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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,
Heading from Bozeman to Vernal, Utah to p/u a gooseneck dump trailer for my company. Am hoping to catch some water on the way there or back or both... What might be running and is within reasonable driving distance for this mission? I am willing to take some substantial detours to hit something. Anything within 3-4 hours of the main road there and back is on the radar. Class II-III super scenic ok, class IV-V would be preferred. Willing to drive further out of the way and completely re-route for classics in the expert range. Anyone wanna boat or have suggestions? Leaving next Sunday from Fairmont Hot Springs in Montana (I-15) in the morning. Any thoughts appreciated.
Best,
Dave
 

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You'll be right by cross mnt gorge or If you have time for multi day action you could likely get a permit for gates of Lodore or Yampa Canyon
 

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Thanks Dave...

Always been curious about Cross Mountain Gorge. Gonna make that happen. Any chance the Zion Narrows may pop up to a runnable level? Sounds like the dump trailer is within an hour or two of that. I would love good flow, but would be more than happy to just see the place from my boat at bare bones. Any thoughts?
 

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Whoa.... Meant St. George, though I will be rolling through Vernal there or back...

big difference, I see...
 

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if you go to cross mountain and the weather stays like it is, some of the casper area shit might start going. as far as people jason baker is in town chillin and hed go with you. let me know and maybe i can switch some days around and get some boating done
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks Mike...

Bulk of the trip is going to be drive slog and p/u trailer... Not exactly most folks cup of tea. I was planning on just connecting on one or two runs with people or rockin solo. Will drop ya a call or text as I solidify. Would be happy to have company, but it is a far cry from a paddlin trip and the dump trailer/boss hog cowboy quadcab is gonna be more of a pain in the ass than a sweet shuttle set-up.
Best,
Dave
 

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Hey Montana Dave,

Good advice from the others. As far as the St George area goes... if you had 300cfs as a minimum on the NF Virgin, then Zion would be worth it, but I highly doubt that will happen by early April. I really enjoyed the Timpoweap Canyon run on the Virgin which is closer to St George, and totally your style. Those are your best St George area options. That said, if you have never seen Zion, it's a pretty cool place to explore on foot or with ropes.

Cross Mountain Gorge is a good option for a quality run that you know will be running. It will probably be a playboating level next week still.

Westwater Canyon on the Colorado could be an option if you can find a group to hook up with, or if you call in for a midweek trip.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks Kyle...

Coupla more questions. Timpoweap is right there, so that is now topping the list. It seems to me that if it is hard to pronounce correctly, it is usually good... I do have the option to wait a week or two and obviously have control of my company so that I could leave when the flows were right if the folks I am purchasing from are willing to wait. Does your magic 8 ball think that the Zion Narrows will go this year in April? The little research I have done tells me the snowpack is weak, but this area is far from my forte. The more thought I give this, the more I want to hit up something that will stick to my ribs. Sometimes I forget that my paddling schedule should supersede my business aspirations. As a prominent disciple from the New Testament, I am seeking your spiritual guidance for my journey towards a soul-cleansing paddling miracle in the desert.

Also, PM me about some other boating stuff. I have two ten day windows that have opened up... One in May and one in June. Still thinking of some action up this way or perhaps further north and west? Thanks for your help.
Best,
Dave
 

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PM coming for my Montana wish list and schedule to get up there. Looks like Montana and Wyoming have the best snowpack of the Rockies.

I'm not an expert on the exact SNOTEL sites I should be using, but that area is looking rough. Although the amount of snowfall is up around 83%, giving hope to a season, the snow water equivalent for that area is down around 54% of average. In a perfectly average year, the Zion Narrows only has about a two week window (last week April, first week May), and Timpoweap is at the low and bony level in an average year (same season). Thus, I think the SNOTEL crystal ball is telling us that even with out fingers crossed, the Virgin River season might totally suck, and there is a chance that none of those runs will reach good levels.

However, since you are going there anyway, it might be worth postponing your trip until mid to late April and you will probably be able to get something else in Utah if the Virgin doesn't go. However, the bottom line is that the Utah snowpack is not good.

The Bear River in Idaho is having a release on April 28th and 29th, which might be on the way. It's a sweet run.
 

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Hey Mike,

Not interested in just Mesa. I prefer the Sheep Falls run and if feeling good, rolling through Mesa and the beautiful section below it. That death march out of the canyon vs. floating a few beautiful miles makes little sense to me as I approach geezerdom. I still earn quite a bit of my money with my spine, so I have to be loose. I have been hitting up a lot of Bikram Yoga this winter/spring in anticipation of continued moderate hucking this season. Either way I will roll down to the falls and watch/safety or join you for a plunge. Fairly long day, but it is beautiful, has many more rapids, great wildlife, still includes the falls and greatly simplifies shuttle. Last time down the section below Mesa, we saw a mom and baby moose fording the river about 20 feet in front of us as the sun was deeply set. Had to back paddle so not to broach on them. Incredible sight...If you are down with all that, sounds like a good plan to me. Plenty of places to dump that trailer and connect with two rigs for shuttle. Will stay in touch as I finally pick a date. Let me know what you think.
Best,
Dave
 

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Not interested in just Mesa. I prefer the Sheep Falls run and if feeling good, rolling through Mesa and the beautiful section below it. That death march out of the canyon vs. floating a few beautiful miles makes little sense to me as I approach geezerdom. I still earn quite a bit of my money with my spine, so I have to be loose. I have been hitting up a lot of Bikram Yoga this winter/spring in anticipation of continued moderate hucking this season. Either way I will roll down to the falls and watch/safety or join you for a plunge. Fairly long day, but it is beautiful, has many more rapids, great wildlife, still includes the falls and greatly simplifies shuttle. Last time down the section below Mesa, we saw a mom and baby moose fording the river about 20 feet in front of us as the sun was deeply set. Had to back paddle so not to broach on them. Incredible sight...If you are down with all that, sounds like a good plan to me. Plenty of places to dump that trailer and connect with two rigs for shuttle. Will stay in touch as I finally pick a date. Let me know what you think.
Best,
Dave
Deal..
 

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Just did West Water canyon a couple weeks ago. It was really fun, surprisingly still pretty big, and the weather was phenomenal.
 

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It can be but there's about 5 or 6 miles of flat water after the rapids that can be slow, tortuous and headwind. When we went it was sunny and beautiful and we were plenty stocked with beer and good people. It could be done a whole lot easier/faster in kayaks I'd assume. Usually people camp beforehand at Little Dolores camp and we camped at Big Hole after the rapids. It was a play ground over there and I definitely recommend camping. Westwater is permitted though but early season it's pretty easy to pick one up. They have a map on the BLM website that tells you what days are available. Hope that helps :)
 

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Westwater is easily paddled in a day, but most groups choose to spend the night for the great camping. Pretty flat by your standards I'm guessing, but it's pretty and a worthy place to explore. A comfy playboat is best.
 
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