On the Way to the Desert…

I am nearly ready to head west toward Hanksville and the put in for the Dirty Devil River. Most of my gear is packed, there are just a few things left on the list to do. I will be on the road Monday morning. I called Tag-A-Long in Moab a couple of days ago to confirm my shuttle, and there was bad news. The river trip that I was going to get a ride with canceled completely. So I am on my own now. But thanks to email communication with Shane of HikeRaft.com I have a backup plan. I will drop my gear just south of Hanksville on the river, at Dry Valley Wash down the “dump road”. From there I will drive back to town and leave my truck, walking back to the river. When it comes time to take out 12 or 14 days later, Shane pointed out a safe takeout above Hite, down Sheep’s Crossing Road. I will takeout there, tie up the boat, grab my pack with food and water, and head to Highway 95 to try and hitch a ride north to Hanskville. Problem solved. On the bright side I save 50 dollars and get an extra day on the river.

I have been watching the water level of the Dirty Devil steadily drop over the last week or so- potentially more bad news. Today it is below 20 CFS- you can see the real-time graph here. But according to Shane, if I put in lower, at Dry Valley Wash, I will be saving myself a couple of miles of dragging the boat across sandbars. Sounds good to me. The temperature has been cooler and that may have something to do with the decreasing flows. With some luck, as it warms next week, the flows will increase. The 10 day forecast is for highs in the 70’s to mid-80’s. I hope this will help melt some of the snowpack to give me some good floating days.

I have been looking at maps and have decided on a couple of overnight trips. It looks as if I can easily walk up No Man’s Canyon, hopefully exit at the head, and drop back in for a walk down Larry Canyon. I am hoping the same will be true for a walk up Twin Corral Box Canyon and back down Sams Mesa Box Canyon. The exit and entrance involved in this hike may be a bit more strenuous, if possible at all. I will also explore Poison Spring Canyon and Happy Canyon, possibly with an overnight stay in each.

My next post will be at the end of May or in early June. I will have lots to share and plenty of trip photos. Be sure to check back for that.  For more information on this trip and others, visit the Desert Explorer website.

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