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PostPosted: May 5th, 2008, 9:54 pm 
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Joined: May 5th, 2008, 6:37 pm
Posts: 38
Location: Calgary
Hi all,

I am new to the forum and ran across the site doing a bunch of research on a trip I'm planning on taking with the wife on the last weekend of June for 5 days. We're planning to go from McKenzie Trails in Red Deer to be picked up at the day use area at Dry Island Buffalo Jump. Based on five days of travel, I think this is a realistic goal. I see historically that the water levels are a little higher at the start of July, so we're shooting for that time period. Having fished the river a lot, I know how low it can get.

I've read the report from Mark's guide, most of the forums relating to the Red Deer River, and have a map from ARCA of the middle Red Deer River.

I've noticed that some have done the route before. I sure would appreciate any advice / comments/ input you handn't already mentioned.

I see there could be some interesting folks running the campground at content bridge. My wife and I are experianced backpackers who spend a lot of our summers in K-country and pretty much anywhere on the western slopes of the rockies, so we're planning to random camp with consideration to our impact. Any good campsites you'd reccomend?

I'm from Red Deer and Pine Lake area, so I'm familiar with most sections of the river, just never actually floated it in that length before. I would say we're experianced hikers / backpackers and novices at canoeing. Not at the class III stage yet, although we have rafted class III with guides before, just not in Canoes.

Anyhow, we would appreciate any advice you might have to offer, and I've been looking forward to this trip for months already!

Thanks!


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PostPosted: May 6th, 2008, 8:26 am 
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Joined: October 24th, 2007, 1:52 pm
Posts: 558
Location: Beaumont, AB
Did the Red Deer to Drumheller trip many years ago as part of a highschool class. Keep in mind that if water levels are too high, it may severely limit your choices for camping. This section of the Red Deer River is an easy float. My recollection is that the only rapid of any substance was where the Blindman River enters the Red Deer River near Burbank, and that was really only a few waves. Have fun.

regards
Dave


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PostPosted: May 6th, 2008, 4:39 pm 
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Joined: December 20th, 2003, 9:27 am
Posts: 975
Hi,
It is an easy float. You should watch for bridge supports and, if memory serves me correctly, there was a bit of a rock "wall" coming out from the bank just below the Joffre bridge (but that was a long time ago). I think that you should be able to find camping but, if the water is really high, you might end up on somebody's land. If you are discrete and leave no trace it likely won't be a problem.
It's a nice, relaxing run. Enjoy.
Ralph


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PostPosted: May 7th, 2008, 8:17 am 
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Joined: February 23rd, 2008, 10:06 am
Posts: 23
Location: Calgary
We do this run just about every summer, Content to Bieriot ferry. The nice thing about this portion of the river is that it runs mostly south so your not faced with the prairie winds from the east that can really bring you to a stand still. We normally alternate between established camp grounds and shore camps, this way we can fill up on fresh water, and a shower. This year we’re looking at second week in July, for shore camping, we’ll be either on an island or a gravel bar near the river, you can find some suitable ground above the water line but this is usually on someone’s property, so leave no trace. Mark’s Guide is about the best resource for info on this river, an easy float with great fishing.

Pat


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PostPosted: May 7th, 2008, 8:53 pm 
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Joined: May 5th, 2008, 6:37 pm
Posts: 38
Location: Calgary
With this being a rather popular trip, has anyone found that things get a little crowded? I'm sure everyone out there is like-minded, relaxing and enjoying our river valley. I enjoy conversation and meeting folks, just don't want to be crowded like we are in the city!


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PostPosted: May 9th, 2008, 8:31 pm 
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Joined: February 23rd, 2008, 10:06 am
Posts: 23
Location: Calgary
Definitely won’t be bumper to bumper. I normally will see one or two other canoes during the course of a five or six day trip outside of the weekends. Chief Hector Camps uses this stretch of river for its weeklong trip for teens and young adults so you may bump into this group of 5 to 7 canoes (good kids well behaved). And then, I’ve done this trip some years and only meet people at the campgrounds.


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 Post subject: Flow Rates?
PostPosted: June 15th, 2008, 6:33 pm 
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Joined: May 5th, 2008, 6:37 pm
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Location: Calgary
For those of you that have run the Red Deer river before, I'd appreciate some advice

http://www.environment.alberta.ca/apps/ ... ID=RREDRED

Today's flows are looking between 480-500 at Red Deer, and roughly 550 at Drumheller.

We're hoping to go from June 26th to July 2nd, so that gives two weeks for water levels to slow down.

In reading Mark Lund's paddling guide, he's recomending flows between 40cms and 200cms. The ARCA map says average flows are 30 to 75 with high water being from 100 to 500.

With this being my first year really watching the flow rates, and seeing that this year is unseasonably high, do you think it would be reasonable to see flows around 100cms in two weeks? Or do you think it would be a gamble to put our hopes on those dates for a decent flow rate?

