Floating the Green River ~ Canyonlands National Park (June 1992)

Green River Colorado River Utah

Up until 2008, our adventures were retained only as memories and on Kodachromes. While our memories may have faded (just a bit), the Kodachromes haven’t – and we have a lot of them. So we’re digitizing a select few to bring some of our past adventures into the 21st Century. This is one of those.


The stretch of the Green River between Green River, Utah and its confluence with the Colorado River is some of the most placid (rapid-free), but scenic, river water in the West. This makes it the ideal choice for a low key self-guided boating adventure.  While our friends John and Donna and Wayne and Diane rented canoes from Tex’s Riverways in Moab, Utah, we sought to get one last great use out of our venerable two-person Folbot kayak (sadly, Folbot went out of business in 2016). Tex’s also provided us with a shuttle, stored our cars, and dealt with the groover when we returned.

On the morning of the first day, Tex’s shuttled us from Moab to a put-in at Mineral Bottom at river mile (RM) 52 and we’d floated to a campsite at Hardscrabble Bottom (RM 43) by that afternoon. Our collective experience with rivers was scant at this time (that would change a lot in the years ahead) and we were surprised at how sloooowly the Green flowed. Very slooowly. We soon realized that if we did any serious paddling, we’d be at the Colorado in a day, so we lashed our vessels together and just floated from camp to camp – Anderson Bottom (RM 31), Turks Head (RM 21), Jasper Canyon (RM 10), and at RM 215 on the Colorado, just upstream of Cataract Canyon. On our last day, Tex’s sent a jet boat down to whisk us up the Colorado to Moab.  We loved that old Folbot but this, its last great trip with us, exposed its limitations and we sold it soon after we moved to Tennessee the next year.

On this trip we learned a little about river travel, more about soft mud, and way too much about biting insects and tamarisk.  But the scenery was spectacular – crisp blue skies, red cliffs and spires, Ancient Puebloan granaries and other structures, boiling swarms of fish in the river, and large flocks of insect-eating (yeah!) bats at night. The bats were neat because their wing beats sounded like little balsa wood sticks hitting each other.  All this plus the company of good friends made for a wonderful and memorable trip!


Green River Colorado River Utah
Loading the canoes at Tex’s for the shuttle to Mineral Bottom
Green River Colorado River Utah
Trying to squeeze gear into the Folbot
Green River Colorado River Utah
In the Folbot on the river
Green River Colorado River Utah
Canoeing for glory
Green River Colorado River Utah
Learning about shoals, sand bars, and mud…
Green River Colorado River Utah
Camping at Hardscrabble Bottom
Green River Colorado River Utah
Must…have…coffee…soon…
Green River Colorado River Utah
Early light on the river
Green River Colorado River Utah
The Folbot heads downstream
Green River Colorado River Utah
Away all boats…
Green River Colorado River Utah
Another day on the water
Green River Colorado River Utah
Hiking at Anderson Bottom
Green River Colorado River Utah
An Ancient Puebloan structure
Green River Colorado River Utah
The view from Turks Head
Green River Colorado River Utah
Moonrise over camp at Turks Head
Green River Colorado River Utah
More learning about shoals, sand bars, and mud…
Green River Colorado River Utah
Early evening at Jasper Canyon
Green River Colorado River Utah
The Folbot – beloved but impractical
Green River Colorado River Utah
Rigging a sun shade at our camp on the Colorado
Green River Colorado River Utah
Our last night on the river
Green River Colorado River Utah
Jet boating to Moab
Green River Colorado River Utah
Back in Moab – grimy and tanned – and happy!

HOME


2 thoughts on “Floating the Green River ~ Canyonlands National Park (June 1992)

  1. You forgot to mention the howling wind and sand storm on the 1st night that forced us to cook in an outhouse 🙂

    Like

    1. Well, why scare readers with the true horrors we experienced on that trip? 😉 I also left out the fried spam incident for the same reason. 🙂

      Like

Comments are closed.