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
Dolores River Near Gateway
USGS 09179450
135 cfs 7.0 ft
San Miguel River At Uravan
USGS 09177000
108 cfs 2.9 ft
Mill Creek At Sheley Tunnel
USGS 09183500
7 cfs 2.9 ft
Castle Creek Below Castle Valley Near Moab
USGS 09182400
4 cfs 5.8 ft
Mill Creek Below Sheley Tunnel
USGS 09183600
3 cfs 1.4 ft
White River Near Watson
USGS 09306500
513 cfs 2.4 ft
Plateau Creek Near Cameo
USGS 09105000
40 cfs 2.2 ft
Dolores River Near Bedrock
USGS 09171100
9 cfs 2.0 ft
San Miguel River At Brooks Bridge Near Nucla Co
USGS 09174600
79 cfs 1.9 ft
Colorado River Near Colorado-Utah State Line
USGS 09163500
4,440 cfs 4.2 ft
Snotel Site Snowpack 24hr Change

Outdoor Recreation

Campground Campsites Reservations Toilets Showers Elevation
Highline Lake State Park 25 4,725 ft
Saddlehorn - Colorado National Monument 80 4,685 ft
Fruita - Colorado River State Park 45 4,484 ft
Miracle Rock 4 6,572 ft
Mud Springs 14 8,525 ft
North Fruita Desert 35 5,392 ft
Ski Area Snowpack Air Temperature 5 Day Forecast
River Run Streamflow Length Class
Horsethief and Ruby Canyons 4120.0cfs 27.0 Mi II to II+
Gateway to Dewey Bridge (Colorado River) 648.0cfs 32.0 Mi III- to IV
Westwater 4620.0cfs 17.0 Mi III to IV