Muddy Creek, Utah, US
|Usual Difficulty||I-III (for normal flows)|
|Avg. Gradient||19 fpm|
|MUDDY CREEK NEAR EMERY, UT|
|usgs-09330500||150 - 500 cfs||I-III||00h15m||16.2 cfs (too low)|
SEASON: Seldom runnable, but keep an eye on the gauge during late May to June.
FUN FACT: The best way to experience the San Rafael Swell.
ACCESS: The long run (3 days) starts at the Highway I-70 bridge across Muddy Creek less than a mile east of exit 97. Alternative access points exist at Lone Tree Crossing, Tomisch Butte, Chimney Canyon, Salt Wash, and the final take-out at the Highway 24 bridge in Hanksville. Keep in mind that your shuttle can take several hours.
DESCRIPTION: Muddy Creek can be boated as a multiday trip, but The Chute is often boated as a day trip.
Starting from I-70 Muddy Creek flows through ranch land as it cuts a course across the desert. This first 11 mile section contains some class II/III rapids.
The next section starts at Lone Tree Crossing. This infrequently boated section has some great camping along the river as the river begins to cut a course through the impressive geology of the San Rafael Swell. There are few rapids in this 19 mile class I/II section.
The most popular section begins at Tomisch Butte. It's a long drive from Highway I-70 exit 129. Follow the frontage road as it heads west along the south side of I-70 and make sure you have a good map. There is camping at the put-in and in the rare years when flows are good floaters gather to paddle this 15 mile section that includes The Chute. There are a few class II rapids along this section until you enter The Chute which is a very impressive canyon up to 300' deep and only 7' wide in places. This narrow box canyon is approximately 4 miles. There is an access point at the end of this section at the Chimney Canyon trailhead near the Hidden Splendor Mine.
Once you leave the access at the Chimney Canyon trailhead you will leave the day trippers behind. It's another 5 miles of class I/II water to an access point downstream from Salt Wash where a spur road off Highway 24 ends at the river.
The final 22 miles is class I that cuts across the desert.
for additional information see:
|Mile||Rapid Name||Class||Features (Legend)|
|0.0||Factory Butte Road||N/A|
|0.0||Hidden Splendor Mine||N/A|
|0.0||Lone Tree Crossing||N/A|
Alternate access that serves as a take-out.
The airstrip at Hidden Splendor Mine is an alternate access point that serves as a take-out below the Chute. Don't park on the airstrip.
Alternative access point.
The narrow box canyon that is the highlight of this run.
Alternate access point for the short day run of the Chute at Tomsich Butte Trailhead.
Appendix 16 covering wild and scenic rivers from the Record of Decision for the Price Resource Management Plan.