Mountain Buzz banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
302 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I am trying to come up with a good 5-day canoe trip to take a friend and his kids along on. His kiddos are 4 and 6 years, so flatwater is a must. Wilderness is good. Some rapids are okay, as long as we can portage around them. I've never been down Desolation Canyon, and I'm wondering if it's possible to easily portage the drops, especially the class III drops.

Any other suggestions for cool stretches of river are also welcome!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
70 Posts
If you're looking for flatwater canoeing, Labyrinth and/or Stillwater Canyons on the Green would be much better choices. No rapids to worry about, beautiful scenery, nice camps esp. at lower water levels. It's a great kid trip in rafts, but not so much for canoes with kids that young - lots of rocks to dodge at low water and lots of waves & currents at higher levels that can dump you. Not difficult rapids, but quite a few, and I sure wouldn't want to portage that much.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
211 Posts
Yeah, portaging the rapids on Deso would take forever since there are just so many. I think that must be what the end of the post above is saying since there are no rapids at all on Labyrinth/Stillwater(and its a lovely trip).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
105 Posts
I think at low water it would be easy enough to have the kids walk around the bigger rapids. There are what, maybe 10, that I wouldn't want to take my friend's kids through. Some of them would have a long walk. Then you could paddle the boat through and pick up the kids and 1 parent down below. For sure you wouldn't want to take them through all of it.

Not to mention 5 days down Deso at low water is long days on the water. 4-6 years olds want to play with sticks and mud on the beach, not sit in a canoe all day.

So I'd second Labyrinth-Stillwater. Heck, we've taken 4 days to go through Ruby-Horsethief a couple of times, and my kids are older and definitely river-savvy. We just move camp and go on a hike every day.

good luck
ab
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
I agree that you should do Labyrinth. It is a great flat water trip with fun hikes and good camping. I did it a few years back and was the only raft, but i saw a lot of canoe's.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
Stillwater canyon
Check out Texs Riverways if you need any help with the shuttle and/or gear. (They'll jet boat you back up the colorado to your car in moab) Weve used the twice. They do a fantastic job at a reasonable rate.

http://www.texsriverways.com/stillwater.cfm

http://www.texsriverways.com/pdfs/rivermap.pdf

To clarify what atg200 said:

"It's a great kid trip in rafts, but not so much for canoes with kids that young - lots of rocks to dodge at low water and lots of waves & currents at higher levels that can dump you. Not difficult rapids, but quite a few, and I sure wouldn't want to portage that much"

I believe previous poster is talking about deso. Labyrinth/stillwater is the ideal canoe trip.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
302 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for all the feedback! My forte is whitewater kayaking, so I don't have much experience with non-technical multiday floats hereabouts. Labyrinth/stillwater looks ideal. Any suggestions for good times of the year? I've been on lots of class III flatwater during May - June runoff, so any thoughts on bugs, bands of naked rafters, or other factors later in the summer?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
536 Posts
Both the bugs and the beaches improve as the water drops. Most people spend more time in the water than in their boat in July - and the kids will have a blast with the mud flats. Downstream of Mineral Bottom crowds are somewhat controlled by jet-boat service, so it's usually not too bad. That said, you never know when you're going to see a whole lot more of someone than you would really prefer...
Have a great trip, it's a beautiful canyon.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
Ive been on it twice in mid-march from crystal geyser to spanish bottom. The weather was really nice both times. The water was warm enough for quick, refreshing dips, and people were very scarce. I can't remember seeing more than 3 or 4 other groups of people over the course of both 10 day trips. The scenery and hiking from mineral bottom down is amazing. There are lots of petroglyph sites and the camping is plentiful.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,099 Posts
wee buggers

Just did Deso in October at low water and have also done it at medium and high. I'd say it's a good, challenging open-canoe run for practiced adults (with full flotation). Over the years, my canoe-loving mates who've done it have dumped at least 2-3 times, most often in Steer Ridge/Surprise (a sneaky hole), Three Fords, or Coal Creek Rapids.

4-6 year olds are too young for open canoe trips on Deso at higher water. You might be okay at low water, but the chances on bonking a rock are greater. I'd wait 'til they're a few years older.

Labyrinth/Stillwater or Ruby/Horsethief would be good choices. I have friends who've taken their daughter (7) down the San Juan in an open canoe. They dumped a couple times, the kid screeched and refused to get into the boat, and they had a big fight over whether it was too risky for a child that young. When your cub is involved, at the slightest hint of danger, emotions can run high.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top