Originally Posted by Cutch
Dare we say, the worst Tamarisk anywhere? Horror films could be made about those river banks.
No kidding. We were there last week. I have to laugh at the guidebook that talks about "sandbars" becoming available at low water. Well, he must never have stepped out of his boat onto one because it is not sand, it is gumbo. Seriously quick sandy-like gumbo.
Yes, there are some awesome camps, but between the gumbo and the 5' mud banks and tammies they are often inaccessible. We couldn't get to Hey Joe because of the mud flats, no way in within about 1/8 of a mile. So that meant another 4 miles to a good camp (thank GOD for a rock on the bank we could step out onto) for a total of 18 with a 2 mph current. LONG day.
The same for 2 mile, there was a great camp, if you want to walk way up a wash, over some deadfall (can you say anklebreaker) and up the steep mud bank. So we didn't get our layover day to hike up to the Window Arch. That was a bummer.
Great camps at 3 Canyon? WTF? there are great tent spots, but only one camp and the main group area is a LONG hike up a trail. Once again, land in mud/muck.
I think it was especially tough because the river had just been about 3500 then dropped to 2000-2400 so all of that mud was recently wetted. I can't imagine what the skeeters must be like when the water goes down in early summer.
Don't get me wrong, we had a great trip, and it was a phenomenal canyon. The hike up 3 Canyon was stunning. But we probably won't go back. A canoeist we ran into said he had been there about 10 years ago and didn't remember the challenge in accessing camps. If I were younger, without dogs, and went backpacking style, some of those carries might be doable.
It reminded me of being below Diamond on the Grand, below Separation and even lower where camps are all but impossible to access.
The tammies blocking the banks sure looked fine to me, while some a bit further back had a lot of die off. I don't think even a fire could clean it out.