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Wilderness Tripping - BWCA & Beyond New Topic Printer Friendly Version

  Lower Colorado River in Feb
  Posted by: ppine on Sep-17-12 4:45 PM (EST)

I have thought about paddling in the winter down in the desert country for a long time. My brother has been in South America for many months and is coming home in awhile. Has anyone paddled from Blythe to Yuma? Is it difficult to avoid the powerboats? I am always leery about trips around people from california. Thanks.

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  Posted by: old_user on Sep-22-12 10:54 AM (EST)
It's 76 miles from Blythe to Imperial dam & approx 18 more to Yuma. I've paddled the 1st 35 miles to Walters camp 2x & would only go again if desparate to wet my paddle in otherwise very dry country. The CA side is continuous farmland. AZ side is wilder but the river is channelized & banks are continuous rip-rap. Haven't paddled miles #36-62 by Picacho Rec area on Ca side but hear it's more scenic than upriver. Next section down to Imperial dam @ mile #76 is scenic. River is much reduced below Imp dam w/ lots of development as you approach Yuma.
Big powerboats aren't an issue. Some small fishing boats above Imp dam
For a much more scenic section of Colorado flatwater consider Black canyon/L Mohave from Hoover dam down to Laughlin/Bullhead City or Topock gorge above L Havasu
  winter paddle
  Posted by: ppine on Sep-24-12 10:57 AM (EST)
Thanks for the input. Any idea about the distance from Black Canyon to Laughlin? Is there some sort of permit for the put-in? Or did I hear that it is open only certain days of the week?
  Colorado River 2013
  Posted by: ppine on Mar-11-13 12:50 PM (EST)
I just teturned from 2 weeks in the desert and a week on the Colorado R. The weather was cooler than usual with hard frost and wind.

The last night in camp a Navy Blue Angel jet passed over camp and we waved, and he waved his wings. The full moon rose over the river at sunset. We were serenaded by wild donkeys, the coyote choir and 2 great horned owls. A river otter swam past camp. We told the stories of the day around a warm campfire. Desert bighorn sheep, bald eagles, osprey, Sandhill cranes, and Mexican hawks. And jets, lots of really fast military jets.

A lot of access on and off the river has been lost. The vegetation has become overgrown on the lower river. But all in all it was a transformative trip for several crew members, and we are already planning our next trip.


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