Horsethief And Ruby Canyons


The Ruby-Horsethief section of the Colorado River, from Loma, Colorado, to Westwater, Utah, is a 25-mile stretch of mostly flatwater with sections of Class I and II. This section of the Colorado runs through beautiful red rock canyons and has many day hike opportunities offering both solitude and exploration. The Black Rock section is composed of rock known as Vishnu schist, which dates back about 1.7 billion years. This same rock, which geologists refer to as “an unconformity”, is exposed in certain sections of the Grand Canyon. There is an abundance of wildlife including great blue herons, bald eagles, peregrine falcons, mule deer, and desert bighorn sheep.

Suggested river levels for paddling this section of the Colorado River are between a bare minimum of 1,000cfs and a high of 25,000cfs. River conditions sourced from USGS 09163500, the Colorado River Near Colorado-Utah State Line Remember only watercraft are permitted at Horsethief and Ruby Canyons.

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Area Hydrology

Gauge Streamflow Stage
Piceance Creek Bl Ryan Gulch
USGS 09306200
3 cfs 3.5 ft
Colorado River Near Cameo
USGS 09095500
1,900 cfs 4.1 ft
Colo River Blw Grd Valley Div Nr Palisade Co
USGS 09106150
463 cfs 3.3 ft
San Miguel River At Uravan
USGS 09177000
248 cfs 3.3 ft
Dolores River At Bedrock
USGS 09169500
23 cfs 0.8 ft
Dolores River Near Bedrock
USGS 09171100
25 cfs 2.2 ft
Colorado River Near Colorado-Utah State Line
USGS 09163500
1,960 cfs 2.7 ft
Dolores River Near Gateway
USGS 09179450
288 cfs 7.4 ft
Dolores River Near Cisco
USGS 09180000
263 cfs 7.5 ft
White River Near Watson
USGS 09306500
416 cfs 2.1 ft
Snotel Site Snowpack 24hr Change
Black Mesa
SNOTEL 1185
47" -2"
Lasal Mountain-Lower
SNOTEL 1215
5" 5"
glade park,co
SNOTEL GDPC2
2.75" 0"
Lone Cone
SNOTEL 589
10" 1"

Outdoor Recreation

Campground Campsites Reservations Toilets Showers Elevation
Fruita - Colorado River State Park 45 4,484 ft
Highline Lake State Park 25 4,725 ft
Saddlehorn - Colorado National Monument 80 4,685 ft
Miracle Rock 4 6,572 ft
North Fruita Desert 35 5,392 ft
Mud Springs 14 8,525 ft
Ski Area Snowpack Air Temperature 5 Day Forecast
River Run Streamflow Length Class
Westwater 2170.0cfs 17.0 Mi III to IV
Horsethief and Ruby Canyons 1960.0cfs 27.0 Mi II to II+
Gateway to Dewey Bridge (Colorado River) 263.0cfs 32.0 Mi III- to IV