Green River Canoe Trip - April 2007
Bowknot Bend - It is seven river miles from the left to the right.
Trip pictures are HERE. Thanks to everyone on the trip for letting me use some of their photos.
Following is a short description of a 12 day canoe trip on the Green River in Utah, between the town of Green River and the confluence of the Green River with the Colorado River. This trip is on my top-10 list of best river trips. The trip participants were: Arthur Kuehne (me) and David Van Winkle, Jim and Jane Nelson, Bill Greer and Sue Scott.
Monday, April 16 – We met at our shuttle provider’s facility in Moab and loaded all of our gear onto their trailer and van. We left our cars in their lot and they hauled us to the put-in at Green River State Park. We got on the river at about 9:30. The river was 3 or 4 feet lower than on my last trip on the Green. We paddled down and checked out Crystal Geyser and had lunch. Unfortunately, no eruption took place while we were there. In 4 or 5 visits to the geyser, I have never seen a significant eruption . There were huge storm clouds all around us but we made it to camp and got our tents set up before the storms hit. After the storms, it cleared up and we had a nice evening.
Tuesday, April 17 – Clear and nice. Paddled down to Trin Alcove, but all of the campsites were taken by two parties so we continued down a short distance to a nice campsite on river left. We found fresh mountain lion tracks near our camp.
Wednesday, April 18 – Nice night, but it started getting windy after breakfast. We put-in but it immediately got very windy. We struggled about two miles to a protected campsite on river right. We saw a water jug and several other pieces of canoeing gear float by. When we got down to Mineral Bottom we heard that the wind had been gusting to 70 mph. This was the highest wind I’ve ever experienced on a river trip. The wind finally let up after dinner when a front passed through. We had a cool night.
Thursday, April 19 – Clear and cool with no wind. Paddled to River Register and had lunch. Stopped at Hey Joe Canyon to look at mine and old bulldozer left over from the uranium mining days. We then stopped at the first D. Julien inscription (May 16, 1836) and then continued down to our camp at Bowknot Bend. Unlike the last time I was here, there was plenty of room to camp. We climbed up to the ridge before dinner. Nice, cool night.
Friday, April 20 – On the river at 9:50 and paddled “around the bend” and then down to Two Mile Canyon, where we planned to take a long hike up canyon. We could not find a good takeout, so we went down to a nice sandbar camp at the downstream end of Horseshoe Canyon. The sandbar was caused by a big flood in the canyon. We took a short hike up the canyon but quicksand and flood debris turned us back. We had a cloudy, fairly warm night.
Saturday, April 21 – On the river at 9:20 and paddled down to Hell Roaring Canyon to see the second D. Julien inscription (May 3, 1836). We then went on to Mineral Bottom where we had lunch and talked to the volunteer ranger stationed there. We then paddled on down to Horsethief Canyon for another flood-caused sandbar camp. We checked out the petroglyphs located nearby. Weather: cool and partly cloudy.
Sunday, April 22 – The day started sunny but quickly clouded up and became breezy. On river at 9:10 for a short paddle down to Fort Bottom. Our intended campsite next to the rocks was completely grown over, so we went on down to look for another camp. We did not find any camp or good takeout the rest of the way around the bottom so we paddled down to a camp on river right at about mile 38. The weather continued cloudy, cool and windy with some rain and wind during the night.
Monday, April 23 – The morning was partly cloudy and calm and we got a bit of light rain after we got on the river. We paddled on down to Anderson Bottom where we had a floating takeout. The rain stopped about the time we got to camp. Jim set up his tarp and we had lunch under it. We then retired to our tents for a nap. Later it cleared a bit and we went for a hike to the narrows. Unfortunately, there was a large water-filled hole blocking the entrance, so we took the trail to the top and looked down on the narrows from above. We then hiked to the frog (rincon island) and looked at the petroglyphs. After we went to bed, it started raining again. It rained lightly off and on most of the night.
Tuesday, April 24 – The rain stopped about 6 a.m. We paddled down to Turks Head and had lunch. We hiked up to look at all of the flint chipping sites. We paddled down to Horse Canyon but could not find a campsite so we went about ¼ mile down to a sandbar at mile 14. The weather was nice all day but we got a few sprinkles at dusk and after going to bed.
Wednesday, April 25 – Clear morning as we got on the river at 9:35 for an easy paddle down to the confluence. The Colorado was also much lower than on the last trip. We stopped at the Danger sign (RL, 2 miles down) and registered for campsite #3 at Spanish Bottom. The campsite required a floating takeout. After unloading, we cleaned our boats and pulled them up. We enjoyed a very nice, warm evening.
Thursday, April 26 – Hiked up to the Doll House and explored the area. After returning to camp, we took it easy, relaxed and enjoyed our last evening on the river.
Friday, April 27 – After breaking down our camp, we hiked downstream and found the Steamer Major Powell inscription. I had looked for it the previous evening, but had not found it. It is very faded. We continued downstream and checked out the first two rapids in Cataract Canyon. We then returned to camp and waited for the jet boat to take us to Moab. While we were waiting, another party showed up that was also taking the boat back to Moab. The boats (one for gear and one for passengers) showed up a little after noon. The jet boat trip to Moab, while noisy and windy, is quite interesting. The jet boats stop at a boat ramp about 20 miles from Moab. Normally, they put you in their bus and tow the jet boat, with all your gear, back to Moab. But, when they pulled us out, a spring mount on the boat trailer suspension broke, so they had to take us to Moab to pick up our cars. We had to drive back to the ramp to pick up our gear.