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Dirty Devil Packrafting
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Justin Baccary
Dirty Devil Packrafting on 03/29/2012 16:30:38 MDT Print View

In the spirit of "talk about gear less and talk about trips more," I just returned from a five day, 75 mile solo packrafting trip down the Dirty Devil River in southeast Utah.

Warm and sunny, flow ~125-250 cfs. I parked near Hite then hitched to a gas station in Hanksville and paid somone $20 to drive me down the "Landfill Road" to the river. I drained my camera battery quickly shooting lots of video so all clips (except for the bridge shot) are from above Poison Springs Wash Road (mile 50).

I learned a lot about basic video editing (I've never done any before) and how to set up shots in the field (more challenging when you're solo and you have to film yourself paddling). Feedback (positive and especially negative) is much appreciated. My future videos will be much better.

Keep your eye on the gauge and give it a go at anything over 100 cfs ( It's a great mellow float on remote water. I saw one group of three in IKs (they had to drag more than I did, but they had cold beer while I was stuck drinking margaritas the whole time) and one day hiker at the mouth of Happy Canyon.

Highly recommended!

Brendan S
(brendans) - MLife

Locale: Fruita CO
Re: Dirty Devil Packrafting on 03/29/2012 17:02:16 MDT Print View

Awesome! One of my favorite areas. Did you do any side exploring other than Happy Canyon? I love the diversity of the canyons in that stretch.

David T
(DaveT) - F
dirty devil. on 03/29/2012 17:08:20 MDT Print View

Loving that trip. Perfect packraft concept... small enough stuff to be able to hitch with, do a long paddle, and extricate. Thanks!

Justin Baccary
re: on 03/29/2012 18:00:48 MDT Print View

@Brendan, I poked around some in a few of the canyons upstream but mostly kept to the river due to time constraints. It's a great area and one that I will definitely return to in the future. A longer trip (10+ day) down the Dirty Devil at some point is certainly warranted. I'd be interested to see what the river looks like at much higher flows...

@Dave T, when I was riding up to Hanksville in the back of a small car (a lap dog was riding shotgun) I thought the exact same thing. I do almost all of my packrafting solo, and the small boat really aids in logistics/hitchability.

To the general packrafting public, I have a flexible schedule and am always willing and able to paddle anywhere in Colorado or Utah with a bit of notice. I'd love to paddle the Muddy Creek Chute this spring (if there's enough water this year)...

Nico .
(NickB) - MLife

Locale: Los Padres National Forest
Great Trip on 03/29/2012 18:01:17 MDT Print View

Cool trip. A packraft loos like a really fun addition to the kit collection.

Thank you for sharing.

What were you using for your camera equipment?

Justin Baccary
Camera on 03/30/2012 08:25:29 MDT Print View

I used my Canon S95 and a mini, flexible GorillaPod tripod (

Ike Jutkowitz
(Ike) - M

Locale: Central Michigan
re dirty devil on 03/30/2012 08:47:35 MDT Print View

Beautifully shot film, Justin. It got me pretty fired up about my first packrafting trip next week!

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
re: dirty devil on 03/30/2012 15:06:29 MDT Print View

Nice vid.

I'm on the fence as to whether that 'stache would help or hurt with hitching.

David T
(DaveT) - F
packraft. on 03/30/2012 16:05:07 MDT Print View

Has anyone checked a packraft on a plane and flown somewhere to do a float, involving hitching/bus/whatever to/from putin and take-out?

This makes me want to buy a packraft setup, get on a plane for UT (or elsewhere), hitch (or pay $40 for a ride) to the put-in, float for a week, hitch back, and fly home.

Possible to check a whole packraft kit on Southwest?

Love the self-supported concept.