A month ago, Joan and I floated over to The Maze via packraft at Spanish Bottom. A good amount of people had questions about this option. Though I like to read information, I recognize many people prefer more visual references.
So, if you ever wanted to hear a guy with a bit of northeast accent describe how to do a 10-minute float trip, here it is!
TRIP PLANNING RESOURCES FOR THE MAZE
The first place to start is the Canyonlands National Park page for packrafting and permit info: https://www.nps.gov/cany/planyourvisit/packrafting.htm
The verbose description on my website: https://pmags.com/four-days-in-the-maze
NatGeo Canyonlands Map for an overview: https://amzn.to/2W0oZIf
Gaia GPS for detailed maps and electronic use: https://bit.ly/2TYSbwq
Kelsey guidebooks for detailed canyon info, history, arc sites, etc: https://amzn.to/38BLoy5 https://amzn.to/337waQg
Dirtbagger – Intex 200 https://amzn.to/2xsmyE6
Budget – – Klymit LiteWater Dinghy Packraft https://amzn.to/3cJjEuV
~~I suggest replacing the oars with some paddles for easier paddling. Here’s a budget version for the budget packrafts. ~~~
Deluxe – Alpacka Scout https://www.alpackaraft.com/rafting/p…
Based on pictures elsewhere on this site, it looks like you and Joan both use the deluxe Alpacka Scout model. Any experience with the other two? Based on the reviews, my sense is that the dirtbagger model is best limited to those who (1) have proven open-water swimming skills and (2) don’t mind all their gear getting wet or lost if the raft deflates mid-river. As with sleeping bags and other critical gear, my guess is that a packraft is not really the place to take shortcuts on quality.
I used the Intext 200 when I crossed the Colorado River from The Maze back in the late fall of 2017. It works OK for simple flat water crossings and perhaps some limited rafting in the hands of someone more experienced.
I have not used the Klymit personally, but many like it for day trips.
The Alpacka seems to work best for longer term use.
Take it with a grain of salt as I am still fairly new. 🙂
Thanks, Paul! This gives me a little bit of framework to work from. I’ve found some additional sources on Andrew Skurka’s website and, also, it looks like packraft rentals are an option too. On that note, time to get back outside and enjoy Colorado’s great spring weather rather than sitting around on the net planning future outdoor adventures.