Springs in Grand Gulch 2022

Diane Greer

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Nov 28, 2013
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Has anyone been down in Grand Gulch recently? Wondering how the springs are running. Called the ranger station and they did not have any updates on the current water situation in the canyon.
 

Bob

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Mar 3, 2013
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Kinda early. But with the moisture s Utah recently has received I'd expect potholes and a little running..
 

lightnfast

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Mar 28, 2022
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Looking for the same info if anyone has been down there recently Heading out mid-April myself. Rainfall appears to have been extremely light this year so far, Bumping your thread Diane :) hope that's ok.
 

Diane Greer

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Nov 28, 2013
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I just got to Blanding tody and have been trying to get a read on the water situation. The rangers have not been down into much of the canyon and the reports from people who have been down are spotty.

There is alot of water in Kane Gulch (except for the last 1/2 miles above junction)
Good pools reports in Todie
Lion Track Spring (near split level) is reported to have some small pools
There are good pools reported in Sheiks
Bullet has some small pools in the wash
Green, Step and Dripping have water but you have to "walk back a bit" to find it (per the ranger at Kane Gulch) The last dry year I backpacked grand gulch I needed to walk 0.8 miles up Step canyon to the source of the spring for water.
There are no reports on Pollys
The Big Pouroff has water but it's quality is questionable.
No reports if Deer Canyon Spring is running.
Bannister has a small pool that is "oily"
The ranger had been down the canyon south of Collins and reported good water in pools along the wash along with enough water around Water Canyon for swimming. Between Water and Shaw there are pools in the wash
No report on if the spring around Shaw Arch (Wetherill Arch is running).

(I personally would love some additional information about the Spring around Shaw Arch,)

It rained about a week ago so there are still scattered pools from that storm in the wash. It has been in the 70's for the past three days so the pools are starting to dry, The Range recommended that anyone walking between Government and Bullet use available pools to top off their water to avoid having to walk back up Dripping, Step and Green. (The walk up Green is not that bad if required.)

There is rain in the forecast tonight (Monday - 50%) and during the day on Tuesday (60%). Hopefully it will rain and replenish some of the pools in the wash.

It is very dry out here. No one knows how long the water will last. I strongly recommend calling the Monticello BLM office in a week or so to see if they have any updated reports and stopping by Kane Gulch before starting your backpack to check on current condition.

Finally, I am using Val's Shuttles out of Bluff for a car drop between Collins and Kane Gulch. They are a good option for anyone looking for someone to help with a car shuttle btween trailheads. (https://www.valssanjuanshuttles.com/).

Hope this helps.

Diane
 

Bob

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Sounds good except the part about enough for swimming.... I would hope people wouldn't swim in any waterholes even if it looks like enough water around.. .. I don't like drinking people's S ***
 

lightnfast

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Mar 28, 2022
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Checked this morning and while I suck at reading their table looks like they got about .6 inches of rain at Kane Gulch RS! If there was another dousing say April 14, the day before my trip starts, that would be great... Another terrible year for precip in SE Utah, SW Colorado, etc., etc., looks like.

Diane, thank you so much for the detailed beta, I'll take it all with a grain of salt as the days pass, sun beats down, and keep watching for more rain. As you mentioned, always smart (hell it used to be required!) to stop by and check with the Rangers. Plus, you got your permit, right?. I can't wait to get back out there. With a car shuttle, we're going to start at Kane take Grand to the SJ, and exit Collins.
 

IntrepidXJ

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Jan 17, 2012
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As you mentioned, always smart (hell it used to be required!) to stop by and check with the Rangers.
Not always, we ran into groups that were told by Rangers last year that there was plenty of water in Grand Gulch between Kane and Bullet and that wasn’t the case…they were struggling since they didn’t carry enough water with them.
 

RyanP

Formerly bob32
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Mar 1, 2015
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399
Not always, we ran into groups that were told by Rangers last year that there was plenty of water in Grand Gulch between Kane and Bullet and that wasn’t the case…they were struggling since they didn’t carry enough water with them.
Huh, usually it's the other way around. Last week, the ranger at the Needles District Visitor Center told us that there were absolutely no reliable water sources in the Needles District whatsoever, and everyone must pack in all the water for their trip (I had asked pointed questions about a few of the regular water sources that I am aware of). There ended up being plenty (although Elephant Canyon was indeed drier than normal)
 

PaulMags

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Feb 14, 2022
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Find past experience and knowing the area more reliable unless I know the ranger is also familiar with the area. Not every ranger necessarily knows the area and may be newly posted there.

We went to an obscure place in Big Bend this past December (but not THAT obscure) and the ranger said they had never gone there before as it was her first season. Not faulting the ranger as she did not claim anything but it is good to take all info in context with the person giving the info.

Rangers, again not always, also tend to go on the side of caution publically esp if they ARE more experienced rangers and don't know you. :)

I should also add that one person's great pothole or seeping spring may be another person's "EEW!" or not able to get depending on their water gathering methods. (When I shared the "gather a shallow seep with a Ziploc" trick to some people, they seemed amazed!)
 
Last edited:

lightnfast

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Mar 28, 2022
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Humans are not infallible. Rangers have a lot more on their plate than checking water availability. Districts were underfunded before the outdoor industry succeeded in selling the outdoors to the masses, let alone after the post-Covid boom. I was referring to the requirement to visit the RS to get your permit (no longer required), watching the visit with respect video, making sure you understand the fragility of the ecosystem and artifacts, etc., not that you absolutely HAVE to talk to rangers about water.

At the end of the day, it's our responsibility to choose how we go about planning, preparing, etc.

Use good judgment.

But hey, what do I know? I'm just a former ranger!
 

Bob

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Mar 3, 2013
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Humans are not infallible. Rangers have a lot more on their plate than checking water availability. Districts were underfunded before the outdoor industry succeeded in selling the outdoors to the masses, let alone after the post-Covid boom. I was referring to the requirement to visit the RS to get your permit (no longer required), watching the visit with respect video, making sure you understand the fragility of the ecosystem and artifacts, etc., not that you absolutely HAVE to talk to rangers about water.

At the end of the day, it's our responsibility to choose how we go about planning, preparing, etc.

Use good judgment.

But hey, what do I know? I'm just a former ranger!
I think you still mostly have to pick permit up in person for camping below the rim .. day hiking ones no .. Headed down in mid April and had to arrange to get permit as starting in on sunday.
 

Uncle_Dim

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Jun 14, 2016
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I think you still mostly have to pick permit up in person for camping below the rim .. day hiking ones no .. Headed down in mid April and had to arrange to get permit as starting in on sunday.
I'm heading in Friday and my permit was emailed to me. No requirement to go to the Ranger Station. Still waiting for any beta on the water situation.
 

gnwatts

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I would be willing to bet you will find plenty of water.
Best to be cautious though.
 

lightnfast

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Mar 28, 2022
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Recreation.gov says in-person permit pickups have been suspended, BLM website says the opposite. I'll still stop in to get beta on water.
 

Uncle_Dim

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Jun 14, 2016
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We saw lots of water in the first few miles on the descent into Kane. There was water 1/4 up Todie. We were told there was water up Coyote but we didn't need water at that point. We also found water up Sheiks just past Green Mask. There is also some water just below Jailhouse and up at the upper portion of Bullet.
 

TreverM

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Apr 30, 2022
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Any water updates? We're going in from the ranger station to bullet may 9-13th
 
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