Born in 1987, the child of a side canyon flash flood, Belknap rapid is a formidable addition to the over 60 rapids on this 84-mile trip. With whitewater that builds in intensity each day, Desolation Canyon is an ideal place to occasionally swap your seat in the raft for a thirst quenching ride in an inflatable kayak.
Green River Rafting Desolation Canyon:
Desolation and Gray canyons are on the National Register of Historic Places because the famous and infamous were drawn here. In 1830, trapper Denis Julien left graffiti on the canyon walls. Almost 40 years later, John Wesley Powell traveled through the canyons and christened them. Soon after Powell passed through, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid found this a great place to escape justice. Today, if you really want to get away, there's no better place than the Green River Wilderness.
The Green River cuts a series of chasms through the Tavaputs Plateau and forms a gorge deeper than the Grand Canyon at Bright Angel Creek (5500'). There are petroglyphs, ruins, abandoned homesteads and marvelous camping sites among verdant cottonwoods on soft sand beaches. This is a perfect place to try your skills with an inflatable kayak.
One of the advantages of a river trip is the flexibility of the daily itinerary. It can vary widely from one trip to the next based on group desires, Mother Nature, and courtesy for other groups on the river. This typical itinerary illustrates a five-day trip through Desolation and Gray canyons. In August, we lengthen the Desolation Canyon trip by one day and follow this general itinerary.
Day 1 - Fly into Sand Wash put-in from Green River. There is a 30 minute downhill hike from canyon rim to the rafts waiting at river bottom. The trail is well marked but there is some loose footing along the way. Plan ahead to wear appropriate shoes for the hike. Guests who are apprehensive about the hike can be transported by vehicle to the river. View a historical marker at head of Desolation Canyon before entering the canyon. Camp this evening near Gold Hole.
Day 2 - Hikes to Fremont Indian ruins and petroglyphs interspersed with sections of whitewater. Steer Ridge Rapid is the most memorable. Camp in a cottonwood grove or on a mile-long sandbar.
Day 3 - Side canyon hike up Rock Creek, a clearwater stream. Extensive petroglyphs, and abandoned Rock Creek and McPherson Ranches, where Butch Cassidy's Wild Bunch slept.
Day 4 - The whitewater has gotten bigger each day. The crescendo: Belknap, Three Fords, and Coal Creek rapids. Leave Desolation and enter Gray Canyon.
Day 5 - We will run a half dozen more rapids before lunch and then take out near Swasey's beach. Short trip back to Green River and our headquarters.
After the trip: We will return you to Green River, Utah (30 minute van ride). Our expected time of arrival back at our headquarters is 3:00 to 4:00 p.m.
The best place to eat in Green River is Ray's Tavern. Ray's is a true small western town bar rich in atmosphere and good food. They serve incredible hamburgers, pork chops, small salads and steaks. The Tamarisk Restaurant offers family dining with riverside seating.
Adults - $908.00 (5 days), $975.00 (6 days);
Also see tour packages in:
USA Colorado Outdoor: Water Drifter Canoeing/Kayaking/Rafting
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