so three takeout options, tram in park, as noted before call first, and the cost depends upon who is working at the lower lodge gift shop, no real consensus what to charge. There is a public access (nps) at Lilly before the lake (not list here previously or in guidebook) and I have also taken out above the first campground you encounter (at the gate at the end of the road), I consider 800- 1200 cfs the best, still some rocks and ledges but not scrapey.
Between 5 and 6 feet is a really nice level for the Bluestone- the rapids in the first couple of miles have good surfing/eddy hopping, and there's plenty of flow for the flatter miles to the takeout. Nothing very difficult as no rapid really merits naming, but it's pretty and remote, with a cool takeout at the tram.
Ran this 3/17/11 at a level of 4.6. There is a boat eating strainer river left, maybe 100yds after Brush fork comes in. It's a forked tree and the fork is only about 1 foot out of the water at this level, one fork submerges (to pin) and the other is exposed and broken (to push you under). A small boulder that forms the rapid above this hazard hides it pretty well for the unsuspecting......
Also, don't get distracted by the beautiful cliffs that are the backdrop for these rapids.
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Looking upstream from the tram
Fritz on the Bluestone
Waterfall along Bluestone
take out from the tram
12 year old on typical lower bluestone rapid
Bluestone 7 feet
Takeout at Pipestem Tram
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