Waterfall on the Dirty Devil? - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 03-19-2014   #1
 
Cortez, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1900
Join Date: Mar 2009
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Waterfall on the Dirty Devil?

Hey everyone,
I am planning on "running"/walking the DD at the end of the month and talked to the BLM office in Hanksville and they said a group from Colorado just got off the water, one of the people is a known river guide, and they claimed there is a new waterfall somewhere at the lower portion of the DD. The BLM people claimed it was down low where the DD joins the CO, but I dont know why someone would float all the way down there. The details were sparse, but it sounds like one of the group members actually went over said falls and the others portaged. Wondering if anyone has heard anything about this or have an beta on where this actually may be. Thanks a ton in advance!

- Matt

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Old 03-19-2014   #2
 
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Seattle, Washington
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Hey bro!

is this a silt waterfall where the river is recarving its channel? Or is it a rock feature? Where are you exiting the canyon?

seems like the San Juan has one of the sometimes-there silt waterfalls. Dependent on level of the res more than anything I think.
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Old 03-19-2014   #3
 
Cortez, Colorado
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Yea I am assuming its a silt waterfall that has formed as the lake recedes. I am also thinking that maybe its a new feature as we had a bit of an epic monsoon season this year and the DD was raging in August/september. The way the BLM described sounded like its a rock feature, as if the water just poured over onto a bunch of exposed rocks, which sounds a bit suspicious to me. It also makes me wonder as someone apparently went over it with no issues.
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Old 03-19-2014   #4
 
cedar city, Utah
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattvogt7 View Post
Yea I am assuming its a silt waterfall that has formed as the lake recedes. I am also thinking that maybe its a new feature as we had a bit of an epic monsoon season this year and the DD was raging in August/september. The way the BLM described sounded like its a rock feature, as if the water just poured over onto a bunch of exposed rocks, which sounds a bit suspicious to me. It also makes me wonder as someone apparently went over it with no issues.
We drove by on the way home from the San Juan.

There is a feature in the mudflats in the main channel of the DD that is a definite drop within the silt. Looked unpleasant in many ways. Not sure if it is the aforementioned "waterfall" but it seems to fit the description. Was just beyond the last sandstone camps the NPS maintains on the West side of the Dirty Devil along the highway.

Didn't think much of it at the time. Might be worth taking out at these camps if possible to avoid the slog in that mud. (Sorry no photos as my wife has camera in Europe).

Those September rains definitely reamed that region heavily. The Fremont through the Capital Reef is still recovering. Was a wild series of storms for Utah.

Phillip
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Old 03-19-2014   #5
 
montrose, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
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I don't have any info on a waterfall on the DD, but I can explain a little about how these reservoir sediment waterfalls develop. They are caused by sediment, but flow over rock.

What happens is the original river channel is filled with lake sediment. When the lake drops, the river carves out a new channel in the lake sediment. This new channel can be quite far from the original (pre-reservoir) channel. When the river, now entrenched in a new channel, erodes enough sediment to reach some rock really nasty stuff happens.

This is how Paiute Falls on the San Juan and Pierce Ferry Rapid on Mead formed. Just a matter of time before we get one near Hite IMO.
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Old 03-19-2014   #6
 
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Silverthorne, Colorado
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Did it last Sept. No vertical waterfalls. Does have a couple 6' drops over 10-15' above Poison. Horizon lines always look scary. Sounds like the river changed from what I read on the internet last year after the floods. Most of the "rapids" are after Sams to just past poison. Near the Dirty Devil campground is what I call mud riffles. It's where the river has cut into the mud. Making 3-6' sheer mud walls that you can't see what's coming next. Also has many many many tammies stuck in the same area. So, I wouldn't recommend inflatables as you will be dropping mud riffles with branches sticking up. First 31 miles suck bad. Long story: don't go. It's horrible. Stay on the upper c.

PS I'll be launching the 27th.
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Old 03-19-2014   #7
 
Cortez, Colorado
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Hey everyone, thanks for the continued help!

restrac2000 - your description is super helpful. I plan to walk out the small side drainage at the third outhouse on the West side of the river. Am I correct in guessing that what you saw (which sounds right) was after these camps. This dovetails with what the BLM told me as the group in question I believe was close to the confluence of the DD and the CO, which we are going to avoid.

mikepart - thanks for that info, good stuff.

WillYates - what was the flow when you were down there in sept? (what a great time to be on the water)? You launch the 27th? I am launching from Lower Sand Slide on the 24th, we will probably cross paths at some point.

Here is a link (hopefully it works) to a map I've created marking where I am planning on taking out, hopefully the visual will be helpful:

https://mapsengine.google.com/map/edit?authuser=0&hl=en&mid=zzLMLpQm-3Uw.krTMVO7FFVPY
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Old 03-19-2014   #8
 
Cortez, Colorado
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Another attempt at reposting that link, dont know what happened:

https://mapsengine.google.com/map/vi...w.krTMVO7FFVPY
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Old 03-19-2014   #9
 
cedar city, Utah
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattvogt7 View Post
Hey everyone, thanks for the continued help!

restrac2000 - your description is super helpful. I plan to walk out the small side drainage at the third outhouse on the West side of the river. Am I correct in guessing that what you saw (which sounds right) was after these camps. This dovetails with what the BLM told me as the group in question I believe was close to the confluence of the DD and the CO, which we are going to avoid.
Thats the site I saw the feature from. The drop is on the big bend back to kayakers left.

Best of luck, jealous.

Phillip
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Old 03-20-2014   #10
 
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Delta, Colorado
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It is narrow fast and has some sharp rocks . Less than 5' wide . Had to pull the mini-me's through one section. We lined our boats as there was no room for oars. Not a waterfall . The river has changed course from the high water last fall. I think the silt mud flats will change every year. It's a 1/4 mile from the Colorado.

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