Escalante River - Mountain Buzz
 



Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 04-24-2016   #1
 
Big Sky, Montana
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 87
Escalante River

As we all know the gauge is upstream of the major tributaries. For the last couple weeks the gauge has been showing some decent spikes in flow above 2 or 3 cfs, but then it drops to as low as 1.0 cfs. Maybe these spikes are rain or snowmelt events? Can anyone who lives nearby confirm? The North Fork Virgin is currently spiking each night from what I assume is snowmelt. The main Escalante tributaries come from the Boulder Plateau, similar elevations as NF Virgin source. Snotel SWE for the Escalante was 32% of average yesterday, but didn't the high elevations of the Boulder Plateau receive lots of snow this winter?
Last year I packrafted the Escalante from Neon to the Arch at a steady 1.2 cfs, and I don't want to do it With any less water. Any insight on how the tributaries are running this year?

afraid is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 04-24-2016   #2
 
cedar city, Utah
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 2,261
Boulders had a great start to the winter like many of our ranges in Southern Utah but then went dry and warm from mid-Jan to almost March. Its been a wild ride in Utah this year. I would wager the spikes have been low-elevation rain and snowmelt from the last series of storms that finally graced the region.

The Escalante region is even harder to gauge as many of the upper reaches, like Deer Creek, have dam-contolled lakes near their sources below the rim of the plateau.

Your best bet may be to contact one of the canyoneering outfitters in town and see what their customers are saying about the crossing. I know several people who have done Neon recently which is not a good sign for boatable flows if its easily crossed that low in April.
restrac2000 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-2016   #3
 
Big Sky, Montana
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 87
Thanks for the help! When we ran it last year at 1.2 cfs the crossing at Neon was barely knee deep. Supposedly the Escalante runs higher in mid to late May, according to some random internet info, but the gauge history doesn't show that.
afraid is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 04-24-2016   #4
 
Big Sky, Montana
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 87
For example, look at this graph:

USGS Current Conditions for USGS 09337500 ESCALANTE RIVER NEAR ESCALANTE, UT

The mean barely fluctuates! What was happening in June last year, early monsoon?
afraid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-25-2016   #5
 
Lewiston, Utah
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by afraid View Post
The mean barely fluctuates! What was happening in June last year, early monsoon?
Last year, Utah got pounded by rain starting in mid-may, which is very atypical for the region. Your best bet is earlier in May as a general rule. This year's snow pack may not allow much of a run at all, which is just too bad.
morbald is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2016   #6
 
cedar city, Utah
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 2,261
Its a difficult drainage to predict. Sunflower snotel site is likely your best data to gauage right now as it sits closest to the primary headwaters of Deer and Boulder Creeks. It is showing a noticeable bump from the recent weather but doesn't have enough data to provide a median analysis. To make matters worse most of those drainage drain to the southside of the Boulders and have likely melted off noticeably.

For the most up to date flow information it might be wise to contact a canyoneering company out of Escalante, Garkane Energy (they own the reservoirs in the upper drainages and might be willing to share inflow data, though they could restrict that information), or maybe one of the fly fishing outfits out of Escalante or even the Fremont River region (they might know the current Boulder Mountain snowpack behavior better than anyone).

Best of luck. Weather is noticeably colder and wetter right now throughout the region.

Phillip
restrac2000 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2016   #7
 
jonny water's Avatar
 
Geologist, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 612
Morbald, do you have any estimates on flow this year, I would like to run it, but need to plan out some time.
jonny water is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2016   #8
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 477
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonny water View Post
Morbald, do you have any estimates on flow this year, I would like to run it, but need to plan out some time.

There ain't no flow this year think about something else
mkashzg is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2016   #9
 
Big Sky, Montana
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by mkashzg View Post
There ain't no flow this year think about something else
Well...there's enough flow right now, for me: USGS Current Conditions for USGS 09337500 ESCALANTE RIVER NEAR ESCALANTE, UT

I've been watching it closely: USGS Current Conditions for USGS 09337500 ESCALANTE RIVER NEAR ESCALANTE, UT

It's been doable for me this whole time pretty much with the exception of a few days where it dropped below 1.5. Granted, I'm talking about packrafting with a little dragging.

Widtsoe and Sunflower Flat snotel both picked up about .7 inches of SWE in the last couple days.

Although, when the sun comes out this week I bet it drops back down below 1.5 cfs., which is going to be my cutoff this time. I've started packing for the Dolores instead, gonna run from the San Miguel confluence to Moab.
afraid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2016   #10
 
cedar city, Utah
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 2,261
Packrafting has definitely changed the game for low volume trips like the Escalante.

The last fly fishing update stated the Boulder top wouldn't likely be accessible for another 4-6 weeks(good sign for snow accumulation). The rain and snow the last week has really bumped everything up as the SunFlower gauage indicates.
restrac2000 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Topic Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Escalante River? 86304 Kayaking | Trip Planner 11 03-04-2011 02:20 PM
Lost- kids Astral lifejacket Escalante section of Gunnison River sawatchsplitter Lost & Found 0 10-12-2010 12:07 PM
Escalante River Flows rogi Whitewater Kayaking 2 04-08-2008 06:44 PM
Escalante River early or mid May ecjohnson Whitewater Kayaking 35 04-04-2008 06:06 PM
escalante river info? loosemilk Whitewater Kayaking 0 05-10-2005 05:04 PM

» Classified Ads
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:13 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.