Canoe White River 2000, 2004, 2008, 2015

Beautiful lonesome desert canyon canoeing in the USA.  Ken and Shirley Parsons' excellent guidebook is locally for sale and also downloadable here.

We did the 120-mile stretch from Rangely (Colorado) to the Sandwash ranger station (Utah) on the Green River four times, the first three using our bring-per-plane Ally folding canoe (the first time by Greyhound bus from Denver), the fourth with a locally rented canoe.  The put-ins and take-outs were efficiently and pleasantly arranged by River Runners' Transport in Vernal.   We leisurely took about two weeks each time, always in May, but with the end of May 2000 too hot and insectuous, the beginning of May 2008 too cold and cottonwood-bare, much of May 2015 braving daily thunderstorms.

In 2004 and 2008 we started at the picnic site below the Taylor Draw Dam of the Kenney Reservoir.  That location and the first few miles have excellent bird watching.  However, the stretch from there to, through, and below Rangely has been irrevocably spoiled by the bulldozering of numerous previously beautiful wild river banks with undercut cottonwoods into treeless dumps of concrete waste, plus a hundred or so car wrecks.  So much for local appreciation of nature.  It is now better to start at the Big Trujillo Wash BLM access site.

From there, the White River remains largely unspoiled (fortunately the White River Dam did not materialize).  The current is pleasantly fast, the few ripples are trivial.  The canyon scenery is superb.  One's isolation is splendid, except for nightly inspection and slap-warning by the beaver at every campsite, once a wild-horse stampede along the Green River, and frequent but distant booming by the off-river oil industry.

Album May 2008
Album May 2015