Motors questions in GC - Mountain Buzz

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Old 03-25-2015   #1
Brigham city, Utah
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 31
Motors questions in GC

I have Grand Canyon trip coming up, and the TL has decided to use a motor after diamond creek to speed things up a little. We have no intention on turning this trip to a motorized grand canyon trip, which means you have to be off the river in less days. Are the rangers going to throw a fit about carrying a motor and not using till the appropriate time. Any experience?

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Old 03-25-2015   #2
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Salida, Colorado
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Why not just night float after Separation...

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Old 03-25-2015   #3
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Flagstaff, Arizona
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I don't think they will let you bring a motor in with you. Almost positive!
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Old 03-25-2015   #4
Join Date: Feb 2005
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My experience (and that of others I know) is that if you clearly have a rig set up to row, and if you have a limited amount of fuel, and the motor is stowed, there will be no problem with a small four stroke.

A call to the River Office would be the next step toward peace of mind on this issue.


Rich Phillips
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Old 03-25-2015   #5
Colo Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Feb 2004
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Rich - I disagree. I checked with both the river office and Brian Bloom about this for ourselves for our trip coming up, and were told NO! You can't carry a motor at all and still be a longer oar trip.
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Old 03-25-2015   #6
Join Date: Sep 2006
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We did a trip where a couple people had to takeout at Diamond Creek so we put motor and transom in their shuttled vehicles. Could probably arrange for delivery to Diamond Creek with shuttle company or Hualapai Tribe.

But I agree, call GC River Ranger.

But I also agree a motor is more trouble than it is worth. Do the night float.
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Old 03-25-2015   #7
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Hi David,

Well, that's why I suggested contacting the River Office, as you did. But what you were told is something of a change in policy, if not practice.

Maybe up until now ramp rangers had the discretion to make judgment calls on this issue, and that has been taken away from them for some reason.


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Old 03-25-2015   #8
Salt Lake City, Utah
Paddling Since: 1969
Join Date: Apr 2009
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I did exactly this - although had commercial motor trip piloted by friend bring the motor and gas tank down to Whitmore helipad - last year (2014). Peggy insisted on seeing registration and fire extinguisher for it, which was reasonable, on the ramp at Lee's Ferry (pre-departure private trip check out). All was cleared in advance and we only used the motor from below Separation to Pearce, less than 8 hours to push 7 boats and right at 2 gallons gas, Honda 5 hp 4 stroke. Be sure you have running lights covered if pushing after dark... although there is no more "lake" to "navigate."
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Old 03-25-2015   #9
Flagstaff, Arizona
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You can always do the trip and have a shuttle company (or someone from FLG) bring you the motor and ice for the Diamond Down section. Easy to be done...
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Old 03-26-2015   #10
Sacramento, California
Paddling Since: 1968
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motors in GC

I have carried a 4-stroke outboard with me the last 3 years to go from Separation to Pearce. My big daddy cat is a registered vessel with CA. I carry a fire extinguisher and spare parts. All this + gas is in a custom water tight aluminum box was tested in a flip in Lava. Brian, Peggy and Mike Colton have all checked this out on the ramp in the different years. The cat is setup as an oar rig and carries spare oars. The night float - wouldn't do it! I'd be up all night worried about the docks, sandbars, sticks poking out of the mud, and feeling crappy the next morning which limits my ability to safely drive back home. Having rowed past Quartermaster in the wind convinced to never be in that situation again.
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