Almont to Blue Messa Res.. - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 08-29-2013   #1
 
Iowa City, Iowa
Paddling Since: 1975
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 27
Almont to Blue Messa Res..

In a week I will float down the Gunnison from Almont in a tandem lake kayak solo unguided, no shuttle. I'm not sure how long it would take me to make it to Blue Mesa 22 miles away though.

I made a quick google map here..

Anyone care to guess, or have first hand experience, suggestions? Or inform me what the take out locations I marked are commonly called by the locals?

Thanks!

Almont to North of Gunni on 135 by Tall Texan RV Park = 6.5 mi, 7 mins

Almont to Guni 50 bridge south side = 10.7 mi, 15 mins

Almont to Gunni WW park NW of town = 12.6 mi, 17 mins

Almont to West of Gunni WW park 13.6 mi, 18 mins

Almont the Blue messa res 21.1 mi, 25 mins

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Old 08-29-2013   #2
 
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Buena Vista, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
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You can probably do it all in one day....but I don't think you want to go all the way to the reservoir. There is a takeout a short ways before you hit the slack water...

Here are some very good descriptions for you to read:

"The local play park for Gunnison. Starts off with a diversion structure, then two man made holes, the first being smaller than the second, and then a class III+ low head dam a short ways down. There are lots of waves and half-river drops on this stretch, and is a high quality local run."

Upper Gunny - Gunnison River | EddyFlower

North Bridge Run - Gunnison River | EddyFlower

Gunnison Play Park - Gunnison River | EddyFlower

My suggestion would be to put in a short ways up on the Taylor wherever your comfortable (it's all roadside) and taking out at the Gunnison Playpark. If you run the park and "Psychedelic Falls" stretch below you will be pushing your luck, only to paddle flatwater with a likely headwind at the end...

Lower Taylor - Taylor River | EddyFlower

oh, and use a quality PFD and helmet please.
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Old 08-29-2013   #3
 
Iowa City, Iowa
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Super, thanks.. Is my location called west of gunni WW park actually "McCabe Lane".?
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Old 08-29-2013   #4
 
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Buena Vista, Colorado
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Couldn't tell ya. I haven't personally ran the stretch. I have a couple friends in Gunny who run it and also use the Buzz, but obviously they haven't seen this thread. You could probably run down to McCabe's in your boat, but would likely need to make a portage....
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Old 08-30-2013   #5
 
Fraser, Colorado
Paddling Since: 80's
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Gunny Run

There is a bit of a nasty diversion dam below the play park also that you need to look at closely. If you decide to go further, be advised the land owner before you get to McCabe lane, is very touchy about setting foot on "his" river frontage.
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Old 08-30-2013   #6
 
Iowa City, Iowa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HalJ View Post
There is a bit of a nasty diversion dam below the play park also that you need to look at closely. If you decide to go further, be advised the land owner before you get to McCabe lane, is very touchy about setting foot on "his" river frontage.
Thanks for the heads up HalJ..
Never having floated the gunni, I hoped there would be a path to portage around these nasty diversion dam's if I didn't feel comfortable shooting them right down the middle.
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Old 08-30-2013   #7
 
East of the Pine beatle, Colorado
Join Date: Jan 2012
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I float this stretch quite a bit- The whitewater play park is really right at the Rte 50 bridge- Immediately downstream- but there's a place to take out a kayak on river right above the first drop. The drops of the play park go down river for quite a ways. i wouldn't want to run those in a sea kayak- You can portage each of them easily (slippery rocks, but not too deep to get it done). Between the bridge north of Gunnison and the Rte 50 bridge is good water for you- nothing too big to worry about. Below the play park you have a few options for takeouts. You can paddle all the way to the reservoir and take out at the popular fishing beach- there's parking and a marked pull out that you can't miss. There can be ENORMOUS wind getting from the bottom of the flow to the fishing beach- I've had to row this in my cat before and it was NOT fun. Just upstream of the fishing beach on the reservoir there is a take out with a parking area and signage. This is away from the main channel of the river- but there is access to the flow down a shallow channel. I don't recall the name- but you'll see it if you drive down to check out Blue Mesa. If you elect to use this takeout, realize that the entrance (channel) off the main flow is not marked, angles slightly back upstream (!) and is easily missed. (see my statement above about rowing my cat against that hellacious wind? That's what happened to me that day- missed the channel to the takeout and floated all the way to Blue Mesa) You can park there and wade down the channel (to the RIGHT of the parking area) until you reach the main flow of the river- take some mental notes of where you want to catch that turnoff during your float. It's a great river- hope you have a good time!

Edit: I don't recall any diversion dams downstream of the 50 bridge.... there are structured drops for whitewater play for a good ways (further than you'd want to carry a boat), but no diversions that I can picture?....
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Old 08-30-2013   #8
 
Iowa City, Iowa
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Thanks..

I'm not quite pinpointing your suggested take out location Osseous.. If you right click on the spot on google maps it will give you cords..

That said.. Am I missing much not floating past the WW park? The WW park looks like a nice big secure place to leave my motorcycle while I float and joke. Also a secure place to lock my kayak while I run back upstream to get the other vehicle.
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Old 08-30-2013   #9
 
East of the Pine beatle, Colorado
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Google maps suck for this kind of thing- I just looked and it doesn't show the pull outs I'm talking about. If you drive from the WW park west to Blue Mesa reservoir on 50 you will pass several turn outs (state signs marking each). The last three are:

1st: a fishing access for waders- the river is channelized here and you can walk thru those channels to access the main flow, but it's not right there where you park.
2nd: the take out I'm referring to- walk the channel to the right until you reach the river or you will float right past it when you're on the river itself. When you are at this take out it looks as though people would enter from the left (upriver) to the take out, but they are actually paddling back up the channel from your right.
3rd: an elevated picnic spot with views of the river, but difficult access.

If you drive just a little further to the reservoir itself, you will see an exposed beach on the left with a turnout and parking. Usually has bank fishermen hanging around. You could paddle all the way here and easily take out. Any of these are suitable places to leave your vehicle and run shuttle. The 2nd one I listed is frequently used by the local fishing guides as a take out and I'm sure you'll see raft trailers in that lot.

Below the whitewater park the river changes character several times- it is interesting water, but there's nothing earth shattering that you wouldn't want to miss. I'd argue that the prettiest stretches are above the WW park and you could focus your time in that stretch and have a great trip.
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Old 08-31-2013   #10
 
Iowa City, Iowa
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Thanks again.. I will have to drive down past the WW park to check it out.

Here's the link to a Google Map of the locations looking like good take out points.
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