Gila Wilderness Run Sept. 3-5 - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 08-26-2015   #1
 
Chandler, Arizona
Paddling Since: 2011
Join Date: Jul 2015
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Gila Wilderness Run Sept. 3-5

With the rain forecast for the next several days, I'm looking at potentially running the Gila Wilderness from Sept. 3-5. Let me know if you would be interested in joining. I will cancel my plans if the water level doesn't look good.

Check out this trip description: Gila River - April 1, 2007 - East Fork Bridge to Box Canyon Campground

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Old 11-20-2015   #2
 
Fort Collins, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2014
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Gila November Min Flows?

Instead of starting a new thread figured I'd piggyback this. I have a week off for thanksgiving and am itching. I want to hit new mexico and right now the Gila is above 300, though that probably won't last. I've heard its canoe able down to 200. Does anyone think this would be doable if I'm R1ing a ten foot raft (mini-max). The Rio Chama has water but is going to be a lot colder so that is a fallback.
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Old 11-20-2015   #3
 
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Albuquerque, New Mexico
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300 is typical minimum I've been told

I have been down on an Aire Puma 2R, so you can take a small raft, but that was at 1500. I don't think it looks good for Thanksgiving unless there's a really nice weather event to push up the flow.

I went with a friend who has canoed it more than 30 times and he has said that his minimum is about 300CFS in his canoe, I'm not sure what the minimum for a small raft would be but I'd guess you'd want to be sure you'll have more than 300 for the entire trip. You'll also have some portages - there was one river wide strainer we had to unload my boat to portage, and a couple of places where I had to line it under/over a downed tree with lower flows I'd expect more issues finding a runable path in more places.

It is awesome and worth dropping whatever you're doing when the water is there, but hard to predict and windows of opportunity are usually short.
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Old 11-27-2015   #4
 
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Albuquerque, New Mexico
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Originally Posted by Issip View Post
I don't think it looks good for Thanksgiving unless there's a really nice weather event to push up the flow.
Wow, it actually happened! Wish I could drop everything and head there now, but I'm out of days off.

Hope Almortal is there now, it looks like a good time.
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Old 11-27-2015   #5
 
Bellingham, Washington
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I am planning to start a big road trip through the SW early next year and would love to hit runs like the Gila, Salt, or Chama as weather and flows permit. If there's anyone out there who might be available to do a multi-day trip with me, shoot me a PM. I'll be paddling a Katana 10.4 crossover boat so I can go solo, but it's always nice to have good company.

Thanks for posting the link to the Gila TR. Looks beautiful! I just read that the current El Nino weather pattern is only getting stronger as we head into 2016, so perhaps we're in for a good winter/spring of boating in the SW.
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Old 11-27-2015   #6
 
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Buena Vista, Colorado
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Originally Posted by landslide View Post
I am planning to start a big road trip through the SW early next year and would love to hit runs like the Gila, Salt, or Chama as weather and flows permit. If there's anyone out there who might be available to do a multi-day trip with me, shoot me a PM. I'll be paddling a Katana 10.4 crossover boat so I can go solo, but it's always nice to have good company.
I'm interested and have a crossover as well. Chama is good, but I never seem to have any luck with the permit....planning to apply for it and the Salt as well. Gila is on the list, but always seems to run for such a short window. Would love to catch it.
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Old 11-27-2015   #7
 
Bellingham, Washington
Paddling Since: 1998
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Awesome! I've already decided I'm not going to be too picky about flows. If there's enough water to keep me from having to drag my boat (much), I'm game for a trip. For example, the Chama gauge is reading 495 cfs at the moment and AW lists the min runnable flow at 200. If the weather forecast looked passable*, I'd be up for a trip.

Note: my definition of "passable weather" depends on the remoteness and difficulty of the run and who's going with me, if anyone. I plan to bring a sat phone and a hot tent system, so that certainly helps!
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Old 11-27-2015   #8
 
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Albuquerque, New Mexico
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Originally Posted by lmyers View Post
I'm interested and have a crossover as well. Chama is good, but I never seem to have any luck with the permit....
I'd look for shoulder season or weekday releases for the Chama. This year they ran it for a month straight after the permit season ended, and posted clearly on the BLM Wild and Scenic River website that they intended to do so. Surprisingly very few people took advantage so my wife and I had the whole place to ourselves in September.

I much prefer non-permit trips to permit trips, permit weekends are hurried and the river is crowded, besides opportunities are easier than permits, especially if El Nino creates a lot of snowpack that has to be moved downstream.
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Old 11-27-2015   #9
 
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Albuquerque, New Mexico
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Chama is runable

I've run Chama down to 300CFS in an Aire Puma 11.5' raft, 2R., I took out at Chavez Canyon rather than Big Eddie, but at current flows (~500CFS) it's definitely runable.

It will be a chilly weekend, but I'd bet you get the hot spring to yourself.
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Old 11-27-2015   #10
 
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Buena Vista, Colorado
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I have caught the Chama pre and post permit, and been on a few other peoples trips but never actually won my own permit. Been on it as high as 1800 and as low as 500. I have paddled it and camped in freezing rain and snow and don't know that I would do it between Thanksgiving and March....

On the other hand, I am much more open to the Salt and Gila regardless of time of year if the flow is sufficient. They are both far enough south and low enough elevation that their winters are comparatively mild to the Chama.
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