Trip Report: Meander Canyon - Colorado River October 2016

Meander Canyon - Colorado River October 2016
By Kathy Jones
BOATING 10/08/2016 Class I

Trip leader - Kathy Jones. Group members - Lynn Bohs, Greg Clark, Rick & Sheila Steiner, Erik Vogel.

The put-in at Potash was crowded and busy, with late season rafting groups headed for Cataract Canyon. We got our boats (kayaks, IKs, and tandem canoe) loaded up and headed down the river. This group was full of energy and the desire to do lots of hiking, so we busted out the miles each day to camp in some prime hiking spots. Our first camp was a sandy beach near Little Bridge Canyon. A short bushwhack through the tamarisk revealed some good hiking just behind our camp. The next day we stopped to check out some ruins and petroglyphs across from Lathrop Canyon, and made camp at Indian Creek Canyon. Indian Creek had great campsites, ruins, and good hiking in the canyon. On day three, we had almost reached our possible camp by lunchtime, so we paddled on to find better hiking opportunities. When all was said and done, we paddled 21 miles in order to reach the lower Spanish Bottom camp and give ourselves a layover/hiking day. The weather on the layover day was overcast, with occasional mic burst winds, so we were glad we made the big push to reach Spanish Bottom a day early. The hearty hikers spent all day exploring the Doll House and The Maze. Our jet boat shuttle arrived right on time the next morning for the ride back to Moab. As usual, Tex's Riverways provided outstanding service.

We saw some awesome canyon scenery on this trip, as well as big horn sheep and great blue heron. We had nightly visitations from a skunk at Spanish Bottom, and shared that camp with a group of "hippy" rafters. They were a colorful and friendly bunch who were quick to share a hug and an adult beverage with us. We also met a few solo canoer/hikers, a husband & wife who were finishing up a 10 day backpacking trip in Canyonlands Nat. Park, and a rafting group of college kids who unfortunately lost a tent & belongings to one of the micro burst winds at Spanish Bottom (bummer).

Another wonderful river trip on the Colorado River, through Meander Canyon.

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