-- Last Updated: Oct-13-12 6:18 PM EST --
Did Ruby Ranch to Mineral Bottoms a couple years ago. We went in mid-Sept and the weather was perfect, mid 80s through most of the trip... BUT its worth remembering you're pretty high - four or five thousand feet if I recall. At those heights weather can change dramatically at that time of year, at least so it seems to a guy who lives under 800ft normally. Take clothes for any possibility, though rain gear could perhaps be minimized from what I saw at that time of year. It is desert.
Kim's right. The river moves deceptively fast though it is quite flat. You could really eat the miles if you wanted to. I would advise DON'T.
The guy who suggested the trip I went on was experienced on that river. He suggested short days. I believe now he was exactly right. It would be a sin to blast through scenery like that. Hike the canyons, climb if you're into it, watch the afternoon light change on the canyon walls, get familiar with the plants, savor it. We did about ten miles/day though we could, of course, easily have done much more.
I'm still set on going back and doing exactly the trip you're asking about, all the way to the confluence. But I won't do it unless I can take the time required to do it right.
We used Tex's in Moab as outfitters as well. They did a good job, though perhaps others would as well. There are a lot of outfitters in Moab, but many do most of their work on the Colorado.
Permits are required. There's a long waiting list for private permits but you get one if you schedule through a commercial outfitter. Also by hiring an outfitter to take you in and out, supply an industrial sized groover (and clean it after - a BIG plus), and answer questions en route you get your money's worth.
Great trip. Enjoy!
PS: As an afterthought... If you camp near the mouth of Hell Roaring Canyon (just upstream from Mineral Bottoms) stake your tent down well, tie and turn over your boats, and take special care to have everything put away before turning in. After a perfectly clear, calm, afternoon and evening, under an amazingly clear starry sky, we got absolutely blasted with wind. We were all out there in our underwear chasing stuff around the sandbar. Canoes were rolling, tables blowing... It was like someone threw a switch. Lasted about an hour and stopped just as fast as it started. Next day we spoke with folks who had camped upstream from there and they didn't have a clue what we were talking about. I'm thinking that canyon didn't get its name from some historic flood. Advice, suggestions, general help re: Hell Roaring Canyon.
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