Green River - Desolation Canyon question - Mountain Buzz

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Old 05-06-2019   #1
Eureka, California
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 66
Green River - Desolation Canyon question

This will be our first for the Deso, launching June 9th.

My question: Permit holder, from Oregon, can't get to the put-in until about noon on our launch day. The rest of the group, from California, is more flexible. We do have a bug-cabin reserved, so do we arrive the night before and hope the bugs aren't horrid the next day, or just plan on arriving on launch day?


and remember, no question is a silly question

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Old 05-06-2019   #2
Salt Lake City, Utah
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 495
If you have a cabin, your good. Bring real bug block. Deet is your friend. If it makes your lips numb, it’s the good stuff: I have seen people with the chemical free bug block get eaten alive.

Have people cover up on the first day or so with long sleeves,pants, and other clothing , they’ll fair better.

When pulling over to look at a prospective camp, send the person with the most bug protection. It seems as though the bastard mosquitos wait at the camp till the unsuspecting person walks up to scope the camp and they go on a chewing frenzy.

Keep a really really clean camp, the bears are getting real pesky. Not a bad idea to bring some bear spray as somebody got bit on the head while sleeping two years ago.

Deso is a great stretch, just come prepared.
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Old 05-06-2019   #3
trevko's Avatar
Fort Fun, Colorado
Paddling Since: 94
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 211
If it were my trip I would have as much rigged out as possible to get on the water ASAP after the permit holder shows up. No need to get there the night before but I would get in early on launch day. I would also call the BLM river office to explain the situation and get their advice.
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Old 05-06-2019   #4
Roguelawyer's Avatar
Grants Pass, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 215
That time of year bugs might be an issue. Take all the bug stuff you got.

I would recommend going as far as you can go after launching. I have only done one Deso trip. We stayed in the screen cabins the night before and they were great. We planned on launching by 8:00 but didn't get out until a little after 9:00. The ranger and a number of folks said we would not make Jack Cr. that day but we did and got through the slow water on day one.

I'm glad we stayed at sand wash that first time as it seemed like part of the experience. Next time I will stay in a motel, get up at 4:00am, take a shower, use a real toilet and drive to sand wash early on launch day.

Can you rig everything on launch day, float 50 yards and spend the night in the screen cabins so you can get an early start the next day? I don't know if that would then not count as launching on the correct day.
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Old 05-06-2019   #5
Fraser, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 379
Heads up, that the road into Sand wash is long, probably 1.5+2 hrs once you get off pavement. It is improving every year, but take that road slow, it gets sharp flint plowed up after they grade it. Turns into an actual wash, for the last part. Watch out if it rains! A vehicle with some clearance, and a full sized spare tire, are in order for this one. Love the drive in though.

You paying for a shuttle? I have always had River Runners from Vernal do ours, very happy after about 8 trips. It is a very long shuttle.
ďDonít panic!Ē-Hitchhikers guide to the Galaxy
ďDonít take life to seriously, youíll never get out alive.Ē
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Old 05-06-2019   #6
Eureka, California
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 66
Don't know about shuttle yet, & would an older Subaru station wagon not be a good idea on that road?

Oh, our launch day is June 9th

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Old 05-07-2019   #7
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Distiller and Salida's Mayor, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1983
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 72
Last summer the road was fine and I think judging by the way May is going you will likely be on rising flows so mosquitoes shouldn't be bad yet, when the water starts to drop they should be epic!
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Old 05-07-2019   #8
Never enough free time
Red Lodge, Montana
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 321
Originally Posted by kanoer2 View Post
Don't know about shuttle yet, & would an older Subaru station wagon not be a good idea on that road?

Oh, our launch day is June 9th

Your Subaru will be fine, but do heed the warnings about good tires and a full size spare


You reminded me to check for cancellations and I just grabbed a June 3rd!

There was a 4th available too for anyone else looking....
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Old 05-09-2019   #9
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1979
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 77
Donít think you will have a bug problem, water will still be high as in not dropping yet. Also making miles will not be a problem. Have fun itís a great section of river.
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Old 05-10-2019   #10
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 37
The bugs are a guerrilla force which doesn't come out until dusk. Then they come out in force; it's not unusual to see them band together, grab the unattended small child, and fly it off to be used in ritual sacrifice. The bugs don't come out until dusk. Then they come out. I would strongly suggest you come out the night before put-in. Put the boats you have together AMAP. Competition for campsites is a little fierce that first day; the first few you meet are the truly buggy sites, so if you can get on river ASAP when your friends arrive and head a bit further down river, you're better off. Space on the bank can also be a little tight, so if you get there early (days are hot and sunny, and really skeeters are not an issue during the day at the put-in) you can rig up, move your boats down, and have them at the ready. The cabins are nice refuges; I'm jealous as I got a cancellation permit and they're already claimed. Somebody said the water will be high and so bugs won't be a problem. I disagree. I've rowed Deso at 10K and at 25K; it was butter and Parkay as far as those little devils go. No difference. "No question is a silly question," you say. Well, as a teacher, forgive me for parting ways on that one! You'll really enjoy the trip. We have two favorite camps, but I can only remember the name of one: Wire Fence II, just above a couple Class III's. If you get that camp (and I'm sure what I describe works for Wire Fence I and III), a hike of about 150 yards away from the river puts you in touch with some of the most awesome desert vistas you will ever see in your entire life. Regardless, you will want to make Deso a yearly thing after having done it once, bugs and all. Have fun!
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