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matt m
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I am planning on running the cataract canyon, from moab to hite marina, the first week in may. I have heard that it would be wise to arrange a motorboat transport for the last portion of the trip due to the long flatwater with high up-canyon winds. Does anyone know what company/companies provide this service and how I could contact them?
 

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Watch the lake level (Bureau of Reclamation - Upper Colorado Region Water Operations: Current Status: Lake Powell), an elevation of ~3600 gives you current pretty close to the take-out. Haven't seen it this low in a few years, so it may have changed... Otherwise, you need to bring your own outboard, I don't know of anyone offering tow-out service. Also, if we finally manage to get any snow May can get pretty big down there - make sure you get good beta for the flows you're looking at. And, finally, ask Randaddy about the virtues of motoring slow water.
 

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There are no tow out services offered below Cataract on the lake. If you plan on using an outboard, also realize that you will have to have registration for the motor and raft to be legal. It is not impossible to row out.

I've run a 5 day trip with all oars when the combined flow was running about 7,000 cfs. 2 days to Spanish Bottom, 1 day for most of the rapids, then one night camping down near the lake (depending on lake level, there may or may not be campsites).

I highly suggest looking into the motor option if you want to have more time in camp and for hikes.
 

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Oh ya, an look out on the water levels, depending on the melt, it can get pretty darn big down there (but hey, that's the fun part right?)
 

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Night float, woohoo!

Arrive at gypsum around dinner, make yourself a nice meal, and start floating. Can make it to dark canyon or farther overnight. Rowing from there isn't that bad.

Rowed out the entire thing in one day from gypsum to hite starting at 7am last March. Did the night float option this july. Night float is much nicer.
 

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Matt- I would check with Road Runners on shuttles. Jim is the dudes name and I have heard that he will do a tow out.
 

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It's a day to two days down to spanish bottom even with a motor. Even at low water you will have current at least down to Gypsum so oars are always an option. The last 5 mile straight away under the bridge and to the ramp is full on lake. Winds are common. Night float, get ready to do some serious rowing or do the motor.

Even with all the flatwater, that place is awesome down in there.
 

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Lake level?

I am a little confused about the lake level. The last time I was at Hite, quite a few years ago, the lake was high, and the concrete boat ramps were still working. We launched at Hite and motored upstream in the canyon until the current got fairly strong.

I have also heard that the lake was so low that you could not get anywhere near the boat ramps, which I assumed would mean minimal rowing.

At the current lake level, at what point (more or less) does the river transition to lake? How many miles upstream from Hite does that transition take place? I know that there is no exact point for the transition to take place, the current gets slower and slower as you enter the lake.

Thanks,
Richard
 

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Lake levels are looking brilliant for rowing out this spring, currently at 3603....guess that is one of the few benefits of a drought year in 2012.

Road Runners Shuttle just quoted me $450 for a single truck in the spring (low-use season). Not sure if that changes as more people start rafting.

I have rowed Cataract twice without motors and it is totally doable. Camping below Ten Cent can suck some years so be prepared for some interesting camping or night floats. We always do the trip in 7-8 days which allows us 3 days to get to Spanish Bottom and then 2.5 days to get out the bottom. We have had some epic days rowing out that last 5+ miles in spring wind. That said, if the lake is low enough you can actually get sand waves....not sure if that is likely this season but always fun.

Phillip
 

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Lake levels are looking brilliant for rowing out this spring, currently at 3603....guess that is one of the few benefits of a drought year in 2012.

Road Runners Shuttle just quoted me $450 for a single truck in the spring (low-use season). Not sure if that changes as more people start rafting.

I have rowed Cataract twice without motors and it is totally doable. Camping below Ten Cent can suck some years so be prepared for some interesting camping or night floats. We always do the trip in 7-8 days which allows us 3 days to get to Spanish Bottom and then 2.5 days to get out the bottom. We have had some epic days rowing out that last 5+ miles in spring wind. That said, if the lake is low enough you can actually get sand waves....not sure if that is likely this season but always fun.

Phillip

450 seems really high we were gonna do cat last aug. 2011, but did lodore instead. I remember shuttle quotes of 175 a vehicle. Road Runner was the highest quote i got and it was around 350 a car.

