Trip Report: Stillwater Canyon

Stillwater Canyon
By Kathy Jones
BOATING 04/28/2017 Class I

Stillwater Canyon, Green River. Canyonlands Nat. Park. 52 miles in 5 paddle days. Put-in at Mineral Bottom, and Take-out at Spanish Bottom with jet boat shuttle back to Moab. Shuttle with Tex's Riverways.

Trip leader - Kathy Jones. Trip participants - Katrina Easton, John Marks.

Weather was a mix of sun and clouds, with temp. max in the upper 50s - mid 60s for the first 3 days, and 70s the last 2 days. We had one on and off windy day, but it wasn't bad, and no rain the entire trip. The water level on put-in day was 13,800 cfs which is way above normal for the date, but not peak run-off. Paddling and making miles was easy. According to our GPS, we were floating at about 3-4 mph, and with moderate paddling effort we were cruising at an average 5 mph. We used GPS and the River Ways guide by Tom Martin to locate camps and places to see. The heavy Tamarisk along the shore made finding a place to land a little bit of a challenge, but not bad. Because of the higher water, we were able to navigate up into a few side canyons to hike and camp.

Camp #1 - Fort Bottom - explored the outlaw cabin and stone tower.
Camp # 2 - Upper Cabin Bottom - hiked to Newspaper Rock.
Camp #3 - informal camp up Horse Canyon.
Day #4 - We stopped to explore a granary in Jasper Canyon, then paddled on in hopes of camping at Water Canyon to hike the narrows, Unfortunately the camp was already occupied. The nice folks offered to share the camp with us, but we decided to press on to Spanish Bottom.
Camp #4 with layover - Spanish Bottom. A full day to hike in The Doll House.

tWe had a great trip. The weather was cooperative and we enjoyed some fun exploring in beautiful canyons. We had a campfire night, and I "entertained" Katrina and John with my beginner ukulele skills.

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