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Old 06-30-2016   #1
 
Salt Lake City, Utah
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 6
Looking for Ruby Horsethief Side Hike Beta (Rattlesnake and Mee)

I am planning my first Ruby Horsethief trip and have a question for those of you who have hiked around in Rattlesnake Canyon and/or Mee Canyon...

We are rigging/running shuttle early the first day and realistically won't be on the river until noon or so. Black Rocks the second night. My plan was to hike Rattlesnake the first day and then stay at Beaver Tail. Rattlesnake looks super amazing—however, I am starting to think a difficult 6.5-mile hike at the end of July when it is probably going to be 100 degrees might be a bit ambitious, and I don't want my friends to hate me.

We have done desert hiking when it's hot out before, but usually not for 5-6 hours at a time. Is Rattlesnake still cool if you only make it up there a mile or two?

Would it be better to float all the way to Mee the first day? My research has suggested that Mee might be better for a short hike. Mee Canyon and Mee Corner are reserved but there are other Mee sites still available for that night.

Thanks

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Old 06-30-2016   #2
 
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Edwards, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2010
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I hiked Rattlesnake for the 1st time last year and remember it being about a 3 hour round trip. The view doesn't really get good until the top so a short version will leave you unimpressed. I have only been in Mee in the dark so I cant really help there.
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Old 06-30-2016   #3
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New Castle, Colorado
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I have stopped at Rattlesnake but have not done the hike. The Rattlesnake camp is only good for a very small group. My preference would be to spend more time on the water and get to Mee later in the day. Wake up in the morning and hike up Mee, which is a beautiful canyon, and spend the hottest part of the day floating the few miles to Black Rocks. Sit on the rafts for cocktail hour.
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Old 06-30-2016   #4
 
Silverthorne, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Apr 2010
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I can provide detailed coordinates for the Rattlesnake Canyon hike to make it much easier for you to navigate without any route finding issues.


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Old 06-30-2016   #5
 
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Buena Vista, Colorado
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I have hiked both several times. On a hot July day I would recommend Mee over Rattlesnake. There is something like 1500'+ in elevation gain to get to the arches..... Mee Canyon is spectacular anytime. Full moon hikes mid summer are especially coveted.
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Old 06-30-2016   #6
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Tabernash, Colorado
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Mee is a nice hike, Knowles is another good one, just down stream of Black rocks.
Mcdonell wash across from Knowles is cool to.
Enjoy! Watch out for the Knuckle heads!
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Old 07-01-2016   #7
 
Salt Lake City, Utah
Paddling Since: 2006
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Mee 1 is a great shady campsite. Mee 2-4 are horrible blast furnaces, so try to avoid them or at least bring a shade shelter of some kind.
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Old 07-01-2016   #8
 
Salt Lake City, Utah
Join Date: Jul 2011
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Thanks!

Thanks everyone—this is great info! It sounds like Mee is probably the way to go. I reserved Mee #1!

Are there any particular points of interest in Mee we could make it to? How far up is the Mee Canyon Alcove/Undercut?
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Old 07-01-2016   #9
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Tabernash, Colorado
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Several miles up, there is a very nice set of dessert spires to be seen.
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Old 07-01-2016   #10
 
Salt Lake City, Utah
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The spires are just over an hour from the river, and are very much worth the walk. Arch Tower is as spectacular a tower as there is in the desert, and the others are also great. Good rock climbing too if you are in to that - Rock Climbing Routes & Photos in Mee Canyon, Westwater Area
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