The Dirty Devil River is My New Favorite, Visiting Central Nevada

My time on the Dirty Devil River is over. I say that with a deep sigh. It was one of the best trips I have ever taken- a 14 day solo. I put in on 13 May just below Hanksville. I was loading my boat and gear back into the Landcruiser on 26 May, after having hitchhiked back to the Hanksville BLM office for my truck earlier that morning. I didn’t realize that the 26th was Memorial Day and I was in a bit of shock once I got back to Hanksville seeing the number of rushing people, with their expensive, oversize, manly trucks with barbeque grills strapped in the back towing shiny powerboats back to garages after their inaugural weekend on the ‘lake’ for the year. But enough of that- back to the Dirty Devil.

 

the Dirty Devil River, a few days down river

The trip was nothing short of amazing. The weather was hot the first week and cool towards the end, with wind and some light rain over the last five days, apparently an abnormal pattern. I had a full moon midway through the trip and so was able to enjoy the stars and planets early and late in the trip and the bright moon In the middle.

I spent lots of time looking at the geology of the area. The cliff faces were enormous in places, up to 1500 feet high. it was a great chance to see millions of years of sedimentary rock all at once.

 

I tried to keep track of birds, but it was tough. I could have just sat still for the two weeks and watched birds. I saw the usual- lots of wrens, Spotted Sandpipers, Turkey Vultures, and little gray birds, Western Tanagers, Hairy Woodpeckers, nighthawks, and hummingbirds. Added to the list were a couple of nesting pairs of Peregrines, two separate flocks of Chukar high up Twin Corral Box Canyon, a lone Forster’s Tern (?), pairs of Indigo Buntings, and a pair of Ruddy ducks among others.

 

I had two rattlesnake encounters, both in Twin Corral Box Canyon. (For more info on Twin Corral Box Canyon and others’ snake encounters, as well as super-informative floral information, visit Watching the World Wake Up Blog. I ran into Alex and Steve a few days into my trip.) The particular snake to the left was about 5 minutes upcanyon from Alex and Steve’s camp, just before I met them.

I was visited by lots of Red Spotted toads, some of which may have been Spadefoot toads. I did not check that closely. According to Sandy, the wildlife biologist at the Hanksville BLM Office, you have to pick them up and look for the spade on the foot, this being the telltale sign. On my overnight up Poison Spring Canyon I explored a side canyon that had what could be called a stretch of wetland in it’s middle. It was filled with tules, segmented and spikey grasses, and cottonwoods. It was also home to lots of toads, specifically the Woodhouse toad.

 

narrows of Happy Canyon, UtahI managed two overnights, one up Twin Corral Box Canyon and the other up Poison Spring Canyon. I had a great, long dayhike up Robbers Roost Canyon, up to the inscriptions in White Roost Canyon. I enjoyed a walk through Happy Canyon, up through the narrows and into the wide open canyon above. Also explored Fiddler Cove Canyon, up to the pouroffs a day after rains up on the mesa. There was water running from the pouroffs to the river, making the hike even more interesting.

 

I will post specifics about the trip on the Desert Explorer website once I am back in Colorado, along with lots of photos.

For now, I am in the Lahontan Valley in central Nevada for the next week or so before heading back to Utah and the trip home. I am planning to visit some of the local sites, including Lovelock Cave and Salt Cave to view pictographs and their ancient habitation.

For more on my trips, the desert, survival and primitive skills, visit the Desert Explorer website.

 

 

 

 

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92 Responses to The Dirty Devil River is My New Favorite, Visiting Central Nevada

  1. michelle says:

    Hi there,

    Our group is very interested in the Dirty Devil river.

    Is it possible to paddle to Hite to complete the journey?

    Thanks,
    Michelle

    • desertexplorer says:

      Hi Michelle,
      It is possible to float all the way down, but not recommended. From about where I took out, the river winds back and forth and is completely overgrown with tamarisk. It could be dangerous in faster water. Most people I talked to did not recommend it. That doesn’t mean that it can’t be done! I know people do float all the way. When I floated I was alone and did not want to chance it. From the “take out” above the lake it isn’t a far walk down to the highway to hitch a ride back to Hanksville, what I did, or over to Hite. Hope this helps. Feel free to email with any other questions.

      • I just finished my own two week trip, at the current lake level you reach flatwater at about where many folks take out.

        At this time I would recommend paddling to either Hite, or closer, the alternative launch on the Northside of the Lake.

        The biggest hazard on the river is the mudflat between the 95 Bridge and the takeout. I would recommend a pre-trip scout of this area hiking upstream from the takeout for a kilometer or two. Walking on the dried mud might be okay, dragging or rescuing a boat in the clay muck would not. At 30 CFS I was able to float my 14′ canoe through – still heavily loaded with my bigger self – however there have been incidents in this stretch.

        Taking out at Poison Spring Creek is an option, but at this level much more is paddleable below and the final half of the below PSC should not be missed before it gets flooded by the lake again.

  2. Frank says:

    no problem making it to Hite..river goes right into the lake..we just recently (early Oct 09) paddled up from Hite to past the Dirty Devil bridge with no problem…we ran the river in 2006 and it was dangerous at that time…mud chutes the last 1.5 miles..flipped twice…no such problem now..e-mail with questions if you have any…we are heading down in Nov 09 to camp in Poison Springs

    • desertexplorer says:

      Hey Frank, Thanks for the comments. I knew you could get all the way down there at certain times of year. I had communicated with Shane at HikeRaft.com who had floated about the same time as me and recommended against going all the wayat that time. I had visited your site as well for info before I went. I think you guys made your second trip just before I did in 2008. Are you floating down in November, or hiking in? I am considering doing it again next summer as a solo again, or maybe the upper Green if I can get my float partner to do that with me. I will definitely do the D.D. again soon though- it was a great trip. Have fun in November. Let me know if you guys post anything about it, I’d like to read it.

      • Frank says:

        The Dirty Devil is a great secret. Unbelievable scenery..serene..nothing but the wind, sand, and ..well that’s about it. when the lake is down the last 1.5 miles can be treacherous. there used to be a bucket that said Danger to warn kayakers of the upcoming mud chutes ont he other side of the bridge. when we came by i just got a glimpse of the bucket and it looked like it said “anger”. Thought to myself..what the hell does that mean…found out about 20 seconds later..river carved into silt bed about 4 feet wide with hairpin turns and tangled undergrowth…The Dirty is tame but that section, if not prepared for it can kill somebody if they get trapped in the yak. We are going down in late Nov to hang out in Poison Sprinsg for Thanksgiving…there is even discussion among my buds that we might make a 3 day run to Hite to paddle up the Colorado..water level permitting to camp in a couple of small side canyons just beyond the Colo Bridge. We plan to maybe do a full up run from Hanksville to Hite again either this spring or the year after. we run in 12 foot sit in kayaks as the winds can be brutal…the down side to that is on the first day my buddy counted getting out of his kayak 112 times..BUT..once you get a feel for the channels it’s downhill from there…Frank

