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Old 04-13-2015   #1
6FEETandRISING's Avatar
Lardo, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 97
Whats Your Favorite Utah River Run?

Planning on making some trips down to Utah in the next couple years to run some of the rivers down there. I'm just wondering what people think are some of the preferred more favorable runs. I am primarily looking for a multiday river trip (4-8 days) with good scenery which utah has in abundance but decent camping and whitewater as well. So what do you like? Cataract Canyon, Gates of Lodore, Yampa, San Juan, Dolores, Deso-Gray. If the Selway and Middle Fork are the crown jewels of Idaho, what are the crown jewels of Utah?

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Old 04-13-2015   #2
SLC, Utah
Paddling Since: 1983
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 51
I'll bet you get lots of strong opinions on this one. Just to get the argument rolling:
Cataract: Fun whitewater, great exploring, way too much flat water
Deso: My friends all love deso. My experience is that the reputation for bugs and wind is well deserved and possibly understated.
San Juan: Not much whitewater but beautiful and great hiking/exploring
Yampa and Lodore: Very nice but the park service is a pain (random and illogical camp assignments and boat requirements, weird hostile attitude). There are some good hikes and off river exploring, especially on the Yampa, if the campsite gods smile upon you.
Dolores: I really enjoyed this the last time I was on it, long ago. It was crowded, though, and off-river exploring seemed pretty limited. I have not done Paradox down - that sounds nice
Westwater is fun, albeit short.

My favorites are fall low water San Juan and Lodore (uncrowded, reasonable temps, mildly challenging). I just got off a cold, beautiful late March Yampa that ranked up there as well. I think the best Utah boating is done with a pack raft or ducky in S. Utah - Price, San Rafael, Escalante, Muddy Creek, etc if you can get the flow. I mostly drive north....

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Old 04-13-2015   #3
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Denver, Colorado
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Old 04-13-2015   #4
East of the Pine beatle, Colorado
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You might want to buy a map.....

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Old 04-13-2015   #5
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Cle Elum, Washington
Paddling Since: 1972
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 35

Not much for whitewater and you have to wait years for enough water to float a sleeping pad, but the Dirty Devil is my favorite.
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Old 04-13-2015   #6
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FtC / Rancho del Rio, Colorado
Paddling Since: 8AM
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Posts: 378
even tho it's short, i absolutely love westwater.
probably my favorite stretch of water in utah (granted i've only done 3 different runs out there), and one of my favorite places i've ever been.
dunno what it is, but something about that place really speaks to me

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Old 04-13-2015   #7
cedar city, Utah
Join Date: Mar 2008
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They are all so different.

Most unique: probably Chute of Muddy Creek. That said, its a lot of work to make it happen

Best Float Trip: Deso (likely my all around favorite). Comparably simple whitewater, great camps and stunning terrain.

Best Bang for the Buck: Westwater. Fabulous whitewater in a phenomenal canyon. Short and sweet.

Earn Every Cent of it: Cataract, a classic desert trip but damn that is a lot of flat water.

Never done the Dirty Devil yet but I bet it will become a favorite when I do.

As for the Dolores....most of its not in Utah physically but it is in spirit.

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Old 04-14-2015   #8
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Phuoc My, Da Nang, THE 'NAM
Paddling Since: 1845
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,988
i think you are meaning "raft capable runs" this post need not apply but cant help but throw Cottonwood Canyon below Joe's Valley Res out there....Delicious
"Don't f$&@ing eddy out, just run it! Whaddya doin??" -LMyers
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Old 04-14-2015   #9
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Buena Vista, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
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Originally Posted by paulster View Post
I think the best Utah boating is done with a pack raft or ducky in S. Utah - Price, San Rafael, Escalante, Muddy Creek, etc if you can get the flow. I mostly drive north....
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Old 04-14-2015   #10
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Eastern Slope, Colorado
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Flaming Gorge to Hite is a nice stretch of the Green.

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