The Green River flows through Labyrinth and then Stillwater canyons before reaching its confluence with the Colorado River. Both Labyrinth and Stillwater offer calm water (no rapids) in beautiful wilderness canyons. They are ideal for multi-day canoe and kayak trips.
The stretch of river that flows through the Stillwater Canyon is too long to be traveled in just one day.
Stillwater Canyon can be self-navigated, or experienced with the help of a professional guide. Trips tend to vary from 4 to 5 days. The beauty of the canyon seems to be internalized on this trip, as people quietly experience the river by canoe or raft. The calm water and red rock canyon walls, plus the chance at viewing the eruption of Crystal Geyser, makes this trip unique.
Families enjoy this trip! It's an opportunity to spend the evenings camping on the river shore, and long days on a calm stretch of river. Stillwater Canyon trips are the perfect way for parents to help their children experience the outdoors. Water is calm enough for swimming and playing. Guides often provide inflatable kayaks for individual paddling, or people may choose to stay in the raft. Whatever families choose to do, this is a great memory-building trip!
Due to the calm nature of the canyons, plus the amount of time required to make it through, this is not a trip commonly selected by groups or corporations.
Stillwater Canyon offers exactly what its name suggests - 52 miles of calm water on Utah's Green River. This beautiful waterway winds through Canyonlands National Park, eventually meeting up with the Colorado River. Along the way, river runners become acquainted with scenery on the grandest of scales - ruins and rock art sites of Ancient Puebloan Indians and amazing red rock formations. Many float trips include plenty of time for hikes and off-river exploration into Canyonland regions such as the Doll House and the Maze (Canyonlands’ most remote district).
Trips into Stillwater Canyon are ideal for river runners interested in a self-guided trip, families, photography enthusiasts, and others interested in spotting wildlife and Utah's unique red rock scenery. Several guided trips are offered, but many people choose to self-guide rafts, kayaks, or canoes on this section of river. Permits are required for self-guided use of the Green River beyond Mineral Bottom; fire pans and toilets are mandatory. (Outfitters have these for rent.) You must have a shuttle organized to return you to Moab.
To begin a trip down Stillwater Canyon, launch onto the Green River from Green River State Park in the town of Green River, Utah. The road is paved to this put-in; there is an entrance fee of $3 per person. There are additional camping fees. Other available launch sites include Ruby Ranch and Mineral Bottom. These sites are located more remotely, some distance across dirt roads. Mineral Bottom may become impassable in heavy rain. It contains about 20 miles of dirt road and a short stretch of switchbacks which drop about 900 vertical feet in a mile. Ruby Ranch is private property and the owners charge $10 a boat and $2 a person (cash only).
A river running trip down Stillwater Canyon can last anywhere from 3-10 days, depending on the selected route.