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Floating the Moab Daily Section of the Colorado River

Professor Valley: Hittle Bottom to Take-Out Beach | Colorado Riverway Recreation Area
Saturday, June 27, 2020 | Average CFS: 5,920

After spending all of last weekend moving into a new house, it was time to get back outdoors and on the river again! A couple weekends ago Jackson, Chris and I were hoping to float the Moab Daily section of the Colorado River through Professor Valley, but the weather and wind prevented us from doing that, so we thought this would be a good weekend to try again since the weather was looking much better. Although I have floated the Moab Daily once before, that was over ten years ago on Labor Day and I was just along for the ride in a friend’s raft, so I was looking forward to doing it in my own inflatable kayak this time.

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Hermits Rest Trail to the Morrow Point Reservoir

Cimarron Point into the Black Canyon of the Gunnison | Curecanti National Recreation Area
Saturday & Sunday, June 13-14, 2020

The next couple of weeks are about to get pretty busy for us since we will be moving into a new house, but I wanted to try to get one more quick overnight backpacking trip in before that happens. Since we still had a lot to do at home, I was looking for something easier and close to home where I didn’t think we would run into many people. After looking over some maps, I thought it would be nice to camp along the shore of the Morrow Point Reservoir in the Black Canyon of the Gunnison at the bottom of the Hermits Rest Trail. I couldn’t find very much information about this hike online, so I figured it probably wouldn’t be too busy. Although I’ve driven through the Curecanti National Recreation Area many times on Highway 50 between Montrose and Gunnison, I have never really spent any time there and thought it was about time we finally did some hiking there. Plus, with the daily boat tours currently not operating because of COVID-19, I knew there wouldn’t be any motorized traffic on the reservoir either.

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West Pollock Arch & Window Rock Tower

Canyons of the Black Ridge Wilderness
Sunday, June 7, 2020

This weekend I was hoping to get back on the river with a couple of friends again, but it seems that Mother Nature had other plans for us. Between severe thunderstorms on Saturday and very strong winds on Sunday, we decided it was best to cancel our river plans this weekend and try again another time. On Sunday afternoon I decided it was time to get out of the house for a little while and went on a short local hike to visit West Pollock Arch in the Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness. Even though it was windy out, the temperature had dropped significantly because of the passing storm on Saturday, making it perfect weather for hiking. Plus I figured the strong winds would help keep the gnats away that are usually prevalent at this time of the year. I left home in the middle of the afternoon and drove over Black Ridge to the Rattlesnake Arches Trailhead to start my hike. When I arrived there was only one other vehicle at the trailhead and they were just leaving. I was surprised since it was a nice day and this is usually a popular trailhead. After descending to the lower Rattlesnake Arches Trail on the bench below I headed east past Window Rock Tower to the rim of the West Fork of Pollock Canyon.

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Hanging Flume Canyon: San Miguel & Dolores Rivers

Rivers of the West End | Uravan Ballpark to the Rimrocker Trail
Saturday, May 30, 2020

I had high hopes of floating more ephemeral desert rivers this spring like I did last year, but unfortunately this year hasn’t quite panned out as well as I had hoped it would. Many of the rivers that I wanted to float this year just haven’t had enough water in them and the snowpack is almost gone in most places, so it’s not looking very good. However, while keeping an eye on the local rivers of western Colorado earlier this month, it was looking like the San Miguel River might be our best chance for a float, so I tentatively planned a trip with Jackson for the last weekend in May through Hanging Flume Canyon and hoped for the best. During the week leading up to this weekend I kept a close eye on the water levels and forecast for the San Miguel and things were looking pretty good, especially with the little heat wave that we experienced towards the end of the week, so on Friday our tentative plans turned into a definitive plan for Saturday and I was really looking forward to getting on the lower San Miguel and Dolores Rivers this year!

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The Colorado River: Palisade to Grand Junction

Palisade Riverbend Park to the Redlands Parkway Boat Ramp
Sunday, May 24, 2020

Even though I had decided to stay home this holiday weekend, I still managed to take a few hours off from packing up our house on Sunday morning so I get on the Colorado River with a few friends for a float through the Grand Valley. A few days prior I had coordinated this last-minute trip with Jackson and Chris at work, and then I found out on Sunday morning that my friend Steve would also be joining us also, which was a nice surprise since I hadn’t seen him in a little while. Since the river is moving fast from spring runoff this time of the year, we decided to put in at the Riverbend Park in Palisade and take out at the Redlands Parkway Boat Ramp, which is about a 17 mile stretch of the river. I haven’t done this section of the Colorado River in a long time, and actually the only time I floated this stretch was with Jackson in his inflatable kayak before I bought my own. We got an early start to try and beat the crowds that we knew would be getting on the river later in the day and we also hoped that the cooler temperature out today might help keep the crowds at bay.

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