Salt River 4500 cfs ? - Mountain Buzz

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Old 03-14-2019   #1
Boise, Idaho
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 23
Salt River 4500 cfs ?

Has anyone run the Salt at 4500 cfs +_ ?
Any thoughts or comments?

We have a 19 March Permit....


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Old 03-14-2019   #2
no tengo
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Baytopia, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1876
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,846
I wouldn't hesitate. There are some IVs. Scout as needed.
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Old 03-14-2019   #3
Bayfield, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 276
If your comfortable with class IV your crazy if you don't go. It is a awesome place.
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Old 03-14-2019   #4
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Lakewood, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,162
I have a March 18th permit and everyone on the trip is pretty excited.

Most I've talked to say 5k is where it starts to get more rowdy and 10k is where you should bring your A game or go home. The videos I've seen of Quartzite at these flows makes it look like a straight shot down the middle. Definitely some spots where holes will open up though. Grumman rapid comes to mind as it has two fairly sizable holes at these flows. A lot of the rest just pads out and becomes easier to run...but it will move faster and be more pushy at the same time. More room to move, but less time to do it.

Gonna be fun...I'm really looking forward to it.
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Old 03-15-2019   #5
Fraser, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 172
I’ve run the lower canyon at 4-5000( Quartzite, Corkscrew) and it was super fun! Felt kinda big, and was definitely fast, but managble for a solid boater. Quartzite was a big steep drop down the left, with a couple of smaller holes to punch at the bottom, so Carry momentum, the left eddy bellow Quartzite was super sticky, and I was wishin I hadn’t eddied out there. Corkscrew was a right to left. Pretty fast, with lots of continuous action, so definitely be on it though.
I was in my 11’ cat, and plenty of features looked like they could have munched me, but easy enough to get around them, and punch the ones I needed to, just really freaking fun!!
Did I meantion fun?

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Old 03-15-2019   #6
Fraser, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 172
Also check out the vid that Jdsampsonite posted of his recent trip at that level.
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Old 03-23-2019   #7
Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 79
We hit Grumman at 12k and it knocked me out of the boat--that hole was yyyuuuuuge. Kinda pivoted over my right oar tower and was back in the boat in one or two seconds, thankfully.

Quartzite and Corkscrew were 5k-ish by the time we got there, left on Q and right on C, as stated above. At flows above 4k, the water is moving quick, making eddies is tough, some of the camps are under water, and taking out can be a bitch.
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Old 03-25-2019   #8
Arnold, California
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 176
Ran it earlier this year about 4k. Everything is pretty straight forward with the exception of finding beaches. There is a lot of overgrowth that seems to hide what otherwise would be some great camps. Not to worry though with the limited permit numbers there are plenty of camps.
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Old 03-26-2019   #9
santa fe, New Mexico
Paddling Since: wet
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 11
agreeing with other posters above - super fun go for it, we ran it just before permit season started at around that CFS level....personally I felt corkscrew had the biggest hydraulics, but still pretty straight forward...cold water though, bring good gear!
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Old 03-30-2019   #10
Salt LAke City, Utah
Paddling Since: 1982
Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 9
I have run the Salt at 500, 1500, 2500, 5000, and 14,000 cfs.

Best flows were 2500 and 5000, although 1500 is fun and even 500 in late Spring was awesome since it was warm and the rapids were technical. At 5000 it starts to get big, but still not bad, and the water is not as fast as what you have at 10,000+. At 5000 and 14,000 quartzite was terminal before it was dynamited. I have not run it at anything above 2500 since then, but it sounds like it is pretty tame. At 2500 or less it is not that hard, although it does have a nice drop in a nice walled-out part of the canyon.

The one thing you want to be careful of is that you check the forecast and make sure you aren't expected to get a rain on snow event. There is A LOT of snow at higher elevations, and the difference of rain or snow at 8,000 and 9,000 feet can make the difference between having 10,000 cfs and 25,000 or even 50,000 cfs!!
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