Green River to Canyonlands

New to kayaking this year. Have only done flatwater lakes in Az (yes, there are many). Want to know about kayaking the Green River to Canyonlands. Have the River Guide by Kelsey, just started going through it. Would like to try for late September. Is this sane for two newbies in their sixth decade? Would it be better to float in an inflatable raft?


From reading Backpacker…reference to canoeing is in last paragraph

information search from: packrafting Green River

I won’t cite Google because I have done
it … Twice.

First all you really have to do is point the canoe in the direction you want to take the picture.

If you want to kayak… there is a downside. You must take a portable toilet. Tex’s Riverways rents one for kayaks but it goes on the back deck just in back of the paddler. By day 9 its sort of ripe. Alternatively you can use PVC pipe and Wag Bags.

Water has to be carried. In the spring you can filter from side canyons where water has settled but lower water levels in Sept mandate carrying at least some water. You can try to filter but its a long laborious process. The Green is full of silt.

I take it you would probably put in at Ruby Ranch and out at the Confluence. about 100 miles. Take your time and enjoy the hiking. We did the river in nine days in Sept. A friend of ours took 22 for time to explore side canyons.

Now as far as newbies… have you camped out of a kayak? Do you own your own? Practice packing at home… The ideal is to have very little on deck. Canoes are much easier on the Green as there is room for chairs, and beach umbrellas etc. But kayaks are not impossible.

There will be lots of sandbar camping available and it has very very little natural shade. If possible find and mark those campsites in Kelseys guide. No doubt you will have to scramble up twenty or thirty feet at low water but the shade of a cottonwood is so welcome.

Expect mud. Lots of mud. You will probably fall in at least once if for nothing else, getting too close to an edge of a sandbar that gives way when peeing. Yes you pee in the river. Females would enjoy a “shenis”

Your age is fine. We are into our seventh decade.

Thanks for your input! Sounds great. As accomplished campers, doesn’t sound intimidating at all.

dust ?
is Green Canyon air filled with windblown dust from the plateau above ?

what were the high and low temperatures during September ?

Probably ask Google but you’re here so …

No google here

– Last Updated: Aug-07-14 5:10 PM EST –

Temps ranged from freezing to 104.
Sandbar camping involves silt blowing in your tent. Cottonwood camping does not.

It can be very windy. Always deadman your tent.

We threw our gear in at Ruby.. Not noticing how out of trim the boat was! Bow Heavy! The winds came up the river, whitecaps and the bow sunk through every wave.

We did not put up with that too long. It pays to pack the right way!

Did Ruby ranch to the confluence
this April for the third time. We spent twelve days on the river. My wife and I are both in our sixties. Mostly a float since you have current, but finding campsites can be a chore at times depending on water level. The wind can be a problem if you get caught on the river when it starts blowing. Fun trip.

Green in a kayak
We can all agree that a canoe is better suited for such a trip. I can remember no rapids on the Green in that stretch but occasionally the up canyon winds opposing the current can build some large waves. Make sure you can brace and keep the boats steady in a lot of chop and steep waves. You will be fine otherwise. Don’t bring too much.

that was my first trip

– Last Updated: Aug-08-14 11:51 AM EST –

in a kayak -- town of Green River to Mineral Bottom (not all the way to the confluence). It was a commercial trip (Sherri Griffith) with one gear raft and about 10 newbies (many "older") in 12 - 14 ft. touring kayaks. It was April. It was great. A couple of folks fell in, but I think it was getting in and out of boats at steep shores (vs. waves). Of course the big gear raft (w/small motor) made the kayaks practical. Immediately bought a kayak when I got home! I do recall thinking that the rudders were great -- the river current propelled and the rudder steered -- could stow the paddle and kick back and eat/drink or look at guidebooks or play flute with both hands. The wind has been mentioned. Edited: But wind, afternoon especially, is pretty standard for canyon trips -- I don't recall the Labyrinth being outside the norm.

wind ?

tell us what the weather map looked like with wind and with less wind ?

as with the Columbia post in TRIPS.

I have a slight but sensitive emphysema problem. Have avoided canyons such as Big Bend, definitely the Grand where the scent is dust and manure. You found no particulate blowing off the top into the river surface ? Easterners reply.

I have no frigging idea what the
weather map showed. I am not online with Google while on a canoe trip.

Enjoy the Green when Google Trail View comes to fruition. Do the river without leaving your desk nor your favorite friend.


– Last Updated: Aug-08-14 8:52 PM EST –

For example:

for the above, tap the national map at NOAA Home page then look left to Observations.

The standard map listed first is archived. The archive allowed us to work back with memory and confirm with facts for Haro Strait and Columbia River above The Dalles.

I’m driving south thru the area in abt 90 days. With MiFi on the doghouse.


A terrain graphic is available : local forecasts

and a planner !

use able for Washington State

with a pinch of trail mix

more NOAA

This page comes from NOAA ‘satellite’ view after accessing weather from the Utah map with ‘satellite’ chosen from left margin then following directions under the ‘view’ with a click, then choosing ‘observations.’