Suggestions and tips for extended western travel - Mountain Buzz
 

Go Back   Mountain Buzz > Whitewater Boating > Whitewater Kayaking


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 02-17-2015   #1
 
Wedowee, Alabama
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 10
Suggestions and tips for extended western travel

My wife and I have been saving for a few years and have managed to take a year off work to travel before we have kids (we are both turning 30 this year). We are from the Southeast and will be living out of a Sprinter type camper van. We will have a Star Slice (similar to a shredder) that we can R2 for doing class 3 to easy 4 runs together. I will have a playboat for play parks and my wife has an IK for when we want to paddle seperately. I have Leland's River Gypsies Guide and will use it a lot on the trip, but I wanted to get any feedback or ideas from this forum to make our trip as fun a possible. I am not familiar with west coast snowpack and the best times to head to which areas. I would define us as mostly class 3 boaters with something like the middle Ocoee or Brown's Canyon being the difficulty that we are comfortable running.

We leave the 1st of April and plan to stay out west until December.

We plan to travel mostly in the following states:

Colorado
Idaho
Utah
Washington
Oregon
California
Montana


Which states would you visit at which time based on the anticipated water levels this year ( we do not need super high water to have a good time, we are just looking for fun, scenic trips on mostly class 3 waters)?

Also, anytips on how to work our way onto any multiday trips?

What are the best playparks to visit?

Paddling will not be the only aspect of the trip, we want to spend a lot of time in the national parks hiking and doing some photography as well.

So.....Buzzards what are some can't miss rivers/towns/playparks/locations for our big trip?

Any information is greatly appreciated.

mikehd1200 is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 02-17-2015   #2
 
lmyers's Avatar
 
Buena Vista, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 4,770
I would start south and work my way north. Follow the melt. Generally it will start in NM, AZ, and southern Utah/Colorado sometime in April. By May the west slope of Colorado is running and by mid June most of the Rocky Mountain region will be flowing.
lmyers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-17-2015   #3
 
Redmond, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1973
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 1,119
Think about where you could stay that would be neat when not on a river.

There are free and cheap Hot springs with inexpensive camping occasionally.
Natural ones too.

State Park CG's on the Ocean can be very nice in Oregon DURING THE SUMMER.

National Parks without rivers. Crater Lake NP in Oregon.
There are so many great NP's out here get a year pass for sure.
If you're taking a year off you absolutely have to visit at least a dozen NP's out here while commuting between rivers.

======

Oregon isn't doing so well for water this winter. So far.

Avoiding permits and getting acceptable flows I would suggest a play day on the Deschutes near Maupin (3 ++) and some other other parts of the Deschutes (easier generally).
Especially the Grande Ronde (3 -) in NE before the end of July.
The North Umpqua (3 ++)East of Roseburg for one of those Cascade truly beautiful clear/greenish/turquoise streams. It plays out in segments.
BilloutWest is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 02-17-2015   #4
 
Redmond, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1973
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 1,119
BTW:
Things are getting serious on invasive species clean up and permits.
BilloutWest is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-17-2015   #5
Dipshit with the most.
 
carvedog's Avatar
 
Bellevue, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 2,826
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikehd1200 View Post
I am not familiar with west coast snowpack and the best times to head to which areas.
What West Coast snowpack??? Nothing to be familiar with.

But I digress. Salmon, ID would give you easy roadside class 3 with some roadside runs that you could camp and hitch your shuttle. Stanley, ID would be awesome for several days. And you are right between the Sawtooths and the White Clouds both of which beat the hell out of any National Park for hiking and backpacking.


Several stretches of whitewater right there. Pop over the hill to Lowman and get several more stretches in there. Go to Banks and there are several more in that area. Everything from Class 2 to 5 with lots in between.

There are a shit ton of hot springs all through Idaho too. Guidebooks to get you there. As a local I am reluctant to give Beta on the interwebz for locations of such springs. But look around and when you get here the FS will guide to many of them.

Idaho snowpacks are not great in the southern half which means it might be an early high water this year. Normally June is pretty cranking but I don't see the legs for that right now. Up out of Missoula you can get the Lochsa and many others. Usually peaking around Memorial Weekend but I am not as up on the snowpack up there. Closer to normal I would think. By the end of June I think the southern rivers will be not so burly and more friendly for someone in an IK or more class 3. Not that you can't find the goods.

Sounds like a great adventure - have a ball.
carvedog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-17-2015   #6
 
OTR, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 251
You (or more likely your wife) might want to be careful about yoga pants in Montana...

I just got back from camping Rio Grande Del Norte canyon/ monument area (Northern New Mexico). This would be an excellent class II float through a deep gorge if the flows hold through spring. I don't have all the beta though, so be careful.

Also, not boating, but you should definitely go to Craters of the Moon national park in Idaho. Mind blowing.
SKeen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-17-2015   #7
 
Wedowee, Alabama
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 10
LOL on the yoga pants.

Thanks for the ideas so far. I am taking notes so please keep them coming.

Thanks,
Mike
mikehd1200 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-17-2015   #8
GoBro
 
glenn's Avatar
 
BZN, Montana
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1,493
Rio Grand (Racecourse) -> Ark (browns, big horn, royal gorge, numbers) -> Poudre (various) -> North Platte (Northgate) -> Snake (alpine) -> Madison (beartrap) -> Clark Fork (alberton gorge) -> Lochsa -> more idaho or PNW.
__________________
The sunshine walked beside her
glenn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-17-2015   #9
 
kayaker's Avatar
 
in a van down by the river, Arizona
Paddling Since: 1974
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 134
Just be sure to get the best book, Whitewater of the Southern Rockies!
Great suggestions for Idaho above, adding in Northern California around Mt. Shasta and out to Arcata will do you very well for boating a plenty.
Depending on time of year, the rivers of Northern Arizona might surprise you; Verde River, Oak Creek.
Using Washington State as a sure bet, you will really find your boats as blessings in the Cascades and in Southern Oregon as you look at the Smith River drainage and the Klamath River and its tribs.
kayaker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-17-2015   #10
GoBro
 
glenn's Avatar
 
BZN, Montana
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1,493
WWOSR is an excellent book and may be helpful, but for CL III-IV you are really looking for classics. Beta should be easy to come by and likely not worth the cost.
__________________
The sunshine walked beside her
glenn is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Topic Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Grand Canyon 1/2 Trip suggestions/Tips!! andrew n Kayaking | Trip Planner 6 06-20-2013 08:53 PM
Grand Self-Support tips, suggestions jeffsssmith Kayaking | Trip Planner 70 02-05-2012 07:04 AM
Travel with a kayak? Some tips... korbulic Commercial Posts 0 08-09-2010 07:11 PM
Learning to plastic weld; tips? suggestions? spenceuiuc Whitewater Kayaking 14 11-06-2008 08:00 AM
looking for kayak Travel Tips Akboater Whitewater Kayaking 8 10-25-2005 03:17 PM

» Classified Ads
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:38 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.