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Discussion Starter #1
I am trying to find beta on good class V runs in Arizona and New Mexico. I know about everything in the colorado rivers and creeks book but I'm trying to get info on stuff that doesn't get hit so often. I read on the AWA site that the east fork of the verde and the little colorado have some class V sections on them but I can't find any info as to the quality or lengths of these runs. It seems like there must be good stuff around flagstaff, sedona, and the hila mountains but info is very scarce. Anything in southern utah is fair game as well. Anyone with some info they would like to share will be rewarded with excellent boating karma for the season. It's feast or famine in these parts so us southwest boaters gotta feast while we can this year.
 

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Here's one to check out: Cibeque Creek. I hear it's quite an adventure as a kayak run, requiring some technical skills and other fun stuff. It's a tributary to the Salt- runs into the day stretch below Hwy 60. So, it probably hasn't run in few years. But it's worth looking over some topos and checking to see who has explored it.

I tried checking into who did the first descent and this is all I've found so far:
http://outside.away.com/outside/destinations/200109/200109canyoneering_arizona_1.html

Some other photos, to get an idea what the riverbed is like:
http://hikearizona.com/photocodeZOOM.php?ID=73&TNI=30

Damn- looking at those photos, I kinda want to plan a trip in March / April. Definitely some portages:
http://hikearizona.com/photocodeZOOM.php?ID=74&TNI=30

Here's some map info - I think you have to put in somewhere around the town of White River. I'm going to email a buddy of mine who guided rafts on the Salt & and try to get some info on the potential of this run. I'll keep everyone updated...

USGS Mule Hoof Bend Quad
 

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I have hiked about 4 miles up cibecue from the salt and it is one of the most amazing places I have ever been. It was a great canyoneering type of hike with 4 major waterfalls to climb up or rappel down which ever way you want to look at it.

If I remember correctly a couple guides I used to work with down there paddled it in 97, they said it was an epic with quite a few major portages. The biggest issue you might run into is I have heard the apache tribe has now closed the creek to anyone unless they have a specific guide with them. You might be able to get through it without the guide but if it is illegal and you get caught it is very serious. Just like running the upper upper salt's class 5 section.

If I were you looking for some good creekin I would head down the salt a bit further and run canyon creek. A sweet boulder choked class 4 creek. that goes into the salt and then paddle a couple miles down to Gleason's flats. Take out there before you head into the wilderness area. Make sure if you do this trip you are fully prepared with 4x4's and supplies because on the shuttle you have to cross cibecue and canyon creek which if running big can add to the excitement level. Also if you are down there and it rains those roads turn into this nasty slippery as ice mud which makes the road basically impassible.

Another fun run not very difficult but very cool is tonto creek.

Have fun and enjoy the desert
 

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On a Salt trip some years back Cibique was pumpin and we hiked up to the big falls to have a look. It definitely seemed to merit more exploring. Boating plans went out the window when we found out that getting caught paddling the creek would land you in prison on the White Mountain Apache Reservation.... not a good thing. The upper Salt looks really really good, but it is also illegal.

Native Americans have lost so much land that I am in no position to challenge or object to the access they allow me on lands they still control.

JJ, I wanna hit the Black Box of the San Rafael in UT this spring if it runs. Dont know a ton about it but that might be one to keep in mind.
 

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I've heard that there is a great overnight creek run around Flagstaff. Anyone know any truth to this? I heard it runs in March.

I'd like to do some dessert boating in NM or Ariz fairly soon if anyone is interested. Early March would be sweet.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Kyle, Meng, Brian or whoever, I've got spring break from March 4-13 and I'd like to do some desert creeking. I'm doing a 4 day salt trip from the 4--7 and after that I'd like to hit whatever is running. Ya'll should come down and get some shit done with me.
 

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JJ, on the aw pages if the run has been put together with some basic info there should the lat/lon of the put-in and takeout, also if it has an online gauge there will also be the lat/lon of the gauge location, plug that stuff into topozone and you should get an idea about gradient and location.
 

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With regards to the San Rafael, it's been running a few times already this year. Mostly from rain during the past couple storms. Essentially, the run is the upper and lower black boxes. Unless you want an epic hike out of the river, it's easiest to go to the dirt roads that come in from 70 east of the swell. It's agreat run, and I'd love to paddle it again. The rapids in there are generally formed from boulder falls and a pretty sievey. I remeber one in the upper that freaked the hell out of me becuase you basically had to get ot of you boat onto a slick boulder with all the water going under it... Anyway, keep an eye on the rain.

Also in Utah and worth checking outis ferron creek and the fremont above Capital reef. I'll put the info on the Aw site this week. Ferron has a class V section (according to guidebook -- I haven't seen it with water) and the fremont has is a fun class IV run with lots of blindness and brush. Of course, it doens't really compair to OBJ, Vallecito or and of the Colorado classics. There are a few other creeks rolling off the wasatch plateau like the left hand fork huntington Seeley, and Cottonwood. (The later is below a reservoir which is pretty empty.)

