Blacks Fork River: Upper section from Meeks Cabin to W-410

CLASS - III

GRADIENT - 90 ft/mile

LENGTH - 13 miles

FLOAT TIME - 4 hours

BLM QUAD MAPS - Evanston

PUT IN - Meeks Cabin Reservoir near the state line

PUT IN - Google Map

TAKE OUT - W-410 Bridge

Blacks Fork River CFS Data

USGS Gage Station CFS near Robertson.

Blacks Fork River Map

 

The Blacks Fork River begins in the Uinta Mountains of Utah, and after leaving Meeks Cabin Reservoir, it heads north into Wyoming. The upper section is a Class II/III river traveling through a narrow mountain valley until it reaches the flatland below. There the river loses a considerable volume of water for irrigation projects and is essentially not floatable for the next 20 miles or so. By the time the Blacks Fork has traveled to I-80, it has been joined by the Smiths Fork and has accumulated return waters sufficient for floating once again. Here the river travels through part of the arid Red Desert as it makes a long loop northward to the Hams Fork River, and then south to the confluence with the Green River and Flaming Gorge Reservoir.

The put-in for the upper section is reached by turning off at the end of W-410 at mile marker #15, three miles west of Robertson.  Here you take county road U-271 south for 13 miles to Meeks Cabin Reservoir. From the reservoir you have a bit of a drag-over on a small trail leading down to the river below the spillway. The river is a solid Class II in this area and there is a constant danger of logjams and strainers.

After passing below the first bridge (going to the Uinta Youth Camp), the river picks up a bit more speed. About one hour from the reservoir is the second bridge. The next few miles down to the third bridge are Class III conditions. This bridge has a Game and Fish access on river left.

The pace slows down a bit below the third bridge, but because the river is constantly breaking up into smaller channels and reforming again (with strainers around every blind bend), extreme caution is still recommended. There is another Game and Fish access in a couple of miles, but this landing is easily missed if you don't watch for it carefully. Below here you have about six more miles of solid Class II braided river to the W-410 Bridge. There is not a public landing at this bridge so you either need to take out at the Game and Fish landings above or ask permission to trespass. Float time from the reservoir to W-410 is about three or four hours. For flow infromation below Meeks Cabin Reservoir, call the Bridger Valley Water Concervancy at 303-782-3210.

Photo Caption (image not shown): The lower Blacks Fork travels through the arid Red Desert before joining the Green River at Flaming Gorge Reservoir.