Top Ten All-Time Classic Whitewater Rafting Trips

Green River/Lodore Canyon, Utah

Difficulty: Class II to III

Trip Length: Five days or more

Season: April through November

The Green River is an epic river. It cuts down the length of Utah before joining the Colorado River near Cataract Canyon. Lodore Canyon, near Dinosaur National Monument, is the classic trip on the Green, the one everyone mentions as a must do.

Lodore Canyon lies at the high, northern edge of the Colorado plateau. This is an high desert environment—juniper and pinion pine along the canyon along the river; bighorn sheep, flowery meadows, and lodgepole pine higher up—very different from the Sonoran desert found on the floor of the Grand Canyon. Another difference from the crowded Grand Canyon: The chances for having a top-quality wilderness experience are much higher. Forget campsite scrambles, there will be days when it feels as if you have the Green all to yourself.

The Lodore Canyon run doesn't have the roaring, lethal whitewater of the Grand Canyon. Its whitewater is intermediate, and it is spread out evenly on every day of the trip. It all adds up to a river on which you can relax and pursue your own interests. Where you can find your life again. John Wood, President of Holiday Expeditions, has led trips for years down the Green. In listing its many charms, he mentions, "Prehistoric Indian history. Blue ribbon trout streams. Waterfalls. Volleyball beaches. Great river mud—the kind of mud you'd spend several hundred dollars for in a spa."

That's what we call a well-rounded river.

Published: 30 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 3 Dec 2012
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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