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Tag: ducky

The Lower San Juan River

Mexican Hat to Clay Hills Crossing
Tuesday – Saturday, May 12-16, 2015

For the past two years a few friends and I have floated the upper section of the San Juan River from Sand Island to Mexican Hat during the month of May. It’s a very nice section of river, but this year we wanted to do something different, so we attempted to get a permit for the lower section of the San Juan River from Mexican Hat to Clay Hills Crossing. My friend Jackson was lucky in the permit lottery and we received our first choice of dates on the river, plus we were even able to secure our preferred reserved campsite, too. For once our plans came together nicely and easily!

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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.

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San Juan Canyon

The San Juan River | Sand Island to Mexican Hat
Sunday – Wednesday, May 11-14, 2014

We didn’t have any luck in the San Juan River lottery again this year, but I managed to grab an open date on the calendar for a time my friends and I would be able to go during the month of May. Like last year, I was only able to secure a permit from Sand Island to Mexican Hat. It was probably a good thing because I really didn’t want to take too much more time off from work in May since I had already taken a few days for my backpacking trip in Salt Creek Canyon and I have a few other days scheduled off for later in the month.

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Independence Day in Glenwood Canyon II

Grizzly Creek to South Canyon
Independence Day | Thursday, July 4, 2013

A repeat of last year’s Fourth of July! We had such a good time last year that we decided to raft Glenwood Canyon again this year from Grizzly Creek to South Canyon. We got an early start, which meant there weren’t many people at the boat launch or on the river yet. The water was about 1000cfs higher this year over last, so there were a few fun rapids to go through. We had another nice half-day trip on the river.

Prepping the boats near Grizzly Creek.

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Ruby – Horsethief Canyons

Friday – Sunday, August 24-26, 2012

After work on Friday I met Jackson at the Westwater exit on I-70, after the slower than usual drive through two construction zones, so that we could drop his car off at the Westwater takeout along the Colorado River. Our plan this weekend was to float through the Ruby – Horsethief Canyons section of the Colorado River from Loma to Westwater. This was going to be my very first overnight river trip and I had been looking forward to it for a while. Thanks to all my new backpacking gear bought earlier this year, packing the inflatable kayak was much easier, even though I decided to bring along a bigger tent this trip. This section of the Colorado is about 25 miles in length and is pretty mild, but it flows through some beautiful sandstone canyons. Once Jackson’s car was parked in the Westwater parking lot we took my Jeep back to the Loma boat ramp and got our inflatable kayaks ready for the trip. As I suspected, we had the launch site to ourselves on a Friday evening at about 5:30pm.

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