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Discussion Starter #1
Hello boaters,
We are planning a canoe trip for mid June on the Yampa from Craig on down. We will have 3 canoes, 6 adults, one 6 yo child and a small dog. I'd love to hear anyone's experiences on this stretch. Any info on put in, take out and camping would be greatly appreciated. Right now (May 19th 2017) the river is flowing at 4200 cfs. What is the good discharge range for canoes on that stretch? The canoeists experience is varied. We will have one child and a dog. Also is the fishing worthwhile on this section? And if there is an outfitter in the area that will shuttle vehicles for a fee to the take out I would love that info as well. As far as the take out goes is it worth it to float all the way down to Juniper Hot Springs? And are the hot springs open nowadays?

Thanks in advance for your information.
 

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It will be down to a very canoeable level by that point. Put in and take out will have lots of mosquitos (camps will probably be fine). Camps are generally overgrown a bit, but manageable. Not a lot of great fish structure on this stretch, but you'll find a few small mouth bass, pike, and catfish. The float from Duffy to Juniper is very mosquito infested. The Hot Springs are closed.
 

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I floated that at flood stage once and it was all flat water until getting to Juniper Canyon. Juniper is a real rapid and you may be able to portage it or take out not far above it at a CPW access point there. It's very pleasant, rolling countryside; there's a lot of private land there so get a land ownership map so you can camp on public land.

Enjoy!

-AH
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the info. We're also considering the stretch of the White river from the Bonanza bridge to the Enron takeout. I would appreciate any information anyone has on that section as well.
Thanks.
 

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I floated a small stretch of that a few years ago in August at about 400 cfs. We just did one night on the river and put in and took out above Duffy tunnel. Camped on a sandy spit within the canyon. The canyon itself is beautiful. We fished and caught a LOT of smallmouth--some on flies, some spin casting, and a few rainbow (surprisingly).
 

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I would recommend taking out above Juniper Canyon, two years ago it did not look possible to portage the diversion safely, and it would be to much for the six year old
( also more then I would be comfortable running in a canoe, but that's me).

Both of those stretches are beautiful, the white would be more lively, and there are a number of strainers. The White will tend to have less obvious and accessible camp sites, plenty of Russian olive, so careful tying off!! I have heard some of the most bird songs ever on a trip, running little yampa.

River Runners out of Vernal does shuttles on the White, I'm not sure about Yampa shuttles.
 

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Friends of yampa and the Dow are supposed to be replacing the private/public signs and doing some work on campsites, believe it was supposed to be this weekend but it's dumping snow. 😀💦


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I visited Juniper Hot Springs two years ago after floating Gates of Lodore. It was open/did not have any posted signs.
 

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Hey there!

Unfortunately, the Friends of the Yampa volunteer float was canceled due to weather...was pretty snowy and cold here at the end of the week. But a few of us did get out with the Yampa River State Parks rangers on a jet boat on Saturday to do a survey of the campsites and get a feel for what is going on there now. FotY is putting together an online guide that will be posted on our website (Friends of the Yampa – Steamboat Springs, Colorado) eventually, but we are only just now digging into this. And with the Yampa River Festival coming up on June 3rd, we probably won't get back into the canyon before then. But I do have some information that may be helpful:

  • As mentioned previously, there is a lot of private land on this stretch and the public BLM sites are not currently well marked. The LYC is designated as a Special Recreation Management Area which is different than most other BLM land. This means that camping is only allowed on designated sites, and you can't just camp anywhere on public land. That said, it is not easy to find the designated sites. Only a few of them are marked with brown carsonite markers.
  • There are a few mile markers up but they are not right, so don't rely on that mileage to get your bearings.
  • There are a few visible markers that might help you stay off private land. RED markers indicate private land and BLUE markers are BLM, but the blue markers are no where near the camp sites. Go figure.
  • You will see cattle in a couple of the campsites. They are not supposed to be in there this time of year, but they are. The State Parks guys are going to talk with the BLM to try to do something about this, but who knows.
  • You do need a firepan and groover to camp here.
  • The Juniper ramp is pretty rough (especially if it's muddy), but usable, and is above the diversion so you can take out before the rapid. Trailered rigs will need a pretty burly truck for this ramp.
  • The hot springs are closed again, due to vandalism. I believe there is someone there though, and you may be able to get the key. I have never soaked there but have heard they are warm springs, not hot springs, so it may not be worth it.
As far as camps go:

