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Old 06-25-2005  
 
Dave Frank's Avatar
 
Boulder, Colorado
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Need Beta for Escalante to Whitewater

I plan to float this mellow stretch of the Gunny, with family next week. Looking for info on where the camps are and if there may be a good map or giude to get. I suspect we will do 2 nights at the same camp, but wasn't really sure if there are a few camps to choose from or if there is just the one area near the side canyon. Are you hosed is someone else gets there first or does it accomodate a few groups?

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Old 06-25-2005  
cma
 
Boulder
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I just did that trip a few weeks ago. Camp areas are few, at Dominguez canyon there are three camp areas, one right at the moth of the canyon that can hold a fairly large number of people, one about 50yds down stream just after a few large boulders on river left that is a much smaller area with little flat land and alot of tamarisk (also mosquito infested), and the third spot is about another 50 yds past that on river left. The last spot is a very large spread out area with cottonwoods and can hold alot of people. Beware of "Gunnison Bob", when we were there a canoe guide who had a group of about 10 canoes at the put in was discussing with us where we planned to camp, we had two rafts and a canoe for 12 people, seeing that we hadn't been on the river before we asked him about camping at Domiguez, he said the middle camp area was a "great campsite" and that we should take that one if it was open. Well we got closer to Dominguez and pulled into the 1st area at the canyon to see what the situation was and sure enough the 1st area was taken and then "Bob" and his scout boat raced past to take the last area. The middle area is not the best spot, I would hardly consider it a spot at all. What is river etiquette on this at all, I think it was pretty rude for him to tell us that the obviously worse spot was "a great site" and then he proceeded to scout ahead of his group who didn't show up until an hour later to get the good site. Anyway, after the canyon about 1.5-2 miles down stream there are 2 more large spots on a peninsula shortly after the train tracks head into a tunnel on river right that looked good, large flat and cottonwoods, and there is one last spot on river left about halfway between Dominguez and Whitewater. We christened this last camp which we stayed at the second night "Camp Poo" for the extraordinarily large amount of cow poo throughout the area, if it wasn't for the poo it would also be a great spot, large flat and cottonwoods. This last campsite is after a drop with a very large and slow moving eddy on river left that will suck you in and make you paddle the last 40ft to the camp area on river laft. We put in on Friday morning and Dominguez was filling up, that is the prime area due to the side hikes, the last area had a good hike but was full of poo. The two areas in between looked good for camping but you are on a river bend peninsula that is cut off by a cliff and the railroad so there isn't much hiking there however you most likely will be alone there. We were there at around 5000cfs and the diversion dam they warn you about was runnable over the top, and the float went by fast (putin to Dominguez about 4 hours). If you are camping at Dominguez and a train is stopped accross the river, cross the suspension bridge and see if they will let you on the train to check it out, they let a couple of the people I was with on board and they got to flash the lights and honk the horn (great fun no matter how old you are), if you have kids they will get a kick out of that.
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Old 06-26-2005  
 
Dave Frank's Avatar
 
Boulder, Colorado
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Thanks, that covers most of what I wanted to know (and everything I actually asked).

Also wondering what the rapids are like. CRC mentions a lot of easy III. Seems overstated, by looking at the gradient #s and visually from the put in. Are there any rapids? Where is the dam? Is it an issue? I will have a 3 year old on board.

Are the rapids at all comparable to pumphouse, or would the Colorado be more exciting of a trip for my non boatering parents?
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Old 06-26-2005  
cma
 
Boulder
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Posts: 206
The dam is a low diversion dam about 2/3rds of the way to dominguez, I think it shows up on topo maps if you use a gps, it is obvious as you approach it and there is a chute on the left side, however when we did it you could easily float over it. CRC says it is the same gradient as Ruby/Horsethief but it seemed like it there were more wave trains than RH, there shouldn't be anything to worry about, the dam produced the biggest waves but on our 14ft rafts I think you could have hit it at any angle or direction without any conequences other than splashing a little water in your beer. The canoe in our group had absolutely no problems and they also hit the dam. My friends visiting from Minnesota thought it was a fun trip having never been in a raft before. Just bring bug spray, since moving here from Minnesota years ago I have allways laughed when people say there are mosquitos here until this trip.
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