Colorado River, Cataract Canyon

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Moab to Powell Reservoir (Cataract Canyon)

Where the Colorado and the Green River combine forces for a trip of a lifetime. Beautiful desert canyon scenery, classic whitewater, huge sandy river beaches, cultural and natural history, and home of "The Big Drops". This 5-7 day trip is well worth it.

Class I-IV 112 Miles Max Gradient: 16 fpm Suggested Flow: > 8000 cfs

SEASON: The most impressive whitewater typically occurs in May and early June. By July the river drops and rapids become more moderate but still provide plenty of excitement.

PERMITS: As of 2001, permits were required and available starting on the first business day of January on a first-come first-served basis. Canyonlands National Park, 2282 S. West Resource Blvd., Moab, UT 84532-8000, ph. (435) 259-4351. See the Canyonlands N.P. website.

LOGISTICS: The river passes through Canyonlands National Park. All launch sites are located outside the park and include Green River State Park, Ruby Ranch or Mineral Bottom on the Green River and the Potash or Moab ramps on the Colorado River. The take-out is at Hite Marina on Lake Powell. Getting to the marina requires a 30 mile paddle on the lake battling frequent up-canyon winds. You can arrange a tow from the marina. As another alternative, you can drive the 4WD access road and hike down into Spanish Bottom midway through the trip but still before all the good whitewater. Lake Powell has been retreating, however, and the float out on the lake is looking more and more like river again!

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