  3. Frank says:

    D.E. don’t know if you’ve ever heard about this…after we ran in April 06 there was a cataclismic flood in Oct 06 on the Dirty. the dam above the Hanksville bridge was blown out and the gauge at Poison springs stopped measuring at approx 20,000+ CFS. Was speaking to a ranger at Hite and he said that a kayaker in a whitewater rig put in at Hanksville and solo ran it all in one day taking out above the area of the mudchutes (below the Dirty Devil Bridge because there was a class V+ with a monstrous hole/whirlpool that nothing would have ever come out of. We ran at approx 115 to about 125 CFS..what a stud!!!…he posted an entry on the web about it…didn’t make a big deal of it..like it was normal stuff. Would love to buy him a beer and listen to him retell that story…hell I’d pay for the priviledge..Frank

    • desertexplorer says:

      I agree- the Dirty Devil is amazing. And I can’t wait to do it again. I would like to backpack up Robbers Roost Canyon again, see some of the other drainages, and explore some more of the slots from down below. I was warned via email, and found plenty of info on the last 5 miles or so. I took out at the end of Sheep Springs Road. May float all the way next time, depending on the lake level. I’d really like to see the “anger” bucket! I did not know about the dam being taken out, but I did know about the crazy flood. I am sure that is why my float seemed so clean- the entire river had been washed clean by that flood. I am sure you guys experienced that as well- the really nice sand bars and the clean river channel down to the takeout. I had not heard of anyone running during that, but I did meet someone who floated to Escalante from Highway 12 to Coyote Gulch around then. It was a one day float for him as well. It was one of the rangers that works out of Hite that did that.

      When I put in, the flow was about 10 CFS and I dragged my boat for the entire first day. The second day was in and out, mostly out, and it got better from there. But I have no complaints though- it was still amazing and I will do it again, even during low flows. 125 CFS would be great, especially down lower. I did have that one good, 100 CFS day that was fast, rainy and cold, but fast. I was wishing I had paddling pants and neoprene boots that day. They’ll go with me the next time, even if it is may. There is plenty of room in my 2-person inflatable for lots of extras. I’ll be sure to watch for report if you guys do it again in the spring, as I may be following close behind you.

      • Frank says:

        We currently have 3 new guys that want to do it the next time we go. It’s how you become a vested member of Team Kokopelli and are eligible for the tattoo (Sunburst logo on our Website)..only team members that have run the DDR from Hanksville Bridge to Hite become Kokopelli’s in good standing…everyone else is a pledge. Kayaker with horns in the logo is the Dirty Devil. He blows a horn/flute because we brought one down the river and played it/Kokopelli on the mountain is the team when we backpack into the Wind Rivers.

  4. Ben says:

    sounds awesome! where exactly did you take out to avoid the possible “mud chutes”? do they still exist? what would be the ideal minimum CFS for a duckie or small raft? i take it you don’t need a permit.

    • Hi Ben,
      It really is one of the best trips I have had in that area. I was out 14 days and saw a couple of people early on, but then was alone for the rest of the time. I think that somewhere around 100 CFS would give you enough water to actually float the river, although I think you would be dragging early on no matter what. I had about 10 CFS and was dragging my boat, then guiding it along, then jumping in and out of it in deeper spots until finally I was in it paddling about half way down river, in part due to rains up high and increased flow. As for the mud chutes, I will email Frank who has done it a couple of times, and who was paddling up from Hite last November I think, to see if they are still a problem. The chutes are in the last few miles before Hite and I think the consensus is that they are dangerous and best avoided.
      The “takeout” as it is, is about 6 miles up from Hite I think. I can give you exact coordinates for it if you like. It’s really just a dirt bank in a curve in the river, but it’s right at the end of the road that comes in from right near the Dirty Devil bridge near Hite. The road is called Sheep Springs road, but may or may not be labeled as that or something else on different maps. I can give you those coordinates as well if you like. Shane has info on the float and the chutes, maybe the takeout, at HikeRaft.com.
      Also, Frank used a hard shell kayak, Shane a small raft, and I used a Tomcat 2 duckie. I am not sure which is best, but I was happy with my choice as it allowed me to carry lots of food and gear and have a very comfortable 2 weeks on the river. By the way, I am thinking about hitting it again this year with my friend Robert. We will likely do it late again, mainly because of our schedules. Doing it early in the season is the way to go though.
      And you are right, no permit is required. But I would recommend checking in with the BLM in Hanksville, at least to let them know you are there and ask about what wildlife you might see. I checked in with them before and after and reported my encounters with rattlesnakes, peregrines, and finding a dead Bighorn sheep. The biologist there was happy to get the info. She may ask you to look for specific things if you are up for a small assignment while out there.
      Good luck and let me know how your planning and trip goes. Feel free to email back with more questions.
      Gerald

  5. Frank says:

    We were down there this September and the lake was up quite a bit…we paddled all the way up past the Dirty Devil Bridge from the put in across from Hite…at that time there was no current and the Colorado was non existant because the lake backed up beyond that point…so…the mud chutes were underwater at that time and didn’t exist…I used a 12 foot Dagger Element. I do a lot of backpacking so the gear fit OK into a yak this size. But, I didn’t have any room to spare. I liked the sit inside from the perspective that canyon winds didn’t blow me around a whole lot…but that’s a personal choice. I also didn’t have to worry about fixing punctures and dragging it over rocks and stuff like that. We started at the Bridge in Hanksville. BE PREPARED TO DRAG YOUR RIG THE FIRST 12 MILES off and on until about Robbers Roost..we spent the first night there…beyond that it will get better…as the river cuts down into the canyon it becomes constricted..You will need to learn to read the channels. We did a lot of “monkey crawling”..(pulling your yak along with your hands while sitting in it). Make sure you check out the notable side canyons..Happy Canyon being one. If you can give me the approx date you guys will pass Poison Springs I might make the effort to show with some Cold Soldiers from Shiner Texas and resupply you with water

  6. Frank says:

    Forgot to add…we ran with CFS of about 115 to 125…water level would rise during the day and drop at night..we would mark the river with sticks at night and it would be down 2-4 inches and rise throughout the day..We ran in April…snow melt is what accounts for that we thought…heat during the day..more melt…

  7. What did you do for water?

    • Hi Douglas,
      The water in the Dirty Devil is not really that dirty. The San Juan is much worse. I carried my ususal 5 gallon water can, along with a few smaller containers- a couple of 6 liter Dromedary bags and son on, for a total of about 10 gallon st the beginning. On all my river trips I carry a 3 gallon collapsible bucket with me, fill it at night, prop it up and let it sit till the next morning. In the morning I use my Katadyn pump to filter the water. This worked great on the Dirty Devil and on the Green. The San Juan is a different story.
      Gerald

      • I also took about ten gallons – if I was to do it again and was hiking, I’d take much less, and plan on filling from streams during hikes and drinking the river.

        If I’d have done that this time I would’ve had room for the cooler!

  8. Frank says:

    We carried as much water as possible…think I had almost 2 gallons on board when we left the bridge at Hanksville..we camped the first night at robbers roost and pumped fresh water the next morning… we didnt pump water again until the 3rd day in the pm…forgot where that was…We did get a collapsible container and one night we filled it and let the water settle overnight and filtered it the next morning…I have to say it has a very lousy taste even after filtering…kinda like sulphur…What water I used to drink I mixed in some Crystal Light to take the edge off. I did bring a couple of flasks of single malt and used it sparingly. One thing I had problems with were my hands..they got sun burned and paddling and dragging 8-9 hours a day caused them to swell up pretty good…never had that happen before. Expect to get a lot of sun

  9. seymour says:

    got a crew working for the third week in april. i expect now that a run to sheep springs is completely safe? its been wet down there and am doing water dances for 100+ CFS.

