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Hello all,
I hope you're enjoying yourselves and getting out on the water. I'm looking for information on the stretch of the Gunnison river from the Escalante boat ramp to the Whitewater boat ramp. I'd like to paddle this section in a day in a canoe. We'd also have at least one paddleboarder. I've never been on this part of the Gunnison. From google maps it looks like there are no rapids that can't be avoided. Just a few riffles here and there. Just wondering if this section is canoe-able. As of today its running at 1290cfs. The picture of the river looks high and muddy. I'd probably wait a couple of weeks hopefully for the river to come down and clear up a bit. Hopefully fish some. Is the fishing good on that part? The drive from Escalante to Whitewater is 22 miles. I'm estimating the river distance at 25 miles or so. Any info on that? Thanks in advance.
 

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rtsideup just did the longer version of this recently because I helped pull his raft out at Whitewater.

Hopefully he's monitoring, or PM him.

Mike
 

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Escalante to Whitewater is 27mi.
There are a couple spots where you'd need to be on your toes in an open canoe but, overall, yes it's canoe-able. Not sure about the fishing in that section, there is a fair amount of AG runoff around Delta.
 

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The best fishing is upstream from Delta according to a guide I know. There are a few drops but there's an outfitter that runs guided canoe trips regularly. There's usually a boatable flow because of the dam.
 

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Jerry's River Page is the best information I'm aware of. It is canoeable but there are some places in the Escalante to Bridgeport part where you need to be on your toes.

The first is a Class I+ rapid about 2 1/2 miles downstream from the Escalante put-in. It starts adjacent to a brick house that you can see on river left from a distance upstream.

The second is a diversion dam, and I'm sorry I don't know the river mile for that. It comes out from the bank on river right. It can be easily avoided by going way river left. DON'T go over it.

And if you plan to halt at the mouth of Dominquez Canyon, there is a hazard at the left bank in the river-left channel where, at low water levels, most of the flow is directed toward an overhanging boulder. You want to avoid that, too.


BTW - wind can be a problem on the Gunnison too..
 

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I've been trying to get a float on this section for the past two weekends but (as indicated above) the wind has kept me off. The map I bought for the river indicates that it's considered "low" at about 800 cfs. Currently the river is at 883 cfs.

Anyone happen to know what I should expect on the gunny during "low flow", and if ~800 is what to be expected for the remainder of the year?
 

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I've been trying to get a float on this section for the past two weekends but (as indicated above) the wind has kept me off. The map I bought for the river indicates that it's considered "low" at about 800 cfs. Currently the river is at 883 cfs.

Anyone happen to know what I should expect on the gunny during "low flow", and if ~800 is what to be expected for the remainder of the year?
Consensus is that runoff is over. We'll get whatever is coming out of the black canyon which will likely hover around that level until fall.

I ran from Pleasure Park to Austin (Drysdale Flats takeout) on Saturday and it was pretty windy.
 

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I've been looking into a trip as well in a few weeks, and was wondering about vehicle safety at the various take-outs.

I get that Whitewater is notorious for break-ins, and for that, we plan to bring a beater/gas-sipper car for the shuttle, and leaving it empty and unlocked with glove box and console left open, and maybe a "Club" on the steering wheel. Is that overkill?

However, for the nicer family vehicle, I'd prefer to leave it at Confluence Park in Delta if that isn't too sketchy. If Delta is also sketchy, how is the put-in at Escalante?

I see that for $150, Gunnison River Expeditions will shuttle a vehicle for us, and include overnight storage, so they deliver it to Whitewater the day of our take out. That seems the safest, but I'd rather not add that cost to the trip if it isn't necessary.

Any thoughts?
 

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In the past (last time was maybe 5 years ago) we've parked a shuttle vehicle at the Lazy S Motel on Hwy 50, about a mile walk from the takeout and left the rest of the vehicles at the Escalante put-in. I think Lazy S charged $10 per day and the cars were parked right outside the office. I don't know what the status of the motel is anymore. I've not heard of any issues at the Escalante put-in.


If you're considering a shuttle service, check with RimRock Adventures, too. They're located near Fruita.
 

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There are several shuttle services around the Grand Valley that will run that for you. I believe we have commonly used American Eagle, but can't find their information right off hand. They have dropped our car and trailer off at the 141 bridge, just down river from the the official Whitewater takeout. I haven't been over there this year, but that is often times a much easier and safer situation. All takeouts below Escalante are troublesome for bigger rafts or parties with lots of equipment. That's part of what keeps the traffic down on the lower Gunnison, and what makes it special. If you choose to have the shuttle service drop your vehicle at the 141 bridge, make sure that drop it as close to your arrival as possible.
 

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I’m thinking of a long day float from the canyon to Whitewater this coming weekend.

Is there a takeout at the 141 bridge or is the one under the tracks the only one?

Lazy S is still there but doesn’t look like it’s in operation anymore.
 

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Last time I did an overnight all vehicles left at whitewater and confluence park were either vandalized and or stolen from. These were other parties that took all reasonable and appropriate considerations. Nothing in the car and windows still broken. I was glad to pay the shuttle fee and not have that hassle. However recent posts indicate that it's gotten better or just lucky.
 

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The Whitewater takeout used to be notorious for vehicle break ins, and still may be. You can probably call the Grand Junction BLM Field Office and see if they can tell you more about any recent issues, 970-244-3000. Our practice, over the years, has been to take a visual at the Whitewater takeout. If we see car window glass or vandalism in the parking lot area, we don't park there overnight. It's safe enough during day trips, but leaving a car there overnight is a different story since there is quite a bit of transiency in that area. Generally, what we do is have a shuttle service drop off our vehicle on the southwest corner of the Highway 141 bridge on the day of takeout. There is a small, gravel pull off there that is big enough for a vehicle and trailer, plus some, in order to do so. American Eagle Shuttle has run that for us a number of times in the past, yet they have recently changed their name and I will investigate that and try to get back on the Buzz to update this information. I believe that Rimrock Adventures, out of Fruita, will also run this shuttle for you.
 

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Consensus is that runoff is over. We'll get whatever is coming out of the black canyon which will likely hover around that level until fall.

I ran from Pleasure Park to Austin (Drysdale Flats takeout) on Saturday and it was pretty windy.
Can you give me information on the map that you have purchased? I've never seen a river map of this section of the Gunnison and I'd love to have one.
 

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Can you give me information on the map that you have purchased? I've never seen a river map of this section of the Gunnison and I'd love to have one.
I do not have a map of this section. I've run it dozens and dozens of times, there are really two items, a diversion which one must run thru a channel just right of center and 'Angel Falls' about a mile after the Putin which should be run far left. Everything else is basically read and run, class one. The diversion and angel falls are low consequence if not run correctly, you may have to drag your boat on some rocks if you don't hit it right. It's unlikely to pin you or really anything.
 
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