Five Reasons Why Rafting Desolation Canyon is Cool

The list could go on and on, but for now we will just list our top five reasons we think rafting Desolation Canyon is cool.

Desolation Canyon Stargaze Slideshow 3

Desolation Canyon is deeper than the Grand Canyon at the Bright Angel Trail. Yep. That has a serious wow factor.”

John Wesley Powell named it because when he ran it on his 1869 expedition, it seemed like such a barren, lonely place to him. Lucky for us, Desolation Canyon still is exactly that today—which means uncrowded, undeveloped, and still spectacular. Shady cottonwood tree groves, gorgeous slices of white sand beaches, and towering cliffs that boast ancient petroglyphs are all yours to discover and enjoy.

You get to rollick through about 60 Class II and Class III rapids during the 84-mile stretch of Desolation Canyon. Yee-haw!

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid hid out in this wild, remote canyon during their outlaw heyday. They traded horses with local ranchers, counted their loot, and probably exchanged tall tales long into the night over a campfire—much like you’ll probably regale one another with how big the day’s rapids were and how skillfully you helped run them.

Drum roll please: after you meet us in the town of Green River for this rafting trip, we fly you in a small plane to the river put-in. Frankly, we think this is a pretty darn sweet part of the whole adventure, and we’re sure it will linger in your memory just about as long as the actual whitewater trip itself.


Julie TrevelyanWritten by Julie Trevelyan.

Julie is a freelance writer and wilderness guide in southern Utah. She especially enjoys books, coffee, yoga, wild country, horses, and dark chocolate.

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