    • Looks like it’s been averaging about 100 CFS, with a spike yesterday at about 200. I would watch it the flow, the runoff, the precipitation, but my guess is that you should be fine in April. You still may be dragging a bit early on, but it should be safe. Although I am not sure what has happened over the last two years in terms of growth. When I ran it in may of 2008, it was still very clean from the big water that washed out the canyon a couple years before. Either way, its going to be fun!

  10. Frank says:

    Remind me where Sheep Springs is. If you can give me the exact date (hopefully a weekend) you expect to pass Poison Springs…I’ll drive down and pass off water and beer to your crew (gratis). The snow pack is approx 130% down there so CFS should be fairly decent…and I would call anything above 100 CFS decent…anything above 150-200 consistently for a few days would cause me to give my boss notice and come down on and run it myself

  11. […] In addition to our itinerary, and considering we will be in the Hanksville area, we are going to take a look at the put-in, and maybe the take-out at Sheep Springs, for the Dirty Devil. I have answered at least 15 emails in the last couple of months from people interested and/or planning to float it this year. Everyone asks about the river flow- for me it was around 10 CFS, quite low to be honest.  I floated the last two weeks of May in 2008.  I was dragging my boat for much of the first few days.  Those planning to run it in April, and possibly into early May, will likely see flows closer to 100 CFS. A recent comment from Frank, who has run it a couple of times, says that the snow pack is close to 130% this year. So when it starts melting the flows should be pretty good- it should be an actual float for the most part, and there should be much less in-and-out of the boat. You can read all of the comments on the Dirty Devil on past blog posts, starting with my post-run blog. […]

  12. dan says:

    Can I do this float in a week, but still have time to explore side canyons?

    • Hi Dan,
      I think a week might be pushing it. You could probably do the river in a week, depending on what time of year it was and the flows. As for time to explore as well, I think you might want to add on a couple of days or so a the least. I took two full weeks, and felt like I just had enough time. Of course I did overnights away from the river and day hikes too. And I took it easy on the float. Let me know what you come up with.

  13. Frank says:

    Dan, It can be done in a week but it doesn’t leave much time to explore…of course, if the water is running strong from the git-go and you don’t do any dragging for the first day and a half you would have some additional time to burn…we made it from the bridge in Hanksville to Poison Springs in 4.5 days (dragging the most of the 1st day and over half on the second)..that included about a 3 hour hike up Happy Canyon, a side trip to Angel Cove, and one day stopping early to camp…on the 4th day at about 2 pm we made it to P.S., camped for the rest of the afternoon and left at 8 am on the 5th day and made it to Hite just after sunset (there was still light after the sun went down). I agree with D.E…longer is better and 7-9 days is propably ideal for most conditions and also allows you to relax as needed and explore when you want…there is much to see. One thing I noticed is that as each day passes you seem to decompress at a biological/cellular level from the sounds and stress of city life, work and social interaction. It is hard to explain but I literally went a solid week without hearing another man-made sound. Not many places left were you can experience that length of solitude.

    • I agree with Frank completely, especially that last part. It seems the longer you stay away from “civlisation”, the closer you get to something more natural that we all have regertably left behind. I felt exactly the same way on the Dirty Devil, and experienced exactly the same thing at the end (which usually begins for me on about day 2 and builds from there). I was out for 14 days and did not see or hear a human during the last 9 days of that time. You can actually accomplish that on the Dirty Devil and probably not on many other rivers. This is one of the reasons that I am trying to figure out a way to do it again this year. If you can manage it, try to get more time for the float- as much time as you can. You won’t regret it.

  14. Frank says:

    I’m going to be at Poison Springs the weekend of April 23-24-25-26. If anybody is running the river and wants water or a resupply of another liquid refreshment let me know and I’ll try to coordinate a gratis drop off for your team/crew.

    • seymour says:

      @ frank you should see a crazy crew of 7 that likes whiskey april 23

      • Frank says:

        We will be at the Dirty Devil on the evening of the 23rd…when do you plan to come by and where are you camping for the night at the river crossing?

  15. Frank says:

    For those that want to see some pics of the entire Dirty Devil river environment from start to finish go to dirtydevilriverrun.com and check out he pictures from the 2006 trip…lots of good photos and osme of the mud chutes that were underwater the last time i was there Spet 09…Frank

  16. It looks like I’m good for an open canoe solo starting April 4 or 5 – if anybody out there wants to do a shuttle, coordinating would be great. dougatmotleytools.com

    Thanks for the info on the drinking water.

  17. make that May 4 or 5!

  18. Frank says:

    Met the crew of 7 on the 24th. They were a day late..will let Seymour take it from there.

  19. seymour says:

    just got back from the DD. eventually i will be able to put the experience into words, and i will post them here. for now i just want to say frank and his crew are pretty much the coolest dudes ever.

  20. Dan says:

    Thanks for comments. I think I will take out at Poison springs. Is it obvious where the take out is for Poison springs? Is the road passable with a 4WD? Also, I’m looking at the last week of June. I know the flow will be low, and it will be hot, but that is the week I have!

    • Frank says:

      You can drive all the way to the DDR with a 4 wheel drive and should have no problems…we were there on the 23rd of April @ the river and several 4 wheel drives made it down the canyon. You’ll have no problems knowing you are at Poison Springs..the road crosses the river and that is the only place this happens. Water was running low at the time we were there..prob @ about 60-80 CFS or a little less.

  21. seymour says:

    Going back in March 2011.

    • Frank says:

      Well..it may get a little crowded… We have a couple of guys that want to run the river to earn their tatoo around that time..Might be five of us down there. Will plan to leave from the bridge in Hanksville. Did your crew recover OK from the last time? We had a blast with you guys in camp. We will have full support down there for my crew at riverside when we come come through Poison Springs

      • seymour says:

        damn frank. we dont have fixed dates, we are trying to have an open window that we can execute a trip right when the flow is optimal. we can aim to rendezvous with you guys. what is your depart date?

      • seymour says:

        frank email me at cscrivner@utah.gov so we can coordinate. lets do this!

      • Hey Guys,
        Be sure to keep me in the loop here. Nicolai and I are trying to put together a trip for mid- to late March and a drive down Poison Spring Canyon might be part of it. Nicolai is interested in gold panning now and that seems to be a great place to do some. So we might be able to be a part of the resupply also. So keep us informed!

      • seymour says:

        our tentative plan is to launch 3/23 early and try to be at Poinson spring mid-day saturday.