  • #1 is on river left, about 7.3 miles from the South Beach put-in. It's a small grassy bank with some shade with a decent landing. Would be good for a small group. Visible marker.
  • The locations of #2 & #3 are not verifiable, so we are not directing people to these sites until we can sort this out
  • Between #3 and #4 is all private land
  • #4 is a river right camp at 14.5 miles. Big group site, wide open, good shade, easy landing, and lots of cows. No marker.
  • Just downstream on river left is #5, a nice open camp, no cows, nice landing, shade. 14.9 miles, no marker.
  • #6 is on river left. Nice camp with cottonwoods for shade, large group camp. Also accessible by road. Don't have the mileage on this one, but look for a grassy bench type camp. I don't recall if you can see the road from the river, but you'll see it once you land.
  • #7 is on river left. Steep bank with a few gentle spots for landing. Small group camp with shade. Possible hike/scramble? Clump of boxelders on bank for landmark. No marker.
  • #8 river left. Small camp on the outside of the bend just past a small island. Probably better for canoes than rafts.
  • #9 unsure
  • #10 river right. Could be a really sweet camp with a little love. Take a machete or an axe and do a little cleanup because it's overgrown with weeds and shrubs. Easy landing on the bend past the 1st group of trees. Shade or sun, possible hike/scramble. I don't have the mileage for this one but I'll update later.
  • #11 is river right just upstream of the Duffy Mtn takeout on the opposite side of the river. Look for grassy area with trees upstream of a fence line. Wide open, lots of sun, and dead tamarisk for a landmark. Land past the log jam, watch for barbed wire.
Sorry I don't have mile markers on all of them. We visited some out of order. Once I download my GPS info, I'll update the list with miles. In the meantime, if you want coordinates for any of them, let me know. We hope to have a more descriptive guide in the near future, but this is just a bit of info taken from my notes. Hope it is helpful!
 

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OK...camps with some updated mileage from the South Beach put-in. Approximate, but should get you there.


  • #1 is on river left, about 7.3 miles from the South Beach put-in. It's a small grassy bank with some shade with a decent landing. Would be good for a small group. Visible marker.
  • The locations of #2 & #3 are not verifiable, so we are not directing people to these sites until we can sort this out
  • Between #3 and #4 is all private land
  • #4 is a river right camp at 14.5 miles. Big group site, wide open, good shade, easy landing, and lots of cows. No marker.
  • Just downstream on river left is #5, a nice open camp, no cows, nice landing, shade. 14.9 miles, no marker.
  • #6 is on river left. 16.4 miles. Nice camp with cottonwoods for shade, large group camp. Also accessible by road. Look for a grassy bench type camp. I don't recall if you can see the road from the river, but you'll see it once you land.
  • #7 is on river left. 19.8 miles. Steep bank with a few gentle spots for landing. Small group camp with shade. Possible hike/scramble? Clump of boxelders on bank for landmark. No marker.
  • #8 river left. 23.4 miles, marked with post. Small camp on the outside of the bend just past a small island. Probably better for canoes than rafts.
  • #9 unsure
  • #10 river right. 25.5 miles. Could be a really sweet camp with a little love. Take a machete or an axe and do a little cleanup because it's overgrown with weeds and shrubs. Easy landing on the bend past the 1st group of trees. Shade or sun, possible hike/scramble.
  • #11 is river right just upstream of the Duffy Mtn takeout on the opposite side of the river. 30.4 miles. Look for grassy area with trees upstream of a fence line. Wide open, lots of sun, and dead tamarisk for a landmark. Land past the log jam, watch for barbed wire.
 

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[*]A The LYC is designated as a Special Recreation Management Area which is different than most other BLM land. This means that camping is only allowed on designated sites, and you can't just camp anywhere on public land.
Holley - Did this bullet point come from CPW or BLM? As far as I know, despite a Resource Management Plan that requires it, BLM has yet to complete a Management Plan for the Little Yampa Canyon SRMA. As such, there are no special camping restrictions in place yet for that portion of the river. Obviously with the lack of signage or brochure from BLM, enforcing designated campsites would be next to impossible for BLM or CPW, but it would be nice to know for sure what the rules are here. While CPW or BLM may wish that LYC was limited to designated camps only, I was under the impression that they need a management plan that says as much before such rules can be enforceable Maybe something worth checking on with Gina at the Little Snake FO.
 

