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Discussion Starter #1
Looking to start a thread about the best maps Buzzards have found for their local rivers.
I have only run about ten local rivers but have truly come to appreciate a well deigned map with identified camping areas and identified rapids that are easy to read, water proof and designed to follow as you float down the river.
I really like the RiverMaps Guide to the Rogue River. A lot of great history of the river an topography. I also appreciate the durability of Troutmap's covering of the Deshutes.
The BLM could use the above mentioned company's help when designing an informative and intuitive map.
Maps that I am interested in are; The John Day, Grande Ronde, all of the Salmon, Owyhee and Hell's Canyon.
 

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I like having my maps digital. The upper colorado has new maps and descriptions online which i use in conjunction with Google Earth and Garmin Basecamp. I have files collecting for the various runs I have done, so when I repeat a trip, I can just grab that trips info, dump it on my Garmin, and float. This set up has worked well for me, especially with kids, or if the weather is turning south. In some places, the waypoints for campsites can be downloaded from the interwebs, which makes it that much more convenient.
 

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The best map I have found for the Ark is the one in the back of Thomas Rampton's "Arkansas River Guide". The book itself is mediocre and is really lacking in detail for the stretches above Buena Vista, but the maps are excellent for the river corridor. If you want more of the uplands surrounding the river included the best I have seen is the Latitude 40 waterproof for Salida/BV.

http://www.amazon.com/Rampton-Thomas-Arkansas-River-Guide/dp/B008ZSHN40

http://www.latitude40maps.com/salidabuena-vista-trails/
 

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RiverMaps has a version for the Lower Main Salmon and Hells Canyon in one book.

Matt Leidecker makes the gold standard of river maps in my opinion. They are the best. He has them for both the Middle Fork Salmon and the Rogue.
 

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Shapp
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To address the OPs rivers interested in:


Owyhee:
The BLM guide to the Owyhee is here, it covers all the South Fork and East Fork and mainstem down to Leslie Gulch. The new revised map book is good:
Boater Guides & Maps


The Main Salmon downstream of Vinegar Creek to the Mouth and then the lower part of the Snake to Hellar Bar is also on the same page and is an adequate guide:
Boater Guides & Maps


The BLM revised Wallowa/Grande Ronde map guide is also adequate:
Wallowa-Grande Ronde River Boater Guide Map Details Oregon/Washington BLM


I have used the Leidecker book for the Middle Fork at low flow this year in August and it was good.


I used the Newell guide book for the Main Salmon and it was good too.


The BLM lower John Day Map book is adequate but their North Fork John Day free maps are not detailed at all.
https://www.blm.gov/or/permit/info/mapsandbooks


Under no circumstances should you buy the Melinda Allan's "Floating and Fishing Oregonn's Wilderness River Canyons". It has way too much inaccurate info and mistakes.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
@ Shappattack

I am just going to start PMing you personally with my questions.




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Discussion Starter #8
The BLM map of the John Day does not read easily with with your movement down stream and its movement from page to page.


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I like having my maps digital. The upper colorado has new maps and descriptions online which i use in conjunction with Google Earth and Garmin Basecamp. I have files collecting for the various runs I have done, so when I repeat a trip, I can just grab that trips info, dump it on my Garmin, and float. This set up has worked well for me, especially with kids, or if the weather is turning south. In some places, the waypoints for campsites can be downloaded from the interwebs, which makes it that much more convenient.
Can you link to the data online? What Garmin are you running? Do u have something like a ram mount in your cockpit to keep it secure? I have run them on my motor bikes with great success.
 

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I use a combination of things. Garmin Basecamp is free, and is a good interface for storing river info by segment, and symbolizing features like boat ramps, camp sites, rapids and hazards. I can use it to load trips onto my garmin easily too. Google Earth is good for digitizing features that you can't find else ware, and Basecamp can import kmz files.

The BLM has some new maps here:
BLM Colorado | Kremmling Field Office | Rafting for Pumphouse to State Bridge and State Bridge to Dotsero. There is also a new river guide: http://www.blm.gov/style/medialib/b....File.dat/Upper_Colorado_River_Guide.2015.pdf

I have used these maps and google earth to create waypoints for a bunch of the stuff down there.

