Timing a trip on the Lower Green River

I am thinking of making a trip on the Green River and request advice on what time of year to go.

I see from the climate data that I probably want to go in May or Sep/Oct. I like the idea of going on the stronger waterflow in May, but I think there is a risk of too much water. There are not really any rapids to worry about, but with high water I think there would be fewer places to camp.

Late September to early October looks like a nice weather window, too. But, no surprise, there is dramatically less water in the river. Does the Green become too low to paddle in late summer - early fall?

Lower Green = Ruby Ranch to the confluence.

Thanks for any advice you’d care to post.


No not really . Good flows year round.
September is a nice time. I think there are some trip reports here. Really bad snow year could change that.

I have a TR here
with photos. Late September early Oct. Its high season for travel on the Green. Traffic falls off noticeably later in October.

We had highish water levels as there was a lot of snowpack in the mountains the previous winter. It was beastly hot and also quite cold at the end of the trip


Your canoe on the Green
Did you rent that Souris River canoe – or drive it out there? Great pix, great narrative!

I drove it out there.
The truck I was using then was not very affected gas mileage wise by having the canoe on top.

Green R.

– Last Updated: Oct-13-12 6:18 PM EST –

Did Ruby Ranch to Mineral Bottoms a couple years ago. We went in mid-Sept and the weather was perfect, mid 80s through most of the trip... BUT its worth remembering you're pretty high - four or five thousand feet if I recall. At those heights weather can change dramatically at that time of year, at least so it seems to a guy who lives under 800ft normally. Take clothes for any possibility, though rain gear could perhaps be minimized from what I saw at that time of year. It is desert.

Kim's right. The river moves deceptively fast though it is quite flat. You could really eat the miles if you wanted to. I would advise DON'T.

The guy who suggested the trip I went on was experienced on that river. He suggested short days. I believe now he was exactly right. It would be a sin to blast through scenery like that. Hike the canyons, climb if you're into it, watch the afternoon light change on the canyon walls, get familiar with the plants, savor it. We did about ten miles/day though we could, of course, easily have done much more.

I'm still set on going back and doing exactly the trip you're asking about, all the way to the confluence. But I won't do it unless I can take the time required to do it right.

We used Tex's in Moab as outfitters as well. They did a good job, though perhaps others would as well. There are a lot of outfitters in Moab, but many do most of their work on the Colorado.

Permits are required. There's a long waiting list for private permits but you get one if you schedule through a commercial outfitter. Also by hiring an outfitter to take you in and out, supply an industrial sized groover (and clean it after - a BIG plus), and answer questions en route you get your money's worth.

Great trip. Enjoy!
PS: As an afterthought... If you camp near the mouth of Hell Roaring Canyon (just upstream from Mineral Bottoms) stake your tent down well, tie and turn over your boats, and take special care to have everything put away before turning in. After a perfectly clear, calm, afternoon and evening, under an amazingly clear starry sky, we got absolutely blasted with wind. We were all out there in our underwear chasing stuff around the sandbar. Canoes were rolling, tables blowing... It was like someone threw a switch. Lasted about an hour and stopped just as fast as it started. Next day we spoke with folks who had camped upstream from there and they didn't have a clue what we were talking about. I'm thinking that canyon didn't get its name from some historic flood. Advice, suggestions, general help re: Hell Roaring Canyon.

Deadhead the tent ALL the time
Not just in Hell Roaring Canyon.

We camped on a sandbar in Spanish Bottom two nights before pickup. We all hiked that extra day. The party of five tents and six people hiked to the top of the Doll House.

The six people gazed down and saw four tents. Number five tent had not been tied to anything other than stakes and launched itself sleeping pad and bag and all down Cataract Canyon

Someone had a cold night (that one was freezing)

Also bring bocce balls. Sandbar bocce is a hoot and many of them are large enough to play.

There is more than one jet boat operator but I am happy we chose Tex. His crew was courteous and slowed when approaching campsites so as not to endanger other boats or paddlers on the water.

Good advice, valuable trip repot
Thanks, Kayakmedic!

L Green
Your thought process shows good judgement. Just avoid the summer heat. We endured 115 degree temps for several days in a row in July.

Beaches are better at low flows. The road to the take-out at Mineral Bottom is not for the faint of heart. Don’t let anyone drink on that road for instance.