Advice on floating below Flaming Gorge Dam? - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 04-06-2018   #1
 
Glenwood Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1968
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 6
Advice on floating below Flaming Gorge Dam?

We have small catarafts that are fine in class 1-2+ water. Is there anything scarier in the section of the Green below Flaming Gorge Dam? We'd like to do a 3-4 night float and camp.
Does anyone have any tips or advice they can share?

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Old 04-06-2018   #2
 
Electric-Mayhem's Avatar
 
Lakewood, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,161
There is one rapid called Red Creek Rapid that is maybe Class III...otherwise its just a few Class 1-2 riffles and a bunch of flat water. Its very scenic and a great trip. Starts out in the Gorge after the Dam and slowly opens up in Browns Park. If you aren't going down Lodore (permitted run with bigger rapids) then you have to take out above there, but there are camps and scenic views all the way to the last boat ramp.

The ABC section certainly is the mostly classicly scenic section, but its kinda short and gets pretty crowded May-September. I think you have to reserve camps during some parts of the year. All of the ones in ABC have fire pits and designated tent sites and a few have pit toilets (the others you'll have to bring a groover). Once you get out into Browns Park...its more sandbar camping and self sufficient. Its not the classic beauty of a deep canyon, but the views are wide open and you are surrounded by mountains and can see a long ways and its pleasant. No real rapids to speak of, but it weaves in and out of these small mini-gorges before rolling into a wide open plains area and eventually takes a right turn into Lodore canyon, which you can see coming for a few days before you get there.

Some friends and I did Flaming Gorge through Lodore in 8-9 days last year and it was a great trip. Adding the Flaming Gorge section really added a lot to the trip rather then just doing Lodore.
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Old 04-06-2018   #3
 
Wondervu, CO, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 487
Mother-in-Law rapid on the A section is rated class III, but it is more of a class II at lower flows. Red Creek Rapid on the B section can be worth scouting at higher flows, but there are lots of choices for a smaller boat. Flows are very predictable, they publish a release schedule. I have floated it countless times in my 9' mini cat.

The ramp below the dam is very tight and crowded. No parking allowed, just drop off. The busiest time is early morning when the pro guides are launching drift boats. There is a staging area in a parking lot above, you are supposed to rig up ready to launch then drive down to the ramp. They want you on and off the ramp in 15 minutes or less, seriously.

If you can launch after 10:00 you have a lot more room and time. Flaming Gorge Lodge and Trout Creek Ltd. are local outfitters that can set up a shuttle. They can also meet you at the upper lot with a flat bed and shuttle you down to the ramp for a drop off.

Another option is to float the A section with just day gear then stop at Little Hole to load up. Little Hole has tons of room and three ramp areas. The first float in camp is just a 1/4 mile or so down from Little Hole.

If you have time stop at the James Jarvey Historical Site along the C section.
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Old 04-06-2018   #4
 
Carbondale, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1970
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 337
The camp assignment could have changed but the last time I went the camp sign up sheet was on the bulletin board at little hole. One thing we used to do is to drive down to LH, sign up for your camp then go back to the dam for a launch. Adds a little bit of time ( 8 miles each way) but you don't have to worry about all the camps being taken
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