Colorado - 14. Loma launch to Westwater launch (Ruby - Horsethief)

Colorado, Colorado, US/Utah, US


14. Loma launch to Westwater launch (Ruby - Horsethief) (Ruby / Horsethief Canyon)

Usual Difficulty II (for normal flows)
Length 25 Miles
Avg. Gradient 7 fpm

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
usgs-09163500 2500 - 50000 cfs II 00h47m 2210 cfs (too low)

River Description

Ruby and Horsethief Canyons provide a scenic float trip at moderate flows, suitable for novice boaters.   There are a number of riffles and small rapids.  When flows get very high, the river is much more  serious and dangerous.  

Put In:  From Interstate 70 just west of Fruita, take exit 15 to Road 139 south.   Turn left on Kokopelli Trail and follow it around towards the river.  The road turns to gravel about 300 or 400 yards before reaching the river.  Just past a dirt parking area, turn left down to a primitive boat ramp.

Take Out:  From Interstate 70 take the Westwater exit.   The ranger station and launch ramp is about 9 miles from the freeway. 

Other Information Sources:  
BLM, Grand Junction District, 2815 H Road, Grand Junction, CO 81501; 303-244-1480 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            303-244-1480      end_of_the_skype_highlighting begin_of_the_skype_highlighting   
BLM - Ruby/Horsethief information
BLM - Ruby/Horsethief boating rules
Colorado River Ruby-Horsethief Brochure pdf
Mountain Wayfarer blog

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)

Permit Information

Overnight camping is available in any of the 34 designated campsites and requires a permit. No permit is required for day use of the river.

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2016-12-05 02:36:53


Stream team editor

Rapid Descriptions

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Associated Projects

  • Basin Non-Consumptive Needs Assesments (CO)
    AW is working to define stream-flows that meet recreational boating needs across Colorado. In both the Colorado and Yampa River Basin's, AW has helped develop baseline data for whitewater recreation
  • Colorado River Basin Supply Study
    American Whitewater's staff and contractors are working to develop quantitative metrics that help the US Bureau of Reclamation evaluate impacts to recreational stream-flows across the Colorado basin.