Regional Guide

Paddling - Southeast Utah and Canyon Country

For a slow-flowing float and beautiful canyon scenery, check out the Green River's Labyrinth Canyon. This placid, 60-mile stretch of water holds no rapids, so you can spend lazy days drifting by towering red-rock cliffs, buttes, and mesas 1,500 feet above the river floor.

The Green River's Desolation Canyon begins as a tranquil float through a river gorge. But by the time you've paddled through both Desolation and Gray Canyons (84 river miles), you'll have navigated over 60 rapids, from Class I to III.

Take a six-day trip down the San Juan River from Sand Island to Clay Hills, winding through the Utah wilderness. You'll enjoy leisurely floating as well as a few rapids—from the four-foot waves at mile 11.5 to the eight-foot breakers in the Narrows (mile 17).

For big whitewater, take on the Colorado River's Westwater Canyon. Though you'll find a few miles of easy paddling at put-in and take-out, the river speeds paddlers through some serious Class III and IV rapids.

Skilled rafters will enjoy the Colorado's Cataract Canyon, which offers 12 miles of the most famous—and fierce—rapids in the West. After some Class III whitewater, the river runs through three big drops where you'll face obstacles such as Satan's Gut and Little Niagara.

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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