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fat guy in a little boat
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Discussion Starter #1
Anyone got opinions or recent experience with the road to Big Gypsum Launch??
Or about that first 10ish river miles, from Slickrock to Big Gypsum??

No real time constraints or anything. Just thinking about ease of access for a little car on that dirt road...

It'll be mine and my whole crew's first time on the Dolores, so any and all opinions would be greatly appreciated!!
 

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Just did the Gypsum route and the road was in good shape. No problems and it does knock off 2 or 3 hours of running through a tunnel of tamarisk.
 

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Is there any free camping near the Gypsum put in. Is the any issues with have a few vehicles parked at ether Bedrock take out or the Gypsum put in.
I recall having parked my truck at the Bedrock take last time a ran this section but that was a few years ago.
 

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Road is in good condition, just dusty and long; 13mi.
You can camp at the Gyp put in.
Plenty of parking at both Gyp and Bedrock.
The river miles between Slick and Gyp are the least interesting on the lower D IMO but hey, your on the river.
 

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Road is in good condition, just dusty and long; 13mi.
You can camp at the Gyp put in.
Plenty of parking at both Gyp and Bedrock.
The river miles between Slick and Gyp are the least interesting on the lower D IMO but hey, your on the river.
The run between Slickrock and Gyp is called Little Glen Canyon. its OK, but not as nice as Slickrock Canyon further downstream. You won't miss much by launching at Gyp. I've done this once to save time, but usually launch at Slickrock to get more time on the river. We still end up spending three days on the river either way (taking out at Bedrock),,,
 

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Its about 36mi from the Gypsum Valley boat ramp to the Bedrock take-out, so you could probably do it in 2 days at a good flow level, but it doesn't leave much time for hiking, checking out petroglyphs, etc. which are the main attractions of this run. Slickrock canyon also has a lot of twists and turns, so its not something you can easily blast down like the San Juan. I recommend two full days taking out early on the 3rd.
 

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We did all but the last 6mi. in one day a couple weeks ago. Took us 6hrs. Could have easily done it in a day, we were in camp at 1:30.
Granted, we didn't stop but, I didn't feel like I was hammering out oar strokes either.
2 days is plenty.
 

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fat guy in a little boat
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Discussion Starter #10
Right on, I appreciate the feedback, guys.
I'm going for Gypsum for sure. Little extra time for hikes and looking at petroglyphs.
Tamarisk tunnel on the first 10 miles sounds kinda lame, too!
 

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We did all but the last 6mi. in one day a couple weeks ago. Took us 6hrs. Could have easily done it in a day, we were in camp at 1:30.
Granted, we didn't stop but, I didn't feel like I was hammering out oar strokes either.
2 days is plenty.
rtsideup - thinking about running that stretch in one day this weekend (Saturday or Sunday) so we can just have a fixed camp nearby in the area and run light boats. What was the flow level? Sounds like it was 30 miles in 6 hours then without pushing too hard? Thanks for the info!
 

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fat guy in a little boat
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Discussion Starter #14
Any thoughts on how next week's jump from 2k-4kcfs will look like??

95ish miles from McPhee to Gypsum, maybe 2.5-3mph..
Late afternoon Friday May 5th it should be near Bedrock

I'm switching to Gypsum to avoid being on the water for all that debris that'll be coming with it.
But I'm kinda thinking about doing a lay-over somewhere on that Friday to let it go by, then do the last day at 4k....

Any opinions???
 

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For the Dolores Canyon run, its 61 miles from the Bradfield Bridge to the Gypsum Valley access point, not 95. We ran it at 3000cfs once and didn't see much in the way of floating debris, trees, etc. Main thing we noticed was poison ivy at several campsites causing us to move on.

We were also able to sneak around the right side of Snaggletooth rapid in a 10' non-bailing raft at that level. Get a trip report from someone who's just run it before going....
 

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rtsideup - thinking about running that stretch in one day this weekend (Saturday or Sunday) so we can just have a fixed camp nearby in the area and run light boats. What was the flow level? Sounds like it was 30 miles in 6 hours then without pushing too hard? Thanks for the info!
Flow was around 1200. I was in a 15' cat that I've found moves downstream faster than similar sized round boats. I was rowing, but not pushing hard. We left early to avoid the dreaded afternoon upstream wind (sssh; do not speak of the upstream wind).
As far as camping goes; you could camp at at the put in or take out but neither are what I'd consider "good" camps. I'm sure that you could find good camping around, especially if you don't need to be on the river.
SYOTR
 

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fat guy in a little boat
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Discussion Starter #17
I really appreciate everyone's input
Looks like we've decided where to go...

Gypsum to Bedrock, launching this next Tuesday the 2nd.
Taking out that Friday. (planning a layover to hike Coyote Wash on Thursday)

Just myself and 2 other RTR guides, on my 15' Hyside and a tomcat ducky. So far...

We like meeting new river folk! Anyone who wants to join is certainly welcome!

Shoot me a PM if you're interested
SYOTR
-Ben
 

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bigben and stuntmansteve, we'll be floating slickrock to gateway starting may 11, would appreciate any advice/info/beta you have on fun sidehikes/ruins/rock art along the way. appreciatively, jonathan can also personal message this.
 

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We ran it from Slickrock to Gateway in 6 days back in 2005. Great run. Sidehikes we like:

A few petroglyphs near the campsite at river mile 65.5. Great campsite if you can get it (arrive early).

Good hike up Coyote Wash.

Hike up to low saddle NW of Muleshoe Bend behind campsite at river mile 86 to get good view of river on both sides. Reminds me of a smaller version of Mendenhall Loop on the San Juan.

There are six panels of rock art just below La Sal Creek on river left at mile 93.2 that are well worth seeing. Land above small cliff on L.

Some good rapids in Paradox Canyon, but we didn't do any side hikes.

Great campsite on river left just past mile 110. Good hiking up side canyon behind camp. Views of hanging flume. Canyon is deep here.

Good hike to Juanita Arch 1.5 miles up Maverick Canyon. Longest hike we did.

Now that they're finished building the resort at Gateway, stay a night there afterwards if you've got the time and the dough. It was still under construction on our trip.

Have fun. We'll probably do a Slickrock to Bedrock run in early June once the kid is out of school....
 
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