Labyrinth/Stillwater - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 04-27-2017   #1
 
tetoncounty's Avatar
 
wilson, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1967
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 68
Labyrinth/Stillwater

Just finished Green River to Confluence yesterday. 12-15K. Enjoyable, but a lack of camping because of wall of tamarisk/willow.

We're considering this stretch for a family trip at lower levels later in the season. However, some of the information here indicates that we'd be dealing with mudflats and mosquitoes at that point.

I was happy to do it at this level because we took a raft, but the camping is a problem. If late season doesn't open up sand bar camping, it would be difficult. We had to pass up hiking possibilities because of lack of landing/camping.

What experiences have folks had?

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Old 04-27-2017   #2
 
St. George, Utah
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Pretty much as you say. I was on that section two years ago in July on lower water and there was no sandbar camping. A small rise in level due to monsoon storms had deposited a layer of mud on any available beach.
I have also done it in September and October with similar results. There is good beach camping at the confluence and Cataract but little above.
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Old 04-27-2017   #3
 
The white room., Utah
Join Date: Aug 2015
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hmm

Canoed it 6 or 7 times, and prefer high-water. Great camping/hiking as well. However I could see some of the camps would be a bit difficult to access with a raft. Once we accidentally missed the camp at water canyon, and just paddled back upstream. Pretty nice hike at water canyon. Photo of one camp I like along Stillwater.
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Old 04-27-2017   #4
 
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Sandy, Utah
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We're heading down to Moab today. Putting in at Mineral Bottom tomorrow with canoes & kayaks. We have some heavy duty hiker folks so I'm hoping we can hit some camps to let them hike. This will be my first Stillwater in a long time. We did Meander Canyon, Potash to Spanish Bottom this same week last year with canoes & kayaks. We had great beach & sandbar camping. Did Meander again in the fall with the same results, except more muddy at Spanish bottom. I'd do your family trip in October.
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Old 04-27-2017   #5
 
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wilson, Wyoming
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Originally Posted by cataraftgirl View Post
We're heading down to Moab today. Putting in at Mineral Bottom tomorrow with canoes & kayaks. We have some heavy duty hiker folks so I'm hoping we can hit some camps to let them hike. This will be my first Stillwater in a long time. We did Meander Canyon, Potash to Spanish Bottom this same week last year with canoes & kayaks. We had great beach & sandbar camping. Did Meander again in the fall with the same results, except more muddy at Spanish bottom. I'd do your family trip in October.
There are a limited number of established camps in Stillwater- There is a wall of green on both sides keeping you away from the bottoms. Our experience this past week was that we found few camps, and many were taken. It was just the two of us, and we managed to slip into a couple of small beach spots, but a larger group would have problems.
It would be a simple matter for the NPS to establish camps in the bottom areas. There is plenty of camping 50' back from the tamarisk in places like Anderson Bottom, and suitable landing places, but a path would have to be cut through the tamarisk.
You've got two outfitters, at least, starting 6-8 canoes from Mineral Bottom on a regular basis.
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Old 05-03-2017   #6
 
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Sandy, Utah
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We just got back. Awesome trip. We had no difficulty finding camps. We used the River Maps Guide by Tom Martin & Duwain Whitis. We also used a GPS and had no problem locating the camps or landing our kayaks. We stayed at Fort Bottom, Upper Cabin Bottom, Horse Canyon, and 2 nights at Lower Spanish Bottom. The only camp we missed out on & were bummed about was Water Canyon. We had no trouble finding it, but someone was already in it. They were super nice & offered to share the camp with us. It was plenty big enough, but we made the decision to press on and spend 2 nights at Spanish Bottom instead. In hind night, it would have been fine to share Water Canyon camp. Horse Canyon was not an established camp, but was a fun exploration. Many of the larger side canyons had water going fairly far up into them and we paddled up several of them to find great little beaches & hiking. One of the perks of higher water & kayaks.

There is definitely a wall of Tammies to contend with, but we found that the between the river guide & our GPS, we could find the camps without any trouble. Landing our kayaks was fairly easy, although still muddy. It's a lot easier to navigate the shoreline & find the camp landings in a kayak rather than a raft.

We had great weather overall. No rain and only one day of medium wind that came and went with no big blows either on the river or in camp. Our first 3 days were chilly, but not cold, and the last 2 days were perfect. I was very glad I decided to take my Kokatat Super Nova semi-drysuit as it was the perfect attire for the first 3 days. We were all in SOT touring kayaks. We averaged about 5 MPH with moderate paddling effort, so we were cruising. Tex's Riverways did an outstanding job on our shuttle logistics as usual. Great folks to work with. We only saw one other group on Stillwater (Canadians in canoes) but saw 3 motor rig groups heading for Cataract Canyon while we were camped at Spanish Bottom. Got buzzed by a couple Blackhawk type military helicopters at Spanish Bottom. They were flying below the canyon rim & very noisy. All in all, a great trip.
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Old 05-03-2017   #7
 
The white room., Utah
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Originally Posted by cataraftgirl View Post
We just got back. Awesome trip. We had no difficulty finding camps. We used the River Maps Guide by Tom Martin & Duwain Whitis. We also used a GPS and had no problem locating the camps or landing our kayaks. We stayed at Fort Bottom, Upper Cabin Bottom, Horse Canyon, and 2 nights at Lower Spanish Bottom. The only camp we missed out on & were bummed about was Water Canyon. We had no trouble finding it, but someone was already in it. They were super nice & offered to share the camp with us. It was plenty big enough, but we made the decision to press on and spend 2 nights at Spanish Bottom instead. In hind night, it would have been fine to share Water Canyon camp. Horse Canyon was not an established camp, but was a fun exploration. Many of the larger side canyons had water going fairly far up into them and we paddled up several of them to find great little beaches & hiking. One of the perks of higher water & kayaks.

There is definitely a wall of Tammies to contend with, but we found that the between the river guide & our GPS, we could find the camps without any trouble. Landing our kayaks was fairly easy, although still muddy. It's a lot easier to navigate the shoreline & find the camp landings in a kayak rather than a raft.

We had great weather overall. No rain and only one day of medium wind that came and went with no big blows either on the river or in camp. Our first 3 days were chilly, but not cold, and the last 2 days were perfect. I was very glad I decided to take my Kokatat Super Nova semi-drysuit as it was the perfect attire for the first 3 days. We were all in SOT touring kayaks. We averaged about 5 MPH with moderate paddling effort, so we were cruising. Tex's Riverways did an outstanding job on our shuttle logistics as usual. Great folks to work with. We only saw one other group on Stillwater (Canadians in canoes) but saw 3 motor rig groups heading for Cataract Canyon while we were camped at Spanish Bottom. Got buzzed by a couple Blackhawk type military helicopters at Spanish Bottom. They were flying below the canyon rim & very noisy. All in all, a great trip.
Bingo. Paddle up the side canyons.....
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Old 05-03-2017   #8
 
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Sandy, Utah
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Bingo. Paddle up the side canyons.....
Yep. With the water level up, this was a rare opportunity to do a little exploring. We paddled up several of them, hiked in a few, and camped in one. Our Tex shuttle driver who took us down to Mineral Bottom encouraged us to explore those side canyons and we were glad he did.
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Old 05-03-2017   #9
 
The white room., Utah
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Originally Posted by cataraftgirl View Post
Yep. With the water level up, this was a rare opportunity to do a little exploring. We paddled up several of them, hiked in a few, and camped in one. Our Tex shuttle driver who took us down to Mineral Bottom encouraged us to explore those side canyons and we were glad he did.
and this is why high water is better than low water....in my experience.
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