*Desolation trips are subject to the BLM special area use fee of $25.
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GREEN RIVER RAFTING
Desolation and Gray canyons are on the National Register of Historic Places because the famous and infamous were drawn here. In 1830, trapper Denis Julien left graffiti on the canyon walls. Almost 40 years later, John Wesley Powell traveled through the canyons and christened them. Soon after Powell passed through, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid found this a great place to escape justice. Today, if you really want to get away, there's no better place than the Green River Wilderness.
The Green River cuts a series of chasms through the Tavaputs Plateau and forms a gorge deeper than the Grand Canyon at Bright Angel Creek (5500'). There are petroglyphs, ruins, abandoned homesteads and marvelous camping sites among verdant cottonwoods on soft sand beaches. This is a perfect place to try your skills with an inflatable kayak.
Day 1: Fly into Sand Wash put-in from Green River. There is a 30 minute downhill hike from canyon rim to the rafts waiting at river bottom. The trail is well marked but there is some loose footing along the way. Plan ahead to wear appropriate shoes for the hike. Guests who are apprehensive about the hike can be transported by vehicle to the river. View a historical marker at head of Desolation Canyon before entering the canyon. Camp this evening near Gold Hole.
Day 2: Hikes to Fremont Indian ruins and petroglyphs interspersed with sections of whitewater. Steer Ridge Rapid is the most memorable. Camp in a cottonwood grove or on a mile-long sandbar.
Day 3: Side canyon hike up Rock Creek, a clearwater stream. Extensive petroglyphs, and abandoned Rock Creek and McPherson Ranches, where Butch Cassidy's Wild Bunch slept.
Day 4: The whitewater has gotten bigger each day. The crescendo: Belknap, Three Fords, and Coal Creek rapids. Leave Desolation and enter Gray Canyon.
Day 5: We will run a half dozen more rapids before lunch and then take out near Swasey's beach. Short trip back to Green River and our headquarters.
If you have any questions prior to leaving for your trip, we welcome you to call our Salt Lake City office, Monday through Friday at 801-266-2087. We're happy to take the time to answer your questions. You may also contact us by e-mail at email@example.com.
When you arrive in Green River the day before your trip, there will be a pre-trip orientation meeting at 8:00 p.m. (Mountain Time). A Holiday representative will give you a short orientation on all aspects of river travel. At this time we will issue your waterproof bags, answer any questions you may have, and finalize your flight departure time for the trip. If you plan on buying any last minute items from our accessory's store, please plan to do so at this time (see check list of what to bring for a list of items you can find at our store). Special Note: Due to the limited space and weight on the aircraft. If you have any specialty sodas, beer, wine or other extra heavy items, please bring items to our headquarters by 2:00 p.m. the day prior to your trip (see beverages).
IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS THE NIGHT BEFORE THE TRIP, OUR GREEN RIVER HEADQUARTERS NUMBER IS 435-564-3273.
Beginning of the trip: On the morning of your trip, plan to arrive promptly at the predetermined time established at the pre-trip orientation meeting. We will then take you to the local airstrip. Our prescheduled flight will be waiting to take you to the embarkation point (30 minutes). The flight is on a small single engine type aircraft.
After the trip: We will return you to Green River, Utah (30 minute van ride). Our expected time of arrival back at our headquarters is 3:00 to 4:00 p.m.
The best place to eat in Green River is Ray's Tavern. Ray's is a true small western town bar rich in atmosphere and good food. They serve incredible hamburgers, pork chops, small salads and steaks. The Tamarisk Restaurant offers family dining with riverside seating.
Desolation weather: In May and early June temperatures average 70 to 80 degrees during the day and 50 to 60 degrees at night. In late June through August the daytime temperatures are 80 to 100 degrees, with nighttime temperatures 60 to 70 degrees. Light rain showers occasionally occur in this area, and it can cool temperatures considerably. With this in mind we recommend you have a poncho or rain suit, polypropylene underwear, (fleece top and pants are nice in cool weather too) and a light tent. If you reserved a rental unit with us when you booked your river trip, we will have a tent and rain gear for you. There will also be an abundance of sun, so bring a hat and plenty of suntan lotion and/or sunscreens.
Bugs, snakes, etc. are generally no problem. In fact, the lack of pesky insects is one of the reasons that wilderness camping on the river is so pleasant. Any river trip, however, is subject to an occasional localized insect hatch. During these hatches (most common in June to mid-July) mosquitos can be bothersome. Be sure to bring long sleeve clothing and a generous supply of repellent. Insect repellents that contain "deet" are by far the most effective during heavy hatches, but are also suspected of causing various health problems. Citronella-based products (skin-so-soft) work only in light hatches. We rarely see any snakes, but if the thought of them bothers you, try sleeping on the beaches or in a tent instead of rocky or bushy areas.
Beverages: We provide ice water, lemonade, two sodas per day per person and ample cooler space. If you choose to bring any specialty sodas and/or alcoholic beverages, we have no problem taking whatever you want to bring - within reason. However, because of the limited space on the charter flight we must control the amount of beer you carry with you on the plane. If you intend to bring 1 case or less then please bring the beer with you the morning of the trip and carry it on the plane. For quantities greater than this we request that you contact our office three weeks prior to your trip to make arrangements in getting your beer to the river. Don't bring beer, wine coolers or sodas in glass containers. Wine packaged in a box is ideal. Mark beverages that you bring so they are packed on your boat. The liquor store in Green River, Utah is located in the back of the West Winds restaurant. In Utah, wine or liquor is not sold after 7:00 p.m., before 11:00 a.m., or on Sundays and holidays.
The BOC store has what you need for this trip and can ship your order out quickly.
Meeting Place & Time
If you are flying, you can fly to Salt Lake City located 180 miles
northwest of Green River, Utah. From there you can rent a car, take a
shuttle with Bighorn Express (call 888-655-7433), ride a bus, or fly in
a light aircraft to Green River, Utah. If you need assistance with your
travel arrangements, please ask your Holiday Expedition reservation agent.
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