Yampa River flows drop quickly
Steamboat Springs — The thrill of tubing the Yampa River is floating high for now. The question is, how much longer can it last?
Last winter’s abundant snowfall produced consistently excellent skiing, but 430 inches of powder failed to translate into an extended floating season on the town stretch of the Yampa. The river where it flows beneath the Fifth Street Bridge is currently just better than half its seasonal norm.
The Yampa has leveled off at about 275 cfs in the last several days after dropping steeply between June 15 and 26.
That didn’t keep hundreds of floaters from enjoying the river on Monday — at least until a violent thunderstorm lashed the west side of Steamboat Springs with rain between 2:30 and 3 p.m. “It was great,” Tyson Waneka of Steamboat said. “Better than last year when I hit my butt on the rocks.”
Floaters pay $15 for a tube rental and shuttle van ride, and $2 or $3 to rent river shoes. Backdoor Sports had sold out of its allotted quota of tube trips by mid-afternoon. The float takes about 45 minutes at current stream levels.
Jed Freeman of Broomfield said he enjoyed his float on the Yampa right up until he flipped in Charlie’s Hole and lost his expensive prescription glasses. Freeman maintained an upbeat attitude in spite of the loss and urged other tubers to keep their eyeglasses on a snug fitting leash.
The river was steady on its mean flow level until June 10 when it was still running at a rate of 2,000 cfs. The river’s volume typically begins to decline in the middle of June, but this year the drop has been steep. The mean flow for July 3 is 500 cfs, based on records that have been kept for 96 years.
People renting inner tubes to float through downtown are finding more water than the measurement at Fifth Street as they pass the confluences of Butcherknife and Soda creeks.
–To reach Tom Ross call 871-4205
or e-mail email@example.com
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Steamboat and Routt County make the Steamboat Pilot & Today’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
Though the city of Steamboat Springs saw a slight decline in 2020 sales tax revenue as COVID-19 hit Routt County, the city is expected to catch up to its 2019 revenues.