Paddling Bucket List

Nick

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My boat rack is on the way and after my next backpacking trip, I plan to start getting out on float trips regularly. I'll probably be renting kayaks and canoes for at least a bit so I can get a feel for what I like best. But what I need to figure out now is where to go!

Anyone have any suggestions or favorites to share for multi-day paddling trips in and around Utah? I don't want to do anything too rapid, mostly just flat water and lakes. Obviously Labyrinth Canyon is near the top of my list and I'd like to do a little exploring on Powell, but what else should be on there? Be specific and thanks in advance!
 

Dave

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Flaming Gorge from Sheep Creek to the dam. Also, the Green below the dam to Little Hole.
 

uintahiker

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Couple spots:

Wyoming- Wind Rivers-Green River Lakes, with the portage to the Upper Lake.
Wyoming- Wind Rivers- Fremont to Long to Upper Long Lakes is intriguing.
Utah- Bear River below Cutler to the Bird Refuge
Utah- Strawberry Reservoir & camp on one of the islands
Wyoming- Green River through Seedskadee NWR in September when the kokanee are spawning
 

Nanda

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Jun 30, 2013
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Watching this thread. :)
I've been thinking about getting a kayak/canoe but still undecided on which on.
 

Nick

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Watching this thread. :)
I've been thinking about getting a kayak/canoe but still undecided on which on.

I'm in that decision mode right now. I'm leaning towards a Kayak, specifically a Pungo 120 or 140 since I'm a big guy. My plan is to rent the 120 and a canoe or two from REI and try them all out. If I fall in love with the yak, I'll probably pickup a Pungo 140 in short order.

Anyone have any thoughts on kayak vs. canoe?
 

Dave

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Flaming Gorge from Sheep Creek to the dam. Also, the Green below the dam to Little Hole.

Quoting myself for the following teaser:

Teaser.jpg
 
Joined
Jan 19, 2012
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@Nick

Not necessarily multi day but
#1- Black Canyon below Hoover Dam is where I will be heading this fall! Start at Willow Beach, paddle upstream a couple miles, camp, next day go up to the dam and then back down to willow beach.
#2- Marble Canyon- I read you can arrange to have your canoe/kayak pulled to the top of the canyon (below Glen Canyon Dam) and go down from there camping one night along the way until you reach Lees Ferry. Wouldnt want to go past Lees Ferry though as the first set of rapids (soap or badger I think) arent too far further downstream.
 
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Anyone have any suggestions or favorites to share for multi-day paddling trips in and around Utah? I don't want to do anything too rapid, mostly just flat water and lakes. Obviously Labyrinth Canyon is near the top of my list and I'd like to do a little exploring on Powell, but what else should be on there? Be specific and thanks in advance

there is very little in the way of wilderness canoe tripping out here in the interior west. trips that include lakes, rivers, and portages. none of which are in utah. one must look north to wyoming for such an outing.

1. Green River Headwaters: travel from the Lower Green River Lake to the Upper Green River Lake. paddle, pole, and/or line in the 1/2-mile section of river between the lakes. two extremely well positioned campsites exist on the northern shore of the upper lake. views of Squaretop looming overhead very impressive. head to the southend of upper lake and enter the headwaters. paddle, pole, and line your way up the lower meadows for roughly 3.75-miles. great primitive camping on the western shore. one or two "blow-downs" spanning the river maybe require brief portaging. for the willing, continue the paddle, pole, line an additional 2 miles up to beaver meadows. great camping to be had and at a location that is well positioned for an assault on SquareTop Mountain via Granite Lake. better yet, ditch the canoe for a night and backpack up to Lake Granite. scramble to the summit of SquareTop Mountain. Reverse the route. Enjoy the serene float back down the headwaters and across the lakes. Pure wilderness stoke right there.

2. Teton Low Traverse: Put in a Flagg Ranch onto the mighty Snake River. float the class I/II for 6+ miles out to Jackson Lake. paddle to and 18 +/- miles south along the western shore overnighting at wilcox point, warm springs, and/or little grassy island. exit the lake at the southend of Bearpaw Bay. portage 1/2-mile to Bearpaw Lake, paddle across the pond, portage again ~3/10-mile to Leigh Lake. Gun for backcountry site #15 on Leigh Lake. one of the best in the park. paddle to the outlet. 150-yard portage to String Lake. Float the lake (slow moving N -> S current requires no paddling, just drinking, err i mean relaxing, down to the southern end. Take out. Hi-5's all around.

