April Raft Trips - Mountain Buzz

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Old 02-01-2008   #1
Fort Collins, CO, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 41
April Raft Trips

My friends and I didn't land a Salt permit (though we're on the waiting list as of this morning) so we're considering any and all alternatives. Besides the Utah rivers (San Juan, Green, Colorado), I'm looking for suggestions for a good 5-day raft trip in early April. Any one of those Utah rivers will be an excellent alternative, but I thought I'd see if anyone out there might know of some other southwestern runs that haven't occurred to me. Thanks!

"Running rivers is the physical expression of intellectual passion."
-Richard Bangs 'The Lost River'
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Old 02-01-2008   #2
Join Date: Jul 2005
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Isn't that Rogue season? Not sure as I've never been, but I'm sure someone who knows will chime in.

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Old 02-01-2008   #3
TakemetotheRiver's Avatar
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 05
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,483
I've mostly heard of the Rogue running in the fall.

Good luck with the waiting list- might not be so bad- a buddy called this morning (funny story btw) and when he got through, they had just gotten a cancellation and he pulled a permit- so you may still be in luck.

Originally Posted by COUNT View Post
Isn't that Rogue season? Not sure as I've never been, but I'm sure someone who knows will chime in.

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Old 02-01-2008   #4
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 323
Originally Posted by COUNT View Post
Isn't that Rogue season? Not sure as I've never been, but I'm sure someone who knows will chime in.

I haven't done the rogue yet but that time of year should be sweet on the rogue, with high water a real possibility. The rogue is permited. but I think April is outside of the lottery season so permits are available for the asking.

Another option is the Yampa. April Yampa dates are outside of the lottery season so they just go out first come first serve starting in March, and there's usually resonable flow starting mid april. If you get one, take me with you! I'll row!

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Old 02-01-2008   #5
Westminster, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 536
The Rogue goes year-round, it's just a matter of if you're packing sun screen or tarps and how steep the drop will be at Rainie Falls. Mule Creek Canyon churns a bit more as well when there's more water. Permits in April are done the day of launch, either at Smullin or if they're closed then at a little box at the Grave Creek put in.

April in Oregon can still be kind of wet, so the Rogue is a little different trip than the Utah rivers. The water will still be up, but probably not raging like during the rainy season. When I was there in late March a few years ago I think we ramped from 5,000 to 10,000 over the three days thanks to an ongoing drizzle. Most of the summer time beach camps will probably be covered, so be prepared to hike your kitchen stuff up to a ledge. Those big metal boxes that are so sweet in Utah are a real pain to carry up hill! The camps are also sort of hard to see if you're used to wide open Utah or Idaho camps. We missed one or two because of that...

Also you need to bear-proof your camp & boat each night. They've had boats popped because a bear was trying to get into the cooler. The suggestion is to pile up all your gear and rig it with pots and pans to make noise. Sort of makes you rethink your cast iron cook ware...
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Old 02-01-2008   #6
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 246
Try the South Platte from Greeley to Fort Morgan. Just be sure to rub Crisco on your feet after the trip, or you'll get a nasty fungus.
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Old 02-01-2008   #7
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Seattle, Washington
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 517
april raft trip options

April is actually a great time to get out. This year there ought be good flows on the various sections of the Owyhee in April. You can put together nearly 200 miles of boating in there, from II to IV-V, great high desert canyon scenery, it's a realy winner. If you have a III-IV crew do rome to birch, if youve got a gnar crew, put the 2 sections above rome together. You've got Cable and Cabin, IV+, ledges, half mile IVs, and Widowmaker V to keep you going in there.

The John Day offers a mellow class II float for 130 miles with april being a great time to have it to yourself. Lots of great hiking.

Des Chutes and Grand Ronde will be going, though perhaps a bit cold, but both offer plenty of boating for a week long trip.

Weather may be chancy, but the Jarbige/Bruneau system may start carnking up flows in mid-late april. We had 35 degrees and snow at murphy hot springs in late may, so be prepared. Also had sunny and 90, go figure.

If you are kayak capable for self support, your list of april options really gets long... ping me if you're still looking for ideas.

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Old 02-02-2008   #8
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1
April stuff...

With this pack, Yampa oughtta go pre-lottery season, possibly Green for Gates of Lodore as well, check w/ the Dinosaur Nat'l Monument folks for dates, & keep eye on flows for each section @ AW.org. They (Dino) only answer phones from 8:00 - noon, by the way. Gates & Yampa are pretty easy shuttle, highway time 3-5 hrs round trip. Can get multi truck drop-off by calling RiverRunners in Vernal, Utah, making frist day really easy. Get a copy of the Utah/Colrado paddler's guide, all kinds of little tribs are gonna go this year w/ all this snow so far south. Been from Albuquerque to SLcity past 2 weeks, & snow on ground entire way.
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