Flatwater trips in the West

I would be interested in hearing any suggestions for 5-7+ day wilderness flatwater trips in the western U.S. Preferably the intermountain west (CO, UT, MT, et al.), within say 12-15 hrs. of Denver, CO. Good fishing would be a bonus. Would probably do the trip in June 2005.

All suggestions (and links, if available) are appreciated.

Yellowstone and Grand Teton

Their are some beautiful wilderness trips in Yellowstone and Teton National Parks. In Yellowstone I like the Lewis lake to Shosone lake. Late June early July. Lake Trout fishing is great, the largest Geyser basin in the world, camp sites are no less than a mile apart. You can call in for permits in January, after that it is done by mail. Check out the Yellowstone website. Wolf

Canyonlands National Park
Probalby the most scenic waters anywhere in the country. For a shorter trip you could float down the Colorado from Moab to Spanish Bottom or you could put on on the Green river in Green River and flaot down to Spanish Bottom. Either trip will take you on a trip through amazing country that you will never forget. It is all easy water. You will have to arrange a jet boat shuttle to get back upriver unless you want to run class 5 Cataract Canyon and keep going to lake Powell.

This shot I took a couple years ago while on a short trip down the Colorado. http://community.webshots.com/photo/35643229/36768789qFMWol

Yellowstone and Canyonlands
If you want to fish, then I suggest Yellowstone’s Shoshone Lake. The trip could be as long or short as you like. We only fished a little on our trip, maybe one hour each, but each of us caught trout over 12 inches. The one I caught was the largest trout I could remember catching ever. I just posted my trip report on this board.

Yellowstone lake is probably too large to be safe in a canoe, water very cold. We took enough of a beating from the winds and waves on the Shoshone Lake trip, cannot imagine being on a larger lake at the same time. If I wanted to go on Yellowstone lake I would take my 14 foot aluminum rowboat with an outboard, and still plan to stay put on windy days.

The Green River into Canyonlands is a great trip, each section is about 5 days. Good family trip, no real rapids, with the only minor rapid 5 minutes after we put in at Crystal Geyser. We used Tex’s Riverways for the shuttle both times, kind of funky but they get the job done, makes your life very simple, so well worth the money. They have an amazing 45 foot jet boat that will take you from the confluence of the Colorado and the Green back to Moab, kind of a fun way to end the trip. However, fishing on the lower Green River is not generally regarded as good. I have run other parts of the Green as well, but the other sections are more technical.


Retrace Lewis and Clarks trip and
paddle/float the Missouri from Fort Benton to Kipps Landing in Montana. Did it in May and had a great time. A good trip especially if you are a history buff.

Pyramid Lake
Desert Landscape, sparse population, decent Lahontan Cutthroat Trout and 35 miles from Reno. It gets pretty hot in the summer, but it reminds me of the Sea of Cortez.

Hey yaknot…
If you could send me an email, I would be interested in asking you a few quick questions about your trip.

3rd vote for Canyonlands
Just returned from 13 days on Green & Colorado rivers & scenery is unbeatable. If fishing’s a priority, there are better choices. Can stretch your legs hiking in uncountable side canyons.

Wife & I paddled back up CO rather than use jet boat, an option if you’ve more time than $$$ & don’t want to commit to a specific pick up time.

Our experience was similar to trip described by paddletothesea on this site’s “places to paddle”

How about Bighorn Canyon?
Between Montana and Whoming…I’m thinking about doing that next summer…I rented a motorboat (shame shame, yeah…I know but I got over it;)) at the south end and spent 2 hours going upstream…500+ foot red cliffs, awesome!

Flaming Gorge WY and UT
I did about 80 mi in 5 days from Green River Wy to the dam in Flaming Gorge. It’s not very crowded the fishing can be good (I didn’t fish) and you can pick up fresh water at marinas almost daily. If you want you can do a short class II and trout fishing run below the dam too.

Contact me if you want more info.


Green R. in current issue of CANOE magz/
There is a good article about the green river in the current issue of CANOE.


Thank you!
Thanks for all of the suggestions. I have decided to do the Upper Missouri Wild & Scenic section in June. It came down to that or the Green, but I could only do a short part of the Green with my dog, as the lower section(s) enter Canyonlands NP. I also intend to check out the Yellowstone area paddling on a previously scheduled vacation to that area next Sept.

Thanks again.