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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was thinking about a day trip in our Van from Phoenix with my 18 year old son and I, where we enter the Colorado river in a raft at Pearce Ferry and exit at South Cove about 18 miles downstream. I estimate it would take about 7 hours. (2-3 mph)

I just wondered are there any issues for taking a van here? and if there is any reason why such a trip is inadvisable? There is some white water at Pierce Ferry rapids, but it doesn't look so bad compared to Ocean Kayaking I have done. Looks fun and relatively easy?
 

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The rapid can be huge and the lake can be exhausting. It could take you 24 hours or more of constant rowing, if the rapid doesn't kill you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The rapid can be huge and the lake can be exhausting. It could take you 24 hours or more of constant rowing, if the rapid doesn't kill you.
South Cove is only two miles from the river estuary. I regularly row on lakes. Is it full of mud banks or? I was going to take food and drink for a day.

Perhaps there is a better raft day trip somewhere near here?
 

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Do to the unnatural formation of that rapid (sediment superposition) it can change drastically over the course of a year. For a while it was considered quite dangerous. The lake level is also subject to change over the next year, so you could very well have some lake to deal with if water is released from Powell next year.

I would also point out that Google Earth is a very poor vantage point to scout whitewater from and ocean kayaking has absolutely nothing to do with whitewater. Perhaps you know what you are doing, but your reference to ocean kayaking suggests that you have no experience with big river whitewater.

To me, the Google Earth image of the Pierce Ferry Rapid looks like some big waves that push right into the left shore. Looks like a fairly tough rapid and that is from a satellite.

I also do not really see the appeal in floating the sediment delta of Lake Mead.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well I just want to experience a little Colorado on a budget. If there was a pick up point right at the estuary I would take it but there doesn't seem to be one.

I have also been looking carefully at the other peoples pictures on Google. The river should be low after summer but will depend on recent rains. Looking at the pictures I will steer left of the central wave avoiding the sharp rocks. Apart from this one point it seems a nice way to get into river rafting.

I have done just about every other type of boating. Built my own inflatable sail boat and sailed 10 miles out to sea. Took a 2 man Ocean catamaran 4 miles into the Caribbean last year. Have to start somewhere!

Actually my main reason for posting was are there any restrictions for taking a van to these places? Still a bit concerned about the proposed lake exit though after randaddy's coments.
 

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Well Jademann, the van will make it to Pierce Ramp just fine. The biggest problem with your plan is simple. The management does not allow downstream departure from Pierce. One hefty fine from what I hear. The only way to make that run is put in at Lees and run the entire thing or put in at Diamond for a shorter run. Do not under estimate the Pierce Ferry Rapid. Just the scout can kill you!

You might consider the Verde. The irrigators stop using the river in November and some fine day runs can be found there all winter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·

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Jademann, I almost choked on my Dos Equis! I do not know (or agree) with or why the feds restrict launching from Pierce...they just do.

Get out your maps or river guides or just google the Verde River. You must be very new to the AZ scene. Welcome, regardless!

One other thing; if you keep scrolling below the threads you will find similar discussions, some of which include recent images and beta on that rapid.
 

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Phoenix literally sucks. It sucks the Salt and Verde Rivers dry. It is also working on sucking the Colorado dry. You know that empty river bed that runs down by I-10? That is a real river a few miles upstream.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I agree, not good at all.
And no where to go boating/rafting either it seems either. Any one got any other suggestions?
 

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Not sure if I would use Google Maps/Earth to scout anything. Based on that image from Google maps that is a minimum Class 4 rapid with HUGE Waves!
 

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So you regularly run ocean waves without issue like the ones shown in the pictures that you linked?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
No not regularly, I live in Phx.

I see you are from Port C. I lived there for 5 years. Used to sale from Kits across English bay to Ambleside Beach and sometimes as far as Deep Cove with my self made inflatable sail boat.
 

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We certainly are building a post count on this one. Do you really think you are ready for the shit? Come on, from what you have told so far, I am thinking of you as a rank beginner. Do you have the equipment? Tell us about your boat. Nothing wrong with needing some experience but you might try saying so and reaching out to boaters who may be willing to help get you going in a safe and reasonable manner. Just saying...seen this a few dozen times. We really do not need to add another tragic stat.

BTW: that was really tacky going back and editing that you now have a grip on the Verde when indeed you clearly did not know it from the moon. My patience is really thin at this point.
 

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I wouldn't recommend going out on a maiden run on the verde with no whitewater experience. Sweepers and strainers are hazardous even at low water down there. My first verde run from Beasley to gap I had a map , got beta from my buddy that had range red down there and was lucky to find some experienced folks to tag along with. I got rocked in the pre-falls(1600cfs) and swam like hell to shore. Those guys helped me recover my boat. If I was solo I had planned to walk the pre falls and falls, but again not a place to mess around. Pearce ferry on the other hand, they don't allow launches from i think is because the rapid is constantly evolving due to it being a new river course following the creation and destruction of the lake up there. It's fairly remote and if people we allowed to go out there to play, there's no doubt bodies of people from vegas and Phoenix would be washing out downstream. Check out "monsoon warriors" on yahoo and see if they'll let you run the lower salt with them this spring. Start there
 
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