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Planning a soft float for next year--a reunion of middle-aged former summer wonders and kids--none under 10. We're looking at the Green in June. I'd like to get opinions on the Labyrinth vs. Stillwater decision--we won't have time for both parts. Scenery, ease of finding campsites, side hikes--it's a tough decision and I'd appreciate some advice on which to choose.

Also, assuming average flows for June, will running a 14' raft as a support boat along with kayaks and canoes slow us down considerably--or too much? I know the water is slow, and I've heard about the infamous headwinds, but I like the comfort of the raft versus sitting in a canoe for a week, and the extra capacity for grub and consumables will be appreciated. If I bring the raft, will my friends in kayaks spend the week waiting for me to catch up?

Chuck
 

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Hey Chuck, you have lots variables. Early June or late? If early, you might be in the spring runoff. 21,000cfs today rolling by Green River Utah. That's a lot of water and the raft will go along right well with the kayaks and would make a great gear hauler. Later in June, the flows would be dropping, but not bad. Bring the raft and let the yaks race to wherever they want to. You will catch up. Which stretch you do might depend on your wanting to stage out of Moab or Green River. If you stage out of Moab, the Stillwater section and the jet-boat pull-out back to Moab is an option. Stillwater is nice as you can download the permit off the web and go, with a cheaper shuttle. Options options... yours, Tom
 

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I just finished Labyrinth at 18000 in my raft. Great time, the raft made the float trip more fun and even a bit safer in the bursts of high wind, (we rescued a canoe swimmer). IMO Labyrinth has more campsites at high water than Stillwater which can be a problem. The jet boat ride back from the confluence may be problematic based on your raft set up. If you go that route make sure that you confirm that they will pick up your raft/frame.
 

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Yeah, historically Texas Riverways was hesitant to run up-river shuttles for rafts but its worth a call. From their website:

A note on Raft Shuttles
The rates below do not apply to groups with rafts. Rates for raft shuttles depend on the number of people, the size of your boat(s) and other factors. As standard policy we do not transport large rafts but can provide a quote for transporting smaller inflatable watercraft (duckies, inflatable canoes, inflatable kayaks, etc...). For an accurate quote, please give us a call.
I remember my two trips on Stillwater being tough to find campsites for even medium sized groups. It was easy solo as I could pull over anywhere and even hammock camped in overhanging tamarisk jungles. I prefer the scenery of Stillwater. Labyrinth has some classic locales, easier logistics and more versatile trip lengths.

Phillip
 
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