- Activity Type:
Hiking / Walking
- 5 Days
The Green River splits the 10,000 foot high Tavaputs Plateau and forms a gorge deeper than the Grand Canyon. Over one million uninhabited acres surround this holdout of the Old West. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid used these remote canyons one hundred years ago to escape the law. Today, we go just to escape.
Despite the name Desolation, the river surroundings offer green cottonwood groves, white sand beaches, and clear-water side streams. Your guide's selection of nightly camps will make good use of these features. Off river, abandoned homesteads mark the end of a frontiersman's dream, and prehistoric Indian petroglyphs the end of a civilization.
Born in 1987, the child of a side canyon flash flood, Belknap rapid is a formidable addition to the over 60 rapids on this 84-mile trip. With whitewater that builds in intensity each day, Desolation is an ideal place to occasionally swap your seat in the raft for a thirst quenching ride in an inflatable kayak.
On selected dates through-out the season we combine our Desolation river trip with a two day stay at historic Rock Creek Ranch. Accessed by a short flight into the Tavaputs plateau, Rock Creek Ranch is nestled among remote alpine forests and rolling meadows. Daily activities include horseback riding, hiking, four-wheeling, and simply relaxing in the outdoors.
One of the advantages of a river trip is the flexibility of the daily itinerary. It can vary widely from one trip to the next based on group desires, Mother Nature, and courtesy for other groups on the river. This typical itinerary illustrates a five-day trip through Desolation and Gray canyons.
|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.|
|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.|
|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.|
|The whitewater has gotten bigger each day. The crescendo: Belknap, Three Fords, and Coal Creek rapids. Leave Desolation and enter Gray Canyon.|
|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.|