The Green River is a popular choice for white water rafting. The river runs from Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area near Vernal, Utah, to Dinosaur National Monument, and then through some of Utah's most rugged and remote landscape...before finally meeting up with the Colorado River at Canyonlands National Park in southeastern Utah. There are several sections of the Green River that can be rafted, kayaked, or canoed.
Green River sections include:
North Section: Vernal - Flaming Gorge Area
- Flaming Gorge Dam - Little Hole - Browns Park
- Lodore Canyon
- Split Mountain- Daily
- Yampa River (flows into Green River-Split Mountain)
South Section: Green River City - Moab Area
White water rafting trips on the Green River offer unique geology, landscape important to America's frontier and outlaw history, plus Native American ruins and rock art. A trek down the Green River is about much more than white water rafting; it's about truly experiencing a part of history.
Green River History
"Rio San Buena Ventura" is the Spanish name for the Green River. Flowing rapidly southward for hundreds of miles before joining the Colorado, the Green River offers several sections suitable for white water rafting trips in Utah.
The Green River rafting season extends from early April through October. The best flows often occur during late May and early June. Besides producing great rapids, this season guarantees river runners will see a spectacular wildflower showeverything from flowering cacti and Indian paintbrush to desert primrose blossoms.
One of the deepest canyons in the southwest, Lodore Canyon, located in the sprawling acreage of Dinosaur National Monument offers many miles of scenic wonderment. Plenty of excitement awaits you with rapids such as Disaster Falls, Hell's Half-Mile and Triplet Falls. With average descents of 13 feet per mile the river tumbles past soaring red rock walls, desert Big Horn Sheep, pristine springs and waterfalls.
John Wesley Powell explored the Green River in 1869. He likened the area, Gates of Lodore, to a "mountain drinking a river." Only a few brave souls tackled the swift and mighty waters called the "seeds-ke-dee" by Native Americans. Now Flaming Gorge Dam backs up the waters of the Green and flows are regulated to make the river accessible to recreational floaters. The summer river season allows for trips of three to four days in length.
Below Lodore, the Desolation and Gray Canyon stretch offers over 60 Class I - Class III rapids. But the rapids are only part of the fascination of a Green River trip. This area of Utah was visited and settled by prospectors, homesteaders, farmers and ranchers and outlaws who left their legacies in the river corridor. Visitors will enjoy seeing such places as the McPherson Ranch where Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid often hid out.
Below Desolation and Gray Canyons, the Green meanders through Labyrinth and Stillwater Canyons. The calm waters are a favorite with canoes and touring kayaks who enjoy the scenery, historical relics and Indian ruins.
Information courtesy of Utah Guides & Outfitters Association.
For more information about the surrounding area:
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