A BUCKET LIST TRIP!
Labyrinth Canyon is the first of two magnificent canyons carved by the Green River in the canyon country of southeastern Utah. Only a few miles below the town of Green River, Utah, across the muted shales of the Mancos Desert, walls of slickrock sandstone begin to rise from the river and grow taller with every mile. This is a very special section of river, because you are there with the canyon as it begins and winds its way across the landscape, deepening around you as you travel. Within a few short miles of your expedition, you are surrounded by the astonishing red rock canyon country that has made this landscape famous. The Green River cannot be characterized in a single description. One can visit her waters many times and never see the same thing twice! We recommend that you take at least 3 days for a paddle trip, longer if you want time to hike and explore off the river.
The river through Labyrinth Canyon meanders slowly with tranquility through the backcountry – this is the perfect river for relaxation, contemplation, and solitude. If you are on the river early in the morning or later in the afternoon, look for wildlife and listen for the cacophony of bird calls in the broad green band of vegetation that lines the river channel. The hikes up tributary side canyons are among the best in the region. River runners have opportunities to explore an ancient ruin and rock art left hundreds of years ago by the Fremont Indians along with the old mines from the days of prospectors. In view are tiny side canyons of twisting sandstone. Trin-Alcove Bend brings together three narrow, serpentine slickrock canyons. At Bowknot Bend, hikers can walk to the top of a narrow neck of land within the seven-mile bend as the river loops back on itself. From this vantage, one can see both channels of the river flowing in opposite directions, only a few hundred feet apart.
The Green River begins as snow melt and trickling spring water high in the Wind River Mountains of Wyoming. It makes a 730 mile journey down from the alpine peaks and across the high desert basins of Wyoming, Colorado, and Utah, falling over 9,000 feet before joining the Colorado River in the heart of the red rocks of Canyonlands National Park. Of the two rivers, the Green is actually the larger, draining a greater area than the Colorado River. Politics alone, not geographic reality, gave the name of the smaller tributary to the whole river system. The Green River is perhaps most famous as the river down which John Wesley Powell and his two expeditions of 1869 and 1871, traveled to explore the region from Green River, Wyoming, to the mouth of the Grand Canyon, a distance of over 1,000 miles. Powell’s first journey was largely exploratory – fraught with the catastrophes and dangers of the unknown. His second expedition brought scientists to observe, map, and catalog the geology, geography, flora & fauna, and Native American tribes of the region. During these voyages, Powell and his men did groundbreaking work on geology, geography, biology, and Native American culture & language. Most of the current names of side canyons & geographical features were given by Powell and his men, and much of the information gathered on these explorations are the basis for current knowledge and scientific studies.
Put-ins: Green River State Park (66 river miles), Crystal Geyser (64 river miles), or Ruby Ranch (47 river miles)
A Guided Trip is an expedition where Moab Rafting and Canoe Company provides just about all you will need, including a crew that knows the river all too well, directs the route & times, information, places to hike and camp, and so much more! But, it still requires planning, experience, and equipment, all of which we offer.
A Self-Guided Trip is an expedition that is self-governing where one navigates and is responsible for all of the paperwork, planning, footwork, and knowledge of equipment/gear, the area, the river, and route oneself. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) can be a great place to start with providing suggestions, maps, instructions, directions, and items to see or do during self-guided tours.