[cdt-l] Water Quality South of Rawlins

Ryan Jordan ryan at backpackinglight.com
Sun Sep 16 22:09:08 CDT 2007

This late in the year, the water there is bad. It's a low water year as is,
and there will be some dry creeks, the the ones that are wet will have
mighty lodes of cattle dung. Gene might feel comfortable with something that
can deal with Giardia better than Aqua Pure. There are some nonsaline
springs south of Rawlins, but they are a ways off trail and hard to find.
Follow the headwaters of any of the flowing creeks off the SM crest and
you'll stumble upon them. If you follow the divide through the northern SM
rather than the CDT/stockways (the divide is easy walking), you'll run into
some reservoirs W of the CD that are actually pretty good, but you have to
dip your bottle down through the surface muck to get the good stuff, or
bring some sort of strainer. I don't know the status of land management
where many of those reservoirs are now, however. Many were private, but
owned by friendlies, the last time I was through Rawlins. If you're in touch
with any of the ranchers, many of them have capped wells that provide fresh
water relative to what's on the rest of the crest in that area, and these
wells are mostly unmapped, so rancher permission and direct access to them
is helpful. They should be driving stock this time of year, so keep your
eyes peeled, they are generally pretty helpful.

South of Whiskey Creek might be very dry until you get to the Manzanares lk
area. There are a few lakes in the basin with very good water, but it's a
hump off the divide to go down to it. But, spending the night down in the
West Fk Lk or its outlet creek, in the meadows N of the lake, will be like
an Oasis after hiking thru the N end of the SM, and it's easy to get back to
the crest S of the basin.

Good luck, it's a beautiful stretch through there.


On 9/16/07, Jonathan Ley <jonathan at phlumf.com> wrote:
> A lot of the surface water within ~20 miles south of Rawlins is saline,
> so a filter will do you no good... As for that which isn't saline...
> there are are cattle, so it's really a matter of personal preference -
> but some kind of filtration in that area is a good idea. The water gets
> gradually better & cleaner as you approach Battle Pass / Encampment.
> -Jonathan
> Linda and Gene wrote:
> >
> > Flat Feet (Gene Butcher) is wondering what the quality of the water
> > south of Rawlins is. Is it necessary to carry water filter or is aqua
> > pure sufficient. Would appreciate immediate reply. Thanks.
> >
> > Mrs. Flat Feet
> > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
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Ryan Jordan
Backpacking Light
USA Toll-Free +1-888-362-0999
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