black canyon creek - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 03-02-2010   #1
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black canyon creek

ive asked around my contacts and they cant seem to come up with much. ive got the basic beta (p/i, t/o, flow window, gages to watch, etc) and ive read the description in my paddling arizona about a zillion times but cant seem to find anyones who actually done it. so whats the story, whats it like? easy mans III? hard mans III? worth it? any other info, side hikes, etc? tyler makes it sound enticing, and the few limited pics ive found and google earth seem to correspond with that, so all thats stopping me now is first hand reports, was it worth it. thanks for anything youre willing to share

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Old 03-04-2010   #2
 
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Haven't done it, but have first hand experience with the area and scouting after running Poland Creek in January. Basically Poland Creek flows into the Black Canyon Creek, and usually doubles the flow (though I might venture that it's even more than double). We used a takeout on Poland Creek that was practically right at the confluence of the two creeks, and from what I remember of Tyler's description, I think it's much more narrowed up above the confluence on the Black Canyon Creek (which it appears that way when driving around the area). There's a mini canyon that the road drives up and way around, and the creek cuts directly through just a few miles below the put-in bridge. Then on while setting shuttle we caught some glimpses of it. Just a scenic scrape. We had kind a class III paddle out of Poland, and it appeared that the walls and lay of the land was getting flatter and flatter past the confluence. Might try the AZ forum, we saw a crew from Phoenix launching the day we put-on Poland. I wouldn't go with current flows.

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Old 03-04-2010   #3
 
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I was with the Phx dudes that day and we all thought it was fun. Its a typical AZ creek. Beautiful but hard to catch at the right flows. The Agua Fria at Rock Springs read 2100cfs that day which was a good level. A little more water would have been welcome. There wasn't anything in there harder that easy class IV. We all though it was worth it and would run it again. Although if I ran it again at similar flows I would bring my playboat. There was some great play below the confluence with Poland (more than doubled the flow).

I think Poland might be a cool side hike. How far to the goods Kyle?
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Old 03-04-2010   #4
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cutch, thanks for the beta, any info from the "arrogant sandbaggers" is always much appreciated. and no offense, but if its flat and boring to you, then it may just be up my alley

yakin, thanks to you as well. if i could pick your brain for a minute, what do you hazard a minimum cut off would be (either visual or AF @ Rock Spring)? Im not going to get in my car and drive down for it if its running, but a little flow info is one of the things im looking for for future missions. whats the geology like? ive seen a few pictures of the riverbed at low water and it looks like sculpted granite boulders mixed in amongst the desert, does this hold for most of the route? and what stretch did you guys do, just the cleator-bumble bee access? or did you add in the upper and lower stretches? and by chance did you come back with any pictures youd be willing to share? again, anything you are willing to share is helpful. thanks again!

and i think (like cutch said) that poland joins with turkey to form BC Creek right around the town of cleator, but on google earth there are several interesting (not boating, strictly hiking) looking side canyons, mini slots of granite, that kind of thing, so i was just curious if you had seen those!
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Old 03-04-2010   #5
 
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A long ways to the goods if you hike up, and better access elsewhere. But a short hike up to the takeout road we used, which was a good river access point. Good to know if you wanted to run just below the confluence down maybe. Many unmarked windy rough roads around Cleator... I failed in my attempt to find the takeout. Google Earth scouting beforehand will show the drive route well.

If you want to check out the goods of Poland, probably best to hike from the top. The Big Dipper waterfall is one of the first drops, and the canyon is the steepest at the top. Huge saguaros back in there. Poland is a pretty unique and cool run.
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Old 03-04-2010   #6
 
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Yeti, I didn't mean boring as boring actually. I actually definitely enjoy the scenic cruise down class III. Going to do it this weekend.
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Old 03-04-2010   #7
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yeah thats about all i was expecting/looking for anyway. looks like a cool run, id like to time a trip right (probably have to wait til next spring) and get on it. wish i could join ya this weekend but the girlfriend is coming to visit and she probably wants me here. but thanks for the invite, sounds like its gonna be a great time!
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Old 03-04-2010   #8
 
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I think the only time to catch this run is on the backside of a sustained rainstorm like when we hit it. January 23rd was the day we ran it and one dude in our group scouted flows the day before and said it had dropped a little but not a lot. You could check the Agua Fria gage on those days to maybe get a good idea of what to look for. I remember thinking that it looked low when we put on, but not too low to float. I wasn't the brains of the group, just along for the ride. We ran the section described in Paddling Arizona. I only read it once but I remember the book saying something about a manmade dam as the highlight of the upper section, which it really was. As for side canyons I'm not the most observant boater and I don't remember paying any attention. I just remember Poland because there was a lot of water in it. The drops in the upper section were more technical and chanelized but the line was always where the majority of the flow went. The bottom section was much more open and picking a line was harder. Similar to #2 on the ark at late summer flows. We boat scouted the whole run without a problem. The riverbed was just as you described it. Bushes were an issue like on most AZ rivers, but no strainers when we were down there. I don't think anyone took any pictures so I don't have any to share, but I give it a thumbs up for the scenery and interesting and fun whitewater. If you're planning a trip down there check the AZ boaters forums on yahoo: desertpaddlers and monsoonwarriors.
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Old 03-05-2010   #9
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hey, youve already given me a bevy of information, dont be sorry one bit! i watch the AZ weather pretty regularly in the winter/spring so im going to put this on my to do list for future seasons. thanks again for all the info, its mucho appreciado!
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Old 03-05-2010   #10
 
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Kyle correct me if I'm wrong, but I think the report was if the difference in the AF gauge at Mayer and Rock Springs was more than 1000 cfs that Poland was likely running, which in turn would mean Black Canyon Creek should be in.
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