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Old 01-21-2019   #1
 
Hobbs, New Mexico
Paddling Since: 2015
Join Date: Feb 2017
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Gila River wilderness run

Planning my Gila River wilderness trip for March, I went in 2016 and 2017 and missed 2018 because I broke my foot. I am seeking opinion on river conditions, when we went in 17 the river was scattered with log jams and strainers due to a recent flash flood and am curious if anyone went in 18 or since then. I read on another forum that people have since cut out most of the strainers and removed a good amount of the jams . If anyone has any recent information on this I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks

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Old 01-23-2019   #2
 
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Seattle, Washington
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I have no beta, but loved that canyon. Did an overnight sidehike up turkey creek last time.

hope your trip comes together!
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Old 02-28-2019   #3
 
glenwood, New Mexico
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I havent been in a few years, but planning for this year weather permitting. There are not too many blind turns, so most strainers are visible. lowest water for ik's is about 200 to 250. Take along a high quality folding saw and trim sweepers and strainers if you can. The san francisco on the other hand, is a whole nuther can of worms. I went 2 years ago and there were 13 full strainers. Lots and lots of quick blind turns with strainers in them. The current is very fast, the channel narrow and I would recommend ONLY iks and sit on tops. also 80 to 100 cfs. more than that and you are asking for trouble. I am hoping to go again this spring. decent snow and should be good runoff.
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Old 03-04-2019   #4
 
Snowflake, Arizona
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I'm planning to paddle wilderness run 14-17 March, 2019. See my post, if interested.
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Old 03-04-2019   #5
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Just got off the salt with a couple Gila regulars. They said there are a couple portages right now around BIG trees.
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Old 03-14-2019   #6
 
Tucson, Arizona
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I've never done this run. For those of you that have, what is the minimum level for a 12' raft? What is the minimum level for a 14' raft?
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Old 03-14-2019   #7
 
Fort Collins, Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by esscubed View Post
I've never done this run. For those of you that have, what is the minimum level for a 12' raft? What is the minimum level for a 14' raft?
For a 12 foot raft I would say the lowest you want to be on the river is 500 cfs. One time I launched around 500 after a rain event and it dropped to 200 in two days. We made it but that last day was miserable. There are a lot of places where the river splits and choosing the wrong channel, even at 500, means you might have to get out to drag rubber.

Right now would be the perfect time for a raft, but keep in mind it will drop from 1800 to 700 very quick. Personally, I wouldn't put on again below 700 because of how quick it can drop in these circumstances. Get in you car NOW. This should be on everyone's bucket list. Try to do three nights so you can enjoy the hot springs and side hikes otherwise you'll just be trying to make miles. PM if you want some details, there are also a few good threads on this trip.
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Old 03-14-2019   #8
 
Golden, Colorado
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I did this run a couple weeks ago in a IK at low flows and ,personally, I really don’t think I’d ever bother with a raft there. Too many strainers and portages, IMO. Also, a long way to haul gear at the Mogollon Creek takeout.

Cool trip. Just go light, small, be well prepared and pick modest flows in a IK is my advice for a good trip.

Example of a portage attached(and this is after ten minutes of clearing work by me). Glad I didn’t have to get a loaded out raft around the mess. And there are others.
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Old 03-15-2019   #9
 
Fort Collins, Colorado
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Thanks griz, that one shown wasn't there last I did it. Not sure where you took the picture.
I just talked to Bill Luther, the guy that wrote the river guide to the Gila Wilderness stretch, and he told me the two major new strainers to portage are just downstream of Sapillo and near Hells Canyon.
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Old 03-15-2019   #10
 
Golden, Colorado
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Yeah, honestly, I donít remember itís location. After clearing abit, I was able to just drag it through that opening on the right under the tree.
This pic was about 2 miles or less from the Mogollon take out and before I cleared and cut out the right side mess enough to drag my IK through. Still plenty mess left for someone else to contribute abit more to making it abit easier to pass.
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