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
2 cfs 3.7 ft
White River Near Watson
USGS 09306500
238 cfs 1.7 ft
Colorado River Near Cisco
USGS 09180500
2,330 cfs 1.9 ft
Castle Creek Below Castle Valley Near Moab
USGS 09182400
4 cfs 5.8 ft
Plateau Creek Near Cameo
USGS 09105000
113 cfs 2.6 ft
Gunnison River Near Grand Junction
USGS 09152500
759 cfs 2.6 ft
Colo River Blw Grd Valley Div Nr Palisade Co
USGS 09106150
1,270 cfs 4.1 ft
Colorado River Near Colorado-Utah State Line
USGS 09163500
2,210 cfs 2.9 ft
San Miguel River At Uravan
USGS 09177000
43 cfs 2.6 ft
Mill Creek Below Sheley Tunnel
USGS 09183600
3 cfs 1.4 ft
Snotel Site Snowpack 24hr Change
Lasal Mountain-Lower
SNOTEL 1215
18" 0"
Columbine Pass
SNOTEL 409
48" 1"
dinosaur 0.3 sw, co
SNOTEL CO-MF-28
6.13" -0.04"
Lasal Mountain
SNOTEL 572
25" 0"
redlands 1.4 sse, co
SNOTEL CO-ME-162
2.04" -0.01"
grand junction 1.0 e, co
SNOTEL CO-ME-67
0.58" -0.01"
glade park,co
SNOTEL GDPC2
11.41" -0.09"
Black Mesa
SNOTEL 1185
49" 0"

Outdoor Recreation

Campground Campsites Reservations Toilets Showers Elevation
Fruita - Colorado River State Park 45 4,484 ft
North Fruita Desert 35 5,392 ft
Mud Springs 14 8,525 ft
Miracle Rock 4 6,572 ft
Saddlehorn - Colorado National Monument 80 4,685 ft
Highline Lake State Park 25 4,725 ft
Ski Area Snowpack Air Temperature 5 Day Forecast
River Run Streamflow Length Class
Westwater 2330.0cfs 17.0 Mi III to IV
Horsethief and Ruby Canyons 2210.0cfs 27.0 Mi II to II+
Gateway to Dewey Bridge (Colorado River) 204.0cfs 32.0 Mi III- to IV