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Thursday, March 7, 2019

When The River Rises

I stopped at Catstair Canyon in Southern Utah to check it out.  It was about 9:00 am when I got there and I wanted to hike the canyon.  

When I arrived the river was flowing from the canyon and it was about 4 inches deep.  Since the river flows side to side of the canyon wall, once you cross the river you can walk that side until you come upon the river needing to be crossed again.

It’s not that hard to cross this river if I had not forgotten my 13 gallon white kitchen trash bags to put on over my boots and use the handles to keep them up until I cross the river.

While I was there the river could be seen visibly rising.  In a few minutes the river was 6 inches deep and wider.  If you look closely you could see the river banks where water had recently flowed higher and wider.  I assume this was the day before.  Cold temperatures at night slow the flow and warmer days it flows more.

Even though I didn’t have the trash bags with me, I could have gone back to the truck to get them, but with the new snowmelt coming down from the Utah mountains,  it wasn’t worth the risk in being caught in too much water.

When I got back to the truck/camper I took my trash bags out for the next hike through water.  Just remember that water can rise from rain at a long distance away or snow melt.  People have died in narrow canyons from unexpected rising rivers. 

Always know the weather for the drainage area for rivers you are hiking.


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