Backpacking The Dirty Devil

Nick

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Does anyone know of any routes or good sources of information in regard to backpacking in the Dirty Devil area downstream from Hanksville? So basically Robbers Roost and surrounding area? I'm trying to isolate a reasonably short route in that area, probably just an overnighter.

One thought I had would be to do the hike out to Happy Canyon but as an overnighter. Doable? What about crossing the Dirty Devil this time of year (this would be in about two weeks)?

Grassyass. :)
 

uintafly

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I'm gonna resurrect an old thread because I have been wanting to explore this area for a few years now.

Did you find out much information? I'm thinking of heading down there sometime this spring, probably late March. I would love to kayak it to Lake Powell and spend some time exploring the side canyons, but unfortunately the river is only high enough for about 1 week each year.
 

IntrepidXJ

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This is on my list for a trip in my inflatable kayak....once I have the time and the flows are sufficient :)
 

uintafly

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This is on my list for a trip in my inflatable kayak....once I have the time and the flows are sufficient :)

That is what I was thinking as well, but from what I hear it takes some good luck guessing the right week to go down so your not dragging the kayak across all of the sandbars. And with my job I have to pick the time at least a few weeks in advance which is why I am leaning on a backpack trip.

Though where would someone rent an inflatable?
 

Nick

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x3 on floating the Dirty Devil. That would be awesome.

As for backpacking in Robbers Roost, there are a lot of options. The trick is water. Several of the larger canyons have springs or flowing water in the lower sections so it's certainly doable. Aldaron recently posted a Trail Guide for accessing the area via Angel Cove and I believe langutah has some experience backpacking in the area. Where would you recommend, Art? I'm thinking about a trip there this spring as well.
 

Mike K

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I'd be interested in floating (packraft) the DD this spring if you guys are up for some company.
 

Artemus

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x3 on floating the Dirty Devil. That would be awesome.

As for backpacking in Robbers Roost, there are a lot of options. The trick is water. Several of the larger canyons have springs or flowing water in the lower sections so it's certainly doable. Aldaron recently posted a Trail Guide for accessing the area via Angel Cove and I believe langutah has some experience backpacking in the area. Where would you recommend, Art? I'm thinking about a trip there this spring as well.

Well, the Angel Trail is a MOST excellent hike and it crosses the river but would be a *long* car shuttle. I have done the car shuttle but not just for a one night trip. It is an excellent out and back however - even for just one day and from either side. The thing about the rim of the Dirty Devil on the east side is that there are vast expanses of slickrock you can walk for miles/days. It is the most expansive sections of slickrock I have seen and that includes places like the Death Hollow headwaters and many sections of the Escalante. That makes cross country travel and exploring easy. As Nick says water is the issue and I have filtered and drank the Dirty Devil quite a few times before. Steve Allen is my Southern Utah desert hero and who I look to to help design my trips and walks from water source to water source. There are numerous technical canyoneering descents including the one Nick, lostlandscapes and neiloro did detailed here as well. Too late tonight but in the next day or two I will post a couple of water sources that you can count to use to design your own overnight or multi-day trips (besides the Dirty, Dirty Devil).

As far as crossing the Devil... I have crossed multiple times and some of them solo. Usually depth is not an issue but can be. The tricky part is that you can't see the bottom so a) have a depth probe like a walking stick b)check the gage at Poison Springs and c)expect quicksand. I will see if I have a log of my crossing river depths, in CFS, at Poison Springs to help you out. See my walking partner Merlin crossing the Devil in this thread.

FOOTNOTE: floating the Devil is tricky... I know people that have tried to canoe it and went down, mostly walking, 5 miles then turned around and walked their canoe right back up the five miles and hauled it out. And then there was the 100 year flood a few years ago when a guy put his full size raft in at Hanksville and floated all the way to Lake Foul in a day.
 

Artemus

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Crossing (wading) the Dirty Devil

OK, here are the notes I kept...

The USGS streamflow gage is at Poison Springs and can be accessed here. This site says (or said) that safe wading could be done up to 416 cfs.

My experience (notes):
  1. crossed the river on No Man's backpack w/big group April 2, 2010 - easy, less than knee deep crossing at 175 cfs (median at that time is 110)
  2. crossed the river on solo backpack at Angel Trail May 9, 2008 w/Merlin w/ water at about 45 cfs - easy, less than knee deep
  3. crossed the river on solo backpack on October 19, 2007 w/Merlin going into Twin Corral Box - easy, less than knee deep at 15 cfs
On floating, I have heard you need 200cfs minimum but I have heard of people floating it for up to 9 days through to the lake but with a lot of walking dragging the boat at between 100-200.
As usual, caveat emptor. See my safety suggestions in the previous post. Be wary of quicksand. If memory serves, a teenager in a guided youth group got stuck last year and Search and Rescue had to come retrieve him (successfully) with a *great* deal of effort.
 

Dan

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Packraft. Hike in at Angel Trail. Out at Poison. 100 cfs or more.

Let's do it!
 

Artemus

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Packraft. Hike in at Angel Trail. Out at Poison. 100 cfs or more.

Let's do it!
I'm in! What's a pack raft? :rolleyes: The walking would be trivial (on the input and output). The scenery would be orgasmic. The goat-head seeds would be flat-pack-raft inducing or is it pack-raft-flat inducing?. Have to be sperm of the moment probably due to the small range of time that the Devil is actually floatable. I have to go check the river mileage. You know off the top of your head Danny-boy?
 

Dan

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it's roughly 35 miles, more or less. I think river mile 17 to 55ish.

packrafts can handle goat heads just fine. the window is actually not as small as you'd think. lots of folks have been running the dirty in march before the water gets diverted for farmers, and been successful in packrafts at around 100cfs.

this is an alpacka - https://www.alpackaraft.com/index.cfm/store.catalog?CategoryID=53

i've got access to a couple, just need access to floatable flows and time!
 

River

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I have a boat... Let's make it happen this year along with the Owyhees. I am a little worried about this though "Have to be sperm of the moment".
 
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Mike K

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Packraft. Hike in at Angel Trail. Out at Poison. 100 cfs or more.

Let's do it!

Sounds awesome! How long of a trip do you think it would be? You think the goat heads really aren't a concern?
 

River

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Packrafts are surprisingly durable. We floated the Escalante for a week in both 2010 and 2011. I was concerned about the long needle like thorns on all of the Russian olives in the river but didn't have any problems.

P1050229edsm.jpg
 

Michael

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I crossed at Happy Canyon last year on April 2, @ ~130 CFS. Water just shy of my gnads. Lots of quicksand. Cold. Fun :D.

- DAA

...thx for sharing, DAA!
Helpful video. How many yards are to cross?
Are wading boots required in Happy Canyon too?
I'm there in April and plan a two day trip from US 95 to Happy.

Thx for info. :)

Gesendet von meinem JB-ViperXed HOX
 

Dan

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Sounds awesome! How long of a trip do you think it would be? You think the goat heads really aren't a concern?
3-4 if you cruise, probably be better to do 6 or 7 if you want to hike the side canyons.
 
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