Lower Price River, Utah - Mountain Buzz

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Old 07-28-2015   #1
Salt Lake, Utah
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 3
Lower Price River, Utah

Hey has anyone run that section? Interested in going in the spring for a multi day, if there's water, but have never found anyone who has tried the section from Woodside to the confluence with the Green. I read one thing that said it was class V+ at some spots. If so, is it possible to portage equipment at those?

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Old 07-28-2015   #2
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SLC, Utah
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1,390
Class V+? How? It seems all flat, unless there are some waterfalls along the way? I've never done it, but would be interested.
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Old 07-28-2015   #3
cedar city, Utah
Join Date: Mar 2008
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I heard Class IV but also have not run it. Rumor is the crux is a rapid caused by either a collapsed bank or mud slide years ago but that is from a vague memory of friends who ran it more than a decade ago. You can look at satellite imagery and see a dozen or so features that would likely create respectable rapids. Looks like a classic, low volume desert river: heavily entrenched/channelized; steep vegetated banks; continuous sections interspersed between long runout "flatwater" (likely swift if running). Satellite imagery can be deceptive but seems similar to roadless sections of the Virgin River in SW Utah.

Use a satellite program before going. There is one manmade feature just above the confluence that could cause problems depending on flow; looks like an old pourover created by the old road crossing. Hard to know what it will do without a timestamp on the satellite image.

Good road through upper 1/3 of run, seems to end at intersection with trail/rd heading up to Beckwith Plateau. I know the old Utah whitewater guide had info about the lower and upper Price (there is also a Class III upstream if I remember correctly).

Let us know if you run it next spring; would be interesting to have info less than 10+ years old.

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Old 07-28-2015   #4
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 152
Lower Price River - remote and somewhat mysterious overnight "adventure run" through the desert -- heard secondhand of some guys that had an epic on it in some inflatables a few years back, but forgot the details-- I think it was not enough water and food, and a lot of boat dragging in the hot desert. Hearsay is mostly easy water with a couple of significant rapids (III-V, depending on who you ask). I used to keep my eye on it when I lived in UT and never saw it have water... it seems like it flows about once every 10 years, when Muddy Creek or Black Boxes are also running -- they take all the water out for irrigation above there. If you can track down Steve and/or Bo Christensen (if I remember names right) those guys are the token kayakers in Price, if they still live there, and they've run it. Try utrivers.com to comb the locals. Post a TR here if you make the trip!
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Old 07-29-2015   #5
SLC, Utah
Paddling Since: 1983
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 147
I did it as an overnighter in 99 in a small group of pack cats & fat cats at about 220 cfs - pretty shallow with lots of boat dragging. It was quite easy - class 2? Did it again in an day in kayaks in 2011 at about 460 cfs - much nicer. I think it would be good at much higher flows (if that happened). Mostly fast riffles. There was a new rapid then that word at the time bumped it to class 4. It wasn't hard but there was a move with some consequences - one of our party did the easy portage. It was fresh and there is a good chance it has changed some. It was all very visible and obvious and easy to stop and scout.
All in all it is fun and unique in the rare year that it has enough water. Since it doesn't get a lot of traffic there doesn't appear to be a lot of hiking and good campsites are scarce, between the vegetation and rugged terrain. The canyon opens up a lot part way down - the largest rapid was shortly past where it opens up and that area would probably have better camping. There is some rock art within sight of the confluence with the Green on RL. Doing the Price, San Rafael, and Chutes of Muddy Creek makes 3 nice long days of paddling with relatively short drives between them in a big water year.
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Old 07-30-2015   #6
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Missoula, Montana
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 35
How low of the lower Price?
We ran it in duckies from just east of the highway and took out at swayses on the green. It was a great canyon with petroglyphs and an old cabin. Not really any rapids to speak of except dodging some dead cows. You could easily make it an overnight.
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Old 07-30-2015   #7
Salt Lake, Utah
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Sep 2011
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Thanks everybody

Very helpful responses. I think we'll plan on doing it, if we get some real water next spring from the predicted El Nino. I'll be sure to report back.
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Old 07-30-2015   #8
cedar city, Utah
Join Date: Mar 2008
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Definitely give us a TR when you get back!

On a side note, since your OP and the question is resolved....you could always buy the entire "town" of woodside, llamas, geyser and all for the low price of $3.9 million:

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Old 07-30-2015   #9
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Farmington, Utah
Paddling Since: 2009
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In Utah everything is Class V if you ask the locals. I have never ran it, but I heard it is choked with wood, and when you drive past it, it doesn't look like much.
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