A century ago pioneer river explorers Thane Galloway and John Wesley Powell developed two distinctive rowing styles. Your guides will employ them to meet the challenge of West water’s rapids. Galloway's innovative facing style will be used in most of the rapids that demand tight boat placement, including Funnel Falls and Sock-it-to-me. Powell's distinctive style is used for Skull rapid where a powerful thrust is required to thrust through a diagonal wave feeding right into Skull Hole.
Inside tips on booking West Water Canyon it usually sells out so book early. The three-day trip offers more time to leave the world behind and the opportunity to become one-on-one with the Colorado River in an inflatable kayak.
West Water’s rapids on this trip are created when the swift flowing Colorado River is forced through Granite Canyon, a narrow seam of polished black schist capped with red slick rock towers. Virtually unknown 30 years ago, West Water Canyon has become a favorite choice for its pace, rhythm, and intensity.
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. The typical itineraries below illustrate a 3-day and a 2-day trip through West water Canyon on the Colorado River.
Sample 3 Day Itinerary:
Day 1 - Meet at headquarters, in Green River, Utah before two-hour ride to the put-in at Loma. Float leisurely through the desert scenery of Ruby Canyon. For those interested, inflatable kayaks provide the opportunity to experience the river on a solo basis. A side hike up Rattlesnake Canyon reveals a variety of desert plants and wildlife. Camp at Black Rocks where thousand year old ebony colored schist provides the background setting.
Day 2 - Peaceful floating and more time in the inflatable kayaks before reaching West Water Ranger Station. The river enters the narrow canyons that give West water the nickname, "the Little Grand." Small rapids begin to materialize along the otherwise peaceful stretches of the Colorado. Camp at one of the many beaches within West water Canyon.
Day 3 - Encounter rapids of West water-one right after another-Hunter, Funnel Falls, Surprise and The Big One - Skull Rapid. Observe bald eagle, great blue heron and snowy egret habitats. Short trip back to Green River.
Sample 2 Day Itinerary:
Day 1 - Pack bags at river headquarters in Green River, Utah before ride to West Water Ranger Station. Relaxing float to Little Hole Canyon's natural amphitheater where shards of Indian pottery can be seen. In favorable conditions a short hike up Little Dolores Canyon reveals a beautiful desert waterfall and swimming hole. Camp near Little Dolores.
Day 2 - Leisurely breakfast before rapids of West Water Canyon. Rapids, one right after another, Marble, Staircase, Hunter's, Funnel Falls, and Surprise lead to Skull Rapid, one of the Colorado's fiercest drops. Finish with Bowling Alley, Sock-it-to-me and Last Chance. Vans will return you to our headquarters in Green
Bugs, snakes, etc. are generally no problem. In fact, the lack of pesky insects is one of the reasons that wilderness camping on the river is so pleasant. Any river trip, however, is subject to an occasional localized insect hatch. During these hatches (most common in June to mid-July) mosquitoes can be bothersome. Be sure to bring long sleeve clothing and repellent. Insect repellents that contain "deet" are by far the most effective during heavy hatches, but are also suspected of causing various health problems. Citronella-based products (skin-so-soft) work only in light hatches. We rarely see any snakes, but if the thought of them bothers you, try sleeping on the beaches or in a tent instead of rocky or bushy areas.
Hiking is a highlight of the trip, however, it is strictly an optional activity. There are many interesting short hikes available. Hiking can be done in durable sneakers or lightweight hiking boots. Remember that hiking and other activities vary widely pending time, and what other plans are ahead for the day on the river.
Fishing - Trout can be found on the upper stretches of the Green River the first two days of the trip. This section is in the state of Colorado, so if you wish to fish these two days you will need a Colorado fishing license, which can be purchased en route the morning of your trip (be sure to let your trip leader know). Most of the fish caught from the river after the first two days will be catfish. However, on the third day we will arrive at Jones Hole, a beautiful trout stream. We normally spend about three hours here and may even camp. You will need a Utah fishing license to fish here, which may be purchased at most sporting good stores or Smiths in Vernal prior to the trip. Please note that these stores will not be open the morning you meet for your trip. Only artificial lures and flies are allowed on this stream.
2-Days - $376.00 (adults), $338.00 (children ages 8-18 and seniors 65+);
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USA Utah Outdoor: Water Drifter Canoeing/Kayaking/Rafting
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