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Colorado River

Tennessee
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Colorado River

Will be rafting the Colorado River in late August. During that time of yr will the water be clear and clean or muddy and dirty??

Sedona, AZ
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1. Re: Colorado River

The Colorado is always muddy. That's how it got its name. August is also the monsoon, so expect the possibility of violent afternoon rainstorms followed by flash flooding. We had some during our trip in August two years ago. The water spouts shooting out of the canyon walls thousands of feet above us were spectacular.

We did have to cut back on some of our side trips as well due to the flash flood danger. But overall it was a fabulous experience!

Mesa, Arizona
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2. Re: Colorado River

As Redrox said its always muddy 24/7. The word Colorado translated means Red originally called Rio Colorado.

West Palm Beach...
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3. Re: Colorado River

I went for a week long rafting trip in mid-June and it was not too muddy. It never rained. In fact, I have lots of photos of a very pretty non-muddy looking Colorado River. Keep in mind that it is not like Florida clear water.

We all rinsed off in it and walked around the river banks to load and unload the rafts. You would then stir up the mud. We went through parts of the river that were very muddy looking.

I was told by the rafting company prior to the trip that if it is not raining, the river will not be so muddy. Once the rains start though, which is approx. July then it is mostly muddy. My clothes did not get stained, even though I sat in water and stayed wet often.

In August expect rains and mud. It will still be beautiful and amazing. Perhaps sections will not be so muddy looking. You will have a great adventure.

Aubrey, Texas
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4. Re: Colorado River

If you want a preview, enter Lees Ferry AZ on Google Earth. That's the launch point unless you're joining a trip at Bright Angel.

A good book to read before your trip is Down the Great Unknown by Edward Dolnick. It's a fascinating account of John Wesley Powell's exploration of the river in 1869.

Arizona
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5. Re: Colorado River

I know someone who rafts the Grand every year. I have seen a video of one of his trips with beautiful blue-green aquamarine water.

So No...it is not "always" muddy, 24/7, just most of the time.

The times I went down the Grand it was muddy.

Tennessee
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6. Re: Colorado River

Thanks for all the great info everybody...

One last question, with the water being "muddy" do people have any source to clean water?

Sedona, AZ
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7. Re: Colorado River

Your raft company will have a supply of fresh water to drink. That gets replenished at Phantom Ranch on the trip. You'll also be stopping at some of the streams and tributaries along the river. These are great places to bathe (no soap allowed in the streams though). Just find a spot where you can sit down in the stream and you'll be happy. Also if you get rain during the trip, it will increase the likelyhood of finding natural waterfalls that will make great showers.

West Palm Beach...
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8. Re: Colorado River

The beautiful blue-green aquamarine was probably the "Little Colorado" which is a great side hike(short) and swim. That was the only part that I saw that was so pretty. That looked like Florida water. They frequently include those photos in advertisements.

Do you have a particular concern about the water being muddy? Clothes? Sanitation? Health? They have the drops/pills? that sanitize the water for cleaning dishes. They stress handwashing followed by hand sanitizer because nobody wants to get a virus going around.

Sedona, AZ
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9. Re: Colorado River

Funny. The Little C was the main source of the mud when we did our trip. The river was fairly clean from Lees Ferry until we got to that junction. There had been some storms for about a week and the Little C was like pouring Hershey's syrup into some weak chocolate milk. Then it got really dark!

Arizona
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10. Re: Colorado River

No it wasn't the Little Colorado. The whole river was mud free from the put in to the take out.

On a 17 day trip we used galvinised buckets to settle out the solids and then filter the supernatant and chlorinate. A few side trips to some springs also topped off some containers. Commercial trip clients should never have to worry.

Or else you could do like the private group of Germans we saw. The stack of beer being loaded onto their rafts was incredible. I think they had allotted a six-pack a day for 16 members for 17 days. I really don't think they were too concerned about their water.

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