The Green River is not only green, it is olive and moss and ochre and crimson and terra cotta and cinnamon and chestnut and aqua and azure. It is Sage Creek and Red Wash and Rainbow Park. It is red cedars, yellow marmots, and blue herons. It is a veritable Sherwin-Williams catalog of indescribable beauty. Each mile brings a new vista: sheer rust-red blocks of Uintah Quartzite, (oops, got a little left-brained there, sorry), wide wedding-cake tiers of creamy Weber Sandstone, or jumbled hillsides of juniper and spruce. There are numerous side canyons, grottoes and waterfalls to explore, lots of wildlife to see, and big beaches to enjoy. There are places to swim, places to daydream, and places to play. There are fun rapids with inflated names like Disaster Falls and Hell’s Half Mile to make things exciting and there are stretches of peaceful flatwater to make things relaxing. And everything is within Dinosaur National Monument so the area is pristine and protected and peaceful.
More about the Green River and Lodore Canyon
The Green River begins on the slopes of 13,804 foot Gannett Peak, the highest point in Wyoming, and travels almost due south for nearly 700 miles before joining the Colorado River in Canyonlands National Park. The waterway is remote and vast and includes some of the most scenic desert canyons of the west.
One of these is the canyon of Lodore; named by Andrew Hall in 1869, who was reminded of the Robert Southey poem: “The Cataract of Lodore”. Here, the Green cuts through the red rock of the Uinta Mountains and the cliffs rise up to dramatic heights. So impressive is the entrance to the canyon that Hall’s travelling companion, Major John Wesley Powell, called it the very “Gates of Lodore”. Once through the gates the whitewater begins, and exciting rapids such as Disaster Falls and Hell’s Half Mile provide plenty of action.
But our visit to Lodore Canyon has many other attractions. We will hike at some intriguing side canyons with cool springs and lush green vegetation; we will visit overlooks that provide sweeping views of the river; and we will view ancient Native American rock art. Lodore Canyon itself ends where the Yampa River joins the Green at Echo Park, just over halfway on our journey. Our trips continue on past Steamboat Rock and into the beautiful Whirlpool Canyon, then on to Rainbow Park and Split Mountain Canyon where more rapids, such as Schoolboy, Moonshine, and S.O.B. ensure an exciting finish to the trip.
“We had a big rain storm the first night. Your guides made sure everyone was tucked in their tents and then they served us brownies!”