Yampa River – South Beach to Duffy Mountain

The word Yampa means wild carrot. The Yampa River is in northwest Colorado, running from the Flat Tops area near Steamboat Springs and flowing generally west into Utah, where it finally joins the Green River. We chose to float the Class I section near Craig, Colorado, putting in at South Beach and taking out at Duffy Mountain. The BLM has some info and maps here: http://www.blm.gov/co/st/en/fo/lsfo/programs/recreation/yampa_river.html . Water flow is critical when floating the Yampa as it can drop quickly after winter snows have melted from the mountains. We monitored the daily stream flow in cfs (cubic feet per second) here: http://waterdata.usgs.gov/co/nwis/uv?site_no=09247600 and, based on info found on the web it seemed that good flows were above 600 cfs. When we began the trip it was around 1200cfs and dropped down to 1000 cfs by the time we took out.
The put-in at South Beach, about 3 miles southwest of Craig, is part of the Yampa River State Park system and fees are associated with the use of State Parks. A parking area and bathroom are near the sandy boat launch.
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Note that the site does not have anything more than a symbol-type boat-ramp sign at the highway and can be easily missed if you’re looking for something with the words “South Beach”. The three drivers, drove the   Continue reading

Lathrop State park – Colorado, June 7-9, 2013

Dinner with Friends

Dinner with Friends

Hate to go home

Hate to go home

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFor the last three years I’ve been traveling to Rampart Reservoir to go kayaking and camping. Typically, my wife and sons go and we meet a group of co-workers on the first or second weekend in June. We make reservations early, so we can get the campsites grouped together. This year we had a dilemma. You see, the Waldo Canyon Fire burned an area near the reservoir and the US Forest Service closed the area to all traffic and visitors plus, when we called in February and March they would not give us an anticipated re-opening date. So, we searched for another place to visit and settled on Lathrop State Park. Having never been there we were pleasantly surprised. It has two lakes, Horseshoe and Martin, boat launches at each lake, lots of trailer camping sites and a tent only camping area. The lakes are somewhat restricted in that Martin has a swim beach, and is what you might consider a “play” lake with jet-skiers, ski boats, etc. while Horseshoe is a wake-less lake and more suitable to quiet paddling and fishing. We paddled in both lakes over the course of three days. The weather was quite nice and we had a great time. The park itself is only a few miles west of Walsenburg and, over all, is only about 90 minutes south of Colorado Springs. I’ll bet it can be quite hot at the park as the summer wears on, but early June looks to be just about right. Being a warmer lake, it has bass, walleye and pike fishing in addition to some trout and catfish. I wouldn’t say the fishing was great but we did have fish for dinner. I enjoyed the trip and may be back again, soon.

Crystal Reservoir – Peak Lakes, May 18th 2013

Got out in May for a little paddling. I decided to go to a nearby lake called Crystal Reservoir, not to be confused with another Crystal in Colorado out near the Black canyon of the Gunnison. This one is one of many reservoirs which capture snow-melt runoff from Pike’s Peak, with this one being on the north side close to Woodland Park. I believe the water is mainly used to supply fresh drinking water to Colorado Springs. I met my outdoor friend Jeff up there and he fished for several hours catching about a dozen trout. We expected to be driven off the lake since the weather forecast indicated high winds and rain, but to our satisfaction the wind was only a light breeze and there was no rain at all. We stayed out until late afternoon and made it home in time for dinner.

Fishing Crystal

Fishing Crystal

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