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I'm pretty sure Holley has a .gpx file with the sites labeled. She's currently out floating Yampa Canyon and gets back Saturday or Sunday.
 

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Mosquitos?

Anyone floated recently enough that you have an idea of the mosquito situation in the canyon and at the takeout? Thinking of taking 4 adults, a 6 year old, 3 year old, and 3 WEEK old from South Beach to Duffy this weekend. Some friends floated the weekend before last and they said very few bugs... but that was two weeks of warm weather ago ;)
 

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Anyone floated recently enough that you have an idea of the mosquito situation in the canyon and at the takeout? Thinking of taking 4 adults, a 6 year old, 3 year old, and 3 WEEK old from South Beach to Duffy this weekend. Some friends floated the weekend before last and they said very few bugs... but that was two weeks of warm weather ago ;)

Calais- Juniper put in and Maybell take out were pretty buggy yesterday. In the canyon was fine. I imagine your experience will be the same slightly up river. ~Zack


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Discussion Starter #17
Incredible info everyone. Thanks a lot. Things came up and the trip didn't happen in June. Now we're free to do it in mid July but the flow is about 900cfs which is below recommended level for Little Yampa Canyon. Is it really too low to paddle now? What are the hazards? I'm going to be very disappointed if we missed it this year.
 

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Hey guys...sorry I haven't responded. Maybe a little too much river time, and not enough computer time. (Is there such a thing??)

Regarding levels, it is still boatable for small craft - canoes, duckies, kayaks. But too low for a raft right now.

As far as the campsites go, Friends of the Yampa met with the Yampa River State Parks and the Little Snake BLM last week and we will be working on 5 of the 12 existing campsites, and would like to encourage people to use those 5 sites for the time being. So I'm not going to post the full file here, but I will list those GPS locations with descriptions. The plan is to add picnic tables and fire pits so you don't have to bring as much gear when you go out there next summer, and they will all be well marked. We hope to have this project completed by early spring 2018.

The 5 large camps that are good to go are:

#2: 40° 24' 21.47" N, 107° 40' 19.49" W - River right, 7.6 miles from South Beach put-in. Good place to camp if you are getting on the water late and just want to get into the canyon. Lots of shade, level, small but good landing, really pretty.

#4: 40° 24' 21.1" N, 107° 44' 21.99" W - River right, 14.5 miles from put-in. There is seasonal grazing here, so there may be cows. If not, it is a really nice spot with an easy landing, wide open, good shade and a scramble up the hillside for views.

#5: 40° 24' 21.46" N, 107° 44' 35.03" W - River left, 14.9 miles from put-in. Great mid-point. Wide open, shade, decent landing. Downed cottonwood as a landmark. Super nice.

#10: 40° 25' 29.46" N, 107° 51' 5.84" W - River right, 25.5 miles from put-in. Easy landing on the bend past the first group of trees. Overgrown but manageable. Shade or sun. Really nice camp. Possibly good hiking/scramble.

#11: 40° 26' 16.25" N, 107° 52' 12.37" W - River right, 30.4 miles. Last campsite before take-out and Juniper diversion. Lots of sun with a few shade trees, large site. Land past the log jam and watch for barbed wire. Private property on downstream border. Dead tamis and log jam as a landmark.

All of these sites need some love, so feel free to bust out the machete or pull some weeds when you are there. The more use they get, the better shape they will be in. As this project develops, we will post more information and maps to our website: Friends of the Yampa – Steamboat Springs, Colorado. This will be up and ready before next boating season.


 

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Holley:

What would you say is the minimum level for canoes and kayaks in the Little Yampa Canyon? My understanding is that the level is not going to climb measurably again this season, although it may fluctuate a little here and there.

Thanks,

Tom
 

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You know, I can't say for sure as I have not done it this low. But yes, it's unlikely the river will come up at this point. It's possible that you can get in there as low as 500, but again just a guess. If anyone else has experience with this, please chime in.

And Tom, if you get in there for a low water float, let us know how it goes! :D
 
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