Colorado River: Westwater Canyon
Length of Trip: 18 miles
Gradient: 7 ft/mile Maximum Gradient 20 ft/mile
Difficulty: Class IV- below 4,000 cfs and Class IV
above 4,000 cfs
Water Flows: May 20th-June 15th
Flow: Call Watertalk @ 831-7135, Division 5, Station
10 for current river levels.
Permits Needed: May 1st-September 30th, overnite camping
permits needed year round. Call the BLM at 801-259-8193 for
Scenery: A+ Classic Desert Canyon Run.
Put-In: From Colorado, 4-miles past the border on
I-70, in Utah, take the Westwater exit, left under the bridge.
Stay on the paved/dirt road 8.3 miles to the put-in (keep
left at the fork at 4.8 miles).
Take-out: Cisco exit, left under highway, then right
on frontage road. 5.2 miles to Cisco, then left, just before
the buildings, (dirt road). 4.9 miles of dirt, bare left at
"Y" to takeout.
Shuttle: From the put-in, drive 3.5 miles to the fork
in the road, bare left, (dirt) and drive 4 miles. The road
goes under I-70, then turn right (east), and right again to
circle back around to parallel I-70 west. Get on highway,
go 7.1 miles to Cisco exit.
Description: 1 or 2 day run. The first 7 miles are
flat with some class II and III rapids. Little Dee is the
first major rapid, then a little more flat water before Marble
Canyon. Once the boater starts Marble Canyon, the rapids come
one after another. Above 5,000 cfs, rock walls often come
straight down into the water, making stopping or rescue difficult.
Funnel Falls comes at you quickly, then a few more rapids
lead to Skull rapid and the Room of Doom. Skull rapid can
be scouted from river left. You recognize Skull by the talus
on river left, smooth rock wall on river right and the canyon
angles left below the rapid. Just below Skull rapid on the
right is the Room of Doom, where a large eddy swirls around.
Rafts have been known to get stuck in this whirlpool. Most
boats and boaters should avoid this whirlpool above 4,000
cfs. Below Skull rapid is Bowling Alley, Sock-it-to-me, and
Last Chance. Below Last Chance is 6 miles of flatwater to
the takeout. At high water, 20,000 cfs, many of these rapids
disappear, and huge eddy lines appear to challenge boaters.
This is a great late season run, and has big water characteristics