Green River Lodore through Split Mtn - Mountain Buzz

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Old 05-16-2008   #1
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 43
Green River Lodore through Split Mtn

A friend got a permit for this section the first week in June. I am wondering if someone could provide me with some information:

- Does this river run cold this time of year? (AKA: are drysuits recommended)

- What should the flows be like then? (low, medium,high)

- I read the Lodore section was class 3ish, Is this big water or technical run? Any dangers? (e.g. undercuts, etc.)

I don't think anyone in the group will have a rafting background. I have a kayaking background and may be the most experienced (if I go), but not rafting.



PS We're (or the leader!) is looking for another raft - so if you're interested and have the gear, let me know! I think this will be a friendly, casual group, some Sierra Clubbers and friends.

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Old 05-16-2008   #2
Gnarnia, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2006
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Old 05-16-2008   #3
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 652
Lodore is a pretty easy trip for an experienced rafter at low water. But, you'll have high water. I don't think the rapids get that tough at high water, but you should have competent boaters and scout the big three.

It sounds like your trip doesn't have competent rafters, which would make me real worried. High water and incompetent rafters with cold water can lead to bad, bad danger.

Yes, all Colorado will have cold water in early June. The fact that you don't know this makes me worried.
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Old 05-17-2008   #4
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 43
Thank you JBL and Basil,

No - I don't have knowledge of the rivers in that part of CO... that's why I am posting. I am not sure if I am going; I just want to pass on the info to the trip leader with suggestions. I know cold water means drysuits or wetsuits... and it sounds too like paddlers should wear helmets through Lodore. But I didn't know this before I posted... so I am really grateful for your response.

If I am on the trip, I do know how to scout and read rapids. I am from the east coast, not Colorado though and hence don't know the rivers here. The rivers back east tend to warm remarkably fast (well compared to CO rivers that I have been on!) I was thinking that because the Green was located in desert country (or so I think!) it might run warmer... so thank you for letting me know otherwise!

I intend to gather as much info as I can about this section and passing it on to the leader, along with suggestions.

Regarding high water, do you know the link I can find the water levels?

Thank you and I hope you have an enjoyable season!
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Old 05-17-2008   #5
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 652
Actually, if I were rowing a raft, I probably wouldn't be in a wet suit or a dry suit. The air temperature can well be 90 degrees while the water temp is 45. Just make sure you can be fished out quick. Kayakers just wear dry tops.

It's a great trip. Truly remarkable.
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Old 05-18-2008   #6
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 43
Thank you! Sounds better to be in a kayak than raft!
This link I found shows the river running low: but this link shows it running high: so I imagine that's the correct level:


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Old 05-18-2008   #7
Join Date: Nov 2005
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Your second link is the Green River in Washington State.

Use this link:

Yea, it's low now. The Flaming Gorge dam is holding back all the water. When the Yampa joins, you go from 860 cfs to 9,000 cfs. I guess the dam will hold back the water until the Yampa drops, about July 10. The dam may start spilling sooner. I *think* the rapids after the Yampa joins are not that hard at high water.
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Old 05-18-2008   #8
Grand Junction, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 39
Lodore is a beautiful trip and a difficult permit to get, you shouldn't have too much trouble finding people to go. I wouldn't suggest it as a trip for the unexperienced. Definitely scout Triplett, Hell's Half Mile, and SOB (maybe others). I've seen or known of several boaters that have had issues (hang-ups, wraps, etc.) in each of these. If you have competent people on the oars you should be fine, but a newb rowing is asking for trouble. JMO.

Happy Boating.
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Old 05-27-2008   #9
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 22
Gates of Lodore is High

Just so you know the Gates of Lodore Trip on the Green is high right now at 4350 cfs. The Yampa is really high at about 12,000 cfs. I've only done the Gates of Lodore at low flow at about 900 cfs and it was really technical. At high flows all of those will be covered and big hydraulics will develop. Make sure everyone has guidebooks and knows where they are.

Below the confluence are some pretty good rapids especially in whirlpool canyon where there guessed it....lots of whirlpools. Especially at 16,000 cfs. I've done the Yampa at close to that level and it's big and pushy. There is nothing technical. Kayakers with a weak roll or weak bracing skills will have trouble here. Other than eddylines, I don't remember anything big enough to flip a raft below the confluence.

You might want to monitor the Yampa Flow at:

Unfortunately, the publisher of the only good guidebook for this trip is reprinting the book. It should be available in early June. So your only shot is to find it at a local shop if one has some left. Otherwise, once it is in print again you can find it here:

Have fun on your trip.
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