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Discussion Starter #1
I have been wanting to get in a mini-max float on the upper Dolores from West Fork to town. I noticed the gauge report had it up to over 1200 cfs for a short while, but now it has steadily declined to 593. I also noticed it has been way colder the past few nights, with overnight lows below freezing. So that may account for a lot of the decline. There is a heat spell coming this week that may get it flowing again if there is any snow pack left to come down. American Whitewater says boatable flow is 400 to 3000, but anything below 1000 looks pretty bony in there to me. Any wisdom from someone who knows this run?
Dave
 

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You can check the flow forecast here

https://www.cbrfc.noaa.gov/station/flowplot/flowplot.cgi?DOLC2

It does look like it's going to go back up slightly next week. In a small craft such as a mini-max I think you could probably get away with it around 600, maybe even a little lower depending on your tolerance for getting out and dragging. I've been down before with a group that included a 16' raft and a 16' cataraft at flows slightly below 1,000 and that was plenty of water.

I've been doing a lot of low water boating the past couple weeks and my main takeaway is that it's impressive how little water you can away with running things at. Or maybe I'm just lucky.
 

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Thanks, Joe. I got the mini-max so I could have more fun on less water and that has got me a lot more river time the last few years. I think the snow pack will be gone very soon, so this week may be it for some of the local runs.
 

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There's not a lot of snow left in the head waters. I commute between Rico and Telluride 3 or 4 days a week and have been watching it rapidly melt. After this weeks warm up I think it's likely done for the year. That being said, having a small craft is definitely the way to go in the southwest as it extends your season at least a couple weeks and melt off often happens quickly around here.
 

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Hey Joe,
Your info was spot on. We went ahead and floated the section in the Max at 600 last week to check out the lower flow limits. There were a few gravel bars that we just barely skimmed over, but no problem picking the lines. The river spiked this week as predicted and we did it again at around 950 cfs and that was a significant improvement. Just saw this morning that it was back down to just over 600. Your local knowledge of this run was much appreciated.
Dave
 
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