I was in Red Deer for work on Thursday, and it was pretty rough looking. Lots of debris, and very high water.


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PostPosted: July 2nd, 2008, 5:58 pm 
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Joined: May 5th, 2008, 6:37 pm
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Location: Calgary
Well, we cancelled the trip due to high water. As of the last few days it's fluctuated from between the 70's up to 150's.

Going to try again two weeks from now starting July 14th. Maybe see some of you out there?


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PostPosted: July 3rd, 2008, 12:41 pm 
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Joined: February 23rd, 2008, 10:06 am
Posts: 23
Location: Calgary
We took a drive out to Tolman Bridge yesterday. The water is clearing up nicely and the flow is about where it should be for the first week in July. We’re doing Content to Bieriot ferry next week.


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 Post subject: Red Deer
PostPosted: July 3rd, 2008, 11:11 pm 
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Joined: April 28th, 2008, 4:32 pm
Posts: 126
Location: Edmonton
We ran from Dry Island down to Tolman 2 weeks ago at 250 or so and the trip was fine. The river was a little dirty but there was no debris. The take out at Tolman was very muddy but that was the only down side. After we had the boats loaded, Ms. RCMP came to tell us the river was too high and dangerous! The only danger was perhaps sunburn from falling asleep.

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It isn't considered windy here until there are whitecaps on the toilets.



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PostPosted: July 3rd, 2008, 11:18 pm 
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Joined: May 5th, 2008, 6:37 pm
Posts: 38
Location: Calgary
After postponing the trip for three weeks, I've been packing and repacking our gear in the spare bedroom on a daily basis. I've got excel spreadsheets, maps marked, and screenshots from google earth.. I'm feeling like a small child that cannot wait for a long-awaited trip. Only a few more sleeps! We're planning on really stretching the trip out, 6 nights on the river. Going to spend a night or two at content bridge at the halfway point to shower, get ice, etc.

Next trip will be from Dry Island to Drumheller. I'm still what you'd call a novice paddler, so I want to build up experiance before I tackle flow rates more than 150. Even on flat water. I'm going to want to take some courses before I feel confident in fast water or rapids above class II. As a rescue diver, I'm more comfortable underwater than on top of it!


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PostPosted: July 4th, 2008, 4:48 pm 
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Joined: November 12th, 2001, 7:00 pm
Posts: 363
Location: Lethbridge, Alberta Canada
Have fun with the trip.
Who are you a rescue diver with? CFD?


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PostPosted: July 4th, 2008, 7:36 pm 
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Location: Sunny Wasaga Beach
I've been watching this thread because we'll be in Alta in mid-Aug. Any idea of what the river will be like then?

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PostPosted: July 4th, 2008, 8:24 pm 
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Joined: February 23rd, 2008, 10:06 am
Posts: 23
Location: Calgary
WARNING – Do not shower at the Content Camp Ground. The water is so highly chlorinated you can be burned, don’t fill up your water from any of the taps, this also is highly chlorinated. I made this mistake last year and was sick for two days. Showered, drank some of the water, and was rolling around on the changeroom floor groping for a towel. My buddies had to flush my eyes out with bottled water, fortunately for them they had not entered the shower, and though I slipped on the soap and had a pretty good laugh until they realized how strong the chlorine was. We did point this out to the operator of the campground; he pointed to the sign warning of chlorine. OK so that’s my warning, otherwise I intend to camp there again this year but defiantly not shower or drink the water. As for the water level in Aug, that depends on which part of the river, you should be OK from Red Deer to Tolman or Drummheller, but the further east you go the wider and shallower the river becomes. We tried Drum to Dinosaur Park a couple of year’s ago later in Aug and it was nothing but head winds and sandbars.


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PostPosted: July 5th, 2008, 3:09 pm 
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Joined: May 5th, 2008, 6:37 pm
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Location: Calgary
"Who are you a rescue diver with? CFD?"

I'm certified with PADI, mostly just for my own benefit and self-confidence when I'm out diving recreationally. Not what I do for a living though. I must admit I've often thought about following in my uncle's footsteps and joining the fire dept. The pay cut would be pretty rough though! I work in construction contract administration, so I might try to move into inspections or fire marshals office when the stress finally takes it's toll on me.

Pat5 thanks for the heads up about Content Bridge. My folks were staying there this last weekend in thier holiday trailer and didn't mention anything, but I'll check with them to see if it's changed at all this year. Our plan was to take enough drinking and cooking water to get to content bridge and then fill up again there. Looks like we'll have to take enough water for the week all at once now. I've got water treatment drops for river water in an emergency, but I'd rather not have to do that. Do they have larger bottles of water for sale there? My folks mentioned the operator isn't the world's friendlist guy, so if the showers aren't any good we'll maybe stop to pick up a cold pop and some ice and then just keep going... If I can handle bathing in barrier lake, I can handle the much warmer RD river.


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