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After the JWP mega trip I need a trip free of permits, free of hassles, just free. So I'm taking my lady from Cahone to the Dewey Bridge, flows permitting May 29-June 5. It's nearly 150 miles in 8 river days, and I've only run the first 3 days (with Snag) so I'd like to get some advice.

First of all, flows. OK, I know it's the Dolores, but Memorial Day always seems to be the best time for this. Memorial Day this year is the 31st, which is the latest Memorial Day we can have. Any info? We will have a backup Colorado trip planned.

Second of all, what's the section with Chicken Raper like? We're running a 1 boat trip, but will scout the few major rapids of the Dolores. I'm confident and capable, but anything to be wary about will be well noted.

Third of all, thanks in advance for the info. We have forever to plan this and only need a week, but it's winter, I'm bored, and I'm already getting excited.

Oh yeah, and to my friends in the Fort and on the way to the Dolores, we need to borrow a boat, maybe a truck.... :)

Love, Randy
 

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Oh yeah, can we make the miles? I'm sure we can run 20 mile days, but can we run 20 mile days if it's lower than normal? 1,000, 2,000, 3,000?
 

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randaddy,

My son and I did that section two years ago in June. We had the river to ourselves for 5 days. The kind folks at gateway ranch (owned by the dude who basically invented the discovery channel) picked me, my son, and our gear up at Dewey bridge and drove us to the put-in for $200. I heard that they don't do this anymore but, it may be worthwhile to call and check (http://www.gatewaycanyons.com/).

I highly recommend getting on google earth and closely scouting the canyon between Gateway and the Colorado River for places to camp. After we passed the last good rapids around state-line.....campsites became scarce because of tammies & overgrowth. We ended up bushwacking and hacking a spot out of the weeds one night. Camping improves after Entrada ranch but, because of road accesss you also deal with car campers. The shuttle and camping in the inner part of the lower canyon are your only drawbacks... other than that it's pure remote red-rock sweetness.

Our flow was 1500. Chicken raper/stateline can also be scouted fairly well on google earth as well as from both sides of the river. As I remember it, the river splits it's volume about equally around an island for about a 1/4 mile. Left channel had wood in 2007. Right channel was clean with class III moves to make. More water would have upped the intensity but, I couldn't see it being more difficult that -IV.

Barry
 

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We ran that section 2 years ago. I thought it was more like 185 miles. I believe we did it in 8-9 days. We did have 2- 30 mile days but, with 2k flows it was faily easy. Camping was not difficult for our 2 boat trip.

We did run into Alvin the ranger from Westy. You do need a permit to be in gateway but, just call and ask for one.

Stateline was easy to scout and not hard.

Jesus
 

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Thanks Jesus! It looks like we're going to do Slickrock to Moab now. I've done the top section and loved it, but we want some more time to hike and Moab might make the shuttle easier.

It's just the two of us, so we'll rig the boat for sleeping in case the tammies are too thick when we need to camp. I'll bring the machete too.
 

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Jesus also recommends a real nice arch hike in the region of the hanging flume. A real nice water fall flows through the arch as I recall. You'd have to look at a guide to find the exact mileage.

I think you'll also be surprised by the number of fun rapids from below paradox to gateway that my father left for you.

Jesus
 

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You should do the full Dolores down to Moab starting at whatever the reservoir is (McPhee?). I did it last year starting on Labor Day in one boat with 2 people in 8 days. We were really pushing to get off the Dolores onto the Colorado before we ran out of water but it was an amazing trip. Don't cheat yourself out of the only good rapids on that river. It's alot of miles, but you have a ton of gradient for the first half and can make really good miles. There is a dam just above Chicken Raper that was a little worriesome for a single boat trip, make sure you mark it on your mao to scout. AND GO LEFT OF THE ISLAND AT STATE BRIDGE. We didn't, it took about an hour to get the boat a quarter mile.
I have done a good number of the western float trips and this one was my favorite (even beating out the GC). Incredibally beutifull, and you have the 2nd half of the river all to yourself.
By the way, I am the dude from DRE that gave you the wood oar for the JWP trip. I can let you borrow my map with notes if you do the trip.

Randy
 

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You should do the full Dolores down to Moab starting at whatever the reservoir is (McPhee?). I did it last year starting on Labor Day in one boat with 2 people in 8 days. We were really pushing to get off the Dolores onto the Colorado before we ran out of water but it was an amazing trip. Don't cheat yourself out of the only good rapids on that river. It's alot of miles, but you have a ton of gradient for the first half and can make really good miles. There is a dam just above Chicken Raper that was a little worriesome for a single boat trip, make sure you mark it on your mao to scout. AND GO LEFT OF THE ISLAND AT STATE BRIDGE. We didn't, it took about an hour to get the boat a quarter mile.
I have done a good number of the western float trips and this one was my favorite (even beating out the GC). Incredibally beutifull, and you have the 2nd half of the river all to yourself.
By the way, I am the dude from DRE that gave you the wood oar for the JWP trip. I can let you borrow my map with notes if you do the trip.

Randy
Thanks Randy! I'll definitely come check out your map and notes before we go! And we'll go right at State Bridge for sure. And thanks again for that oar. I never had to use it, but it sure looked nice on the side of my boat. :)
 

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You should do the full Dolores down to Moab starting at whatever the reservoir is (McPhee?). I did it last year starting on Labor Day in one boat with 2 people in 8 days. We were really pushing to get off the Dolores onto the Colorado before we ran out of water but it was an amazing trip. Don't cheat yourself out of the only good rapids on that river. It's alot of miles, but you have a ton of gradient for the first half and can make really good miles. There is a dam just above Chicken Raper that was a little worriesome for a single boat trip, make sure you mark it on your mao to scout. AND GO LEFT OF THE ISLAND AT STATE BRIDGE. We didn't, it took about an hour to get the boat a quarter mile.
I have done a good number of the western float trips and this one was my favorite (even beating out the GC). Incredibally beutifull, and you have the 2nd half of the river all to yourself.
By the way, I am the dude from DRE that gave you the wood oar for the JWP trip. I can let you borrow my map with notes if you do the trip.

Randy

You ran it all on Labor Day last year? I bet Snag was wild at 65 cfs! I assume you mean Memorial Day?

I second scouting that dam between Gateway and Chicken Raper. There is some rebar in there that will end your trip.
 

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Backcountry: you can't float anything in the Dolores that time of year unless they are releasing. In 2008 when the drainage was at 180% they released from the last week of March into June. I would imagine they are not planning on sucha long release this year.

You may have luck below Gateway as you have both the Dolores and the San Miguel contributing there.
 
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