Colorado River through the Professor Valley can begin at the take-out for the popular Westwater Canyon run. The first 24 miles to Hittle Bottom are a mellow Class I float. Some come specifically for this sections while many bypass it by putting in at Hittle Bottom or Dewey Bridge at the Dolores confluence. For those who paddle this first section the absense of others and the presence of wildlife is notable from upstream or downstream.
While there's not any real action, a few whitewater rapids (class II/III), do break up the scenic float once you enter the Professor Valley past Hittle Bottom.
This 18 mile stretch in the middle of the run makes a good overnight trip.It IS popular so don't expect to have the river to yourself and camping is restricted to designated sites with roadside ranger enforcement.
Boaters can continue their trip downstream to Cataract Canyon (Permit required past the Green River confluence) or take advantage of boating opportunities on the upstream sections of the Colorado or Dolores which come together just downstream of the Rose Ranch put-in:
Other Reaches of the Colorado River:01. Hot Sulphur Springs to Hwy 40 bridge (Byers Canyon) (CO, IV)02. Gore Canyon (CO, IV-V)03. Pumphouse campground to Rancho Del Rio (Pumphouse) (CO, III)04. Hanging Lake Exit 125 (I-70) to Shoshone Power Plant Exit 123 (I-70) (Barrel Springs) (CO, IV-V [V+])05. Shoshone Power Plant, Exit 123 (I-70) to Grizzly Creek, Exit 121 (I-70) (Shoshone) (CO, III-IV)06. Cameo Dam (Big Sur / Lucky 7) (CO, III)07. Loma to Westwater (Ruby / Horsethief Canyons) (CO-UT, II)08. Westwater to Rose Ranch (Westwater Canyon) (UT, I-IV)09. Cisco (Rose Ranch) to Moab (Professor Valley) (UT, I-III)10. Moab to Powell Reservoir (Cataract Canyon) (UT, I-IV)11. Lees Ferry to Lake Mead (Grand Canyon) (AZ, I-V)12. Black Canyon (AZ-NV, I)
There is a large boat ramp on river left, downstream of the bridge.
ran this 11/23/16 at ~3500cfs in a paddlecat from lower onion creek to takeout beach, took about 3 1/2 hours for this 11 mile stretch. mostly flat water, a few riffles and small wave trains, looks like one hole to avoid at higher water. a nice scenic float trip, saw a bald eagle and great blue heron, but no other people on the river.
There is a large ramp/takeout here: 38.661755,-109.500685 called "Takeout Beach." It is a good spot to get out before the slack water above Moab.
There is a good put-in/takeout here: 38.695257,-109.409914 just above Rocky Rapids.
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Permits are not required for this reach.
To reach the put-in: take one of the Cisco exits off I-70 and continue towards Cisco. Take the dirt road heading southeast out of Cisco and continue on towards the river. Take the left fork to reach the access ramp at Rose Ranch (easy put-in for rafts).
To reach the take-out: head back to Cisco, turn left, and then take a second left on Highway 128 which parrallels the run through the Professor Valley and goes all the way to Moab. The road makes for an easy shuttle and the lower reaches are a popular day trip for folks in Moab.
Alternate river access:Dewey Bridge (river left) and Hittle Bottom (with ramp, restrooms, and camping) which puts you just above the rapids on this section.
Big Bend (about 6 miles upstream of Moab) is a take-out just below the last rapids of the Professor Valley Run.
late fall float
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Future Colorado River water shortages could limit boating opportunities, according to a recent US Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) report. The Colorado’s flow is expected to decline, presenting challenges to ecosystems and the 40 million people reliant on the river system. AW continues working to ensure that boatable flows are protected and is asking paddlers to help strengthen our message by submitting comments to BOR by March 13.
The State of Utah is developing the first comprehensive management plans for state-owned sections of the Colorado and Green Rivers, and updating the existing Mineral Leasing Plan for these state lands. This effort will determine how these rivers are managed and where mining, oil, gas, and hydrocarbon leases will be allowed. Paddlers are encouraged to speak up!
American Whitewater staff traveled to Green River, UT in late March to meet with private water users and state agencies, and to participate in the official opening of the new boat passage through the Green River Diversion (Tusher Dam). Completion of the boat passage has freed the Green River from its last in-stream obstruction between the Flaming Gorge Dam and the confluence with the Colorado River – over 400 floatable river miles through iconic canyons and historic landmarks. It has a been a long process, and our work isn’t over yet! As your boating representative, American Whitewater will continue to work closely with the dam operators and Utah’s Division of State Lands (FFSL) to ensure that the boat passage meets the needs of the public during its inaugural year.
Colorado Stewardship Director
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