9/25/17 Cataract Canyon Part 1
Trip report and current conditions for Cataract Canyon via Mineral
We had a crew of 6. I got the permit through the website about 3 weeks
before our launch. Once you submit your info it takes a few days for
them to review and send the link for you to pay. When your credit card
is confirmed you can print your actual permit. This system is a great
improvement from the old days.
Maryanne and I left Southern Oregon on 9/23 at o dark thirty with our
20′ Maraivia armed with a 6Hp outboard and 12 gal of non-ethonal Fuel.
Our plan was to make Delta Utah that night. All was going according to
plan with a fuel and final food buy in Elko until we got a text from
our PDX crew that sheered the axle spindle off their trailer… Not one
of my builds!!! We finished our shop and changed course to head to Nampa
Idaho to intercept and put their two 13′ boats on our monster trailer
known as the “Holly Roller” that I put a 5200lb axle under. We made
Nampa by 0000 and met them at a fine freeway hotel chain. Next morning
the tow company met us at their repair shop to open the locked gate so
we could complete the gear transfer and get on the road to push through
Salt Lake and over Solider Summit.
We distinctly try to avoid Salt Lake and this trip reaffirmed that
intention. 5 south bound lanes and driving rain with the standard city
scene is not my idea of a good time. Soldier Summit had a dusting of
snow but the roads were clear. We made good time and made it down the
mineral switch backs just as the light was fading. Mineral road was in
the best shape I can remember.
When we hit the ramp we were also pleasantly surprised by the lack of a
cut bank and easy access. A guy from the upper stretch pulled in with a
couple of kids and raft about the same time. We floated all three boats
capitalizing on the roller design. We then loaded the other boat and
dropped it on a tarp next to his car in the parking lot on flat ground
so he could easily de-rig and stay out of the mud.
The next morning we woke to what appeared to be a filming of the next
Fast and Furious at day break. They had the entire film crew in tow. T
Berry showed up at about 10 and gave of a hassle fee check out. He let
us know that 3 more canoe trips were launching soon.
We got off the beach at about 1130 and tied up for two days of
motoring. We took a short break at Fort Bottom and walked up the bluff
to check it out. Our hull land speed was about 5mph and we made camp
around mile 25.
Next morning we had a relaxed pace and got on the water about the same
time. There were a bunch of canoe trips but no other rafts on the
Green. The sign in for camps still has not been updated since the 90’s
so your basically on your own if you don’t already know. I’ll give you
the goods on camps at the end of this report.
We ended up at the bottom end of the brown Betty after
checking in with the commercial in the standard camp. Our push on the
top section allowed us time for a Stay Over… 3 nights. A day to chill
and another to hike. It is still some of the best hiking in the world
even after being in there 30 or more days over the last 20 years.
After we were thoroughly able to enjoy our vacation we set out for the
Rapids. It feels like coming home after 10years of being away. I used
to know every rock and shallow when we were running multiple snort
trips every year. Now I was forced to read the water more and had clean
lines. We camped at, big drop beach but were a bit surprised that one
of the little boats managed a legitimate flip on the pour over holes
next to the island. We were in good rescue position and got to them
quickly and pulled them and the turtle over to Big Drop Beach.
What a great camp. No carry, lots of wood and a super cool view and
The next day we warmed up with Big Drop 1 and headed for the first
scout. The Claw has definitely moved again but the rest looks the same.
There may be a bit more left to right current pushing into the Window
rock but I may not remember that from my motor trips as I usually kept
close to the left shore/ Eddie using reverse until pushing right at low
water. One of our small boats had to pull off of Window rock and caught
more of the left pour over than ideal.
Moments later we were scouting BD 3. It was standard low water Gut run
to the right of Big Mossy. As usual you can’t see anything over the
lip so you best pick your markers well. The current is tricky at top
where the “thank God” current is moving left to right. We pulled out
of the Eddie high and that last 75yards is the longest of the trip. I
had to push back left to get my right tube on the right marker wave.
From there you can just enjoy the ride. Everyone came through hairy
side up!!! The last of the Rapids finished at 29 on the new Rivermaps
As we were coming out of 28 we saw something that did not immediately
register. Was it a play boat? No that’s not it. A few seconds later it
became obvious to even the casual observer what we were seeing was a
yard sale of epic proportions.
To see the conclusion and for camp site information along with ramp
conditions vista our blog at: