Parunaweap Canyon, Utah (winter or early spring 2013)

Looking for partners to packraft this deep slot canyon in Zions National Park next spring. It is located about ten miles east of Springdale, Ut on the East fork of the Virgin River. The winter base flows for this stream runs about 60 cfs at the gage not far below the slot. But this potential run will probably flow higher in the spring. I plan to run it at around 60 cfs for safety reasons, but I am assuming that it may contain low volume class 4 at that level. The gorge through which the river runs is about 30 miles long, the slot itself being about 10 miles long. There are not likely to be any emergency exit routes from the canyon. There is a portageable waterfall of 15 feet (Requires class 4 scramble down into a pool). The average gradient for the 30 mile stretch is about 45 feet per mile. This is one of the most beautiful desert canyons in Southern Utah. Any takers?

Seems like it’s going to be equal parts walking/stumbling as packrafting at ~60cfs?

I understand the safety aspect of wanting to run it at ~60.

Do you know anyone that’s been in there at different flows, whether by boat or on foot?

I dont know of anyone that has boated it, or hiked it at higher flow. The writer of that blog hiked it at 48 cfs. I might spend half of the time hiking it. Or it could be like the Lower Back Box. I paddled 99% of that run at 50 cfs.

I’m interested.I’ve been wanting to do a Zion packraft trip for some time but always seemed to overlook the East Fork… until a few days ago. Looks pretty interesting. I’m always up for a new packraft adventure, especially if I haven’t heard of anyone else doing it before. The canyon seems doable. I’m guessing class III with portages. The lower canyon looked up to class IV or so. I’m curious as to why the lower canyon is closed. Intriguing… . If you’re still interested let me know. I shipped my boat over to Nancy and Sherri for some upgrades and will have it back in the next few weeks. I’m also looking at running the North Fork, Little Colorado and/or the Paria (seldom navigable)

Greg O
(714) 655-1462

whether by boat or on foot?
gclub royal1688

I ended up packrafting it a couple of years ago at 80 cfs. I hiked across the slickrock from Checkerboard Mesa trail head, scrambled down into the narrows, and then waded up the river for 5 miles and then boated back down. At higher flows, you definitely do NOT want to miss the mandatory takeout unless you want to get flushed into sieves and a cascade that is a few hundred feet tall and completely walled in. There was one portage around a waterfall. To portage you have scramble up some talus for a hundred feet, then crawl through a hidden cave to make it underneath a high-rise sized fallen boulder that blocks the canyon. I would like to go back and packraft it from the top down at 200 cfs.