Conejos pinnacle gorge steel cable and wood - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 07-04-2015   #1
 
salida, Colorado
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Conejos pinnacle gorge steel cable and wood

The Conejos pinnacle gorge is a short and obscure run. A steel cable stretches across the river 1/4 mile from the put in. Just above pinnacle rapid, a log jam must be portaged river left. Cliffs at river level become visible just before this strainer. At 300 cfs the run is mostly continuous class 2 with several class 3 rapids.

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Old 07-04-2015   #2
 
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Buena Vista, Colorado
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Which put in? Has the log jam grew? It used to be a tight IV- move, but passable with a river wide tree shortly below. Please provide a little more detail. Sounds like this might be a new log jam? Thanks.
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Old 07-04-2015   #3
 
Montrose, Colorado
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Hey ziaec, did you do this run alone or with a partner? Have had my eye on this one for a long time, fence issues always worry me on obscure runs. Getting late in the year for this one, but next year would be great to run maybe along with lower Rio Grande or lower San Juan if I do the 3.5 hr. drive one-way. Always try to catch at least 2 rivers on long weekends. I imagine cable is easy to spot if paying attention. Thanks!
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Old 07-04-2015   #4
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Someone please correct me if I'm wrong but I think mid-summer and late summer releases from Platoro aren't that uncommon....I don't think they are ever very large? But the Conjeos is a pretty key stream for agriculture in the SW part of the San Luis Valley. Keep an eye on those gages!
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Old 07-05-2015   #5
 
salida, Colorado
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conejos beta

I've done several runs on the Conejos: Highway bridge to Mogote Campground is a nice easy run with no barb wire as of 2013. Great fishing with one technical class 3. The middle run(class 1 and 2) which ends at highway bridge has LOTS of barb wire near the town. Floated it at flood in 2012 (1000+ cfs)...sketchy.Big Fish!

The pinnacles section has intrigued me for years and I finally talked a friend into it. We put in with kayaks at the first fisherman access point 6 miles upstream from the south fork conejos trailhead parking lot(take out for the run. footbridge at river) . A higher put in is possible. Nice fishing in the gorge. The steel cable was just visible at 300 cfs it may be harder to see or under water at 350 or so. Portage right. A river wide log jam is between the first encountered class 2+ or 3 - rapid and Pinnacle rapid(class 3 at this level). Portage left. These are the only two rapids of note and the only two obstructions. Mostly continuous 1 and 2 waves and very scenic. All in all , a fun , easy and short creek run with a committing feel. Possible flows thru out the summer and fall via Platoro reservoir releases. I've searched for info on the Conejos for years and I hope this beta is helpful to others looking for an obscure outing and some great fishing.
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Old 07-05-2015   #6
 
salida, Colorado
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log jam

This was my first run on pinnacles so I'm not sure if the log jam existed previously. I believe it is mile 5 or so. River wide and dense with a mandatory portage. Looks like it will be there for a long time unless some serious water runs through. Pinnacle rapid had a log on river right that extended a bit into the line, but easily missed. The section was amazingly clear of wood for this type of location. 300 cfs was fine and 500 would be better.
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Old 07-05-2015   #7
 
Montrose, Colorado
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Wow, what a wealth of information. You have given us more info than AW, Eddy Flower, River Brain, and Southwest Paddler combined. Just knowing which section has the fences is so important and the rest is bonus info. This is what makes the Buzz such a valuable tool and boaters like yourself really appreciated. This is right down my grade level. And it lead me to Logans write-up on this run from 2013, with even more info. Thanks again ziaec, hope to catch you on the river someday.
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Old 07-05-2015   #8
 
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Buena Vista, Colorado
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Thanks for the specifics. I wonder what's up with the cable?... That's not cool, and wouldn't have expected it, although wood is common. We usually put in up in the flat meadows below the reservoir to make the most of the run. In my opinion the best rapids are in the first half, but the scenery is better in the Gorge.
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Old 07-06-2015   #9
 
Monte Vista, Colorado
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I'm a local to this area and am friends with many BLM, FS, and CPW staff. If someone can get me specifics (coordinates) I can find out why the cable is there and whether or not it is permitted (can be taken down if not?).

Again, I would need some mighty specific coordinates.


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Old 07-06-2015   #10
 
salida, Colorado
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upper meadows

Glad to share some info on the Conejos. More knowledge and safety equals more fun. Sounds like we missed out on the upper meadows part of the trip. We weren't sure about quality, fencing and wood on that part. Next time.The fencing on the lower middle section was really spooky at high water (1000 cfs+). My partner and I struggled several times to grab grass or branches on the bank above barb wire fencing. With no eddies and flushing current, the run changed from casual idyllic to desperate. I knew there was potential fencing issues and probably shouldn't have run it at high water. Lesson learned. That said, fencing and cables on a runnable river suck. At best it is an inconvenience which forces one to tresspass. At worst...maybe someone drowns. I'll try to provide a more precise location for the pinnacles run steel cable. The Conejos is a beauty and anything that can be done to make it safer and more open to boating would be great!Thanks for everyones input. Hope to see you out there.
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