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Gila Region (AZ/NM) winter paddling season is on!

1455 Views 14 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  gilamonster
The Gila Region winter paddling season has officially begun, with a bang! All of the region's boatable creeks and rivers are up (San Francisco River WSA + 42 miles), Upper San Fran, Gila Wilderness, Gila Middle Box, AZ Gila Box, Mogollon Creek, Whitewater Creek, Blue River and Eagle Creek), with the next paddling window the first week of 2023.
We're staged and ready to paddle here, at my home in Pleasanton, NM, on the banks of the San Franciso River. Seasonal temps for the winter paddling season average 55/32. Right now, my booking calendar is clear, and I can run trips throughout the season (Dec-Apr).

Note: Open (self-bailing) packrafts are IKs are the preferred craft in this region - sorry hardshellers and skirted boat folks, not advised, due to safety and enjoyment considerations.

Happy New Year!
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got this email from Adobe Whitewater Club. I postponed my trip next week - but it was going to be me, my wife, 10 yr old daughter and dog. Not a crew up to portage anything, even with a small raft. and I while the kiddo is pretty nimble in her spud, strainers are scarier than a rapid that might dump her.

See our website for more details.

"Just back from a Gila River Run.
Not sure how to post the following for the club but people running the Gila from Grape Vine down might find it helpful.

The Gila has changed.

We put on the river at about 600 cfs and took off five days later at about 1000 cfs.

The river was fast moving with few eddies.

Shortly after Alum Canyon there is a short but mandatory portage.

There may be a portage about mile 14 down from the Grape Vine put-in a little way above where there was a hot springs on river left. That spring is totally covered up now. This is a tree all the way across the channel with a small sneak route on the right at our flows.

At about mile 20 ¼ or 0.8 miles below Sapillo Creek there is an area with lots of strainers which should be scouted on river right.

A short distance below this on a long straightaway there is a tree across the channel which we snuck by on river right but it should be scouted.

Where Cow Canyon comes in on river right there is a rapid we called Fence or Cable Rapid as there used to be a fence there but now only a cable exists. There is an aluminum canoe standing vertically in the trees on the river right. The run used to be on river right down a steep drop next to the cliff but that has become very shallow and rocky. You should scout this one on the river left. Our boats made it through the right side but got hung up several times.

Somewhere below the water fall that falls into the river on a right turn there is a tree across the channel that needs to be scouted. At our flows we were able to run it by ducking under some of the branches on the left side. We had to cut out some branches to make it possible for us.

A short distance below this there was another tree across the river which we were able to get by on river left but this should be scouted as well.

Below Turkey Creek and just above the Brock Canyon takeout the is a large root ball in the channel which we ran on the right side of the root ball. This is a nasty place with the water coming off the root ball forcing you into heavy brush on the right, a good place for a flip if you aren’t careful.

We took out at Brock Canyon, but you need a high clearance vehicle because of several washouts on the road.

The takeout below Mogollon Creek had a gate locked preventing access to the river so if you plan on using that takeout you need to check with the forest service.

Robert Southwick"

Always assess the weather and flows and allow plenty of time to safely paddle.

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thats good to know. i'm still going to give it a whirl here soon, just in a packraft or IK and not toting a kid and a dog.
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