  22. Frank says:

    For the trip in 06 I did extensive data mining of the CFS flows of the river for the entire span of years available…river flows were most consistent towards the end of April which kind of makes sense as snow melt takes place earlier in southern Utah. That’s why we choose (and still are targeting) the end of April. The real trick is to be flexible on the dates and have a bit of luck on your side and hit it for a couple of days when a storm front is coming through…the ideal would be about 400 CFS for a couple of days at the top end of the river to get you past the “dragging” portion until the the river cuts through the sandstone strada and constricts…my job and most of my buddies schedules don’t really allow for that kind of flexibility. As we told you in camp while we were busy reconstituting your team our little “Adventure Team” is into a lot of different stuff. we’re currently discussing floating the passive portion of the Green (I-70 to Mineral Bottom) but as of late we are getting very interested in Southeastern Oregon/South West Idaho…We’re sending an advances “Vanguard” of adventure motorcycle riders to scout the Owyhee and Jarbidge Rivers in the area described above. That would derail the DDR effort but we could (as before) link up with you guys at PS and resupply you. It would be worth the effort just to spend another night in camp with you guys. I’ll PM you tomorrow. for sure we could give you hard data about the route below PS to Hite and may even be able to pick your crew up at Hite and bring you back to the vehicles.

    • Frank says:

      Seymour..we will be able to resupply your crew at P.S. We’ll camp where we did the last time because of our trailers and drive atv’s to the river..we will leave SLC area early Friday..I sent you a pm.

      • Hey Frank and Seymour- It looks like we may run into Seymour at least. My son and I will be in the area on Sunday the 20th through about the 23rd or 24th. So if we can we will stop by the put in on the 23rd to say hi to Seymour and crew. Let us know if your plans change. Are you putting in down the dump road? Or at the bridge? Also- I will post a few questions later tonight for your guys input. Jason is interested in running the river at the end of February and has questions. Off to work now though. Gerald

  23. Hey Guys,
    I have a question from Jason who is thinking about floating 28 Feb through 04 Mar. He is thinking about using a cataraft- 13′ by about 55″ wide, packing light.
    He will take out at PS, missing the tight stuff down low on the DD.I am thinking it should fly, assuming good flows, which there should be. What are your thoughts?

  24. Frank says:

    Well..where to start? Is it doable..sure..but need to quantify that answer. I just went out to the garage and measured my fly-fishing pontoon to get a perspective on the 55 inches of beam we are discussing. The 13 feet is not a problem, should work well. My concern is with the 55 inch beam..in many places the floatable channel is very narrow (although the river may be 30+ yards wide) and many times its right next to the sandstone walls that form approx 8-12 miles down stream. In a set-up like a cataraft I’m assuming you’re using oars..that might preclude you from getting right next to the wall where its deepest..many times I pushed off the wall with my hands because I couldn’t use the paddle. Our hard-shell 11.5 foot kayaks would rub against the walls but because of the smooth plastic (poly something) didn’t always “bite” and turn us over/around…that sandstone is very grippy..not sure if I’m explaining it right but that bladder cover surface on a cataraft will prob grip more on the walls when you make contact…plus you prob won’t have the luxury of being able to manipulate those oars like a kayaker does a paddle. Hope I’m making sense..Now..if the water is up then it’s another story…you’ll be able to float with that shallow draft pretty easy and stay away from the walls and it will be smooth sailing…that is unless the canyon winds whip up..then you’re hosed..in a situation like that I’d rather be loaded down so the wind didn’t push me around. That’s why we like the hardshells so much..it’s a trade off..low maint and don’t have to worry about punctures…they sit lower in the water with less wind resistance but you end up getting in/out more the first two days because they hit bottom in the hsallow sections more readily. Thats what I like about the DDR…you can go down it one time and everything is just right and folks will say its a cake walk and the next time you’re in (no-kidding) fight for your life. Anybody can float the Green or the Colorado River on 10,000CFS..but not everybody can float the Dirty on 100CFS..one more thing..regardless of what craft you use, get a large carabiner and make a loop of rope about 6-8 feet long and tie the ends together..this will be invaluable when you need to get out and “drag” your craft. no matter what you ride..be ready to be amazed by the scenery and silence…my two cents…

    • jasnjak says:

      Frank,

      Thank you for all of the input as it is much appreciated.

      Your comment about the “floatable (and more importantly, row-able) channel” is exactly my biggest fear. I have 8.5′ oars, but that still presents a wide stance. I’m pretty sure it will fit in the river, but will I be able to keep it straight in the main current and still be able to row? I’m not sure. I have rowed some shallow and fast stuff (San Miguel, Plateau Creek), but I know I’m pushing it. My first instinct is to ask if you think rowing it in an R-2 configuration would work. This would allow each individual to push off and keep the profile to a minimum. It would also allow me to take off the front module of the frame and conserve a little more weight. What I am sure of is that I don’t want to sit my butt in the river in the beginning of March as I’m sure the water temp is going to be slightly chillier than I would prefer. As the immortal Mick Jagger says “We can’t always get what we want…” but I’m sure we’ll get what we need out of it. I would appreciate any other insights and thoughts. Gerald has my email address if you want to contact me directly. Thank you again for everything!

      Jason Keirns

  25. Frank says:

    I wouldn’t worry too much about weight..that thing should be able to haul a load and not draft very deep..go to our web site..dirtydevilriverrun.com and open the 06 pictures..you’ll see some of what i’m talking about in regards to the channels..in many pic we are dragging even though there appears to be a lot of water…enlarge the pictures and you’ll see us very close to the sandstone walls….hard to make a call..I still have concerns about those oars though and think it will be cumbersome. Worst case scenario you may have to get off and drag ..it’s so hard to make a call on this because if you have 3 more inches of water than we had it’s a non-issue really. Beginning of March that water will be pretty cool..especially in the morning shadows…surprisingly it seemed to heat up pretty quick..in part I think due to its dark color and shallow bottom and of course ambient air temps. We stuck sticks in the mud at the waters edge in the evening to gauge river fluctuations each morning…CFS decreased overnight…we became obsessed with rise and fall of the river and staying in the channel

  26. Frank says:

    Some things I didn’t talk about…I mapped that whole river with a topo and GPS..marking the miles on the map…I also had Michael Kelseys book of the area and mapped reliable water sources in the side canyons, picto and petroglyps and anything else worth seeing….his book(s) are the best for a number of reasons and should be available at the gas station in Hanksville…….The first side canyon water source we pumped at was in Robbers Roost about 100 yards from the river…again..I found the main river water had a sulphur taste to it I really didn’t like and we used Crystal Lite and similar instant tea packets to mask the taste…Also Angel Cove has water that I remember..and worth the short hike up to see it….you HAVE to stop in Happy Canyon

    Bring Aquaphor…I think that’s how it’s spelled..its a quality “THICK” body lotion…that river/environment beats you up pretty bad..I would put that on my feet after I went to bed and slip a clean set of socks on…white athletic low cuts..we walked in the river barefoot quite for long periods of time sinking into mud 2 plus feet sometimes and on day three our skin was still ok…the team we are helping this time did it the river before and they had open sores on them…not sure if they took care of their skin but my guys had no such problem….

