Lodore has more technical rapids, has one class IV, and is entirely dam controlled so never gets above about 9000c. The flow can pick up enormously at the confluence with the Yampa if you float it in the spring. I ran it in June and we went from 4600c to 28000c at Echo Park. Split Mountain at this flow was pure river. Highly recommended.
I like the scenery a little better on Lodore. Definitely less mosquitos. A little bit more difficult/fun rapids on Lodore (except for Joe Hutch on Deso). Lodore seems to be a harder permit to get. The Dinosaur Nat. Monument rules only allow you to make one trip per person per year on either Lodore or Yampa, except for day runs on Split Mountain.
it's 1 run per year in th high use season just like deso/grey. both allow multiple runs in th low use season, before and after th high use season. ive run lodore in th spring, then th summer and a 3rd time in th fall, all wth permits.
i personally prefer th water, camps, rapids and less bugs on lodore. but deso is a beautiful run.
There is a difference in the rules between Yampa/Lodore and Deso.
Yampa/Lodore is one run per person per year during high use season from May - September. This applies to trip members as well as the permit holder.
On Deso, the permit holder can only hold one launch reservation at a time. Deso doesn't have the "no repeat" rule like Yampa/Lodore. So you can run Deso more than once during high use season on someone else's permit. Deso is also not a lottery draw for permits. It's a first come, first serve call-in process.
good to know. i wasnt aware u cud do multiple runs in th high season on deso. i checked th regs after seeing ur comment and it seems its even better. u can only hold 1 launch reservation at a time BUT after ur trip is over its legit to get a new reservation in th high season. so u can actually do multiple trips in th high season on deso as th permit holder! but since th calender fills rapidly its most likely this wud have to b done via cancellations for th subsequent trips
my main point tho was that u can get multiple permits on lodore for th same year. ive had 3 in th same year.
u can also take advantage of this rule which i have in th past.---"During the high use season, each person is restricted to one private multi-day river trip. Exceptions are made on a call-in basis only if a trip is available within two weeks of the launch date."
so if ur diligent u can even do multiple trips in th high season!
Yes, Deso offers a few more options than Yampa/Lodore. But both are available if you go pre or post season, or are willing to pick up cancellations on short notice. The bummer is when you score a Yampa permit or invite, and then get a Lodore invite also. Then you have to choose, as you can't really do both.
I'm not sure which system I like the least.....the Yampa/Lodore lottery or the PITA call-in for Deso. I have parked myself on the phone between 7:45am and 8:00am for many days in a row, only to hear the busy signal over and over again.
To the OP..... if you get on a Lodore trip, try to stay at Jones Hole. Nice camp, fly fishing stream, and the infamous "Butt Plug" Falls a short hike upstream. Also check out Whispering Cave in Echo park where the Yampa comes in.
Done them both and love them both. I think the Gates is a little more spectacular scenery. The camp sites are assigned on the Gates all the way to split mtn. take out. If I draw a permit this spring I am going to launch at Flaming Gorge Dam and float down to the Lodore ranger’s station, ending up there the day my Gates of Lodore permit starts. Rapids are no big deal except hells half mile has lots of sleepers, scout first.
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