Put-in: Green River State Park or Ruby Ranch or Mineral Bottom
Take-Out: Green/Colo Confluence
Trip Length: 3-8 days
Mileage: about 120 mi
The Green River flows through Labyrinth and then Stillwater canyons before reaching its confluence with the Colorado River. Both Labyrinth and Stillwater offer calm water (no rapids) in beautiful wilderness canyons. They are ideal for multi-day canoe and kayak trips.
The stretch of river that flows through the Stillwater Canyon is too long to be traveled in just one day.
Multi-day Trips | stillwater canyon guides |
Stillwater Canyon can be self-navigated, or experienced with the help of a professional guide. Trips tend to vary from 4 to 5 days. The beauty of the canyon seems to be internalized on this trip, as people quietly experience the river by canoe or raft. The calm water and redrock canyon walls, plus the chance at viewing the eruption of Crystal Geyser, makes this trip unique.
Family Trips | stillwater canyon guides |
Families enjoy this trip! It's an opportunity to spend the evenings camping on the river shore, and long days on a calm stretch of river. Stillwater Canyon trips are the perfect way for parents to help their children experience the outdoors. Water is calm enough for swimming and playing. Guides often provide inflatable kayaks for individual paddling, or people may choose to stay in the raft. Whatever families choose to do, this is a great memory-building trip!
Due to the calm nature of the canyons, plus the amount of time required to make it through, this is not a trip commonly selected by groups or corporations.
Stillwater Canyon offers exactly what its name suggests - 52 miles of calm water on Utah's Green River. This beautiful waterway winds through Canyonlands National Park, eventually meeting up with the Colorado River. Along the way, river runners become acquainted with scenery on the grandest of scales - ruins and rock art sites of Ancient Puebloan Indians and amazing redrock formations. Many float trips include plenty of time for hikes and off-river exploration into Canyonland regions such as the Doll House and the Maze (Canyonlands most remote district).
Trips into Stillwater Canyon are ideal for river runners interested in a self-guided trip, families, photography enthusiasts, and others interested in spotting wildlife and Utah's unique redrock scenery. Several guided trips are offered, but many people choose to self-guide rafts, kayaks, or canoes on this section of river. Permits are required for self-guided use of the Green River beyond Mineral Bottom; fire pans and toilets are mandatory. (Outfitters have these for rent.) You must have a shuttle organized to return you to Moab.
To begin a trip down Still Water Canyon, launch onto the Green River from Green River State Park in the town of Green River, Utah. The road is paved to this put-in; there is an entrance fee of $3 per person. There are additional camping fees. Other available launch sites include Ruby Ranch and Mineral Bottom. These sites are located more remotely, some distance across dirt roads. Mineral Bottom may become impassable in heavy rain. It contains about 20 miles of dirt road and a short stretch of switch-backs which drop about 900 vertical feet in a mile. Ruby Ranch is private property and the owners charge $10 a boat and $2 a person (cash only).
A river running trip down Stillwater Canyon can last anywhere from 3-10 days, depending on the selected route. The following table lists popular launch and pull-out locations, and the amount of time required for each trip.
RECOMMENDED DURATION IN DAYS TO MILES Green River - Confluence* 120 miles 7-10 days Green River - Mineral Bottom 68 miles 3-6 days Ruby Ranch - Confluence* 97 miles 4-7 days Mineral Bottom - Confluence* 52 miles 3-6 days
*The Confluence is the spot where the Green and Colorado Rivers meet. USE EXTREME CAUTION WHEN CANOEING BELOW THE CONFLUENCE TO SPANISH BOTTOM, FOUR MILES BEYOND THE CONFLUENCE. There are dangerous whirlpools and eddies during various water levels throughout this stretch. Four miles below the Confluence of the Green and Colorado Rivers is where the rapids of Cataract Canyon begin. DO NOT ENTER THE RAPIDS.
Most people have arrange to meet a jet boat at the Confluence; the jet boat shuttles them up the Colorado to Moab. Be prepared to pass your bundled equipment onto the jet boat at the designated pick up time.
In planning your trip, consider that an average of 20 miles per day in a canoe is a good day on the river. Upstream breezes will affect your progress and speed down river. The gradient of the river averages six inches to two feet per mile. At low water stages the current speed approximates 2 to 4 miles per hour and high water stages may measure 7 to 10 miles per hour.
Additional Stillwater Canyon tips can be obtained from Tagalong Adventures.
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