Trip Report: Meander Canyon - Colorado River

Meander Canyon - Colorado River
By Kathy Jones
BOATING 04/29/2016 Class I

Trip leader - Kathy Jones. Trip members - John Marks, Luke Johnson, Da Yang Wipfel, John Schwed, Mark Stanik. 51 miles of flat water paddling from Potash to Spanish Bottom on the Colorado River. We met up in Moab on Thursday 4/28/16 for a hearty lunch at the Moab Brewery. We had hoped for an afternoon hike, but the weather was windy and wet, so instead we hung out in town and did some shopping and gear organization. We camped at Canyonlands RV park in town Thursday night. Bright and early on Friday 4/29/16 we headed over to Tex's Riverways office for our shuttle to the put-in at Potash. We got the safety and LNT talk from the ranger, loaded up our kayaks, and launched around 10:30am. The weather reports for the weekend were "iffy" with cool temps, wind, and rain predicted. Mother Nature smiled on us, and in spite of some overcast conditions, we lucked out on weather. Cool, a little bit blustery and cloudy, but no real rain storms, and no bad headwinds. Paddling was easy, and the canyon scenery was spectacular. We took a few side hikes to see waterfalls, ancient ruins, pictographs, blooming cactus, and a final day hike to the Doll House at Spanish Bottom. We were even entertained by river otters. Our camps consisted of sand bar islands, beaches, and even a night on rock ledges. Our river mileage was 14, 16, 11, and 10 miles each day. We were all stoked for the only rapid of the trip on our last paddle day. We had been told that The Slide was a class I+/II rapid, but it turned out to be anti-climatic. The wake from the passing jet boats was more exciting. The jet boat shuttle picked us up promptly at 11:00am on Tuesday morning 5/3/16 at Spanish Bottom for the trip back to Moab. We picked up two other groups of paddlers and were back in Moab at 3:00pm. The folks at Tex's Riverways did an outstanding job with the shuttle and trip logistics. They were super helpful at all stages of the trip planning. I'd highly recommend them for future trips. This was a wonderful trip with a fun group of WMC folks and I know I'll do this one again sometime.....maybe in the fall?