Cataract Lake and camping report Please - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 09-23-2013   #1
 
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Cataract Lake and camping report Please

I am heading down Cataract next week and I am wondering if there is camping below dark canyon, where the current stops, and where the rapids end and such? Powell is back under 50% so I am hoping some camps have com back.

Peter

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Old 09-23-2013   #2
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I got back on the 12th. There are a few random beaches below dark canyon that looked campable. The current doesnt stop until miles after Hite. The rapids end the same place they have for years. The takeout at the devil is terrible, worst I have seen it. It may be dried out enough by now but we had to haul all our gear 80 yards up the steep hill because it was too soft to drive on. My worst takeout ever, by far. Full on mud portage. Six boats eight people, pretty rough.


We got lucky enough to have rain the last 4 days. Warm, no wind, but steady rain. Pretty unique experience. Never seen anything like it in over twenty trips down there. The river changed color at least five times on us, filled with debris and cleared out several times. We saw X and Y flash while we were layed over across from them. Teapot canyon, at the top of BD1 on the right was going off hard and the cascading waterfall was amazing with a huge red mist cloud surrounding it. We also saw a ton of waterfalls coming off the rim, tons of side canyons blowing out and the devil was pumping hard when we passed it. It was pushing full sized trees out half way across the river and the takeout eddy was pretty full of trees and such, we had to fight our way into it.
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Old 09-23-2013   #3
 
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Took out September 14th, also at North Wash. Worse than my 4/28 takeout same place, but keeps the riff-raff away... 30 trips up through the muck to carry loads, then rigged bridle on front corners of frame and dragged raft up 18 feet - length of the tarps, laid end to end, uphill edge tucked under downhill - using trailer hitch and one length of climbing rope. You need at least 200' to be safe, but don't need 4WD - or at least we didn't, and the ramp was slicker than goose snot and still very wet after MUCHO rain. We de-rigged and took out an 18' and 17' raft in just about 4 hours of continuous work, but it was almost pleasant under good moon and few clouds after previous 7 days of more rain than I have ever seen down Cat in 40 years and way more than 40 trips...
Rapids all the way to and including Waterhole. Current way past Hite, which is no longer an option for takeout. Plenty of ex-silt "sandbar" camps all the way to Mille Crag Bend, below Dark on right is big enough that commercial trips use it (although probably not any longer this season, except for boatfolk, who should share).
If you're rafting your only takeout options are North Wash or Bullfrog, latter is 45 miles below Hite and if you plan to run at night better know the channel. Even during day it's not always obvious... and you will need motor. Gas available at Hite.
Enjoy! Wish I could get there again but I'm still scraping mud off boat and gear and just seam sealed tent, looks like an early Fall here in SLC...
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Old 09-23-2013   #4
 
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Thanks, We have 11 kayaks and one raft. Pretty crowded for the ride in but lots of backs for the mudfest. I will throw in some extra tarps and rope. Pardon my ignorance but I was planning on taking out at the place upstream on river right across from Hite. Is that the Devil of which you speak?

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Old 09-23-2013   #5
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Yes. Just below the dirty devil river on the right. It is called north wash or the dirty devil takeout. Takeout should be a snap. Probably dont need to deal with the tarp and rope setup with that crew.
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Old 09-24-2013   #6
 
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Cat Takeout threads

Search "Cat Takeout" for more recent posts with lots of pictures.
https://www.mountainbuzz.com/forums/f...n-49444-3.html

No problem with that many peps to hoist a raft to the trailer.
Have a great trip!
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Old 09-24-2013   #7
 
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It has been a year (last Sept) but we took out on river left below the old Hite boat ramp. There was a small ramp for power boats etc. was not too bad

might be worth a call to lake Powell folks see if that is still in play
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Old 09-24-2013   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuzzy View Post
It has been a year (last Sept) but we took out on river left below the old Hite boat ramp. There was a small ramp for power boats etc. was not too bad

might be worth a call to lake Powell folks see if that is still in play
It's not....at all. Probably a mile or more to the water now from that make-shift ramp.

To the OP, check the thread Rojo suggested above. I took several photos of the Dirty Devil ramp when we came through in late August. We continued on to Bullfrog since it was just two of us with a big 16' cat. We didn't want to deal with the muddy/steep/ever-changing Dirty Devil ramp.
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Old 09-24-2013   #9
 
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Nice! Heading there in a couple weeks as well.

Is it possible to hike up into the Maze district from any of the side canyons past Spanish Bottom? Like around mile 210 1/2 (Suprise Valley / Granary) or mile 205 (Range Canyon)? Or is the only way up from the river through Spanish Bottom?
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Old 09-24-2013   #10
 
Laramie, Wyoming
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I took out at the Dirty Devil ramp yesterday (9/23). We were able to back a trailer down the steep hill to within 20-30 feet of the water. It worked pretty easily for us but seems to have high potential for a goat fuck with any significant rain or sans 4 wheel drive.

The camping in the lower canyon seems to be improving with the dropping lake. Even with rain bursts and thunderheads blowing through our small group was able to camp on sand or rock several nights with minimal mud wrasslin.
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