This section of the Green River runs through Gray Canyon which is the last day of our 5-day Desolation Canyon trip. Fun Class I to III rapids will be encountered on this 8 mile stretch. More of a Wilderness canyon, this pristine section of the Green allows viewing of petroglyphs and is home to the occasional big horn sheep, birds of prey and migratory birds. Perfect for floating, kayaking, paddling and water play. Children 5+ welcome!
The Green River splits the 10,000 foot high Tavaputs Plateau and forms a gorge deeper than the Grand Canyon. Over one million uninhabited acres surround this holdout of the Old West. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid used these remote canyons one hundred years ago to escape the law. Today, we go just to escape.
Despite the name Desolation Canyon, the river surroundings offer green cottonwood groves, white sand beaches, and clear-water side streams. Your guide’s selection of nightly camps will make good use of these features. Off river, abandoned homesteads mark the end of a frontiersman’s dream, and prehistoric Indian petroglyphs the end of a civilization.
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.
On selected dates through-out the season we combine our Desolation Canyon river trip with a two day stay at Tavaputs Ranch. Accessed by a short flight into the Tavaputs plateau, Tavaputs Ranch is nestled among remote alpine forests and rolling meadows. Daily activities include horseback riding, hiking, four-wheeling, and simply relaxing in the outdoors. This is perfect for family rafting trips. Click here and read more about the Tavaputs Ranch.
Zion, Bryce, Canyonlands, Arches, Natural Bridges, Dinosaur, Capital Reef, Grand Staircase in a state brimming with national parks, it’s easy to overlook another national treasure. Utah locals call it “THE SWELL” a three thousand-foot fold of sandstone and shale on the edge of the Colorado Plateau. Its hidden canyons provided sanctuary to old west outlaw Butch Cassidy. Today the same red-wall canyons are your sanctuary from the everyday grind.
You will ride back in time past abandoned mining camps and turn of the century ranches. Stop to explore cowboy camps, prehistoric Indian rock art, we might even see a few dinosaur prints. Your ride ends at the Wedge Overlook, Utah’s “Little Grand Canyon”. A thousand feet below, the San Rafael River counts another day in the eonsâ€¦ from above we count ourselves fortunate that such a place exists at all.