Kayaking in Grand Junction - Mountain Buzz
 



 
 
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Old 03-13-2006  
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
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Kayaking in Grand Junction

Is there Kayaking near Grand Junction?

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Old 03-13-2006  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
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Westwater is less than an hour west of GJ, and is runnable pretty much year-round (some icing in cold winters).

You'll get all kinds of different views on how good it is or how boring it is. But it's a nice little 17-mile canyon with a middle stretch that has several miles of rapids that present differently at various water levels. It has great scenery, and overnight runs are often done.

Permits are required, and are available through the BLM office in Moab.

FWIW.

Richp
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Old 03-13-2006  
 
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Some other kayaking options...

Plateau Creek is good class IV- and easier. Great begginer stretches, and its long if you put in up high.

Escalante creek is amazing paddling when it runs (slightly rare). In average and better years for the drainage it will run low, which is great easy creeking. It gets big when it is high.

Some not so quality options: Buzzard Creek, Leon Creek, Upper Kannah (difficult), park and huck at the Glade Park Potholes (needs water). Some good canal boating.

Freestyle is good at the Lucky 7 wave (see other posts), and Big Sur in massive water years.

The intown sections can be good for begginers. Some park and play at select levels, like the 5th Stree wave, which is sweet.

Only 90 miles to Glenwood Springs, short enough to hit in an afternoon if you leave GJ by 3 pm, but its a long night.

CB is a short weekend trip.

You have options, but will have to drive for the best paddling. Combined with Mtn Biking, Climbing, and mediocre skiing and the action sports in the area can be good.
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Old 03-14-2006  
sj
 
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I am a Plateau Creek fan. For afternoons and weekends when you don't get alot of time. Otherwise the Eagle. Roaring Fork, Crystal and the Glennwood area are 2hrs or less one way. Not paddling Purgatory but not BV or Durango either. sj
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Old 03-14-2006  
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Phuoc My, Da Nang, THE 'NAM
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what water body are the potholes on? i remember glade park being a large sagebrush mesa, so im assuming its on a creek that drains in...? i wouldnt think the little d, but maybe? im out in that area a lot in the summer exploring and would love to hit that if i caught it.
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Old 03-14-2006  
 
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Some of the best runs in Utah are apx 2 hrs .west,San Rafael Swell area.The Colorado between Hittle Bottom and Moab offers easy boating with play at low water,and gets a little rowdy at high flows supposedely a Big Sur type feature appears.This is a beautiful area with a long season.
You are a lot closer to the Dolores and San Miguel than most Colo. boaters.

sj, what am I missing,I've looked at Plateau at both high and low water and didn't really see any rapids just fast flat with minor manuevering are there some good drops hidden from the road?

yeti, the potholes are on the Little D.One drop has a fang that hangs over the drop{kind of like 1st drop of 4 falls on Bailey} looks hard to avoid,but Cutch has apparently run it.I scouted above,looked to small and brushy,below has been run portages and private property issues.

Cutch, would Escalante be good for a 4/4+ boater at barely boatable flows ,i kinda like bony technical stuff don't belong if theres sticky holes followed by dangerous runnout.
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Old 03-14-2006  
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oh ok, thanks.

can someone tell me whats the character of leon creek? is is just bushy creekin? or is there some hidden drops in a gorge/ravine there?
and maybe....
would big creek along that same slope have enough flow or a stretch of runnable-ness on it?

thanks a bunch
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Old 03-14-2006  
 
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Leon is coninuous 4 w /wood,difficult logistics,see CRC1

Curious about other runs off Grand Mesa too.
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Old 03-14-2006  
sj
 
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Cayo. The only real rapid is not visible from the road. but the real beuty lies in the continuous nature. I am long past my hard boating and at 1200 last year it was about 8 miles of backing into continuous class III play. Add that to the fact that it's running and warm and sunny in early may. And I have good freinds and family out there that run it with me. Lots of and's for one paragraph. And the clincher for this 303er only group on the creek every time I have run it. sj
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Old 03-14-2006  
 
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CAYO, Escalante at barely boatable to low flows is good for a 4+ boater. All of the major drops (excluding the inner gorge) can be portaged. Scouting is easy on the big ones. I say 4+ simply for the skill needed to avoid small pin spots and courage needed to paddle read and run around blind corners. When I first paddled the creek I was a class 4 paddler, and only had a playboat (granted, playboats were bigger then). I basically learned to creek here under the eyes of Barry Chamberlain and Donnie Smith.

The potholes rarely have enough water to be really good, but at low flow are still entertaining. The only time that I would say it had enough flow was when it was near peak runoff for the area and during a rain/snow storm. The rest of the time they are always a little shallow. We used to put in on top of a log, and kind of slide the log into the lip of the first drop. The bottom drop is tricky, because it pushes you towards the right wall, where you don't want to be. It's good practice. If you boof the bottom drop be sure to lean forward. Its pretty green. NOTE: Unless you are local jonesing for some whitewater, I wouldn't bother with the trip...unless Escalante was completely flooded, and you were sure that it would be running.

Plateau is a great begginer run, with out any real drops. Class IV- is a generous rating, basically due to the continous nature of some shallow and long wave trains. Most of it is class II-III.
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