Desolation Gray Canyons

Various links:

Permits:  A permit is necessary.  Applications can be made through (Desolation Gray)

BLM Information: overview, with links to regulations, etc.

Maps: Put-in is at Sand Wash, sort-of near Duchesne, Utah. Google Map view

How to get there: We drive, hauling boats and camping equipment and get our van shuttled to the take-out. Some additional information for those without a car.

Water Level: 

  • I think of <2000 cfs as very low.  Much of the water between rapids (and the first two days) will seem like it’s a lake.  But it is still a fun trip!
  • 2000 – 4000.  Low and slow.
  • 4000 – 6000.  Not bad!
  • >6000.  Good current.
  • 18,000 – Highest that I’ve run it.
  • 30,000 – highest my father has run it.  Both rapids and camps tend to wash out.

Car shuttle:  We have used River Runners Transport a number of times and have had very good service from them.  It may still be possible to drive to Green River and fly back with Redtail Aviation, although we haven’t done that for years. If you are part of our trip, we should set up the shuttle with River Runners as a group, rather than each independently.  That will simplify paperwork and key management.

Ute Permit: The Ute Indian Tribe owns the land on the left bank for much of the river. In the past, it was possible to purchase a permit from them to allow camping on the land. It appears that is no longer an option. This page was the source of the permit: (Jan. 2019). 

Guidebooks: this large-format guide is available from NRS. It is truly waterproof – we let the waves wash over it (and even step on it every once in awhile.)  If you want to borrow a older copy of Belknap’s guide, Meg and Pete have extra.

Equipment lists

Menu spreadsheet: we have an Excel spreadsheet that we’ve used for years to calculate food shopping lists.  You might want to check with Pete for the latest copy.  But this page has a description and link.