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.
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