The Henefer to Taggarts run begins at the western Henefer exit. This mellow class 2 to 3- section offers good eddylines and a couple of play features. High flows increase the speed of the water, but not the difficulty. At flows around 1000 it may not be possible to paddle under the Croyden bridge. The last rapid is Taggarts and can safely be run down the left side at all flows.
There are a couple putins along the dirt frontage road. Groups usually meet at the largest parking area, upstream of the others. Below the Henefer putins is the Henefer rock garden, with good eddy turns and rock slalom practice. Beginners without a solid brace or roll often swim in this section (II+); so a more forgiving first time run is to put in below the Croyden bridge. Flatwater canoes have been seen wrapped around rocks in the rock garden. The right side of Croyden bridge has a bit more clearance for limboing under. There is a nasty pipe blocking part of the center passage. Below the Croyden bridge is a popular tubing putin. After some flat water comes another rapid before going under the road and past Devils Slide. Then Croyden wave provides the best surfing on the run. A crane/rope swing may be set up on the left, on weekends.
Below there, are a couple more class II rapids that break up the flat water, then you navigate under the highway again, between concrete pillars (this is a likely place to get a ticket if you don't have a life vest on). Crossing under a railroad bridge, there is a nice stern squirt spot on the right. Then comes "Taggart Falls" the final crux, with a good line on the left, and some right lines depending on wood. There is a tough ferry move across the main current into a river left eddy at the main drop. Above 1200 cfs, Taggarts gets a sticky hole in the middle that most paddlers will want to stay out of.
Tubers (and everyone) should note that there is a law requiring life jackets to be worn (not just on your tube), and DNR officers and cops are often out writing tickets at the takeout and elsewhere on weekends.
In 2013, the takeout is increasingly crowded and chaotic on a summer weekend. There will be hundreds of tubers on a typical Saturday. I had an inflatable kayak run over by a drunk driver this summer. The inflatable was not on the pavement; it was on the gravel shoulder on the river side. Use caution and put boats off of the shoulders if possible. Put in: Fishing access at I-84 exit 112.
.8 miles, the Henefer rock garden starts.
.9 miles, the "1000 Mile Tree" is along the railroad tracks here.
1.86 miles, Croyden bridge. Putting in below this bridge is good for beginners and tubers.
2.4 miles, cross under the highway.
2.5 miles, remember to look left for a great view of Devils Slide
2.9 miles, Croyden wave
3.2 miles, a beach on the left, where a rope swing is sometimes set up on a crane.
3.7 miles, cross under the highway again, with some concrete piers on the river. While this is not too technically difficult, it can be the crux of the run if putting in below Croyden bridge. In the spring of 2017, a log jam on one of the piers caused two separate rescues of tubers who got stuck on the log jam.
4.8 miles, crossing under the railroad bridge, a nice eddy on the right for stern squirts, and a possible takeout to avoid "Taggart Falls" :-) .
5.0 miles, "Taggart Falls", the cleanest line is on the left, especially at high water when a large hole forms in the middle.
5.1 miles, takeout right, don't miss it, unless you want to float into Morgan. (Another 5 mellow miles takes you to the Barefoot Tubing takeout. Below there, are a few diversion drops that may be challenging.)
Take-out: Exit 108.
Taggarts Restaurant at the takeout has good burgers, and cold beer.
The Cow Wave in Henefer, Utah doesn't appear until the levels coming out of Echo reservoir reach 1000 CFS.Directions
From Salt Lake City: Go East on I-80 to the I-84 intersection, then turn northwest (toward Ogden) following the river from the bottom of Echo Reservoir. When you come to exit 115, get off the highway and turn southwest toward Henefer. Take a right on the first frontage road, follow that a few hundred yards then take a left into town. Follow that just a few more yards to the first bridge you come. You will see a wave directly downstream from the bridge -- that's the Cow Wave.
From Ogden or rt 89, take I-84 East to the first Henefer exit, take a left (the first possible putin is directly in front of you now) then turn right on the dirt frontage road, to go down to the main parking area.
Taggarts Grill has now become a more upscale establishment, but the food is still good and the beer cold. They also have a pay phone. Just behind the grill, is a hut for Park City Rafting. I bummed a ride from them back to exit 112. There are about 3 rafting services running this stretch, though they put-in at places upstream from exit 112.
The Cow Wave described in the River Description is in Hennifer, which is exit 115. This is not part of the exit 112 to exit 108 run. To run this, you need to put in just above Hennifer off an access road and over a fence with a fishing access ladder. There is no access in Hennifer at the bridge where you can see the wave.
Great section of river for beginners and those who like the SUP challenge. There are also tons of tubers, but they don't get in the way.
Irrigation flows make this the most reliable run in Northern Utah in the summer. For Croyden wave surfing, 425ish may be slightly better than higher flows, although its still mainly a front surf.
Permits are not required for this reach.
We have no additional detail on this route.
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