Ruby-Horsethief Boating Facts
ELEVATION: 4400' (Loma boat launch)
PUT-IN LOCATION: 12 miles west of Grand Junction on Interstate 70, Loma exit 15
LENGTH OF TRIP: 25 miles (Loma, CO to Westwater, UT)
CLASS: I & II (Check streamflow information before you go- link below)
APPROXIMATE TIME TO COMPLETE: 8 - 15 hours, depending of water levels and winds
SHUTTLE TIME: 1.5 - 2 hours (local shuttle services)
SEASON: typically mid-March through October
FACILITIES: The Only toilets at Loma boat launch and Westwater take out. No camping allowed at the Loma boat launch or in the parking area.
DRINKING WATER: None. Plan to bring 1 gallon per person, per day.
DIRECTIONS TO LOMA BOAT LAUNCH: From Grand Junction, take I-70 west to the Loma exit (Exit #15). Cross over the interstate to the south and turn left on gravel road, follow the road around the corner, parking area will be off to your left and the launch site is just down the hill.
DIRECTIONS TO WESTWATER RANGER STATION: From Grand Junction take I-70 west, 4.5 miles inside the Utah border, take the Westwater exit, at the off ramp go left (south) for 9 miles to the Westwater Ranger Station.
STREAMFLOW: Along this section of river you will encounter Class I and II rapids. It is recommended you check the streamflow data when planning your trip, especially during spring runoff, which can vary greatly from year to year. Extra care is needed with any type of watercraft when the streamflow is over 30,000 CFS (cubic feet per second). Canoes are not recommended at all until the streamflow drops below 20,000 CFS, and between 10,000 and 20,000 CFS only highly experienced canoeists should attempt this section of river. Family raft trips are best done when the river drops to below 5,000 CFS. Spring runoff causes the river to become muddy with heavy debris.
You can also check the Colorado River Outfitters Association Water Report.
RUBY-HORSETHIEF PERMITS: To camp along this section, a camping permit is required. Permits are now available online at recreation.gov. Permits are no longer available from the Grand Junction Field Office, Call 970-244-3000 for general questions. There is no day-use permit required for this section, only a camping permit if you want to camp.
WESTWATER PERMITS: To float below Westwater a permit is required. Permits may be obtained from Moab, Utah BLM office, 435-259-7012 between the hours of 8:00 - 12:00 noon, Monday - Friday.