River Trip Planning - Labyrinth Canyon in May

steve

Member
Joined
Dec 11, 2013
Messages
2,140
I'm planning a trip with some friends in Labyrinth Canyon in May and I have a lot of questions. This is our first river overnighter trip in decades. We'll be renting sea kayaks from texsriverways. They'll take care of our BLM permits for us. I understand the regulations about needing a fire pan for fires, and for packing out our own waste.

We're planning on Ruby Ranch to Mineral Bottom, 3-4 days. Is it worth another day or two to put in at Crystal Geyser, or is that stretch boring?

How are the mosquitoes and biting bugs in May?

Any side canyons or hikes we should explore while we're there?

Any other insider advice for us?
 
Last edited:

Nick

-
.
Joined
Aug 9, 2007
Messages
12,934
I have some opinions on this, but keep in mind I've only done it one time which was just this past October.

My impression of the landscape near Ruby Ranch is that you definitely shouldn't bother with the upper stretch between there and town.

Do at least 4 days for Ruby to Mineral! We took it easy and didn't paddle too much over our four days. We only really had time for one decent hike. I guess we could have paddled faster but what fun is that ? I could easily spend a week or more on that stretch of river. I doubt I'll ever do it in less than 5 in the future.

On bugs, I'm purely speculating based on elevation and time of year. I doubt they'll be terrible but you've got room so definitely bring a can of juice.
 

Aldaron

Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2012
Messages
1,485
We did it in May: http://edarnell.com/Trails/page200.html

I don't remember any bug problems, and I usually mention that in my trip reports if they're bad, so they must not have been a problem.

We did it in three days, which was a little rushed. I would definitely do at least 4 days, and 5 days is probably better.

Because we were rushed, the only real hike we did was at Bowknot Bend, so I don't really have any advice on other hikes.

And I agree with Nick, I wouldn't start any further up river than Ruby Ranch.

It's a great trip!
 

Dave

Broadcaster, formerly "ashergrey"
.
Joined
May 5, 2012
Messages
1,722
My impression of the landscape near Ruby Ranch is that you definitely shouldn't bother with the upper stretch between there and town.

Truth.

We only really had time for one decent hike. I guess we could have paddled faster but what fun is that ?

Do the climb to the top of the Bowknot notch, well worth it. The side canyons are largely similar and are rather bland by southern Utah standards (IMO, of course). That being said, the Hey Joe mine is pretty cool. Spring Canyon is nice-ish for the scenery. Hell Roaring gets some motorized use. Labyrinth has some interesting sections from what I've heard between the river and the NPS boundary.

On bugs, I'm purely speculating based on elevation and time of year. I doubt they'll be terrible but you've got room so definitely bring a can of juice.

My brother and I ran into no bugs at the end of April in Labyrinth last year.
 
Last edited:

Unimog

Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2013
Messages
63
Hey Steve,

I did this second week of June last year. Bugs were not really bad, but camping in calm winds you will definitely need bug juice. There are a ton of cool hikes that you can research - just depends on how much time you want to spend. You can do bowknot in an hour or spend a bunch of time there. Definitely don't miss that view. In kayaks, I would plan on 3 easy days plus 2 nights plus whatever time you want to stop/stay to hike. Sounds perfect to add a day and plan a couple of nice hikes!

-Eric
 

steve

Member
Joined
Dec 11, 2013
Messages
2,140
Awesome, that's just the info I was looking for. Thanks guys.
 

steve

Member
Joined
Dec 11, 2013
Messages
2,140
Were you guys able to filter and drink the river water, or did you carry your own? I understand it's silty, but if I backflush my sawyer mini frequently, I should be ok. I hear the water is quite salty as well.
 

steve

Member
Joined
Dec 11, 2013
Messages
2,140
Good to know. Half the trip reports I find talk about filtering the green, and the other half bring their own water. I'll plan on brining my own. I forget just how much weight you can carry in a kayak.
 

Aldaron

Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2012
Messages
1,485
I took my own in a collapsible jug from Walmart. I don't do cow water if I can help it.
 

steve

Member
Joined
Dec 11, 2013
Messages
2,140
We did it in May: http://edarnell.com/Trails/page200.html

We did it in three days, which was a little rushed. I would definitely do at least 4 days, and 5 days is probably better.

It's a great trip!

Great trip report, thanks for the link. That gives me lots of info. I'm not really one who likes to get in at camp at 2pm and dink around for the next 10 hours before going to bed. I usually prefer to arrive at camp around dark. If you were to stretch it to 4 or 5 days, would you spend more time hiking and exploring, or more time sitting around camp reading?
 
Last edited:

Aldaron

Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2012
Messages
1,485
If you were to stretch it to 4 or 5 days, would you spend more time hiking and exploring, or more time sitting around camp reading?

Thanks!

I'm like you...I don't like to get into camp early, either. And I tend to get out of camp early in the morning, too. I'm also a little hyper at camp, so I usually find myself just exploring around when I have down time. So, if I took more time on that trip, I would have probably mostly paddled up side canyons more like Ten Mile, and I would have hiked around more in places like Horseshoe, Trin Alcove, and some rock art sites.
 

steve

Member
Joined
Dec 11, 2013
Messages
2,140
That describes me to a tee. Thanks, that sounds like a great option. I'll definitely be planning on taking the extra time to do those things.
 

Aldaron

Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2012
Messages
1,485
It was good when we were there. We spent a good portion of our time just floating and we made good time. When people talk about dragging boats, it's hard for me to wrap my head around that because the river was fast and swirling with deep eddies when we were on it.
 

Nick

-
.
Joined
Aug 9, 2007
Messages
12,934
Did you have any difficulty locating good, sandy campsites with that much water? It was way low when we went in October but I still felt like it wasn't the easiest thing to locate a good spot.
 

