Southwest US paddling....

Wifey and I would like to see the Grand Canyon. The prices for rafting trips through the canyon seem quite steep.

So I apeal to Pnetters to suggest alternate paddling trips, perhaps sans white water and guides, that we could do while we are in the area, either with or without our own boats. Perhaps in the GC, we’ll just hike or ride mules, and seek paddling spots elsewhere.

I have read a bit about Black Canyon, and Lake Meade, and would love to talk to locals about very beautiful paddling trips that may be off the tourist radar. We are right coasters, been from Honduras to Newfoundland, but have little experience in the west.

Please include any must find local food as well as paddle spots. Or just post on favorite SW resturants, it’s all good.

And maybe we could show you some neat spots if you ever visit Florida…



Green River
Labyrinth and Stillwater Canyons. About 120 miles of beautiful flat water through gorgeous canyons. No rapids worth noticing.

Here’s one write up:

The only issue is that you have to pay for a jet boat to pick you up at Spanish Bottom, but it’s worth it.

We spent a week on the 120 miles (laid over a day at Spanish Bottom), if you like to camp and hike, then you could spend twice that much time easily.

Amazing experience in the canyons. We’ve also done the San Juan (Bluff to Clay Hills Crossing–86 miles) and it’s just as nice, but has a little whitewater.

We’ll check it out. We are not opposed to Class 1 or 2 whitewater, but more than that may be a bit much for our craft, gear, and skill combination.

Thanks so much,


SW rivers
Hi! That stretch of the Green is on my “to do” list. I was going to do it this past spring. Here’s some great info:

I’ve paddled Black Canyon a few times. Flat water, clean water, and absolutely gorgeous. From Memorial Day to Labor Day they allow motorboat traffic in the canyon, and it’s a pretty popular place to be. Most canoes & kayaks avoid it during that time. We’ve gone at St. Patty’s Day and Thanksgiving, days are warm, nights are cool enough to want a campfire.

I’ve also paid the price to raft the Big Ditch. I have to say, it was possibly the best thing I’ve ever done, hands down. We rafted the first half and hiked out to the south rim. It’s worth it. You can’t do it any other way (unless you are lucky enough to hook up with someone who has a permit). We paid cash for one of us, and put the other one on the credit card. Expensive, yes. But there’s only 1 Grand Canyon, and we figured we’d better do it before we’re too damn old.