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4 Days of Paddling and Sailing in Canyonlands

Submitted by on May 14, 2012 – 3:38 pm 3 Comments

canyonlands sail paddling

Here is a short summary of my paddling with Rob Bean using two Kruger canoes in Canyonlands from the town of Green River down the Green River to the confluence and upstream the Colorado River to Potash near Moab.

May 2-5, 2012. 4 days of paddling with some downwind sailing. 168 miles. These were 4 long paddling days up to 15 hours per day. 53:18 hours total on the water including short stops during day, but without camping time. Green River flow: 5000-6000cfs, Colorado River flow 4000-5000cfs.

We had a great weather, but with a lot of strong wind – more headwind in the downriver section, then downwind when going upstream. Nevertheless, the wind was very helpful when paddling up the Colorado River. Our downwind sails were a good idea. Calm mornings and nights. A great paddling at the full moon every night. No flash lights needed.

Typical paddling speed in the upstream section: ~2.5 mph. No problems with the Slide (a narrow spot just above the confluence), but, further upstream, there were two more difficult wider fast sections or “rapids” from our perspective. First, we managed to paddle through with the aid of our sails. We ended up walking the second after a good paddling fight with a jet boat audience. These two sections could be easier with higher and deeper water, but the Slide would be more challenging.

I will post more pictures soon, but I didn’t have too much time for shooting except around sunrise. I did some shooting around Moab before paddling and in northeastern Utah and northwestern Colorado (9 Mile Canyon, Green River below Flaming Gorge Dam at Brown Park). Rob produced some nice video clips for the day 0, day 1, day 3, day 4.

canyonlands 2012 paddling gps track

Related posts:
Canyonlands Intense Paddling Therapy
Green River – Labyrinth Canyon, Utah
River Guide to Canyonlands National Park and Vicinity
Belknap’s Waterproof Canyonlands River Guide
Jerry’s Local River Guide

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  • Joseph says:

    Great scenery & water along this stretch of the Green River. Did you have to portage over any rapids along the way? I did 50 miles below Flaming Gorge in a raft, and vowed to do some kayaking next time. Any tips & recommended camping spots would be appreciated.



  • David Haas says:

    I have a question about your blog, do you think you could email me?

  • Marek says:

    David, you can send me your questions using the contact form

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