Ideal Yampa flow - Mountain Buzz

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Old 04-02-2014   #1
Riverton, Utah
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 348
Ideal Yampa flow

Not been on the Yampa, going this spring. What water level is it biggest at? Maybe someone who is really familiar with the Yampa could comment on what each flow level is like.


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Old 04-02-2014   #2
Jenks, Oklahoma
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,821
My first trip down the Yampa was at 5,000 cfs and I thought it was a beautiful run mostly flat water. Wide open easy lines hard to miss.

Next time flow was 12,000 at put in and subsequent runs have been around that (some a bit less most a bit more) with the last one at 13,000. For me at these flows the Yampa and Green get big. Big eyes for sure for me.

If the Yampa is bank full at the put in or as it was on my highest level run way back up into the parking lot just a few feet from the toilet house, yee haw and pay attention to your lines.

If lots of water at the put in (over the banks for sure) bugs at night and evenings are just killer. They go away most of the time down stream but show back up down in the flat water sections around and above rainbow park

Couple of the Yampa Rapids at hi flows can turn into big water drops for sure. Manageable but looking at that big hole on the old Warm Springs Rapid always makes my mouth get a bit dry and gets all my concentration to miss that thing. Not sure how the changed Warm Springs is now.

Down in the Green River section same kind of thing. Lo water easy lines to see and hit. Into the teens some big water action for sure, but since the river is wide compared to the top runs, the lines are fairly easy to see and you can avoid the crazy spots if you pay attention.

One of my favorite Western River Floats no matter what the level.
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Old 04-02-2014   #3
deadlizard's Avatar
peoria, Arizona
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 174
Have a May 29th permit.

Thinking somewhere around 20K CFS. Does that sound about right considering the snow pack is roughly 120% of normal?

I assume most of the normal "how to run this rapid" somewhat goes out the window at this flow.

Anyone have advice or experience at the 20K level?

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Old 04-02-2014   #4
Salt Lake City, Utah
Paddling Since: 1969
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 392
Yes - 1983 and 1984, maybe 25k? You could make 20 miles in 2 hours, HUGE hydraulics but mostly everything washed out except Warm Springs and then some new excitement down around Island Park (past Jones Hole on the Green). The problem then was just getting everyone stopped, together...
I'm available with 17' boat if you need another, esp. with high water experience...
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Old 04-02-2014   #5
Park City, Utah
Paddling Since: 1982
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 568
On our first trip in '08 we launched on about 6/5 and the fields on each side of the ramp had about 6'' of water. Around 20K CFS is what we determined afterwards. We weren't launching from the picnic tables as some friends had a couple weeks before. Everything was a flush till we got to Warm Springs. It was probably around 15k. It was not a difficult rapid at that level. Of course with the new debris in there now, I'm sure things have changes quite a bit.

Check this gauge as your launch date approaches.

USGS Current Conditions for USGS 09260050 YAMPA RIVER AT DEERLODGE PARK, CO
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Old 04-02-2014   #6
Salt Lake, Utah
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 68
i would be totally shocked if the yampa reaches 20k this year, that happens about 7% of the time, not to mention the highest flow recored on May 29 is 21,400 (only 29 years of data though). This year has been good, but not that good....i would guess 14,000 if things stay where they are right now, but i'll certainly be keeping my eye on it.
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Old 04-03-2014   #7
Glenwood Springs, Colorado
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 198
I guess 12,500
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Old 04-03-2014   #8
Fraser, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 90
Whatever flow is available on your permit date is ideal. The Yampa is about the great river trip in a great place. It is a hard permit to get. All that matters is that there is enough water to float on! Enjoy!
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Old 04-04-2014   #9
Riverton, Utah
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 348
Oh, I'm completely excited to be going on the Yampa... been trying for years to get on it. Our trip is an early season trip, last week of this month... April. Water levels will be lower, but I don't care, I'm going on the Yampa!!

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