• Spires of Cedar Mesa sandstone in Chesler Park (Needles District)

    Canyonlands

    National Park Utah

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  • Some unpaved roads are closed

    Recent rains have caused extensive damage to some roads in the Needles District and some of the roads into the Maze District. More »

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    Hard-sided bear containers are required for backpackers in parts of the Needles District. More »

Flat Water Trips

photo: Fall colors and canoe on the Green River
Fall colors and canoe on the Green River
NPS Photo by Neal Herbert
 

Flat water trips may float down either the Colorado or Green rivers as far as the Confluence or Spanish Bottom. A permit is required for all overnight flat water trips in Canyonlands. Unless groups have their own motors or a lot of time to paddle upstream, take out is via jet boat shuttle back to Moab. This service is available from two licensed operators:

Tex's Riverways: (877) 662-2839 or (435) 259-5101
Tag-A-Long Expeditions: (435) 259-8946

People interested in flat water permits should make their upstream travel arrangements before contacting the park. Permits are plentiful - it's more likely that shuttle availablility will be a limiting factor for your trip. The National Park Service does not operate a shuttle service.

Labyrinth Canyon
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) manages the riverways upstream of the park boundary, which include most launch locations. Permits are required for boating the Green River between Green River State Park and Mineral Bottom (Labyrinth Canyon). For more information, visit the BLM's Website.

Green River State Park and Ruby Ranch both charge a small fee for launches. Call Ruby Ranch at (435) 650-3193, or Green River State Park at (435) 564-3633 for more information. Permits are not required for overnight use or launches on BLM land along the Colorado River.

Distances
Groups can plan on covering 15 to 20 miles per day during high water, 10 to 15 miles per day during low water, depending on the amount of time spent hiking or how much you paddle.

Camping
There are no designated campsites along the rivers in Canyonlands. During periods of high water, camps can be difficult to find, especially for large groups. During late summer and fall, sandbars are usually plentiful and make ideal camps.

Did You Know?

Summer Monsoon

Much of canyon country's annual precipitation falls during summer monsoons. These dramatic storms often last less than twenty minutes but can cause powerful flash floods despite their brevity.