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I'm thinking about a monster Dolores/Colorado from McPhee to Mineral Bottom trip and I was wondering what its like at the high flows we are seeing now. Snaggeltooth is at 2300 and Stateline is at 4700. Are they flushed out? Easier, harder? Is there any thing else to worry a 14' raft at these flows?
 

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I remember paddling Snag at about 2000 cfs years ago -like '95- and I recall that the "ripper" rock was still a significant concern. I was kayaking, and I had to hussle to avoid it. As I recall, there were a couple of rafts portaging the drop- I couldn't tell you want the skill level of those rafters were....
 

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Jon514d said:
I'm thinking about a monster Dolores/Colorado from McPhee to Mineral Bottom trip and I was wondering what its like at the high flows we are seeing now. Snaggeltooth is at 2300 and Stateline is at 4700. Are they flushed out? Easier, harder? Is there any thing else to worry a 14' raft at these flows?
ran snag last week at 2300 in rafts and it was fine. still class IV. no need to portage but a scout is nice.
 

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Delores at high flows

Beware of Stateline aka Chicken Raper, lots of channels with rebar and log jams scout for sure. I was on a trip there in the 80's and another trip lost a person there.

Have fun it will be lovely to float all of it as it is a great river.
 

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Hello, i'd be real interested in your monster Dolores/Colorado trip. Just got back from a Dolores trip and had such a blast that i'm ready to go again for a longer jaunt, but i'm having trouble finding people that can get that kind of time to play.

We ran from Dove Creek to Bedrock 5/9 - 5/14. Snag was at 2000 and seemed a lot easier than at lower (~800) flows. The hole below the main drop was a bit more munchy, but the sleepers below were much easier to navigate a raft through with more water. We ran a 16' oar rig through no problem, tho we did portage a bunch of gear and the cooler just in case something went haywire.

The last time i did Chicken Raper was 2002 @ ~1000 cfs, and the top half was a bitch to get a raft through. i would guess that the bottom half of the rapid would be real munchy but straightfoward at >3000, and that the top half would be easier to navigate, but harder to catch the right hand channel halfway. My real concern on the Gateway stretch would be the 'house-sized boulders' at Beaver Creek rapid mentioned in the guide. Best to scout river left just after the wave train about 400 yards above the boulders, even though there is no real eddy to catch. With the speed of the water, a wrap here would be real easy and real bad.

The big flows on a little river made it important to read way downstream. For example there was a nearly riverwide strainer below the Slickrock ramp (i think at mile 50.25 in the DeVries guide) on a fairly blind left-hand bend where i had my stern in the tammies just to get through. Having a kayak out in front to gesture frantically to the left was very helpful in making this move, and many others.

I'd guess we were traveling around 6 mph on the water in the gear raft without pushing, so 20+ mile days are pretty achievable right now. Below Bedrock the water slows considerably until Gateway. There is a lot of private land and few legal camps, but hardly anyone does this section, so you'll likely have your pick of sites. The Slickrock to Bedrock section was very busy. When we found our intended camp occupied one day, we went for the next one only to find the next eight usable beaches (nine river miles) were already use.

Hope some of this was helpful, and i hope you have an incredible trip. If you want some company and can go soon (as in by next week) let me know here in this forum and i'll be in. Get it while it's goin', cuz who knows when the Lady of Sorrows will run again!
 

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Ran snaggletooth in a 14' raft last weekend. It was around 2300. I would give a similar description as above. Start just left of a small rock you see on the river left side as you begin to enter the top. You will go through two drops (the second is the big one). Make sure you are straight and paddling forward and then you approach snaggletooth rock and you need to make a decision on which direction you want to go. Definitely scout it and we had one person down below where there were eddies with throw rope ready just in case. We did see people portaging but I would recommend it if you are comfortable with class 4.
 
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