How to scout Bailey? - Mountain Buzz

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Old 07-25-2005   #1
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 388
How to scout Bailey?

I want to scout the three major rapids in Bailey before I run it. In particular, I heard the rapids are not easy to spot from the river the first time.

Can I get to Four Falls, Super Max, and Deer Creek by mountain bike from Pine Valley Ranch along the narrow guage trail? Is there any private property that blocks the trail?

Also, at current flows, am I correct in assuming I don't need a creek boat if I portage the three class V rapids? My Jackson Fun has no trouble with class IV.

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Old 07-25-2005   #2
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 818
They are a bit difficult to identify if you don't know where they are. Above four falls, the difficulty increases from class 2 to 3 and you will see canyon walls for the first time- especially on the left. There is a railroad grade on the right. Scout right- the eddies aren't that great so don't be too picky. You don't want to float into this one blind. Above supermax is a shallow class 2 section. You go around a left turn and see a cairn on the left. If you look a ways ahead, you can see things dropping away. Scout left. At deer creek, you will be crising through class 3 and see a big rock on the left with a big eddy behind it- eddy up behind the rock and scout left. You can do the in between in a play boat but bring a creeker if you have one- there is no good reason to bring a playboat on this run. Have fun

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Old 07-25-2005   #3
jonny water's Avatar
Geologist, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 615
I scouted Bailey 4 years ago with my girlfriend (now my wife). We drove past the put-in to the last town along the river before the river goes away from the road to 4 falls. We parked well away from the houses and hiked on river right up and over a small mountain. We may have been on private property but went way away from any property in our vision. After traversing for a while, we dropped down to the river and ended up right at 4 falls. From here we scouted 4 falls and i was able to hike down to see the boogie water below the 4 falls. Eventually the rail grade on river right ends and you get cliffed out....that is where we stopped. The next day my (wife) and I put in and met up with a group of veterans. They guided us down and we ran everything. However, from what we saw from scouting was a good indicator of the whole river but doesn't prepare you for super-max. Nonetheless, you can portage the top (or all of) super max and can portage deer creek rapid easily. Study the map in the book and read carefully and you should be fine. Otherwise, run with veterans or sit at the put-in until someone shows. Definitely scout all 3 of the big drops and be prepared for some good boggie water after 4 falls.
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Old 07-25-2005   #4
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 168
There is no reason to paddle Bailey with a playboat. There is no worthy play of any kind. If you never had a creek boat, then you probably aren't ready. I don't mean to be cruel, but me and several others had to suck face with someone who was paddling a playboat down a creek (I'm assuming it is because he didn't have a creek boat). I don't want to suck face with anyone any more this season, uless it's my wife and she is alive.

All of 4 falls is on private property. The people who own it have been tolerant of people scouting/portaging, but they are not overly enthusiastic. The public property starts at a cable across the river shortly after 4 falls. If you walk in there be discreet and overly polite. Bailey could turn into Cheeseman real quick if we aren't careful.
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Old 07-25-2005   #5
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Laramie, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1992
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 499
That is way too much work to justify it. If you don't know anyone you can just hang out at the takeout to meet up with some boaters and run with them. If that's not your style I can show you down, I've only been down it like 60 times. Maybe I'm getting a little jaded, but Supermax is the only rapid that truly qualifies as Class 5. As far as the Fun, well there are worse boats for bailey... It is "creeky" and a totally different vibe than gore or other expert playboat runs. I would reccomend a creekboat for your first time, it's a long walk out.
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Old 07-25-2005   #6
Ski Patrol
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 139
It's best to scout with a helicopter or hot air balloon.

hope that helps and good luck.
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Old 07-25-2005   #7
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 194
Hot Air Balloons are for loosers. I like to scout via transcendental meditation. Just lie down and "visualize" where you want to go. Not only is the beta right on, but the whole outer body experience thing is pretty cool.
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Old 07-25-2005   #8
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 373
Take your creek boat for the 1st Time or 2. If you are confident in your Playboat you make the call after a few laps. Bailey is great play. I loved using my ends and edges in that canyon (above 250).

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