River Hazards, Grand Canyon National Park

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  • swimming in the river is not allowed
    swimming in the river is not allowed
    by goingsolo
  • swimming in the river is not allowed
    swimming in the river is not allowed
    by goingsolo
  • Rafts into Unkar Rapids; Grade 6 out of 10
    Rafts into Unkar Rapids; Grade 6 out of...
    by mtncorg
  • goingsolo's Profile Photo

    Don't swim in the Colorado river

    by goingsolo Written Apr 26, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    swimming in the river is not allowed

    Even on a hot summer day. The conditions created by the Glen Canyon Dam resulted in year round just above freezing water. Hypothermia will set in after only a few minutes. The currents in the river are also stronger than they appear. Many people have died trying to swim the Colorado. Don't do it.

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  • goingsolo's Profile Photo

    Don't swim in the Colorado river

    by goingsolo Written Apr 26, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    swimming in the river is not allowed

    Even on a hot summer day. The conditions created by the Glen Canyon Dam resulted in year round just above freezing water. Hypothermia will set in after only a few minutes. The currents in the river are also stronger than they appear. Many people have died trying to swim the Colorado. Don't do it.

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    EXITS FROM THE RIVER

    by mtncorg Written Nov 6, 2003

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    South Canyon trail goes up here from mile 35

    On the river, there are very few ways out. This is for the most part, a self-contained wilderness in which you can only go in one direction - downstream. There are only a few places with trails coming down to the river banks. And remember, you would still have to climb over 3000 feet to get out of Marble Canyon and over 5000 feet to get out of the Grand. There are no roads between the put-in point at Lee's Ferry above Navajo Bridge (US89A) and Diamond Creek, where a rugged dirt packed toll road goes up through the Hualapai Reservation - 226 miles downstream.

    Related to:
    • Rafting
    • National/State Park
    • Hiking and Walking

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    RAPIDS

    by mtncorg Written Nov 6, 2003

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Rafts into Unkar Rapids; Grade 6 out of 10

    Rapids are formed mostly where side canyons wash down huge boulders and debris across the main river's path, forming a dam, of sorts, for the water to roar over. If you see a side canyon coming while you are floating, best be assured that a rapid awaits. For some reason, the Grand Canyon has to be different and instead of grading rapids on the normal 1-5 scale (6 being unrunnable), the rapids here are graded on a 1-10 scale. Hance, Sockdolager, Grapevine, Horn Creek, Granite, Hermit, Crystal, Waltenberg, Duebendorff, and Upset are some of the biggest, though there are plenty of others that can overturn your craft , as well. Lava Falls and Crystal - maybe, Hance, as well, have a very special place among the riverfolk.

    These rapids are everchanging, big and downright nasty. Even with conditions much more controlled today by the presence of the Glen Canyon Dam, these are BIG waters. With a raft it is all about the initial commitment. What is your point of entry? How are you pointed? Where are your oars? What do you plan to do within the rapid? Will you try and turn the raft? Maybe going in backwards and letting the river swing you around? You have to figure it all out - or at least try and figure it out - before you enter the rapid. Once in, you're in and there is no time to think then. A mistake is nearly impossible to correct in these waters. The waters are cold and the swim can be long.

    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Kayaking
    • Rafting

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