Here's the latest report on the changes in the Gunnison Gorge due to a storm there a couple of weeks ago:
From Al DeGrange at GRE:
We were on the river the day of the windstorm, as well as
the day after the storm. The majority of the fish kill was from Smith Fork down
to Pleasure Park. The storm was not as big as the one in 1990 at Buttermilk,
where 80% of Ute Park fish were affected.
The following day after the windstorm, the river was clear
at Chuckar trail for the first 3 miles. The river has now been clear for a few
This report is from the BLM Outdoor Recreation Planner for the Gunnison Gorge:
On August 19, 2010 heavy rains created flash flooding within the Gunnison Gorge National Conservation Area. These flash floods impacted many designated camp sites and also changed the character of the river in a few locations. BLM river rangers and Gunnison Gorge NCA managers have begun to assess the impacts of this event to determine any necessary mitigation. The purpose of this write up is to inform the public of the changes so that they are aware and can plan accordingly. Below is a synopsis of the most notable changes that may have an impact on recreation. Please note that not all changes are documented and expect to find minor changes though out the entire Gunnison Gorge.
The Bobcat trail received moderate flooding which caused large amounts of rock to deposit on the trail itself. Heavy rock deposit becomes greater as you get closer to the river and on the steeper slopes. The trail is still passable but will require greater attention. Hiker site #5 at the base of the Bobcat trail received heavy deposits of mud and rock which will make finding a tent pad more difficult. This site is still usable but is very muddy.
From the river ranger report from early September – campsite information:
I floated through yesterday. In general there's been alot of movement of rocks and fine sediment, especially from Ute Park down to Smith Fork. The mud is mostly dry by now, but most of the
campsites from Ute Park down have been affected.
Cesario's horse camp had a major flow through it with plenty of rocks deposited. The lower part of Ute Trail through the campsites in Ute Park now is boulder-strewn in places. It's still useable by hikers and horses, but the tread is uneven. The hiker toilets at Duncan and Ute weathered the storm okay. Stalagmite camp (hiker camp #19) is full of debris, but it looks like there is still room for one or two tents if a few small rocks are moved. Caddis Camp (#21) was really impacted. It's full of big rocks. Two or three people might camp there comfortably, but it's not a good choice for more than that. We've been using "Old Caddis" as an overflow camp during the stonefly season. Although the drainage flooded there as well, the campsite came through with few impacts. We are planning to put a campsite marker there. We will probably make that a permanent campsite and close the current Caddis site. If you want to, you may camp there now. Sign in for "Old Caddis Camp #21A." Boulder Garden Camp is still useable, but there's almost no shade. It now has a gravel beach next to the rapid. Boulder Garden Rapid is now Class II+. There's a new drop above Paddle Keeper. It may be changing a bit from day to day, but yesterday it was an easy run on the left. Paddle Keeper is still a left run for rafts at these flows. No other rapids were affected to a large degree. T-Dyke campsite is in pretty good shape, but the camp node near the wash is gone.