    Make sure you have that rope I spoke of…I looped mine through a large carabiner and it was fairly thick and tied the ends together…too short and you’ll hit the back of your legs with the boat..other option is to do one thick length about 6 feet long with a t-handle…you will prob use this a lot and it is really handy…if you don’t do this and the rope is thin it will cut into your hand and become very uncomfortable dragging that big unit..make two of whatever you choose since that unmotivated slacker will need one too..bring bug dope..might be surprised and have an early hatch..never know

  27. seymour says:

    Set to launch at the Hanksville, dump party of 8. March 23rd at 7 AM. Planning on doing 12 hour days, and making it to PS Friday afternoon with continued service to Hite. Will not launch if the DD is below 120 CFS.

    PLAN B –

    If it is below acceptable levels, we are going to do the Green River daily for fun on Wednesday and Thursday, then head down to Poison Springs Friday, and then launch from Poison Springs Saturday morning and take her to the lake.

    • Sounds good. We’ll try to stop by and meet you. We are planning to leave tomorrow in stead of later in the week, so not sure where we’ll be then. But we’ll try. If not, have a good float, and be sure to fill us in on how it went. Gerald

  28. dan says:

    howdy, i’m planning on putting in at hanksville in the next few days. anyone know if anyone else will be around in that time? looking at around a week on the river, hope those flows stay steady!

    – d

    • Frank says:

      Crew of 8 will leave Wed morning on the 23rd of March 2011 from Hanksville putt-in

      • dan says:

        do you have their contact information? i’m solo right now in a packraft, and just looking to split a car shuttle with someone if possible. thanks!

        dan

  29. seymour says:

    The DD is at 240 today 6 times the size of the last time we did it. 4 days away and I really hope these are sustained flows.

  30. Frank says:

    will be interesting to track the flows…i get daily updates on the Green, The Dirty, and the Weber…We’ll be there Friday night regardless…still think you’re cutting it close on time and the dirty should be done at a much more relaxed pace…but..if you guys show the steak will be sizzling and the beer will be cold…if you guys get beaqt down just remember Ernest Shakeltons family motto “Fortitudine Vincimus” and press on!!!

  31. Frank says:

    Interesting too is the fact that in todays Standard /Examiner northern Utah paper there is a front page recap of the brothers rescued in No Mans Canyon…by Robbers Roost…look for it and read the story…

  32. seymour says:

    looks like we are sticking to the plan. i hope we make it to poison springs by fri…

  33. seymour says:

    bagged it. the whole thing! any questions on running it, hit me at seymourcash@hotmail.com

    • Troy Knowles says:

      seymore congratulations, a friend and I are looking to do the float first part of April. How was the lower section? where did you take out?
      Thanks Troy

    • Congrats! Glad to hear that you made it okay. Sorry we weren’t there to meet you. We changed our plans according to the weather. Ran into some others down in Poison Springs that had probably run- drove by them on their way out, and another couple of guys that were going to, but didn’t. How was it? Did you float hard shells? with skirts and wetsuits? Seemed like it could have been pretty cold. What were the flows and how many days did you do it in? Gerald

      • Frank says:

        After meeting two of the crew Friday night at Poison Springs we were told that the other 7 were further up canyon. Clayton e-mailed me and said that two of the remaining kayaks were close to hypothermia and they fell short of PS by about .6 miles. We feed the 2 and left them @ the river Sat AM heading back to the trucks hauling our spike camp equipment out. My guys drove into Hanksville and afterwards we headed out to the DDR Rim south of
        PS. @ that time a front came in just barely above our head with intermitant snow and light rain..but mostly light snow. Temps must ahve been way down as the wind up on the ridge was howling. From up top we cheered on Claytons crew which came into sight about 1 mile below PS around 12:30 pm and maybe even later than that…they were in view about 40 minutes and we stayed there watching them with binocs commenting numerous times that we were glad not to be in the water. Sat night @ the mouth to PS we had an exceptionally hard frost. I slept without a sleeping bag on a skeletonized pad next to a dead fire and around 3 am woke to about 1/4 inch of frost on my clothing. Would like to hear Claytons full version of the trip especially the comments on the status of the river below PS. I know the lake was down approx 85 feet a couple of weeks and am curious to hear if the mud chutes are back. we never did drive down to Hite Overlook to see what the status was. Clay..c’mon give us the full story!!!

  34. Jim says:

    Thinking of trying the DD for the first time in a tandem IK May 18. Trying
    to figure out if I should take out at Poison Springs (can a Pathfinder drive
    that road ok?) or try to arrange for a shuttle and go all the way. Anyone
    know what the lake level is and how the mud “chutes” are? Not
    feeling too comfortable with class III with my companion and also only have
    about 6 days of river time. Anyone know of shuttle services?

    Suggestions? Thanks!

    Jim

  35. Frank says:

    Was at Hite a month ago and as always (at least over the past 5 plus years) the lake was way down…I’m guessing approx 85 feet. North Wash across from Hite appeared to be seperated from the River (which was flowing through the old lake bed) by a sandbar. Heard that much of the record snowpack this year will be diverted to Mead but that Powell will still come up significantly. I was able to see the mud chutes from the road on the way to Grand Gulch and they have significantly mellowed. However, there’s still some tight 90 degree corners in there.

    • Hey Frank,
      (accidentally emailed these questions to Seymour- so here they are for you- email back at Gerald@desertexplorer.us is you like, or just reply here.)

      I had an email from someone asking about maximum safe flows for the DD. I had no idea what to tell him. I haven’t really seen it above 200 or so. I’m sure it’s been higher during one of the 500 year flood stage years, but I don’t have any info on anyone floating it above about 200, and most of that was through you. I know that the least safe part is the mud chutes, which disappear when the lake level is higher. I would assume this would happen in a wet year where the flows are really high like that (a big flood year). Anyway, just wondering what the highest level is you have seen down there, and the highest that you know of being floated?

      Also, I am trying, once again, to get it together to return this year and float it again. Unfortunately it wouldn’t be until later in May again, so there will be dragging. Will post reports on my blog if/when it happens.

      Gerald

      • Frank says:

        Gerald, read a blog a few years back that said some BLM guys wait for it to be AT LEAST 400+CFS before they will run it. There are a few areas with riffles in the upper 3rd section that would just wash out if the water was up. With increased CFS..say even larger amounts with around 2-4K+ CFS most of that water would spread out across sandbars for the upper half of the river. Below Poison Springs I’d imagine the water would be moving pretty darn quick since the canyon constricts down there. THERE WOULD BE A LOT OF EDDYS along the whole lower river at that level and it would take a strong paddler to deal with it. With the lake low the mud chutes would prob be back. The last time I looked at them they had mellowed somewhat. That was April of last year when I was on the way to Kane Gulch to backpack Coyote and Bullet Canyon. Of course the lake level impacts them a lot. BOTTOM LINE: I wouldn’t let anything up to about 5K CFS deter me but you better have some skills above entry level and be paying attention in that lower half. I’d worry more about NOT ENOUGH water : ) . Remember, there was a white water paddler in Oct 2006 that ran the DDR in one day when it was running approx 20K CFS at Poison Springs and their gauge down there quit working at about 18K CFS. Made it to Hite at sunset in one day. Google it..last time I searched I was still able to find a quick write up he did. I was just down there 24-25-26 April 12. Dirty Devil looked low at the bridge in Hanksville. Much of it was iced over. Stopped in Straight Wash in the Swell and hiked to the mouth of Eardley Canyon to first pool and 25 foot pour off (technical slot). Climbed to a couple of old uranium mines and explored around looking at the geology of the area. Next day drove to Angel Cove TH south of Hanksville and hiked down to the first bench on the sandstone above the river and headed north east just above the river. Hiked into 3-4 small slots coming from the west. Very interesting. Never get tired of doing that. Spent the night back there with a couple of friends and our dogs and came out the next morning. Stopped at Blondies for a killer breakfast and hammered back home. Might be back down there at the end of this month. Night skies were AMAZING! No light pollution, haze or clouds. Seeing a night sky like that itself justifies the effort to get to that part of Utah. Days were mild 50’s/nights were wind free and balmy at low of 19-20 : ) We slept like babys in the sand in our bivy bags

