Immediately below the Hade's diversion dam, this river usually does not run very high during the spring run-off. I've seen 600 cfs taken out to be sent to the Provo River. When I ran this in 2008, there were several diversion dams above the town of Hanna that I snuck on river right without difficulty at ~1,000 cfs. Also be on the look out for fences strung across the river above and below Hanna. Fallen trees are also a risk. I portaged three above Hanna. At 1,000 cfs, the whitewater features were class II-III with few eddys. Below Hanna, the river starts to meander, but remained swift with waves. Drifting deadfall piles up in the river bends. Just above the bridge for the highway going to Kamas, there is a very large spring flowing down from eastern canyon slope. This spring fluctuates with run-off, but I have seen it flowing as high as 100 cfs, and thought it would be a brief and very steep class IV paddle.
Down below Tabiona, the river has a desert feel, with sandstone cliffs along the river left side, and pastures on the right. Some of this land is in the indian reservation. It has a base flow of 70 cfs, yet after viewing it, I thought that it might be a fun off season adventure paddle just for something local to run.
Immediately above Hades Campground, the river is braided and meandering with potential deadfall and beaver dams. Above the braids, the river exits a box canyon that can be class IV at high water.
Immediately below Hades Diversion Tunnel are some falls that are solid class V at high water. There is a huge hole in there. At low water the hole looks like a fun drop into a plunge pool. Immediately above Hades Tunnel, there is an unrunnable waterfall. Above there, there are box canyons, gorges and many long slides and possibly some falls. It would be class IV to V.
The East Fork of the Duchesne, above Hades Tunnel, also has many gnarly slides, some falls no doubt, and a long box canyon. There is deadfall across these streams above Hades, increasing the further up you go. One can hike into this area from Mirror Lake Pass, or access from the Soapstone Basin 4wd road that clears of snow in late May-June.
Little Deer Creek flows into the Duchesne from the west at Hades Tunnel. It parallels the jeep trail down into Duchesne Canyon. This has been paddled several times at ridiculously low flows (which is all that it is capable of mustering) it is insanely steep bedrock style creeking with waterfalls and chunky slides. This creek was stripped to bedrock by a large dam failure, years ago. It ends in a majestic waterfall of several hundred feet in height.
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The Ashley National Forest is in the process of updating its land management plan—something that hasn’t happened since 1986. This creates an opportunity to advocate for better protection of streams and rivers across the 1.4 million-acre National Forest, which spans from the Uinta Mountains to Flaming Gorge. Right now, American Whitewater needs your help updating the National Whitewater Inventory to include better information on the rivers within the Ashley National Forest. We ask that paddlers familiar with this area add photos and descriptions to the NWI, check out our recent comments, and consider sending a comment letter to the Forest.
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.
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