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Upper Seely Creek trip report.

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20120517

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Upper Seely Creek trip report.




Got to packraft a real gem the other day, Upper Seely Creek above Joes Valley Reservoire, so I thought a few Joes might want to read about it for a future run. This is a freaking awesome creek! started off the day hiking up an improved dirt road overlooking the canyon for about 5 miles. This road continues up to Skyline drive and down to Ephraim. However, after about mile 5, I decided to descend down a jeep trail on the left down into the canyon for another two miles until it became a hiking trail for another mile, finally reaching the confluence of two cascades resulting in a 200 to 300 fpm packraft descent at about 100 cfs (a little bony still, but major fun). This creek goes through white sandstone and gives Lower Seely its unique color. The first mile is pretty easy class III to IV+ (flow dependant) at about 200 fpm. Then I came to a point where I had to eddy out above a log and scouted the next 200 feet where I could see a horizon line with an eddy above it. I put back on below the log and eddied out to the left immediately above the first major drop consisting of a fifty foot long slide that pushes you against a wall on the right, where you ride atop swirly compression wave while bracing next to the wall on the right side for the last twenty feet. Then it shoots you over a fifteen foot alcove shaped ledge drop into a deep pool. At 100 cfs, there wasnt much of a hydraulic at the bottom. Right after that first major drop there is a couple hundred yards of slides and ledges comparable in gradient to the steeper slides on LFH. Then I eddied out to scout the next horizon line. This one the slide continues into a hole just above the lip of another alcove ledge drop of about 10 feet. But this one wasnt as clean. At the base of the drop is a pool, but in the center of the landing zone is a big rock. I trusted that in my packraft and I could float over the hydraulic at the lip and stay at a hard right, over the lip and land into the pool a few feet to the right of the rock. I pulled it off in my packraft due to its bouyancy riding over holes, but I am not sure how a creeker would handle being submersed into the hole and trying to stay right. At higher flows the hole may force the boat to drift into the main exit center of the hole, going over the lip, taking one crashing down onto the rock is my guess. I still thought it was fun though. Right below that drop is another drop that looks alot like Gorilla, though not as big, maybe 8 feet. You drop down into the really narrow chute, maybe 4 feet wide. This is the beginning of a 1 mile long class V- (to class V at higher flows) box canyon full of slides and steep boulder garden drops, a few of which had strong hydraulics. One S-turn drop I remember seemed like Squiggles of the American Fork, but on steroids, where you get broadsided by powerful compression waves on the right side, then bounced into compression waves on the left side before having to take a strong left to avoid a large boulder front and center. After the mile long box the river returns to class III to IV+ (flow dependent) for the remaining two miles to Joes Valley Reservoire. You can either take out at the bridge about a quarter mile above the reservoire, or continue a few hundred yards into the lake, absorbing the views and take out at the boat ramp. Totally awesome wilderness run. I didnt see any sweepers and the creek was plenty wide. There were nearly a half dozen log portages along the 4 mile stretch of creek though. I love the Joes Valley area. I'm hoping that Upper Ferron, next door, will be similar in character. I'd say this is among my favorate runs.

scotticus

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Paddling Since : 2007

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Upper Seely Creek trip report. :: Comments

Post on Thu 17 May 2012, 11:53 am by wasatchbill

Nice report Scott! The wood in upper Ferron has a bad rep, as you may know; be safe out there.

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Post on Tue 29 May 2012, 4:21 am by brightonb

I enjoyed the report as well. Packrafts haven't caught on in Utah yet, but I bet they will in the coming years. You are ahead of your time in this state.

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Post on Tue 29 May 2012, 8:13 am by Flying_Spaghetti_Monster

Here lately I have been trying to embrace all types of boating. Whether it is Canoes, Kayaks, Rafts, Pack rafts, hand paddles, or shafted paddle. It is all boating. My choice is in the kayaking sector of things, but any boating is better than no boating. Good job Scott. Be safe out there man.

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Post on Tue 29 May 2012, 10:26 am by Jeff Young

Nice job Scott, you are a true Utah Legand. Keep exploring but come back safe!

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