On the Road is a weekday feature spotlighting reader photo submissions.
From the exotic to the familiar, whether you’re traveling or in your own backyard, we would love to see the world through your eyes.
The first picture below is like a work of art! If I had been on that trip, I’m not sure I would have ever left that spot. ~WaterGirl
One of our favorite wilderness adventures is to canoe down the Green River in Utah. It is a flat water river that flows through Canyonlands National Park down to its confluence with the Colorado River. In many places you can get out of the canoe, sit or lie down in the river, and soak yourself to cool off. By late summer most of the river is less than 4 feet deep and the drop off from the banks is very gradual. There are outfitters in Moab that will rent you the gear, haul you to the put in, and then meet you with a jet boat to take you upstream on the Colorado back to Moab. We have done it several times, sometimes with a group of folks and sometimes just by ourselves. We had to cancel the trip we had planned for this summer. Note – you cannot continue downstream on the Colorado as that’s where the rapids start. These are pictures from three different trips.
There are no established camping spots on the river. While guidebooks have suggested places to stop, access to them depends on water level which varies a lot over the year. The water is very silty so it must be pre-filtered before filtering or boiling. Alternatively, you can take along water in big containers (white object next to the canoe). It is first come first served but you are supposed to locate out of sight and sound of other campsites.
There are numerous places to pull over and take hikes up canyons that connect to the river. It is desert and the temperature in summer climbs very quickly once you leave the river. Start your hike wearing layers of soaking wet clothes – it really helps.
When the river is low you spend part of your time steering the canoe to avoid running aground on submerged sandbars. When that happens you get out and pull to get back to a deeper channel. The upside is there are numerous sandy spots along the edge of the river to set up camp. Camping on the higher sandbars, like this one, is great too.
Fort Bottom is a place where the river makes a big bend around a low narrow plateau. There is a trail up to the top where you can look both upstream and downstream (to the right).
There is a mysterious stone structure at the top. Who built it and why is not known. The canyon wall in the background is on the upstream side across the river from the plateau. So this point commands quite the vista.
Many of the locations along the river were named by the expeditions of John Wesley Powell. This formation was named because of its supposed resemblance to a Turkish turban. You can camp downstream and then hike along the top of the cliff to some ruins and rock drawings. Take along a life vest and float back down to cool off.
As you travel further downstream toward the confluence with the Colorado the canyon walls get higher.
Early evening and morning light on the rock formations can create views that take your breath away. Maybe next year.