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Hey guys,

I'm thinking of doing a Green River trip from Green River Lakes down to the confluence. Has anyone done it? Or done the Wyoming stretches? If you have I'd love to hear about it. Curious about what the put in/take out access is like, if there are any stretches that are a no-go or that I should be worried about. At this point, anything is helpful.

Thanks!

Heather
 

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Read Powell's account, which will not be really helpful due to differences in technology and knowledge. Also another by Colin Fletcher (I believe) who floated headwaters to the Gulf. His is more appropriate to the time and s good read, but not nearly as fascinating as Powell's.

That stretch between Dino and Deso will likely tax you (I haven't floated that yet), but all else has been run often.

Sounds like fun, good luck!
 

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Pat and Robin Tierney (former owners of Adrift in Jensen) had pieced together the whole Green River trip including the Wyoming headwater parts over several years. Most people who do a Powell trip now start below Flaming Gorge, and I think that's what Randaddy did. I remember Robin talking about, but can't remember anything useful (my fault, not hers..., or perhaps Augie Busch's fault...). I think Pat's out book touring that new Yampa book with John Fielder right now, maybe you could find a stop and get him talking.
I think if you have the logistical support & ability to shuffle from packraft to raft to sea kayak and back as needed, and can line up the permits (mostly Lodore), that would be a hell of a way to spend a summer. Probably diversion dams, fences, and private land in Wyoming if I had to guess. Once you're into Utah it may be flat, but it's pretty enough, there are great beaches for camping late in the year.
If you pull it off, please post a TR
 

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The Wyoming section can all be floated with portage around Fontinell and Flaming Gorge Dams. The upper section that is not private property is best run at higher water. The rest is very doable with the flat water of Flaming Gorge being a long push with oars. The Green through Wyoming can be done as I had a guy who was doing just as you have suggested on the Green join my Lodore trip. His biggest gripes were the flatness of the C section below Flaming Gorge and the fact that we had prime rib on the second night in Lodore canyon.....hmmmm.
 

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The TR on PaddleOn was written by Bryan Burke

PM me for his email address. He has pretty much done the entire Green (and Colorado) river. Very helpful and knowledgeable, especially concerning extended multi-days. Also reclusive thus the PM.

Gene

 

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Intriguing Trip

I've paddled a few times across both the lower and upper Green River Lakes (it takes me the better part of a day just to paddle back and forth across the lower lake--the wind always seems to pick up at some point), and have long wanted to float from the outlet at the lower lake all the way to Warren Bridge. I've paddled the first 2 miles in my IK, and plan to do the full trip to Warren Bridge some day. Reading one of the earlier posts, it is true that weather and temperatures greatly impact the flows on the river during runoff--see the earlier post where flow about doubled in one day.

I camp in the area all the time, and I always am amazed at how it can be 20 degrees colder or more at Upper Green River lakes than down just a little bit at New Fork Lakes. The Green River Lakes have their own micro-climate. I've yet to be there on a summer trip and not be hailed on in a windy and robust afternoon storm. It's just really unpredictable country in terms of precipitation and runoff in my humble opinion.

It looks pretty bony throughout the early part of the Green River, so I'd definitely do it in an IK. The best rapids would obviously be during runoff. After runoff, the flow gets pretty slow and there are lots of rock fields.
 

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Colin Fletcher did his trip in 1989. He published a book named "River" which is still available on Amazon. Dated, but still a good read. His project was to go source to sea on the Green-Colorado drainage. He started by backpacking up into the Wind River Range looking for the highest spring that contributed to the Green River. His descriptions of floating the Green would still be accurate, though there would be more development now in some sections.

I happened to be working as a river ranger at Canyonlands that summer and checked in his trip into Cataract Canyon. He talked my ear off for hours having just been alone for weeks. I had previously read his book, "The Man Who Walked Through Time" about his epic Grand Canyon hike. I took the opportunity to give him some shit about camping in an Indian ruin, killing a rattlesnake and stashing his trash under rocks and in the river. He agreed that ethics had evolved since 1963 and he had too. He grilled me at great length about how to run Big Drop Three and writes more about that one rapid than any other on his trip. Fletcher made it all the way to salt water at the Sea of Cortez.

I think the most epic book about this subject was on the Kolb brothers trip in 1911. They started in Green River, Wyoming. This was before all the dams and they completed the trip to the ocean on the natural free-flowing river. The Delta was lush and full of wildlife. The writing style was less a scientific journal and more of a couple brothers having a grand adventure. The book has been out-of-print for years but a copy can be found on-line sometimes. It is called "Through the Grand Canyon from Wyoming to Mexico" by Ellsworth Kolb.
 

