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What makes the Dirty Devil River trip so special is the fact that there's hardly any water in it. It doesn't give itself up easily so few people float it during the season. A year had passed since I met Ralph and I had the urge to float the river. The USGS has a water gauge "waterdata.usgs.gov/ut" at poison springs which is a little more than halfway down the river from Hanksville. When my brother and I floated the Dirty Devil the water was flowing at around 85cfs. It is important to remember that the gauge is halfway down the river and the upper half has slower flows. Between the two of us we've done very little paddling so we opted to use one and two person inflatable aire ducky's. We each had our own dry bag as well.
The first day of our trip we found ourselves scraping the bottom of the river ever five minutes or so. We would get out of the ducky's and the would float while we walked until the river deepend. I don't know much about boats but I would not do this trip with anything that has less floatation than a ducky. The river was very braided and the ducky's did very well despite the water being mostly calf deep. As the days progressed the river tightened up and the paddling got better although getting out and walking with the boat still happened a lot. The bottom of the Dirty Devil is made up mostly of tightly compacted sand so walking in it is pleasant. The views in the canyon are amazing and we only saw one foot print the entire trip. It took us 3.5 days but it can be done in 3 if the river is up and you don't have to spend time walking. The highlight of the trip was the last day when we entered into the area where lake Powell used to be. The Dirty Devil had cut a path through the silt that the lake had deposited making a quick almost roller coaster ride. The water was banked by overhanging canyon walls. If you plan on doing this trip think like a mountaineer and go light. Even a 30 pound difference between my brother and myself was all it took for him to drag along the bottom while I continued to float and laugh as he got out and walked.
Recreational Kayak Paddle
1 Canoe/Kayak Trailer