Float Ruby-Horsethief Canyons

Rate this Adventure Colorado Loma

  • Activities:

    Stand Up Paddle, Camping, Fishing, Photography, Rafting, Kayaking

  • Skill Level:

    Intermediate

  • Season:

    Spring, Summer, Autumn

Family Friendly
River
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildlife
Swimming Hole

Float through two beautiful canyons along the Colorado River on this 26 mile float.The float is leisurely with only class I (and in some water conditions class II) rapids making it ideal for kayaks, rafts, or canoes. In addition to the canyons along the river, there are multiple canyons you can get out and explore on foot (some containing ancient rock art).

To do the entire 26-mile float, put in at the Loma River access, several miles west of Fruita and just a short drive from I-70. From the Loma access there is no other easy access point until 26 miles later, at Westwater in Utah.

Once on the water you will be able to relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery around you. This is because during most water levels it is a very tame float throughout with mostly riffles and class I rapids (there are class II in certain flows). Expect is to take 8-15 hours, depending on flows, wind, and your effort.

There are several canyon systems along the float that make for very good side-adventures so be sure to look at a map and explore a bit. You may also enjoy spending a little time in the black rocks area - the rock here is different than the rest of the canyon (the same as in the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park), and creates some really interesting currents and deep pools for jumping.

Most of the float goes through BLM land, and they now run a permit system for camping throughout (due to there being too many people leaving too much of mess). Campsites can fill up fast, especially during July and August, so be sure to make reservations early. There are no toilets in the canyons and there can be fire bans, so check before you go. Lastly, be wary of mosquitos as some campsites can be quite intense at times.

A map of the float is available here.

Pack List

  • Camping: tent, sleeping bag, food, water and water treatment system, permit, and bug spray
  • River: kayak/raft/canoe, sunscreen, waterproof camera, and a map
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Eric SchuetteExplorer

I love adventure and exploring. Currently a school psychologist who tries to spend my free-time hiking, climbing, fishing, and celebrating with a good beer in Colorado. On Instagram @ericschuettephotography Cheers!!!

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