      • Frank says:

        I should mention to my post below that the only way the DDR will be running in excess of 500 CFS is if there is a storm dumping H20 in the greater DDR watershed. I don’t think ANY snowpack level would exceed 1,000 CFS on a daily basis since the Muddy Creek Diversion dam has been rebuilt and they start to divert runoff around April I think. For the short duration of the storms I’d pull out of the water and sit it out as I imagine some of those side canyons can really be ripping into the DDR @ 90 degree angles when that goes down. So, realistically worrying about what the upper limit of safe CFS is for the DDR should really be a non-issue and for me I’d run it as stated in the below post in the low thousands even if it was raining depending on where I was on the river..say above PS and length of my craft…I don’t take anything over 12 feet. Have yet to be down there when it rains but would love to see it. ALSO..watch out for quicksand..last year a student from NOLS got stuck around the Robbers Rooster area for 13 hours until extricated. We came across quite a bit of it. More prevelant than one would assume and something that’s not mentioned in trip reports. Going solo down there is risky. Be prepared.

      • Hey Frank, Thanks for the info. That is exactly what Marc was looking for. Gerald

      • I met the new Ranger/Cop at Hanksville, and he mentioned the quicksand incident.- I believe he was trying to get stuck. Having walked 50 miles of the 70 towing my open canoe, I would do it again. I wouldn’t recommend running the mudshoots in anything but a hardshell, especially in an open canoe, without scouting first.

        I was at the Dirty Devil just a week ago, at the Sheep Springs road, 4 miles of 2wd High Clearance road currently, but it can wash out. The lake level was right at the mudflats, perhaps the worst possible level as it look braided and shallow through the muck. I’d suspect the lake will be above the flats after the spring runnoff at the end of June.

        Because of the tamarisk channelization the stretch of river below Sheep Springs is probably runnable year round – but only desirable if the lake level is right or you scouted the mud shoots before hand. FWIW, please note that the flow level is only good in March as the diversion dam takes the water in April – which the historical data does not reflect.

        There is a new rapid just below the Sheep Springs takeout, pretty similar to the few above, at least at this point. I’d guess it formed in the October 2010 flood, which also washed out the road.

      • Had to reply to this comment as well. I wasn’t going to say it… but since you did, I was wondering about that quicksand incident. I too have floated the DD in low water, meaning I have walked most of it. I know exactly the quicksand near the mouth of Robber’ Roost, and have got sucked in there myself. (I think I was heading to the west canyon wall to have a look at a “cultural feature” over there if I remember right.) And of course I have dealt with the stuff 20 or 30 or 40 times in other places, maybe more. It just happens; it comes with the geology of the desert and rivers and the way they operate. But in my experience you don’t get THAT stuck, unless maybe you want to. I will start my quicksand blog post now.

  36. montanatrail says:

    We just finished a 4 day canoe trip from Hanksville to Poison Springs. Flow was about 230 cfs for late June, 2011. But the temperature was 100+ each day. We used 2, 18′ kevlar wenonah’s and a 16′ old town. Still had lots of draging trying to find 4″ of water to float in where the river is wide.
    Met a guy who ran S to Hiat who said there is a bad corner at the bottom just past a takeout, maybe the old county road take out.

  37. Kara says:

    Hi there, A few questions- sorry if they are repeats of questions you’ve already answered for someone. You mentioned above you would be willing to post exact coordinates for the “takeout” above the mud chutes. if you still have that information, it would be greatly appreciated. Also, we are thinking when we float, we may put in at Angel since the road is shorter/better (we have a subaru) I have never driven on Poison Springs road before, and from what I’ve heard it is high clearance 4WD. What are your thoughts? Can a subi make it down PS? Thanks in advance for any insight …..

    • Hi Kara,
      Well, the “takeout” road is not that hard to find. Getting down the road to the takeout might be tough. I am thinking that if you cannot make it down PS canyon to the ford, you probably won’t be able to get down “Sheep Springs road” to the takeout. Unless they have done some work on it, which I was told they would be unlikely to do again. Yes, a Subaru might have some difficulties getting down PS canyon, although i have seen a little speedy car down there once (maybe a Subaru WRX), and a beat up minivan once. I can check the coordinates for the takeout and get them to you; do you have the Hite North 1:24000 mapsheet? The road is marked on it and the takeout is at the end of the road. It is directly north, on the west side of the Dirty Devil river bridge. Easy to find on that mapsheet. If you have the Hite Crossing 1:100,000 map it is right there where the road does a 180 degree turn above the gaging station on the map. I don’t think it shows the road on the 1:100,000, but it does on the 1:24000. I have never been down Angels point road to the river. Would that be on the Robbers Roost side? I’d like to hear more about that. Can you get right down to the river?
      Gerald

  38. Frank says:

    Angel Cove Trail has a trailhead accessible by the Subaru…actually a well maintained road with some long sandy stretches but nothing that should present problems…drove it last year. As for Angel Cove trail to the DDR…well I’m not sure what you’re planning to haul down to the river..hardshells kayaks/inflatables/pack rafts and all your gear…it’s a good trail marked with cairns but kinda steep in sections…I’ve been on it a couple of times…with a heavy pack and all you may have to make a couple of trips to the TH…That would be a taxing effort prior to getting on the DDR, especially on some of those slickrock stretches. From the put in at Hanksville on the Dump road your about 12 miles from the cove…at low water that’s a days effort to get there…you would miss Robber’s Roost and the spring there to get clean water….If it was me I’d put in at Hanksville. You dont really need coordinates for the take out above the mudchutes…once past the bridge a couple to 300 hundred yards start looking to your rightfor a portage…if need be get out where you can and walk ahead a little bit to scout. We ran those chutes but its not something we wanted to do. Got into them and it was too late. At this time of the yearthe lake is very low and if you did make it past the chutes you’d be on the Colorado and it would be flowing…presenting some possible challenges with mud flats and so forth. Lastly, I’ve seen Subarus in PS Canyon a fair ways down but never at the river… there are some sections a standard wagon would prob drag somewhat and a spotter would be handy. Not saying it can’t be done but would be rough on it…I was there in Nov and a recent flood had deposited a lot of new sand in places…Frank sends

