I have traveled from Paradox, CO to Gateway, CO and am intrigued by this river I know that it is bordered by private land, but am wondering if the stretch between Slip Rock and Gateway (approx 30 miles) could be done in a day with the current helping. Time frame would be late June after runoff has subsided, but not so late to be too shallow. Also, would like to do this in hardshell kayaks, not the inflatables. Anybody have any input whether this is doable or just a dream?
I doubt there’s going to be decent water
in Slickrock, but if enough comes down the San Miguel, you might get away with it. Private land isn’t an issue as long as you don’t camp on it.
There’s snowpack maps posted every winter, but I’ve forgotten the handles. You’d have to google. I believe BLM also posts predictions by spring.
Inside are some lynx
that may be of help.
First is the BLM info.
Next, the AW page on Slickrock Canyon. Not sure if you will be able to reach it if you’re a non-member.
Next, the link for the Bedrock to Gateway section. In my opinion, whoever wrote it may not have paddled that section. There are some hidden rapids along the Paradox Valley Road, specifically Trap Rapid. Rafters call it class 3. Probably it is just a 2 under 1000 cfs. Trap Rapid is one place a kayaker can get to the river from the road.
Here is a link to my solo run of Slickrock Canyon. Nice pictures and some info that might help you on the next sections. Because of the length of the link, you may have to select the whole thing by hand and then paste in the address line.
You should have the Dolores River Guide by Ralph DeVries and Stephen G. Maureer. They tend to over-rate rapids by a step, for safety of rafters, but as I said, they report some rapids along that Paradox Valley road, rapids you (and I) did not see from the road,
I suggest putting in low on the San Miguel and going to Gateway, which can be done in a day. Thirty miles from Bedrock would be too much for enjoyment.