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Yampa River - colorado
20th of May
Streamflow 8760 cfs
Average 5000 cfs
Runnable Min 700 cfs
Runnable Max 10000 cfs
Gradient 12 FPM
Length 71 Miles
Class III to III+
Current Weather 77° Increasing Clouds and Breezy


Yampa Canyon is currently runnable with streamflow levels at 8760cfs, about 75% above the average runnable rate of 5000cfs. We recommend paddling this section of the Yampa River between a bare minimum of 700cfs and a high of 10000cfs.

This class III to III+ journey is accessible from Access - Deerlodge Park along the Yampa River. Paddlers should prepare for the 5 class III to III+ whitewater rapids along this run. Yampa Canyon is also ideal for multi day paddlers looking to do some camping too. Campers will find 9 riverside campsites as the run winds its way through 71 miles of the beautiful Yampa River. Streamflow levels and subsequent run conditions for Yampa Canyon are sourced from the nearby USGS streamflow gauge at Yampa River At Deerlodge Park, Co.. Weather on the river today will be increasing clouds, with a high near 77. breezy, with a south southwest wind 5 to 15 mph increasing to 15 to 25 mph in the afternoon. winds could gust as high as 45 mph.

Season Begins: March & Ends: July

Seasonal Flow Status: 0% Above Average

With a 8760cfs streamflow rate, Yampa Canyon is currently above its 5700cfs average seasonal streamflow for this time of year by 0%. Typically, this paddling destination has seen streamflow levels ranging between a low of 5700cfs in 2015, and a high of 5700cfs seen in 2015. Data for this report is sourced directly from USGS streamflow gauge 09260050

Hourly Forecast: 77° Today, Increasing Clouds and Breezy

Over the course of the next 5 days, weather conditions on the river are expected to range between A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms after noon. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 59. West wind 5 to 10 mph. to increasing clouds, with a high near 77. breezy, with a south southwest wind 5 to 15 mph increasing to 15 to 25 mph in the afternoon. winds could gust as high as 45 mph. Forecasts predict more snow this week across Colorado, with up to 5" of new snowfall expected on the river over the next 5 days.

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
Tepee Rapid

Tepee is a straight forward rapid as long as you don't get tangled in the massive hole left of center just after the rapid starts.  At high water this hole can get massive.  There is plenty of room to run past the whole on river right.  Below the hole is a rather fun set of waves that continue for a while.

Scout on river right trail above the rapid
III- to III Feet
Little Joe Rapid

II+ Feet
Five Springs Rapid

II+ to III Feet
Big Joe Rapid

III to III+ Feet
Warm Springs Rapid

This is the most talked about rapid in the main Yampa Canyon.  The river narrows as it drops over the rock debri that was deposited by the warm spring flash flood in the 60's.  More rock fall occurred after 2010 slightly altering the entrance into the rapid.   Run this rapid by staying right as you enter the rapid.  Pull/Push hard through some lateral waves coming off of the right bank to end up in the slower moving less turbulent water on river right.  You'll pass Godzilla hole here.  Once you are past that you can pull left hard to miss another hole at the bottom of the slower water just above maytag hole.  Doing this will have you pass left of maytag.  You can also just blast through the smaller hole above maytag and skirt maytag on the right. If you miss the entrance and setup on warm springs you are gauranteed a white knuckle beating in Godzilla and probably Maytag holes.

Scout from the medium sized eddy on river right immediately above the rapid.  Scout trail is rocky with lots of boulder hopping.
III to IV Feet

Regional 5 Day Forecasts

Run Overview

Permitted Watercraft

Yampa Canyon Campsites

Anderson Hole Camp

on river right

Ponderosa Camp

on river left

Tepee Camp

on river right

Big Joe Camp

on river right, right before Big Joe Rapid

Harding Hole Camps

a handful of camps on river left near the Bull Canyon drainage

Mathers Hole Camp

on river left

Laddie Park Camps

on river right.  room for several camps or parties here.

Warm Springs Camp

on river right

Box Elder Camps

several camps exist on the river bend on river right

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