Trip Report: Kayak/Canoe - Canyonlands Nat. Park

Kayak/Canoe - Canyonlands Nat. Park
By Kathy Jones
BOATING 05/06/2018 Class I

Trip Leader - Kathy Jones. Trip Participants - Gretchen Siegler, John Marks, Ben Muller.
We drove down to Moab on May 5th, and had a lovely Cinco De Mayo dinner in town, before retiring for the night at Moab Rim RV Park. We were up early on May 6th and off the Tex's Riverways for our shuttle to the put-in at Potash. The weather was warm, but a little overcast, so we weren't too hot. The water level on the Colorado River was fairly low on this trip, so we did a lot of sandbar dodging. Otherwise the paddling was pretty easy. Our first night's camp was Petrified Wood. A nice ledge type camp on river left, with an easy hike to an area of ancient petrified wood. Night two, we camped at Upper Lathrop Ledges on river right. Another very nice ledge camp, across the river from a trail to some ruins. John, Ben, and Gretchen piled into Ben's canoe & paddled over for any evening hike to the ruins. Night three camp was at Indian Creek. We waited patiently while a commercial outfitter rafting group ate lunch and hiked up to the ruins, then set up camp. Indian Creek has some great and easily accessible ruins a short distance from camp. John enjoyed a lovely campfire that evening, and was joined by a large river toad who seemed mesmerized by the campfire. Our camp for night four was kind of a crap shoot, but ended up being my favorite of the trip. We were hoping to camp at The Cove, but it was small and had a steep slope. Luckily, there was a long but narrow beach right around the corner. It worked out really well. Spots for tents, with the boats just 10 feet away. It had a nice eddy for swimming, and what proved to be a very interesting canyon for exploring. However, we did notice on the jet boat ride back to Potash a few days later, that our beach was gone as the water level came up. We were luck to enjoy that little beach camp. Our last paddle day, saw the only wind we experienced the entire trip. A few hours of hard paddling in the wind got us past the confluence with the Green River, and down to our last camp at Spanish Bottom. Because the water level was so low, we had to do some "mountain climbing" to get our gear, boats, and ourselves up a dirt cliff and into the camp. The wind continued all afternoon, so Spanish Bottom wasn't as enjoyable as it usually is. The jet boat picked us up the next morning and we headed back to civilization. It was a great trip. I saw several new arches and ruins that I had missed on previous trips. John, Ben, and Gretchen did a lot of early morning hiking and exploring. We all had a wonderful time.

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