Westwater permit - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 01-21-2019   #1
 
SLC, Utah
Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 28
Westwater permit

How does one apply for a westwater trip? It's not in the lottery system.

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Old 01-21-2019   #2
 
Electric-Mayhem's Avatar
 
Lakewood, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1993
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You call the BLM office in Moab and ask for one. Its a first come first served system, and dates open up 2 months in advance.

They keep a availability calendar here...

https://www.blm.gov/sites/blm.gov/fi...tecalendar.pdf

The Westwater BLM website is here... https://www.blm.gov/programs/recreat...estwatercanyon

Its mostly likely pretty iced over right now, plus the government shutdown effecting things, but once it starts to warm up you should be able to get a permit if its within two months of when you want to launch. Weekends fill up fast, so jump on them quick if you want them.
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Old 01-21-2019   #3
 
santa fe, New Mexico
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all info on this page:
https://www.blm.gov/programs/recreat...estwatercanyon
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Old 01-21-2019   #4
 
Andy H.'s Avatar
 
Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
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Call the river office two months before you want to launch, hope you get through and get a permit...
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Nothing in the world is more yielding and gentle than water. Yet it has no equal for conquering the resistant and tough. The flexible can overcome the unbending; the soft can overcome the hard. - Lao Tse
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Old 01-21-2019   #5
 
SLC, Utah
Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 28
Thanks guys. That was exactly what I was looking for.
The site mentioned that the campsites are assigned by the ranger at check in; first come, first served. Anybody have any favorite campsites...ones I could hope for?
Probably be a smaller group in Aug or Sept.

Also, what are the best take outs? Do any of you like to go all the way to Moab, or is Cisco best?

Thanks again for your responses & insight.
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Old 01-21-2019   #6
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
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i don’t know anyone that has done the float between Cisco and Dewey Bridge. My understanding is that it is miles and miles of flat water with little to no current. Also, I’m pretty sure there are restrictions on certain parts of that stretch for wildlife (bird) refuge. Restrictions meaning stuff like “stay on the water” or “take this channel around an island”. The BLM office will know for sure.

Even the first several miles from Dewey bridge to onion creek are very slow. As are the final few miles from big bend to Moab. I’m August/September I have to guess the whole stretch between Cisco and Moab will be really slow.

My opinion: even the Moab daily (onion creek to take out beach) is only fun above 12000 cfs. Really better above 17000. In August you’ll be around 4000 - 6000. Riding a rubber raft at a snails pace. Feeling like you’re inside a toaster oven.

Westwater is fun at lower levels still. Makes the high temperatures worth it.
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Old 01-22-2019   #7
 
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Lakewood, Colorado
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Different strokes for different folks. I used to be totally anti-flatwater, but I've started to come around to accepting it for what it is.... a nice relaxing way to have a day on the river. Don't get me wrong...its gonna be slow going, but depending on what you are looking for it may be a great way to extend the trip. It does eventually meet Highway 128, so you'll have eventual road noise. There is camping, but it is maintained BLM campsites along the road so you'll be sharing space with Car campers.

I've never been super compelled to continue on, but I know people do it fairly regularly. Having a motor to help speed up the flatwater might be a thing to consider as well. Frankly, I'd rather do a Westwater overnighter, then go back and do it again rather then continue on to Moab.
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Old 01-22-2019   #8
 
SLC, Utah
Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 28
You guys are amazing! Thanks a lot. That's pretty much what I thought regarding going past Cisco.
Sounds like the best way to extend the trip is to do it pre-Westwater in Ruby Horsethief, which I've done a couple times.

How about the camps within Westwater...any favorites?

And thanks again for the replies.
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Old 01-22-2019   #9
 
SLC, Utah
Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Electric-Mayhem View Post
Frankly, I'd rather do a Westwater overnighter, then go back and do it again rather then continue on to Moab.
Wait...we can do that?
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Old 01-22-2019   #10
 
Buena Vista, Colorado
Paddling Since: 94
Join Date: Apr 2005
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Most of the camps in WW are pretty good. The main thing you will need to decide is if you want to camp before the rapids or after. There are pros and cons to both. Just a couple of examples, others can pitch in more.. if you're doing Ruby/Horsethief it can be a long morning against the wind to reach the WW ranger station, where you will have to check in with the ranger. In this case it's nice to get one of the upper campsites in WW so that the day isn't too long. Or maybe you're putting in at WW and you want to get one of the lower sites. This way you run all the rapids, have a great party at camp, then only have a short float out the next day. This gets you off the river earlier since most folks have a bit of a drive to get home from Cisco.
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