New 5 star packrafting run: 'The Barracks' near Zion N.P.

I ran this a couple of days ago. It is a class II to III run through a canyon very similar to The Zions Narrows, only it does not require a permit because it is outside the Park. I hike in and out from Checkerboard Mesa. There is a route description in several Zions hiking guides in print and online. It is across rugged slickrock, lightly forested with ponderosa pine. It is a half day hike in or out if you hustle, and requires class 4 climbing skills with a pack. I hiked to the takeout, spending the night above the river. The next day I hike up the canyon about 5 miles, and descended back to camp. The flow read about 80 cfs on the East Fork of the Virgin gage near Springdale. It looked like the best way to do this run is to drive a shuttle to hwy 89 bridge. From there, a dirt road heads west along the river for about ten miles to put in where you would like. You could also hike into a put in via one of the side canyons from hwy 9, to the north. To raft the upper stretch of this canyon, you would need around 200 cfs reading on the Springdale gage, or 50 cfs on the Orderville gage. There are many springs in the lower stretch and a few slot canyons. There is one major obstacle shortly after the canyon narrows. This is an unrunnable 15 foot waterfall. The only way to portage it is to eddy out at some good eddies above the fall, and then climb up the talus slope on river left a short ways in order to scramble through a hidden cave underneath a highrise sized boulder that formed the stream blockage. The cave requires some class 4 scrambling to get through. From there you continue for another mile till the mandatory climb out from the river. Perhaps it would be best to scout out the take out before the trip so that you will be able to identify it. Below there the river seives out and cascades for a couple hundred feet. Access below this is not permitted by the park service as it is a preserve and study area.

With low flows probable around April 27 this year, we might try for the East Fork instead of North Fork. Does the following bike shuttle plan sound feasible: stash/hide overnight packs and rafts near trailhead south of Mt. Carmel Junction, drive to Checkerboard/East Entrance parking lot, park car there, ride bikes back to the trailhead, stash/hide bikes there, grab rafts and do an overnighter on the river, hike to car and go grab the bikes.

Hit me up if you want to do this with a second car and no bikes. I live 40 min from the west park entrance.

Yeah right on! After more research, looks like it flows in February and March usually, rarely has enough water for packrafting in late April. I’m hoping for some April runoff on the North Fork though, which is more likely, including a Deep Creek put in… Or, Virgin River Gorge.