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Tag: john wesley powell

Yampa Canyon: The Yampa River in Dinosaurland

Floating Across Dinosaur National Monument | Friday – Tuesday, May 5-9, 2023

For years, Jackson and I have wanted to float the lower section of the wild and scenic Yampa River that carves its way through Dinosaur National Monument, so we have been entering the lottery each winter for a chance to obtain that hard-to-get permit hoping that maybe we would eventually get lucky. This year after we were unsuccessful in the lottery yet again, we decided it was time to actively try harder to get a permit and Jackson was able to secure a Low-Use Season permit for early May just a few days before the High-Use season would begin. This was actually great timing for me since I have been spending the first weekend of May in Dinosaurland these past couple of years and now I could look forward to spending that same timeframe floating across Dinosaur National Monument on the Yampa River this year!

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Dirty Devil River: Lower Sand Slide to Angel Cove

Dirty Devil Daily | Buck Canyon, Pasture Canyon & Beaver Canyon
Friday – Sunday, April 14-16, 2023 | Average CFS: 210

This weekend I had been hoping to go on a short packrafting loop with Jared on a stretch of the Dirty Devil River so I could get a little taste and feel for that particular river before committing to a longer trip in the future, but during the preceding week I was getting a little disappointed to see the water levels drop below 100cfs, which was my absolute minimum level for attempting this trip. On Thursday afternoon when the water levels still had not come up, I figured that the packrafting trip was not going to happen this weekend and we started making alternate plans for an overnight backpacking trip into another canyon of the Escalante River. To my surprise, later on Thursday evening the Dirty Devil jumped up to over 200cfs, so we put those backpacking plans on hold and kept an eye on the water levels all day Friday hoping they would hold. When I left work on Friday afternoon the level was still staying up, so Jared and I planned to meet at a campsite near Hanksville and we would make a final decision on Saturday morning dependent upon what the river did overnight. We brought our backpacking gear along with us just in case we had to change plans again.

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Stillwater Canyon: The Green River in Canyonlands

Floating from Mineral Bottom to The Confluence | Average CFS: 2,590
Friday – Wednesday, September 16-21, 2022

The time had finally come! It was time for me to float the Green River through Stillwater Canyon in Canyonlands National Park and I couldn’t have been more excited! I’ve wanted to float this stretch of the river for many years now but have always put it off for other trips because I was a little concerned about making it to The Confluence in time for the Jetboat shuttle. Our float down Meander Canyon was actually kind of a test to see how easy it would be for us to make that kind of distance in our inflatable kayaks at this time of the year, and we ended up coming up short by about eleven miles on that trip. Still, I made it one of my goals to finally get into Stillwater Canyon this year and booked the Jetboat shuttle back in February. This time I added an extra day to the trip just to make sure we would have enough time to make it to The Confluence. As usual, my friends Jackson and Chris were supposed to join me on this trip, but unfortunately Chris had to back out the week before, so this time it would just be me and Jackson.

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The Green River: High Water in Labyrinth Canyon

Ruby Ranch to Mineral Bottom | Average CFS: 17,300
Thursday – Sunday, June 2-5, 2022

After spending a full week circling around the Colorado Plateau with Diane, then having two days at home to rest and two more days back at work, it was finally time to get back on the river! Although my friends and I had entered a couple river permit lotteries earlier in the year, none of us were successful at getting any, so instead we decided to do another float through Labyrinth Canyon of the Green River from Ruby Ranch to Mineral Bottom. While I typically prefer to float the Green River and Colorado River through the canyonlands region in the late summer when there are plenty of sandbars for camping on, which are some of my absolute favorite places to camp, I figured it would be interesting to see what the river was like at high water, even though I knew that it was going to be a busy place with limited campsites at this time of the year. I knew from the start that I wasn’t going to be doing much hiking and exploring on this trip, so I just planned on a relaxing float down the river with plenty of time spent in camp.

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Final Trails in Dinosaur National Monument

Friday – Sunday, April 29 – May 1, 2022

It has been almost exactly one year since I started working towards my goal of finishing all of the ‘official trails‘ within Dinosaur National Monument that I had not hiked yet, and this weekend I planned to head back so I could finally complete it. Although the two trails left on my list probably wouldn’t be considered official trails by most people, I guess I’m a completist when it comes to hiking and thought they were important enough to be included. Plus, they would bring me into new parts of the park I had not explored yet, which is always an added bonus. However, they each also happened to be located on completely opposite ends of the park, so I’d have to cover a lot of ground this weekend! I left a little early from work on Friday afternoon and drove over Douglas Pass as I made my way to Island Park on the Utah side of Dinosaurland to get my weekend started.

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