Piedra and Upper San Juan coming in - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 04-06-2016   #1
 
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Buena Vista, Colorado
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Piedra and Upper San Juan coming in

With the Rio Grande dropping off due to irrigation demands I thought I would point out that both the Piedra and Upper San Juan are sky-rocketing and looking like they will both be in this weekend.

For those unfamiliar, the midway access road for the Piedra will still be closed, so you will have to run the full length of both gorges.

The East Fork San Juan will also be gated, but you can drag your boat around the gate for a mile and enjoy a class III creek down to the confluence with the West Fork and on down to the highway 160 bridge.

Mesa Canyon below Pagosa will be coming in also, but that is more of a scenic class II float.

Just wanted to share some options with those of you looking to get out and boat!


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Old 04-06-2016   #2
Abron Cabron
 
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Awesome, i want to hit both of those. thanks for the reminder


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Old 04-06-2016   #3
 
Durango, Colorado
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I have been told that the minimum flow to be able to run both boxes of the Piedra is around 1000 on the gauge, does anybody know if this is accurate? I have run the lower box around 450-500 a few times and enjoy it at that level, but I know that a lot of water comes in below the rapids on the upper box...


Anyone run the whole thing under 1000 who cares to share beta?
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Old 04-06-2016   #4
 
Durango, Colorado
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I did an early season top to bottom last year with only 680 on the gauge. You'll be fine in a kayak. It may require extra patience and some occasional dragging for the first 8 miles if you try to bring a raft at that flow.
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Old 04-06-2016   #5
 
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I have done the upper as low as 600 on the gauge. It went fine and the rapids were fun, but the shallows were slow.
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Old 04-07-2016   #6
 
Durango South, 4CRS
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Keep in mind that the guage is way downstream of the run. Early season (right now) much of the water comes in well below the put in, so the upper has much less water than indicated by the guage.

I've done the upper in April at 800 and it was very shallow up top but we never had to get out of our kayaks. We even had a few rafts go, though they had a few pins along the way. I would be much more excited about going in at 1000 this time of year.

I'll bet it hits 1000 tonight, but it's supposed to cool off Friday. Hopefully it stays high enough for this weekend.
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Old 04-07-2016   #7
 
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Farmington, New Mexico
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I can't find anywhere that gives details on the put in to run the lower Piedra (Hwy 160 to Navajo). I'm guessing that the lower Piedra CG is open but I want to be sure.
Also, how would a 13' RMR fare through that stretch at the projected flows?


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Old 04-07-2016   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunscreen View Post
I can't find anywhere that gives details on the put in to run the lower Piedra (Hwy 160 to Navajo). I'm guessing that the lower Piedra CG is open but I want to be sure.
Also, how would a 13' RMR fare through that stretch at the projected flows?


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Pretty sure this book has the description, but I don't own it....

http://www.amazon.com/Paddling-Color.../dp/0762745207
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Old 04-07-2016   #9
 
Durango, Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunscreen View Post
I can't find anywhere that gives details on the put in to run the lower Piedra (Hwy 160 to Navajo). I'm guessing that the lower Piedra CG is open but I want to be sure.
Lower CG is open. A group went in and did some bushwhacking to clean up the takeout / put-in beach. Will probably be scrapey, but doable. Watch for fencing / wire across the river in the lower stretch.

USFS said that the road to the upper campground will be open around May 1st.
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Old 04-07-2016   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lmyers View Post
Pretty sure this book has the description, but I don't own it....



http://www.amazon.com/Paddling-Color.../dp/0762745207

I suppose, being new to this message board, I should expect an amount of these types of suggestions.

....thanks any way.


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