would say RBHT is better trip. Both have great scenery. Go with RBHT and then hit the other section some other time and decide for yourself.

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Old 08-23-2013   #3
Carbondale, CO
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 132
Ruby/Horsethief has better hiking and camping. It does require a permit now.

The section between Hittle Bottom and say... Take-out Beach is very scenic too. There are a couple of good camp spots river right near Onion Cr., but there isn't much good hiking that I know of. FYI... Cisco to Moab would take more than one night under most circumstances.
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Old 08-23-2013   #4
Front Range, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 79
Thanks for the comments. I was looking for a 2 to 3 night trip. I was leaning towards RBHT and this helps.
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Old 08-23-2013   #5
Front Range, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 79
Any advice on RBHT Camping?

Any suggestions for RBHT campsites? What are the favorites?
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Old 08-23-2013   #6
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 103
It's been a while since I was down there, and we used to go midweek in late March (spring break), so we had the place to ourselves...

First night at Cottonwood Grove (or whatever they call it).
Second day, short float to Mee Canyon. Go for a long hike up Mee.
3rd day, float all the way out, stopping for a short hike and lunch up a side cyn river-right to look at petroglyphs (the name slips my mind).

We'd see bald eagles in big nests built in dead cottonwood snags and bighorn sheep up Mee Cyn.

We usually avoided Black Rocks. It's pretty, and there are some neat potholes to poke around in, but we liked the Mee hike better.
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Old 08-23-2013   #7
boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 298
I like to make it a 3 night since I drive from Boulder and usually arrive late in the day. Bull Draw is just a couple miles from the put in and is your own private canyon. Another short day to Cottonwood. Great swimming. Another short day to Black rock. The last day is a bit longer but still pretty short. So if you want 3 nights this could be a nice way to break it up. Have fun.
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face.
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Old 08-23-2013   #8
GWS, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1992
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 486
If you do a 2 night trip Rattlesnake Canyon is a couple miles down on the river left. It is a sweet small camp right on the river and an epic canyon to hike up. If you hike a few miles up you will see as many or more arches than in Arches.

If you are a light sleeper you might want to bring earplugs for the train around blackrocks. It is not that bad and doesn't bother me but every time I wake up there my wife says she heard 3 or 4 trains in the night. I don't use earplugs. I prefer tequila.
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Old 08-23-2013   #9
pojoaque, New Mexico
Paddling Since: 1972
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 109

agree with the other posts. the rbht is a great first timer trip, very scenic with some nice wild and no long tedious stretches. cisco to moab is great also but there are some bits that can get old. if you do that section, the island camping is great though.

also agree that stretching RBHT to at least 3 days is great idea to give yourself time for a good long hike up Mee or something. layover days are always the best!

have fun
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Old 08-24-2013   #10
Hard pack, Utah
Paddling Since: 01
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 67
Gonna go against the flow here, and vote Cisco down. Both are nice enough trips if you're in the right head/on the right timeline for low water slooooooow going floats. I prefer the Cisco trip because so few other people run it. HTR can be an absolute shitshow these days

Also, the rapids at the end of the Cisco-down stretch (Moab Daily) really aren't much at this flow, but at least they're something for a few giggles

Ruby has the train, which somepeople don't like, but I kinda do; and it has pretty good scenery. The Moab stretch around FIsher towers (especially if you camp at Onion, and see it in the late fading light) is really beautiful

Either way, enjoy. Hope you get her hooked

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