Diamond Creek To Lake Mead Update

August 2003. The Hualapai Tribe is requesting that trips not take out at Diamond Creek between 7:00 AM and 10:00 AM to avoid conflicts with the Hualapai River Runners launching down river trips.

River flows of 4 miles per hour can be expected to the head of Iceberg Canyon, with the end of river flow about half way through Iceberg Canyon. Lake Mead elevation is currently at 1142. Lake Mead full pool elevation is 1220.

Camping areas below Gneiss Canyon include Bridge City at Mile 238.5 Left, Separation Canyon at Mile 239.5 Right (impacted by recent flash flooding and now a small camp), 241 Mile Right, 243 at Mile 242.5 Right (also impacted by recent flash flooding), Spencer Canyon at Mile 246 Left (overgrown), and 253 Mile Right. The popular camp at Burnt Springs (River Mile 259.5 river right) is still accessible, but there is a sandbar in the middle of the river now, with the main current on the opposite side of the river. As September flows will be significantly lower then August flows, the sandbar at Burnt Springs may block access to this camp. Riverbanks below Burnt Springs are generally steep, unstable and up to 25 feet in height. Riverside soils are heavily vegetated with 2-year-old tamarisk covering deep mudcracks on unstable soils. River runners are encouraged to use caution when walking on exposed lake sediments.

The Pearce Ferry take-out for river runners exiting the Grand Canyon remains closed. Pearce Bay is now dry with cracked silt deposits beginning to be covered by tamarisk. Though the old take out ramp is signed to prevent vehicle access to the Bay, a vehicle drove out onto the Bay and sunk to its frame. The driver of the vehicle was ticketed and had to pay towing charges. A feasibility study to push a road from the Pearce Ferry road to the Colorado River was done by Lake Mead National Recreation Area. The price tag of over $1 million for the road, which would be flooded at some point in the future when lake levels rise again, proved prohibitive.

In the river channel by Pearce Ferry, a small riffle exists where the river channel makes a 90 degree turn at the location of the old entrance to Pearce Bay. There is strong hydraulics at this riffle. Approximately 600 ft above this riffle there is another river wide riffle with a 4 foot drop. This riffle continues to cut into the north shore, with 2 foot diameter boulders exposed along the river left (south) bank.

There are lots of camping beaches from below Pearce Ferry down to Driftwood Island where there are acres of exposed campable sand.

Lots of sediment continues to be deposited in upper Iceberg Canyon near Boundary Point. National Park Service Rangers are encouraging river runners to exercise extreme caution in shallow areas due to sand bars, especially between river mile 249-262, and then at 280-288, i.e. Pearce to Boundary Point.

The take out at South Cove is in good shape, with maintenance work on the concrete ramp completed. All river runners taking out at South Cove are supposed to use the gravel area on the south side of the concrete ramp. River runners are asked to be patient in the de-rig area as Hualapai, concessions and public rafters are all taking out in the same area. River runners are encouraged to maintain as small a take-out footprint as possible, and try to de-rig as quickly as possible. Early take-outs are recommended to avoid late afternoon river traffic.

National Park Service Rangers note that no camping is allowed on the South Cove ramp and take-out area, or the public swimming area just north of the concrete ramp. Camping is allowed outside the no-wake harbor area, and a rocky camp is available one-quarter mile downstream (south) of the concrete ramp below the rock jetty just downstream of the take out.