Now for the bad news. They're all snow melt driven runs, and the snow is up around 11,000 feet. With the exception of the Fremont and Boulder Creek (trib of the escalante). They don;t really get going until later in the Spring. (Like May or June whenever the pack goes isothermal and moves off.) You can check the status of the melt at http://www.cbrfc.noaa.gov/snow/snow.cgi.
Finally, the San Rafael isn't a guranteed thing either since Joes Valley reservoir, Huntongton North, and Mill all sit upstream and are pretty dam empty. Last time the San Rafel went was after a couple of years of decent precip so they let a lot of water go by. It's not totally hopeless, but it's also not a gurantee. Send me a message if you want.

Ohh, and it looks like Southern eastern Arizona's gonna get another shot of moisture this weekend.
 

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Jared, I have both you and Jen down for the Salt trip. It looks like we will have 3 rafts and 12 kayakers. Our day to enter the wilderness is March 4th. I have not paddled the Salt and I am getting all my beta from Billy :roll: . Are we planning on launching on the 3rd and running the section above? Should we arrive the 2nd to run shuttle? How many days does it take to run the canyon with lots of surfing? I am just trying to work out the details so I can let our group know. Give me call or talk with Billy.

Thanks,
Taylor
749-1789
 

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Hey MP....are you back from your cat trip already? how was it? I've run the black box's two times. I know some paddlers have pushed these limits a little but, I recommend not going in there unless the San Rafeal (at the bridge campground gage) river is running 600cfs to 900cfs....especially if it's your first time down. There are at least two portages depending upon the size of your huevos. If the box's are running then it is well worth your time to paddle nearby cottonwood creek. As for southern Utah, whent he virgin is running there are several good sections to run...The section between the town of Virgin to the town of Laverkin being the most action packed. Consider the Dirty Devil and or Escalante if you like extended self support trips.
 

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barry -- yeah we're back. It was a beautiful trip. The section below imperial has really come back to life. We were able to row 5+ mph, and htere's a bunch of new riffles forming throught the section. I think we may know some of the same folks. If you were on the Grand last fall, they know my buddy Andy who accompanied me on Cat.
 

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Barry- does the Dirty Devil flow into the Colorado in Cataract? Do you have anymore beta on it. Also I have always wanted to take some of my non-kayaking friends in duckies down the Escalante. Is there anything above class II in there?

Thanks
 

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The dirty devil flows into lake powell...however, with low lake levels, it now joins the colorado around Hite. The dirty devil put in is at the confluence of Muddy Creek (a classic when it flows) and the Fremont river around the town of hanksville, UT. 83 miles of classI-II river to Lake Powell. It is awesome run..take 5-6 days and do all the side hikes. Although the dirty devil is awesome, I think the Escalante between the town of Escalante and Coyote Gulch (87 miles? and also class I-II) is the better choice. The take out at Coyote Gulch is brutal but, worth it. Again, the wilderness and scenery are the main attractions here don't go expecting good surf or rapids.
 

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Escalante Beta: Put in on the cemetary road just outside of the town of Escalante....make sure you have at least 100cfs or it's like taking an 87 mile walk with your boat. Taking out you have three fairly grim options: 1) Hike 3.5 up Coyote Gulch w/ your gear, 2) paddle 60 miles to Bullfrog Marina, 3) Paddle about 25 miles through the log jammed lower canyon and arrange for a boat to pick you and your gear up at the mouth of the canyon and transport you back to Bullfrog. I have hiked out both times I did it. Plan on a full day to hike out and then drive back along the hole in the rock road. Don't let the bad take out options discourage you. The 80 something miles of canyon are the inspiring to say the least and make it well worth it.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
How about the little colorado and east fork of the verde (in AZ.) class five sections, does anyone know anything about these.
 

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Waynechorter,

That book out about 50 Classics talks a little, tiny bit about the little Colorado. I'm pretty sure one of the pics in the front is on that run too (its subtitled Secret Southwest Stash). Goto the Grand Canyon write-up and they mention it there, too, as a cool drainage flowing into the main Colorado that you can hike up. If that pic in the front is from that run, ho chi that looks like fun.

Off topic, but I just have to add that we did the MF of the Salmon last year and hiked a mile up pretty much every tributary but the Camas creek one and that's a great way to add value to a class III run.

Anyway, good luck!
 

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That book out about 50 Classics talks a little, tiny bit about the little Colorado. I'm pretty sure one of the pics in the front is on that run too (its subtitled Secret Southwest Stash).
I've been wondering... JJ, let's rally that run this March. It looks like a sweet adventure.
 

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NM h20

For NM runs check out atom's site: new mexico h2o.com. Southwest paddler.com has some pretty funny canoer's descriptions of the NM runs as well. then there's CRC, and AW. i think the upper box is running already but it's still dumping down here!!!
 

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Two Words

I have two words for you - Agua Fria. A classic and one of my all time favorite runs. I only did it once at some juicy flows but It is up there with the best. 18 miles - 1 long day. Don't spend much time scouting or you will scout the day away. Most drops are under 20 feet but there is on monster slide that would probably go. I probably portaged 10 times but that was because we were running out of daylight.

Put in Bloody Basin Road off of I - 17 between Flag and Pheonix

Takeout in the tow of Bumble bee. Drive up stream as far as you can. Roads in the Arizona gazetteer.

Gauge - Aqua Fria at Rock Springs Lower Gila basin. currently at 1500 which I would guess is a great flow. When we were there the road went through the river and you could surf a wave formed by the road.

Check it out. If you are patient and want the super gnar try one of the Beavers. Wet or Dry. Bring ropes to repel.

Peter
 
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