    • Hey Frank,
      I was wondering if you would catch those questions. Thought about emailing them on to you. I am glad you did see them. I remember now your comments on the Angel Cove trail. And i didn’t remember a road going down there. I guess my memory was correct. Am I right in thinking there is no access from the north side, through Antelope valley? (Map shows a dashed line/trail/road of some sort, but I have never been down on that side.) I agree with you about using the dump road put in. Shouldn’t be a problem from the looks of things to float that upper part. I just checked and the flow is about 150 CFS right now. Not sure when Kara is planning to run it. I haven’t been down PS canyon since last summer. That was when we saw the Subaru WRX down there- mid-summer, lots of sand, a couple of boggy spots with new tracks around them, but the narrows were pretty easy to get through (of course we were in the Landcruiser). The WRX crossed over at Black Jump and headed off in that direction. Not sure how far they made it. We are heading over in about 2 weeks for Spring break, probably to Cedar Mesa/ Comb Ridge for the most part. Maybe up to the Irish Canyons for a day or so up from the bottom.
      Kara- when are you running?
      Gerald

  39. Frank says:

    Forgot to mention. If memory serves me from the angel cove trailhead to the river is 2 plus mile or thereabouts and about a 600 foot+ loss of altitude….think about that before you start dragging gear down that trail

  40. Kara says:

    Thanks Frank and Gerald for the rapid response! Frank, yes the Angel cove trail you mention is the one we were looking at because of the good road, we figured if the road was good, and the trail to the river only a couple miles, it would be less problematic than dragging boats for 12 miles from Hanksville. Do you know what the flow would have to be to not expect to drag a bit? Our plans were to launch the 30th of March. I know in this trip report, Gerald spends 14 days on the dd which sounds lovely, but we wont have that much time, which is why we were looking to start down canyon a bit. Out time frame is from the March 30th -6th of April, and I know you haven’t suggested taking less than a week for the whole stretch from Hanksville. there is a possibility we could head down earlier…I would really like the extra time to explore. Thanks for your info on the takeout above the mud chutes, seems like we will be able to find it easy enough. We have pack rafts that we are taking down, so weight isn’t a big issue for us (our boats are 4.5 lbs) , we are long time backpackers morphing into packrafters! We have pretty much ruled out PS with the subaru, we have been down rough roads in So. Utah with it, but we don’t want to plan on getting down it as it seems pretty rough. Cedar Mesa/Comb ridge sounds like a wonderful spring break! we were there last April and did fish and owl canyon. It was beautiful, but less impressive than the Grand Gulch which, is easily on my top 5 so. UT trips. Always love the McCloyd ruin and other good day hikes in the area .

  41. This thread has been going on for awhile, it might be a good idea for a consolidated re-write at some point.

    I’ve done the river on a two week time frame as well, and that’s really the best way – if you are doing everything.

    The biggest reason for this current flow situation – historical averages look okay, but there was a new diversion ten years or so ago which change the situation considerably. As relayed to my by the Hanksville BLM in a detailed discussion there is basically never fully floatable water **after** irrigation** season starts- except during flood conditions. I did the trip starting early May also and the weather for that was great given the amount of swimming. FWIW, based on flow records I suspect the trip is doable all summer long – though I wouldn’t get to far away from the river during the summer.

    A March 30 start and you will have cold conditions – definitely wet and/or drysuit conditions. If you are set on a DDR trip I’d suggest considering a hike up Robber’s Roost and exiting at the ‘Horse Trail’ as documented by Michael Kelsey. This would give you a sense of what traveling on the DDR is like, with the relatively short trip from either the dump road, or angel cove, with a pack raft.

    Poison Springs to Lake Powell is another shorter option. The Sheep Springs takeout road is easy to find. It got washed out badly in the October 2011 storm, but was, apparently, rebuilt (perhaps by the rancher?) since then. (I visited last spring, before the 2012 Monsoon). Worst case, it is only a mile or so to the portion that previously washed out, and, IIRC only 3 or 4 miles to Hwy 95 (double check that!)

    The situation with the mud flats deserve more study – including at exactly what lake levels they show up at. A flip here is a bad situation, but other than that I’m not sure how dangerous they are. I was not aware that there was a portage/takeout option just below hwy 95 – any more 411 on that?

    BTW, Robber’s Roost will have reliable drinking water this time of year, though not continuously flowing throughout.

  42. Frank says:

    OK..with a packraft I’d prob do it from Angel Cove….still some steep sections there though and you’ll be scrambling down on your butt in a couple of places. Once you’re on the last bench above the river you’ll be heading roughly NE…the trail forks there and it’s a noticible fork…right goes down to the river…left back along the bench above Angel Cove…IF you have 150 CFS you’re doing exceptionally well on the DDR. We made it from Hanksville to PS crossing in 4.5 days and that included a side trip up to Happy Canyon and all the way through the slot there. Even with pack rafts there will be some shallow riffles in spots that will require exiting. One of the issues with the DDR is that one good flood can change the whole complexion of large areasof that river…most of those type of changes occur around PS and on down as that’s where the watershed really starts to dump large CFS counts from the side canyons into the main channel. The guy that owns Blondies has ferried vehicles for us once or twice and we had no problems. We did tip him. I’m heading to Coyote Gulch 21 to 25 March but will look tomorrow and see if it’s possiblle to come down or arrange somebody else to come and support you on a weekend if we can align the stars. Support would be meeting you at the PS crossing with resupply or machines to extract you and bring you back to Angel Cove TH..can’t promise but will ping you tomorrow pm after work if doable…we’ve done it for a couple of other runs before…Seymours crew above…DE…never been on the East side of the river on roads…not sure which trail we’re discussing. would look at Kelsey’s book..seem to vaguely remember him mentioning what is drivable on that side

    • FWIW, Kelsey’s driving directions are much more reliable than his hiking directions! The ‘Horse Trail’ route I suggested was via the White Roost branch of Robber’s.and I’ve both looked at it from below and run into hikers who have used it.

      The other non-technical route that looked plausible was one via an Arch (Angel???) on the main stem, but I believe that had a longer drive.

      I spent 3 days in Robber’s on my two week trip, camping near the White/Main confluence and taking short hikes from there, including a full day up to the head of the main canyon. There is a nice small canyon just **upstream** from the trail access that looked interesting when I was there, but did not have enough time to explore.

      • Glad to see your comments Doug. I think kara should be set at this point between you and Frank. I have been busy this week and haven’t had a chance to add. But, I have been up the White Roost route, when I floated the DD the first time. Went all the way up to where White blasted or built the cattle trail out. Easy, fun walk up there. Sounds like a pack raft down Angels is do-able. And my 2 cents about the mud flat- i have avoided them from the beginning as advised by Frank. Took out at sheep springs.
        I think that all route- the river iteslf, PS canyon, and Sheep Springs (take out) road can change by season and year. If there is time, I would do a thorough recon to be safe. Or just be prepared. ANd i think we stopped at that big washout down Sheep Springs when taking a look down there last summer. It was about a mile from the takeout. Would have required shovel work, and my son and I were just out looking around, so declined to move rocks and dirt.
        Also, my 2 cents, with a flow of 150 CFS or so, I would feel pretty comfortable heading down from any point. A week… might just do it. But as has been pointed out, it seems that no matter what there will be some dragging or pulling. Either way it sound like fun!
        And Kara, just curious, what kind of packraft do you have that is 4.5 pounds? It may be something for my list (even though we just upgraded to a bigger and heavier Cutthrot 2 from Jacks Plastic Welding last summer.) There are times for coolers and tables and chairs, and times to leave them home!

