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Colorado River - utah
20th of May
Streamflow 14100 cfs
Average 8000 cfs
Runnable Min 1000 cfs
Runnable Max 16000 cfs
Gradient 10 FPM
Length 17 Miles
Class III to IV
Current Weather 88° Partly Sunny and Windy


Westwater is currently runnable with streamflow levels at 14100cfs, about 76% above the average runnable rate of 8000cfs. We recommend paddling this section of the Colorado River between a bare minimum of 1000cfs and a high of 16000cfs.

This class III to IV journey is accessible from 2 different boat launch points along the Colorado River. Paddlers should prepare for the 10 class III to IV whitewater rapids along this run. Westwater is also ideal for multi day paddlers looking to do some camping too. Campers will find 8 riverside campsites as the run winds its way through 17 miles of the beautiful Colorado River. Streamflow levels and subsequent run conditions for Westwater are sourced from the nearby USGS streamflow gauge at Colorado River Near Cisco, Ut.

Westwater Canyon is carved by the Colorado River through the desert of the eastern Colorado Plateau.  The Colorado Plateau spans a large area surrounding the intersection of the borders of Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, and Arizona and is flush with numerous geographic wonders.  The basement rock in the heart of the canyon reveals exposed black granite from the Proterzoic era; rock 1.75 billion years old found in few places on the Colorado River outside of the Grand Canyon. The upper canyon is composed of sandstone.  Bring your geologist friends and let them gush effusively over the impressive unconformities and textbook examples of geologic uplift as you float through this remarkable desert canyon. Weather on the river today will be partly sunny, with a high near 88. windy, with a south wind 10 to 20 mph increasing to 20 to 30 mph in the afternoon. winds could gust as high as 50 mph.

Season Begins: January & Ends: December

Seasonal Flow Status: 39% Above Average

With a 14100cfs streamflow rate, Westwater is currently above its 10148cfs average seasonal streamflow for this time of year by 39%. Typically, this paddling destination has seen streamflow levels ranging between a low of 4100cfs in 2012, and a high of 15300cfs seen in 2016. Data for this report is sourced directly from USGS streamflow gauge 09180500

Hourly Forecast: 88° Today, Partly Sunny and Windy

Over the course of the next 5 days, weather conditions on the river are expected to range between A chance of showers, with thunderstorms also possible after noon. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 68. to partly sunny, with a high near 88. windy, with a south wind 10 to 20 mph increasing to 20 to 30 mph in the afternoon. winds could gust as high as 50 mph. It doesn't look like there's any substantial snow forecasted this week with air temperatures ranging between 68° - 88°

Forecast Discussion

000 FXUS65 KGJT 161042 AFDGJT Area Forecast Discussion National Weather Service Grand Junction CO 442 AM MDT Thu May 16 2019 .SHORT TERM...(Today through Friday) Issued at 441 AM MDT Thu May 16 2019 Significant changes to our weather pattern will start to take shape today with the introduction of pre-frontal winds in increasingly strong southwest flow. Deep mixing is anticipated by this afternoon, even with an increase in mid/high level cloud cover. Then throw in a few high based virga showers passing over the lower valleys of east-central and southeast Utah and west- central Colorado this afternoon and we have the ingredients in place to drive gusty winds down to the surface. Peak speeds should arrive in the 45 to 55 mph range by this afternoon and earlier issued wind advisories have been expanded a bit to include west- central Colorado. On the convective front, latest runs of the HRRRE and NamNest keying on a few stronger cells developing this afternoon over the higher terrain near the divide. While trends are similar, placement and timing of individual cells differs greatly. Both hinting at a little more organized activity firing on the south facing slopes of the Grand Mesa late this afternoon. Cells then drive north and cross I-70 between 6 and 8 pm, before heading north into the Flat Tops and across our northern tier zones by midnight. Will maintain at least scattered coverage of showers and thunderstorms into the evening hours, focused east of a line from Craig to Durango. Isolated coverage elsewhere and with dry boundary layer conditions, strong outflow winds will be the biggest threat with cells today. Strong surface front will sweep through late tonight and Friday, ushering in a solid 10 to 20 degree cooldown across the forecast area. Widespread showers will break out during the day as moisture fills in behind the front. Still expect breezy to windy conditions, especially across the San Juans and southern valleys, which is typical behind these Pacific waves. .LONG TERM...(Friday night through Wednesday) Issued at 441 AM MDT Thu May 16 2019 Showers and thunderstorms will persist ...

Whitewater Rapids and Obstacles

Obstacle Summary Class Elevation

Look to run right of center

III to IV Feet

Look to run left of center

III to IV Feet
Big Hummer

Run right of center

III to IV Feet

Down the middle between the rocks.  Watch the right wall.

III to IV Feet

Starts with a hole on river right.  Down river is a hole on river left.  Enter left of the river right hole and pull left to right avoiding the river left hole.

III to IV Feet

Start right and pull left.  You want to avoid the hole on river right and razor rock on river left.  Higher water will cover razor rock so beware.  Once you are through pull left to avoid the room of doom.

III to IV Feet
Bowling Alley

Follow the wave train down the middle

III to IV Feet
Sock It To Me

Watch for Magnetic Wall on river left below this rapid.

III to IV Feet
Last Chance

Right or left of center.

III to IV Feet
Little Dolores Rapid

Run center.  Watch for a hole you will need to punch through.  The wave-hole in the middle of the rapid is best playboating on the river and at the right flows one of the best in Colorado.  The best flows are in the 4000-5000 cfs range.  Ferry access is available from river right, but can be challenging.

read and run
III to III+ 4248.46 Feet

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Run Overview

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Westwater Campsites

Cougar Bar - Upper

Sand beach on river right

Cougar Bar - Lower

This is a low water camp only on river left.

Little Hole

Little Dolores Camp

A nice beach on river left as the colorado carves left.

Hades Bar Camp

On river right just after the little dolores confluence

Big Hole Camp

Big Hole is where the colorado has cut through a horseshoe it made on itself and has removed over a mile of river meandering.  Camp is on river right

Big Horn Camp

Bald Eagle Camp

Camp on river right

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