3. Shoshone Geyser Basin: launch from Lewis Lake Campground paddle along the northwestern shore, soak in the hot spring mixing zones, eventually paddle up into the lewis river channel. paddling soon turns to lining as you approach shoshone lake. camp at any of the sites along the southern shore. goal is to spend as much time the following day exploring the awesome Shoshone Geyser Basin (sans tourists) at the west end of the lake. Reverse the route or complete the clockwise shore route. tempting as it may be, crossing the shoshone narrows is not recommended. its a literal grave yard. take in some additional minerals at the lewis lake northwestern shore hot springs mixing zones and maybe knock out some yoga on your way back out.
 

Nick

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Oh man - those are some sweet suggestions. I think I'm going to try for that low Teton traverse this fall. Anyone have feelings on peak leaves in Grand Teton National Park? I was there the first weekend of October last year and it felt like I was a week or two late to the party.
 

HomerJ

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Jan 19, 2012
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Oh man - those are some sweet suggestions. I think I'm going to try for that low Teton traverse this fall. Anyone have feelings on peak leaves in Grand Teton National Park? I was there the first weekend of October last year and it felt like I was a week or two late to the party.
In my experience they usually peak around the 3rd week of Sept.
 

gnwatts

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Obviously your mode of transportation makes a big difference in the type of water you choose to travel on. My only experience is with a canoe. We have floated the upper Colorado near Glenwood Springs (spicey!), the lower Colorado through Meander Canyon. We did the Gunnison past Dominguez Canyon, and most of the Green from Green River, Co, to the confluence with the Colorado through Labyrinth. The issues with the lower Green involve having to make it to the confluence to get picked up by the jet boat at a specified time. If you hit some head winds and loose time it can get a little stressful, but it is a beautiful place to get stressed out in. That is why I find Meander Canyon so appealing. You are not in a hurry to get picked up as the jet boat passes you, and can pick you up where you end up. Plus you are deep within Canyonlands, surrounded by amazing terrain. We are headed there in October, and plan to take our time and explore side canyons that we haven't visited yet. You can also add a hike/backpack into the Maze from Spanish Bottom, while waiting for the jet boat. The Gunnison is fun yet challenging, a few class ll sections got me into some trouble but it was great fun. A dayhike or backpacking trip up Dominguez Canyon can be added, to spice it up. Lot's of people though, but if you choose the right time of year that can be mitigated. My bucket list includes dong the San Juan down to Powell, maybe exploring Lower Grand Gulch and some of the tributaries in Powell.
 

Aldaron

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Jun 16, 2012
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I think I just became obsessed:


While driving back from Banff through Montana today, I was staring up at the Bob Marshall Wilderness and then back down at the map, and I just decided I wanted to get on one of the forks of the Flathead.

I feel a packraft purchase in my very near future.
 

BJett

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Aldaron

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Jun 16, 2012
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Nice. I saw that site earlier, but I hadn't gotten to it, yet, with all of my reading.
 

baltocharlie

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Dec 21, 2012
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Aldaron, nice video. In the east you can hit fairly remote areas just using a car shuttle, at least by east coast standards. Probably not so easy in the west though.
BJett, nice site.

I wonder about the rafts maneuverability. In the east the rivers can often be steep and narrow with many "must make" eddies. Most too steep and narrow for me:) BUT @ 2lbs, worth looking at.
 

Aldaron

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Yeah, I don't know. I'm not a whitewater kayaker (but I'm starting to think I would like to be), but I don't think I would use the pack raft specifically for running class V whitewater. But from what I've seen and read, an experienced paddler can get through class v with the pack raft.

I think it's a matter of: it'll do it for short stretches when you need to do it, but it wouldn't be as much fun as doing it with a kayak.
 

BJett

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May 3, 2013
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Yeah I wouldn't take those packrafts on much more than class 3+ if its loaded down with gear, but people are running much harder stuff in those and I've seen people roll them but its not easy. I'll stick to my whitewater boat for the class 4/5 steep creeks...I can't imagine having much fun in a packraft on most of the stuff I spend my weekends paddling, a bomber roll is a necessity on more difficult whitewater.
I see the packrafts as ideal for desert runs like Escalante, Muddy Creek, Black Boxes of the San Rafael...where you can pack in enough gear for overnighters. If I get to run the Chute of Muddy again I want a packraft. Its not an ideal hardshell run, but it sure is fun.
 
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