Flatwater Trips

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8 minutes, 41 seconds

Get ready for your flatwater trip into Canyonlands National Park. Helpful tips and advice provided in this video will help you plan your trip and Leave No Trace while out in these pristine areas.


Flatwater trips may float down either the Colorado or Green rivers as far as the Confluence or Spanish Bottom. A permit is required for all flatwater 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
  • Canyonlands River Tours: (800) 394-9978, (435) 259-5261

People interested in flatwater permits should make their upstream travel arrangements before contacting the park. Permits are plentiful—it's more likely that shuttle availability 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, download a permit application from the Bureau of Land Management.

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.

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.

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.

a person paddles a canoe on a river. Plants with yellow leaves line the shore.
Fall colors and canoe on the Green River

NPS/Neal Herbert

Last updated: March 22, 2021

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