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A couple of more things

The mosquitoes can be fierce at Green River Lakes! On the river is one thing, but as soon as you stop on the side to say fish or camp you can get hammered. Also, it is serious grizzly country. If you are camping anywhere near Green River Lakes bring bear spray and maintain a clean, bear safe camp. It's pretty wild up there :)
 

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I launched at Flaming Gorge Dam on March 20, 2009 and floated to Dirty Devil before driving around the reservoir to run the Grand. The Green (plus Cataract) took 35 days with a reasonable amount of layover days and low water through most of it. The Tusher Dam between Swaseys and GR might have a boat chute now, but it should certainly be scouted. We got a ride into Green River State Park and stashed all of our coolers, boxes, etc. so our raft was light enough to slide down the exposed concrete on the dam.

It's a great long river trip to do. I'm sure you can search and find my trip report and other details. Getting Lodore and Deso permits that coincide is the key element - I think it takes an off-season run to really make that work.
 

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I think the most epic book about this subject was on the Kolb brothers trip in 1911. They started in Green River, Wyoming. This was before all the dams and they completed the trip to the ocean on the natural free-flowing river. The Delta was lush and full of wildlife. The writing style was less a scientific journal and more of a couple brothers having a grand adventure. The book has been out-of-print for years but a copy can be found on-line sometimes. It is called "Through the Grand Canyon from Wyoming to Mexico" by Ellsworth Kolb.
x2 on this being a great read! A great narrative from some original river runners.
 

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read Buzz Holmstrom's journal every day to coincide with your own trip if you go. IMO better then the Kolbs. And PLEASE keep a daily journal and post it here when you can throughout your trip, it would be epic!
 

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upper green

I floated the upper green down to fontenelle last july at about 800cfs in my super lynx ik. took about 8 days for the 150 miles. a gps unit with the wyoming or rocky mountain hunt maps will guide you to the few small pieces of public land on the river. wyoming river law sucks and you can't touch the bottom or hold on to the banks on private land except for navigational hazards, so you must camp on public land and essentially blm land since wyoming state land is not camp friendly. i had no problem finding great camp sites with the gps. mosquitoes are a problem especially in brushy sites along the river. climb up into the sage if you can. Pretty good rapids below green river lakes and then about 15 miles downstream. Wyoming game and fish has a great map of this stretch of river, but i believe it is now online only as they were running out of paper copies. also you will need an invasive species inspection for your boat. the fishing was good for the first 40 or so miles then essentially faded away downstream. you may have luck in fontenelle and especially in the tail waters below the dam.
On another note I have been pondering the creation of a national river trail, and so far, the green is the only wild to semi wild river which would support this in the lower 48. maybe someone will work with this idea.
anyway, have fun.
 

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I floated the upper green down to fontenelle last july at about 800cfs in my super lynx ik. took about 8 days for the 150 miles. a gps unit with the wyoming or rocky mountain hunt maps will guide you to the few small pieces of public land on the river. wyoming river law sucks and you can't touch the bottom or hold on to the banks on private land except for navigational hazards, so you must camp on public land and essentially blm land since wyoming state land is not camp friendly. i had no problem finding great camp sites with the gps. mosquitoes are a problem especially in brushy sites along the river. climb up into the sage if you can. Pretty good rapids below green river lakes and then about 15 miles downstream. Wyoming game and fish has a great map of this stretch of river, but i believe it is now online only as they were running out of paper copies. also you will need an invasive species inspection for your boat. the fishing was good for the first 40 or so miles then essentially faded away downstream. you may have luck in fontenelle and especially in the tail waters below the dam.
On another note I have been pondering the creation of a national river trail, and so far, the green is the only wild to semi wild river which would support this in the lower 48. maybe someone will work with this idea.
anyway, have fun.
Sounds like a nice trip, by river trail what do you mean, a foot trail that follows the river? I'm sure the NPS in Lodore would not allow this and for good reason.
 

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Does "running the whole Green River" include running the intense section above the lakes count? Has anyone ever run that stretch?
 

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Paul Tusting ran the entire Green from the fast headwaters above the lakes to the confluence in a Soar inflatable canoe in 2010. He did it in a single push over 8 weeks which included paddling across every reservoir (including Flaming Gorge) to the dam and then dragging the boat around to the base and putting in again. Once at the confluence, he paddled UP the Colorado to just below Potash. He's a wealth of information. Happy to introduce you if you'd like, just PM.
 
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