Holy Hanksville! Utah’s Dirty Devil Floods to 5,500 cfs

-

- Advertisment -

Not that we’re aware of anyone who had their act together quick enough to run it, but Utah’s slot canyon Dirty Devil River surged to a whopping 5,500 cfs in a flood near Hanksville on Sept. 2, promising a rollicking ride to anyone brave enough to float it (and quick enough to catch the pulse). Rumors have it surging to a whopping 19,000 cfs farther downstream during the deluge, before carrying its namesake sediment into Lake Powell.

“I knew of some people who were hoping to go and run it,” says Sarah Tingey, co-owner of Alpacka Rafts, based in nearby Mancos, Colo. “But by the time they were loading the car in the morning it had already dropped back down so they didn’t end up driving out there. I don’t know of anyone who was actually able to get on it at 19K.”

The Dirty Devil section from Hanksville to Poison Springs includes Class I and II rapids. The section from Poison Springs to Hite can include Class III rapids if the water flows are right — but a much higher rating at flood. The entire section from Hanksville to Hite is 80 miles (50 miles from Hanksville to Poison Springs and 30 more miles to Hite) and most people do it in 7-14 days. At a flood level like that, it likely couldn’t been done in a day — if  you survived.

The biggest dilemma when planning a float trip down the Dirty Devil is timing for flows are sufficient for floating. On average, March and April are the only months that the river is potentially floatable. It can be done with flows as low as 65 cfs if you are willing to drag your boat for the first few days. But guidebooks warn to always be aware of such flash floods — even if the skies are clear above you.

History Note: The name “Dirty Devil” tells it all. John Wesley Powell passed by the mouth of this stream on his historic exploration of the Colorado River. When someone asked whether it was a trout stream, a boatman shouted back, “No she is a dirty devil”, and the river has been known by that name ever since.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -

Latest news

Paddling Scotland’s Glasgow to Edinburgh Canoe Trail 

By Corey Buhay “Hiya, where you goin’ thar?” a man shouted from the shore. I looked up from my paddling...

Break Out the Popcorn: HBO/TGR “Edge of the Earth” Series Debuts

Get ready to be on the edge of your seat for "Edge of the Earth," a new HBO and...

2022 Golden Rodeo Down River Race Results

2022 Golden Rodeo Down River Race On Wednesday, June 29th, the Colorado Whitewater Association hosted a spectacular down river race...

New King & Queen of North Fork Champs: Hayden Voorhees, Jenn Chrimes Take Crowns

There’s a new King and Queen of the North Fork Championships, Idaho’s prestigious Class V kayak race on the...
- Advertisement -

Floods Bring Epic, Record Flows to WYO, MT; Paddlers Chime In

Big water boaters in southern Montana and northern Wyoming were either licking their chops or hiding their boating gear...

Kayaking Ecuador: 7 Class IV Jungle Rivers in 7 Days 

I’ve learned a new word in Spanish: “Nudillos.” It means “knuckles,” and that’s exactly what the sloth is extending...

Must read

Paddling Scotland’s Glasgow to Edinburgh Canoe Trail 

By Corey Buhay “Hiya, where you goin’ thar?” a man...

2022 Golden Rodeo Down River Race Results

2022 Golden Rodeo Down River Race On Wednesday, June 29th,...
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you