Ruby-Horsethief and Westwater Canyon River Trip

Last week we celebrated our state holiday with a four day river trip on the Colorado. I had only been rafting once before – right after a conference in Snowmass, CO when I was amazingly hungover and new to the world of camping and groovers.

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Pooping on the river is interesting……

We had been storing our friends raft in our garage for a couple of years and we were hoping they would let us tag along on one of their trips. Our friend worked as a river guide and has made the trip down the whitewater Westwater section over 20 times – so we were in safe hands.

On Thursday we left early for a four hour drive to Loma, CO, where are trip was due to start. It’s amazing how much stuff you can fit into a raft – a giant cooler, two giant dry boxes + camping stuff, clothes, chairs, beer and other essentials for 3 nights in the great outdoors.

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We only had about 1.5 hours of floating – but it went by really quickly with such pretty views.

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We set up camp and had some steak and shrimp for dinner (fancy!). In the middle of the night we were woken by the most insane thunderstorm – it seemed like the whole sky was ablaze with lightening and the thunder roared. It was scary and awesome. We also got rained on – in July and in the desert.

Friday and Saturday were spent floating on the river. Lots of eating and river beers. Plus some beautiful views.

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We saw some big horn sheep. And a bald eagle. And a ton of herons.

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Friday night camp was at Blackrocks. Some really cool rock formations and a nice swimming spot.

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Saturday was our final float day – and we saw some classic Utah red rock walls and a demon face.

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We camped just a little upstream of the rapid part of our trip – Westwater Canyon. You need a permit to travel down this section and it’s limited to about 70 people per day. It’s a pretty narrow canyon and you need to know what you are doing to get down without flipping your boat. Luckily we had an expert rower and made it down without any dips in the river.

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I think there were 12 different rapids – and we got soaking wet but it was so much fun. I think I laughed my way through each one. It took us about 10 mins to travel 2 miles (versus about 40 mins on the floater days).

We made it to the Cisco pullout at lunchtime on Sunday and were back in Salt Lake (via In and Out) by 630 PM. What a great trip!

And major thanks to Irene for being smart enough to bring a camera and waterproof case to document our trip.

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20 thoughts on “Ruby-Horsethief and Westwater Canyon River Trip

  1. Wow!! What an amazing trip!! Sounds like a phenomenal experience!! I’ve never camped that much, but it certainly sounds like your adventure was fantastic!! XOXO!!

  2. What a freaking AWESOME adventure!!! I wish I had ever gone rafting when I lived out that way. It just sounds like so much fun and there’s not really anywhere around here like that (that I know of). Those days of floating and beer on the river sound like the perfect way to relax. Great photos, friend!

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