Phillip or any one running this summer: I would like to do cat this summer in July if any one would like another boat or to plan a trip let me know. Got a 16 and all my own gear a couple duckies too. Nick
 

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A few of us leftovers from the 70's and 80's who worked in Cat many years are going to be motoring off the reservoir on Saturday, April 27, and Sunday, April 28. Weather and wind are determining, but we will likely be at Brown Betty night of Friday the 26th, then run the canyon and start off the next day. No promises, but we've been known to give folks a tow, "depending..."
In April 2003 the lake was almost exactly same elevation it is now and we had current all the way to the bridge, didn't even take a motor. We're even older and more decrepit today, so ALWAYS carry a motor and use it above confluence. If NPS (or BLM at Green River) checks you, boat must be registered with numbers displayed (we use a piece of foam builder's board, attach to chicken line with zip ties, don't forget to carry the registration with your permit) and you must have a fire extinguisher; if you run on the lake after dark, need to display lights that vary with length of the "vessel" - for raft, even headlamps will work, if you hear someone coming get as many lights shining as possible as houseboaters/motor boaters underway after dark not always the most alert operators...
The last tow service went out of business back in the 90's - Coast Guard rules/licenses/permits just don't make this a profitable endeavor. Carry a motor or roll the dice - winds in Spring can be fierce and the lake is not the most hospitable place to pull over (very few camps below Dark, one used by commercial companies on river right just around the bend, then Mille Crag/Sheep is your next possibility).
The North Wash takeout (river right below Dirty Devil) is steep and muddy, won't work for most trailers. I took out last October 6 at the launch down closest to the marina, (the expensive concrete ramp build back in the 80's is high and dry and has "picket fence" of tammies/brush in the water - you can get in there with careful maneuvering and would have it all to yourself, but the "new" ramp with the floating dock is pretty spacious). Just stay off to the side so motor boaters can get in and out, and try to get off the ramp asap.
No info on shuttles, we use friends in Moab or Green River. I used to shuttle Moab/Hite back in the 80's for $100, we now pay ca. $150 for same run. Remember if it's just one vehicle the "retrieve" vehicle cost is not shared - best price break point is for 3 or 4 (i.e., the vehicle that brings the drivers back can hold 4 or 5).
My first Cat trip was 1976 - I never get tired of the place.
 

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450 seems really high we were gonna do cat last aug. 2011, but did lodore instead. I remember shuttle quotes of 175 a vehicle. Road Runner was the highest quote i got and it was around 350 a car.

Phillip or any one running this summer: I would like to do cat this summer in July if any one would like another boat or to plan a trip let me know. Got a 16 and all my own gear a couple duckies too. Nick
Might be up for a summer run but highly tentative at this point, i.e. couldn't commit until late April. My money is gonna be running low after we pulled so many permits for this season, quite the luck. And I really don't make much money as a ski instructor and my wife is only so giving for trips she can't go on (which she will be maxed out on other commitments).

Cataract warm-up in the spring.
Hoping to run the lower Owyhee solo in April.
Grand in May.
Main in August.
Some desert run in the autumn

Would love to see Cat later than March/April though as that is the only time I have done it. I have an old 18' bucket or 14" cataraft if it works out. The 18' rig has a bay for a motor though we don't have one yet ($$$$). But its a fair option for a barge to motor with if someone else has the utensil.

Phillip
 

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Might be up for a summer run but highly tentative at this point, i.e. couldn't commit until late April. My money is gonna be running low after we pulled so many permits for this season, quite the luck. And I really don't make much money as a ski instructor and my wife is only so giving for trips she can't go on (which she will be maxed out on other commitments).

Cataract warm-up in the spring.
Hoping to run the lower Owyhee solo in April.
Grand in May.
Main in August.
Some desert run in the autumn

Would love to see Cat later than March/April though as that is the only time I have done it. I have an old 18' bucket or 14" cataraft if it works out. The 18' rig has a bay for a motor though we don't have one yet ($$$$). But its a fair option for a barge to motor with if someone else has the utensil.

Phillip
Looks like you a have nice boating season lined out so far! I would join on the warm up spring run but have commited to taking some family down Labyrinth mid May. There are some kids going or I would continue into Cat but may is the only time some can go this year. I got a trip out in Bluff in June. July looks like I will be duckying a lot unless I get a trip somewhere. The Main would be sweet in Aug., if no cat trip, if you got room for a couple my wife and I are in good shape and not afraid to work around camp and we can cook.
 
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