      • I’m gonna try a Sheep Springs to Powell Day Trip one of these days – though all the better if the lake is above the Mud.

        I did run through the mud myself, successfully, but I’m sure glad I didn’t flip in that muck.

        It sounds like Frank has found an exit route somewhere near the top of the mud. I poked around a bit there and saw some possibles, but saw nothing definite – unless the lake was higher.

  43. Kara says:

    Thanks for thinking of that Frank! We have plans to do our shuttle with a thumb on the pavement and a bike on Angel cove road, but it would be pretty convenient to work something out with you so keep me posted. DE The packrafts we have are Alpackas, if you haven’t heard of them, look them up they are very versatile. I think we are sticking with putting in at Angel cove and will expect some butt sliding in the process! I’ll stay in touch as our plans evolve.. thanks

  44. Frank says:

    Kara…once you know where and on what day you’ll need to be picked up..either at PS or the mudchutes…as long as it’s on a Sat I could prob work something…you should have no problem hitching a ride from Hite to Hanksville or coming across somebody at PS..but getting a ride from the pavement to Angel Cove will prob be spotty

  45. kara says:

    Frank, I have been busy the last few days sorry haven’t gotten back to you. do you want to shoot me your email and we can figure logistics that way from here on out? mine is agirlandherdog22@gmail.com thanks

  46. Frank says:

    Was just down at the DDR via Poison Springs 5-7 April 2013. Road was recently graded and a 2 wheel drive truck or Subaru station wagon should have no problem driving to the river. As a side note: The steel cable that crossed the wash just before the last uphill has been gone a long time now. I think they put it there initially to keep atv’s and jeeps out of it. Not really sure why because the amount of water that comes through there wipes any trace of them out.

    • Frank, have you ever driven the road past the river? I’m thinking of routing through the Maze with my high clearance two wheel drive. Also, Kara – waiting for a trip report on your DDR trip!

  47. Frank says:

    Doug, I’ve driven on the other side of the DDR on my atv for approx. 10 miles or so on the road that goes towards the Maze. But that was 4 years ago. I can’t recommend a 2 wheel drive even if high clearance for that endeavor. Plus I’ve crossed it a few times since then again with the atv just to do it but each time I was in 4X4 and the I seem to remember that the other side exit is at a pretty good angle. But, since we’re on this topic. Was eating breakfast Sunday AM in Blondie’s. Saw a guy coming into town from the south riding a bike. Figured he was a long distance road biker cause I could see panniers on his ride. As he got closer I noticed his tires looked like they came of a Yamaha TW 200. that is to say they were HUGE. Way outsized for a mt. bike. Well, truth be told I’m a gear hound and had to check it out. He was taking a break by the Blondie’s sign so I walked over and started talking to him. He had come from Moab solo via the White Rim Trail. He took the tires off the bike, used them as flotation and crossed the Green. Then carried his gear up the other side and then reassembled everything and rode the 70 some odd (if not more) miles through the Maze, up Poison Springs and on to Hanksville. He was in Hanksville waiting for his ride back to SLC, UT. Said he’d been planning this trip for approx. 2 years. I was floored. Had I known you needed the condition of the road I would have asked. Missed opportunity there. Guy was a stud. Very unassuming. Would have liked to discuss his trip over a beer but it was Sunday AM and I had to knock out over 260 miles back to Ogden.

  48. Kara says:

    Hey folks! Sorry for the delay in our report! After our float we did some backpacking in Escalante and just returned home Yesterday! Lovely 20 days in the desert I must say! So as things turned out, our buddy who was going to shuttle for us ended up not being available so we winged it. Got to the dump road late on the 28th of March- camped next to the river. Next morning, boyfriend Tony took the car to head down PS canyon RD. Stopped in town and asked if anyone did shuttles. the gal working at Chevron said her son did, and he told Tony to follow him to PS. (Original plan was to park as low as we could on PS and hike back to the pavement to hitch a ride to the dump rd. ) The feller doing the “shuttle” stopped about 3 miles down and said the subi wouldn’t make it any farther. for an hour of his time, he brought Tony back to the dump road and charged 100 bucks.ouch. the hike would have been less painful. the real ouch came when we heard that the road was totally do-able down to the river… we launched by noon on Friday the 29th and had a nice float. saw THREE other groups which was surprising, one group of 3 dudes (2 alpackas and one IK) who said they drove their honda element to bottom of PS and another group of 3 dudes (all IK’s) who were going to Hite. and a couple in a canoe, not sure how far they were going. We got water from the Angel Cove Spring and it was a great source. We stayed at one of the camps for 2 nights and did a day hike up No Mans canyon to get water, also a good source. We only had to drag the first couple days..and it was taxing! But certainly had great floatation with the alpackas. the last few days were nice, and we even had a few “wee” little class 2- rapids. My dog, a heeler border collie mix, 9 years old, was a great captain and navigator. we took our time and leisurely made it down to PS late afternoon on Thursday the 4th. we left our gear by the river and started the walk the 13 or 14 miles back to our car. Saw a feller crossing the river at PS with a fat tire bike. sounds EXACTLY like the guy you ran into frank, but he was at blondies by Friday the 5th. he had come from Moab and was heading back to SLC…. his bike was sweet and he passed us up on the PS road as we were huffing and puffing to hurry up to the car. Ran into some campers about 10 miles up the road and they gave Tony a ride on their ATV to the car. Got the subi and drove down the entire PS road with no problem. Recently graded made it great, we have taken our subi down much, much worse in SO. UT. of course, I am sure at other times of the year it is not so forgiving. camped at the bottom of PS that night and headed to Escalante the next day for part two of the trip: meeting up with friends and backpacking. we were lucky to not have to drag a terrible amount…but I think that is thanks a lot to our pack rafts. fully loaded with a dog and lots of booze and water…we stayed afloat for more than I expected. That’s the quick and dirty on our trip down the dirty. sorry for lack of details, but I’m headed out on a hike!

    • Frank says:

      Well…sorry to have missed you..we got to PS around noon to 1 pm Friday so that was the same guy on the fat tired bike. We camped on the right side of the road just before you dropped down the first hill into the PS wash proper..about 1.5 miles off the road. I drove down to the DDR later that day on an atv and that is the best shape that road has been in since I’ve been driving on it for almost 9 years. Much like the river..give it a couple of good downpours and it will change drastically…before the grading I would not have recommend you driving down but since it’s as good as some streets around here right after the winter thaw. $100 is pretty damn steep for 3 miles down that road. Glad you had a good time. how was the hike from Angel to the river with heavy packs? couple of spots there are a little steep

  49. Kara says:

    no worries Frank. Yeah, can’t believe the guy charged that much but oh well. we did it and had a great time. we didn’t end up hiking down to the river from Angel, we just put in at the dump road in hanksville. We were lucky and thankful to have the road in good shape! Thanks for all the heads up with our planning!

  50. It looks like you had a flow of approx. 125 CFS. (April 1-7) My trip, in May, had between 25-50 – typical flows through the summer and Fall. Did you see any of the Razorback Suckers?

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