Aldaron

Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2012
Messages
1,485
Did you have any difficulty locating good, sandy campsites with that much water? It was way low when we went in October but I still felt like it wasn't the easiest thing to locate a good spot.
No, I don't remember having any problems. We saw practically no one else on the river, so we weren't competing for campsites.

I usually start looking for a site about 30 minutes before I want to stop, though, and I'll take the first site I come across.
 
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
travel2walk trip report: Wind River Range – Ross Lakes, Bear Basin, Grasshopper Glacier, & Dinwoody Creek loop, Aug-Sep 2020 Trip Reports 41
S Yukon River family + puppy canoe trip On The Water 4
Dreamer Wind River Dreaming | Summer 2012 trip 3 July 22 - August 8 | part two Backpacking 2
Dreamer Wind River Dreaming | Summer 2012 trip 3 July 22 - August 8 Backpacking 12
neiloro Invite Desolation Canyon River/Rafting Trip - July 3-8 Meet Up (Members Only) 0
natylka Fisher Towers Section of the Colorado River-Canoe Trip Trip Planning 3
ram Grand Canyon River Trip.... March 8th-24th 2016 Canyoneering 12
Blake Merrell Wind River Trip - Day 6 - Hobbs Lake Backpacking 3
Blake Merrell Wind River Trip - Day 5 - Island Lake Backpacking 6
Blake Merrell Wind River Trip - Day 4 - Indian Basin and Knife Point Glaicer Backpacking 4
Blake Merrell Wind River Trip - Day 3 - Summit of Fremont Peak Backpacking 2
Blake Merrell Wind River Trip - Day 2 - Exploration of Titcomb Basin Backpacking 10
Blake Merrell Wind River Trip - Day 1 - Elkhart TH to Titcomb Basin Backpacking 18
b.stark Missouri River Canoe Trip On The Water 9
Tres Westbrook Green River Canoe Trip - Mineral Bottom to Spanish Bottom May 24-29, 2015 (Part 1 - Days 1 and 2) On The Water 5
steve Invite Kayak/Canoe Trip on the Green River - May 8-11 Meet Up (Members Only) 7
Reid First Week of June Trip - Wind River? Tetons? Trip Planning 9
P Yellowstone Snake River weekend Backpacking 4
TheMountainRabbit Northern Wind River Traverse - September 2021 Backpacking 16
scatman North Pitchstone Trail, Headwaters of Ouzel Creek, Bechler River and Mr. Bubbles(?) - Yellowstone National Park - September 13, 2021 Backpacking 36
stretch Grand Canyon Loop: Thunder River -> Tapeats -> Kanab -> Sowats Backpacking 10
Janice Cosmic Ashtray via Wolverine/Little Death Hollow & Escalante River? Trip Planning 16
scatman Snake River Lollipop Loop - Yellowstone National Park - August 8, 2021 Backpacking 45
Noun Sequitur Jemez River, Las Conchas Trail and Beyond Hiking & Camping 1
D Wind River Blowdown Trip Planning 2
priz1234 Pine River, Lake Creek, Flint Creek Loop San Juan. 7/3-7/5 Backpacking 6
TheMountainRabbit Horse Ridge to Mount Febbas (Wind River Range) - July 2021 Backpacking 18
travel2walk Lamar River, Pelican Valley, & Speciman Ridge loop - Yellowstone, Jun 29 to Jul 3, 2021 Backpacking 15
westy Wind River Range Backpacking 4
Artemus Wind River Mountains Conditions 2021 Trip Planning 17
Janice Manistee River Loop in Michigan Backpacking 9
Bob USFS cabin green River Lakes, WY Trip Planning 0
eobie Wind River Blowdowns Situtation... Trip Planning 14
IlVagabondo Encampment River Wilderness: Conditions? Trip Planning 0
J Grand Canyon NP Backpack Pt. 1 Thunder River Tr.-->Esplanade-->Tapeats-->Deer. April 18-23, 2021 Backpacking 13
wsp_scott Wind River Range (beginning of Sept 2021) Meet Up (Members Only) 11
TheMountainRabbit NW Wind River Range - late August 2020 Backpacking 3
TheMountainRabbit Upper Toklat River (Denali NP) - mid-August 2018 Backpacking 7
BackpackingtheSierras Republic Pass Trail North Absaroka into Yellowstone Cache Creek and Lamar River Trip Planning 1
beaver-one Yellowstone advice: Lamar River - Pelican Valley - Mirror Plateau loop this summer Trip Planning 6
Rockskipper Sayonara, Quiet Little Green River General Discussion 8
M Wind River Range - Green River Lakes Trailhead Trip Planning 9
J Scrambles in the Lower Colorado River Corridor AZ/NV; Dec. 11-14, 2020 Hiking & Camping 5
TheMountainRabbit Lamar River, Mirror Plateau, and Pelican Valley (Yellowstone NP) - mid-September 2020 Backpacking 28
Muddy Waters Stevens, Fold, Escalante River, Fools, Kings Mesa Trip Reports 3
norwegianxplorer Greater Yellowstone part 2, from the Headwaters of Yellowstone River, through the Thorofare, Overlook Mountain, Rampart Creek Backpacking 9
Gunnahafta Green River <> Big Sandy WIND RIVER RANGE Trip Planning 1
norwegianxplorer Greater Yellowstone, to the headwaters of the Yellowstone River with My Own Frontier. Backpacking 11
NorthwestWanderer Backpacking the Lost River Range in Idaho : Bear Creek Lake & Upper Basin Backpacking 7
M 5 days Green > Elk Wind River route advice August 17th Trip Planning 9

Similar threads

Don't like ads? Become a BCP Supporting Member and kiss them all goodbye. Click here for more info.

Top