Ruby – Horsethief in a Day

Sunday, June 1, 2014

I’ve always wanted to try running the Ruby – Horsethief section of the Colorado River between Loma and Westwater in a day. With the Colorado River running over 35,000cfs this weekend, Jackson and I thought it would be a good time to try it. Unfortunately, it really wasn’t as fun of a day trip as we had hoped. We learned a valuable lesson today; for us, this stretch of river is more enjoyable in an inflatable kayak as an overnight trip at lower water levels than as a day trip in fast water. While we didn’t have any issues on the river, it was a little tricky getting through Black Rocks at these water levels with the strange hydraulics and whirlpools. The water level was just too high on the banks making it difficult to stop anywhere and there was a lot of debris floating by the whole time. The current was too strong to get across river quickly and stop in time in the inflatable kayak, plus many of the nice campsites on this stretch of the river were under water. It was hot enough out that it would have been nice to jump out of the boat for a swim, but that was just too dangerous at these flows. I highly doubt I will be doing this section in my inflatable kayak at these water levels again. I am looking forward to a nice weekend float in lower water, though. Here’s a few snapshots from our day on the river.

Diane waits in my boat while Jackson runs their shuttle vehicle to Westwater.

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Ready to Go by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Jackson and his family on the river.

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Along the Wall by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Two of Jackson’s friends. This was their very first time on a river.

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First Timers by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Diane paddles down the Colorado from the front of the boat.

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Paddling by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

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On the Colorado by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

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Two Boats by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

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Cliffs by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

We stopped before Black Rocks so we could hike ahead and scout the rapids.

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Scouting by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

A view of Black Rocks. The water was moving pretty fast through here. Many of the nice sandy campsites found along this stretch were under water.

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Black Rocks by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

View upstream from Black Rocks.

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Black Rocks View by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Diane and I wait on a flooded island in the river while Jackson runs the second boat through Black Rocks. We would have liked to have stopped closer upstream, but couldn’t get over to the bank fast enough. The current was just too strong.

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Stuck on an Island by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Black Rocks scenery.

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Above Black Rocks by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Leaving Colorado behind as we float into Utah.

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In Utah by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

>> Ruby – Horsethief in a Day Photo Gallery


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