Kemmerer FO has some google earth links for several features of river interest:
BLM Colorado | Kremmling Field Office | Recreation

Grand Junction FO also has Google Earth files available for Ruby/Horsethief too.

For me, I have an eTrex 20, and the carabiner clip, and hang it on my PFD. It makes it easy to get too at any time.
 

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Any mapped river features on riverbrain.com can be exported to a GPX file which you can import onto your Garmin (via Basecamp, etc). Lot's of Points of Interest, rapids, camps, access points have been added by the site's users. Mostly in the western US but there is info in other areas as well.

If you see something missing, add it to the map so other users can benefit.
 

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Does anyone like the old drift logs like you see in Garren's Oregon/Idaho River Tours? Also made an appearance in Doug North's Washington Whitewater books.

It's low res, with clear easy to read features, based on time to float the river. That time changes as flow changes but not as much as you'd think ....

I've been looking for a way to bring them back ... but no one ever seems to have used them before.

if anyone likes 'em, they are probably around here!
 

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whitewatercampsites

This link has information about camps on many rivers, including pictures.

http://www.whitewatercampsites.com/

I know it isn't the map info OP requested, but it is fun to checkout the camp pictures when stuck at your desk.
Just checkout your favorite spots.
 

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Any mapped river features on riverbrain.com can be exported to a GPX file which you can import onto your Garmin (via Basecamp, etc). Lot's of Points of Interest, rapids, camps, access points have been added by the site's users. Mostly in the western US but there is info in other areas as well.

If you see something missing, add it to the map so other users can benefit.
Thanks rbrain, I have used River Brain some, but did not see the waypoint/map links. Way cool!
 

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Paddling in to the Future
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I have waypoints from riverbrain for the salmon river loaded on my samsung galaxy, keep it in a waterproof case in the pocket of my pfd. it's fun to see exactly where you are sometimes. (have middle/main/lower all loaded with USGS maps that it's overlayed on) for my local rivers (mainly the payette) they don't have anything, but the runs are short, and run often enough that I know them like the back of my hand.
 

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I like these maps on my GPS https://www.huntinggpsmaps.com/ they have a detailed topographic map, most FS roads and many trails, they also have landownership public private broken out by all public landownership. I find that very useful for rivers with a mixture of ownership. If you add POIs from Riverbrain and other sources like Rivermaps.net you have an amazing river map.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I don't mind the thread's new direction because it is all useful and along the lines of the topic's question. Maybe the topic should have been, 'what is your preferred medium for navigating...'


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Shapp
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How about another direction for the topic. I find the best river maps are the ones I make myself and add notes to over the years. I find for the most part that the available maps, even the good ones, are pretty small and hard to read while on the river. I like them to be 11x17 and I put them in a waterproof clear plastic map holder. Usually with 11x17 I can fit an entire long day float on 2 pages. Put them back to back with the other pages in between so all you have to do is flip the map holder over to see the 2nd half of the day's map. You can also write on them with normal sized writing and don't have to use hobbit sized script when making in field notes. Mapping has been an integral part of the adventurous minded explores back to the dawn of time, and I like to geek out on it. I have never used a GPS on any river trip and have never found the need, though I use GPS all the time for work applications. Some example pages from my maps (I have these for about 10 different multiday trips in Oregon and Idaho):
 

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Shapp: I have the exact same set you have. However, lost them in the box and never looked back.
Re: in OR...To what neck of the woods do you hale?
 

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Shapp
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Shapp: I have the exact same set you have. However, lost them in the box and never looked back.
Re: in OR...To what neck of the woods do you hale?
What do you mean by having the exact same set I have? You mean the maps I made for my self? That don't make sense :)

I live in NW Oregon, lived in NE Oregon or a long time, grew up next to the McKenzie as a kid, but spent half my youth around the lower Umpqua and also lived on the coast in a couple different towns.
 
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