Day 1: Starting The Adventure
The expedition begins early in the morning at the Sheri Griffith Expeditions office. We then drive to the launch site near Green River, Utah. After a safety talk and some basic kayak instruction we launch. We will float through an open valley and begin a descent of about a foot and a half every mile. There are no rapids on this portion of the river, only a few riffles just below the town of Green River.
Today we will have the opportunity to explore Crystal Geyser~ a cold water geyser whose eruptions are fueled by pressurized carbon-dioxide gas. The first eruption recorded was in 1936 when Glenn Ruby was drilling for gas and hit the pressurized pocket that activates the geyser. Years of accumulation of minerals brought up by the eruptions have left a beautiful copper colored formation around the geyser.
By late afternoon we'll pull into a secluded campsite where we will enjoy exploring while our guides prepare a delicious dinner.
Note: Meals are served from a set daily menu, but you are welcome to request, in advance, special dishes or tell us if there are particular things you would prefer not to have.
Potential Hiking Opportunities: Crystal Geyser,
Day 2: Entering the Canyons
After a hearty Breakfast of French toast and sausages or Pancakes and Bacon we pack up and start the paddling!
The river progresses slowly through white, yellow, brown and red canyon walls with hairpin switchbacks accented by towering buttes and mesas rising 1,500 feet above the river. Labyrinth Canyon's walls are cut with long side canyons, where guests of all skill levels can explore and ponder ancient Indian writings and trapper's inscriptions.
Our guides are naturalists with great depths of knowledge about the history, geology, wildlife, and legends of the canyon. They know the 'secret' places that only exploration and experience reveals, and they share it all, connecting you to this incredible country. We will pass the San Rafael river today along with several working ranches.
In the afternoon we will come to Trin-Alcove, named for the three canyons coming into the Green River. Be sure to watch for wildlife. This part of the canyon has many animals including deer, elk, and beaver. We will pull over to camp by late afternoon.
Potential Hiking Opportunities: Trin Alcove, Anvil Bottom
Day 3: Hiking the Green River
For the second morning in a row you'll wake to fresh brewed coffee and hot cocoa. The scenery begins to change as the river leaves the open desert and cuts its way into the rising plateaus of Utah's Canyon Country. This is Labyrinth Canyon, named by John Wesley Powell when he was here on his historic expedition in 1869. The canyon becomes deeper as Sandstone walls of the Wingate Formation rise hundreds of feet on both sides. Orange and reddish brown cliffs drip with a darker brown and blue-black known as "desert varnish." Formations of tan Navajo Sandstone, purplish-red Kayenta towers, and brown Wingate cliffs, continuously unfold above.
We will stop and look hike several of the wonderful side canyons in Labyrinth Canon. We will also pass the river register where early river runners left their signatures.
The sandy beaches in Labyrinth provide for wonderful camping. Our guides are amazing river chefs who do all of the work of preparing the highest quality, healthy meals made with fresh ingredients. We serve a variety of fruits and vegetables from our garden and buy locally whenever possible. Our meats and cheeses are purchased from our local meat shop that focuses on the highest quality ingredients. We can accommodate a variety of diets from Kosher to vegetarian and everything in between.
Potential Hiking Opportunities: Ten Mile Canyon, Hey Joe Mine, Keg Spring Canyon
Day 4: Paddling the Green River
After and another wonderful Moring, we will pack up our kayaks and head downstream. We will hike "Bowknot Bend" where the river makes a seven and a half mile loop back onto itself. We will hike up to the saddle which provides an incredible view of the desert. There will be ample time each day for hiking and exploring the canyon's rich history and geology.
The Fremont Culture were a semi-nomadic people who inhabited these canyons (500-1275 A.D.). They left petroglyphs on the rock walls that can be spotted today. You will also see the inscriptions left by the crew of the Launch Marguerite, a stern-wheeler river boat which traveled on the Green and Colorado Rivers between the towns of Green River and Moab during the early 1900's. Denis Julien was a trapper and fur trader who left inscriptions on the rocks in a number of places. All of his inscriptions are dated 1836. How Julien got into the canyons is still a mystery. It is not known if he came by boat or if he walked in from the rim.
Traditionally, the last night of the river trip is "dress-up" night. Anything goes if you would like to participate. It is up to your imagination! This is a great way to celebrate the trip and near completion of your Green River adventure.
Potential Hiking Opportunities: D. Julien Inscription, River Register, Hey Joe Mine site
Day 5: Coming out of the Canyon
Today we will see more and more evidence of the uranium mining that once took place in these canyons. Tailing piles and abandoned mining equipment can be seen from the river below.
We will also stop at another 1836 Denis Julien inscription. Our river adventure ends at Mineral Bottom. We'll load the kayaks and gear for the spectacular drive back to Moab which begins with a steep climb up an old mining road. We will arrive at the Sheri Griffith Expeditions office by 4:00-5:30 p.m. (MDT).
Potential Hiking Opportunities: Hell Roaring Canyon, Bowknot Bend