Questions about Cataract - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 03-04-2010   #1
 
Crested Butte, Colorado
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Questions about Cataract

I planning on hitting Cataract this April, while my kids out of school. Its been 6 years since I was down there, and I'm a little rusty on my canyon info.

With the Lake level back up it sounds like a motor will be needed, is this correct? Last trip we still had sand waves at the mouth of the dirty devil.

Is the takeout still at the dirty devil? or did it move back to hite?


I've always tried to have my last camp at Dark Canyon, and do the hike. Are both the high and low camps there unusable? That would be a bummer.

If Brown Betty is reserved when we get to the sign in, what are the other choices for still hiking into the dolls house? Is Spanish bottom campable, or did the fire ruin it. Can you get into the Dolls house from below brown betty?

Will the Rangers be checking for boat registration to go with the motor?

thanks, Rob

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Old 03-04-2010   #2
 
Salt Lake City, Utah
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I ran it last August. Back then, a motor was really good to have. The current was basically gone at gypsum canyon and was totally slack by narrow canyon.

Dark Canyon was a small bay in August. Nowhere to camp, and challenging to even get a boat except a kayak into to hike. It was a godawful mud pit when I was there in April 4 years ago. I wouldn't want to camp there, and in general camps get really sparse below gypsum. I stayed at kind of a hardship camp on river left in narrow canyon right after mille crag bend, but bocce wasn't possible because of mud crevasses.

Last August you could take out at Dirty Devil or Hite. There were pretty good sized breakers after exiting Narrow Canyon so I was happy to take out at Dirty Devil.

Spanish Bottom camp is good to go. You would get unlucky to not get either it or Brown Betty in April. When I ran Cataract in April I never saw a single party until the takeout.

I've never seen a ranger on Cataract on either my April or August trip - both times lauching from Mineral Bottom. We registered the boat with the motor anyway to be safe.
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Old 03-04-2010   #3
 
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Glenwood Springs, Colorado
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Rowing out of Cat in August was arduous... camped at Gypsum then two days of no current, strong winds (started before 8am) and whitecaps. Even threw a bucket down to try to catch the current, didn't work. We had to camp on the boats at Sheep Canyon with a sand stake in the mud as there were no other options.
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Old 03-04-2010   #4
 
Salt Lake City, Utah
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you can hike to the doll house from rapid #5 via surprise valley. cool hike if you have a little extra time. cool camp as well.

fwiw, I have done 2 trips w/o registering my motor with no problems, but i think i am going to get it registered this year, just to be safe.

the last few times we have been down there, we camped at gypsum on our last night before motoring out.
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Old 03-04-2010   #5
 
Crested Butte, Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atg200 View Post
I ran it last August. Back then, a motor was really good to have. The current was basically gone at gypsum canyon and was totally slack by narrow canyon.

Dark Canyon was a small bay in August. Nowhere to camp, and challenging to even get a boat except a kayak into to hike. It was a godawful mud pit when I was there in April 4 years ago. I wouldn't want to camp there, and in general camps get really sparse below gypsum. I stayed at kind of a hardship camp on river left in narrow canyon right after mille crag bend, but bocce wasn't possible because of mud crevasses.

Last August you could take out at Dirty Devil or Hite. There were pretty good sized breakers after exiting Narrow Canyon so I was happy to take out at Dirty Devil.

Spanish Bottom camp is good to go. You would get unlucky to not get either it or Brown Betty in April. When I ran Cataract in April I never saw a single party until the takeout.

I've never seen a ranger on Cataract on either my April or August trip - both times lauching from Mineral Bottom. We registered the boat with the motor anyway to be safe.



Dark Canyon was a great camp last April with a large, flat kitchen area and plenty of tent spots. I would camp there again because, well, the hike is Grand Canyon quality.


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Old 03-04-2010   #6
 
Salt Lake City, Utah
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Wow, you got lucky. There hasn't been anything like that either time i've been there. I agree about the quality of the hike though - it is spectacular.
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Old 03-04-2010   #7
 
logan, Colorado
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There is no camp at Dark Canyon as of last Aug like atg200 has already said. The camp was there last April but the high water washed it out. The photo above you can see the current which no longer exists at Dark. To be honest there really is no camping much below Gypsum. There is one on river left after the bend below gypsum some of the commercial companies use before motoring off. We did the dark hike (aug) but it was tricky to get back in there, love the Lake Powell formation.
Your camp options are Spanish 1 or 3 if BB is taken, both are good. The hike from camp 5 is abit sketch loose rocks and such but is awesome. They call it surprize for a reason.
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