Carving its way through 120 miles (193km) of slickrock dessert, Moab on the Green is a 10-day time-machine kayakpacking tour of ageless geologic and human history. This route combines an adventurous, remote and challenging swift-water paddle with visually delightful Western movie set landscapes. A true treasure which has to rank among top 5 kayakpacking destinations in the lower-48.
Acquired by the United States from Mexico through the Treaty of Guadelupe-Hidalgo in 1848 this part of Utah is largely unchanged since the earliest human settlements dating back to around 600 AD. Nomadic Shoshone and Ute tribes both called the the Green River basin home, the later of which still occupies land in the Uinta region. Later explored by the Spanish and Mexicans you'll discover remnants of cliff dwellings and early western settlements which are all accessible within a few miles hike from your camps - explorations that we highly encourage.
From a put-in at Crystal Geyser the swift flowing Green will quickly take you into some of the most remote and beautiful stretches of the Moab Desert as you make your way to the takeout at Spanish Bottom. Verdant banks of shadscale, sagebrush, cactus, and desert shrubs slowly give way to pinyon and juniper. Cottonwoods, tamarisk, and willows are predominant throughout the river's length and make for well needed shade and wind-break during the mid-day heat but high-winds can loose widow-makers proving that as well prepared you might be for the usual river and reptilian hazards like strainers and snakes you might meet an early end to your journey from less obvious threats.
And threats there are a'plenty. Weather on this early May expedition was what you might expect in an extreme dessert environment. Overnight temperatures in the low to mid 40's rise quickly into the mid 80's as the sun clears the high dessert peaks – day 3 never reached above 50 in a cold rain. The swift currents of the Green - while helpful from a mileage standpoint - can be treacherous. Watch for whirlpools that draw in craft in like magnets. Mentally, the solitude alone could get the better of you if you are solo and unprepared.
The approximate half-way mark of the traverse comes as you enter the northern most part of Canyonlands National Park. 1,200ft mesas surround you from every side as you make your way to the confluence of the Green and Colorado. Expect the last day to be perhaps the most challenging as the relative calm of the silty Green combine forces with the the better known white water of the Colorado.
The possibility of rapids in the III-IV class are real if you plan on continuing past the take out at Spanish Bottom.
The Colorado river - being the Colorado River - has the potential to deliver a parting punch just as you are reaching your take out. The Green in and of itself is a pleasure of a paddle but not withouts its hazards. It's swift water for sure but taken by itself we would have given the Green a I- rapids classification. Learn more about the international scale of river difficulty.
IGOR (Iggy) MULUKS' idea of adventure is trying to find most wild and remote places to travel and explore. It can be found close to home in South Florida where he lives or as far away as Alaska. His camera is his only travel companion.
He was born in Baltic states, grew up close to nature and as a kid was out in the woods a lot since an early age. He's never lost passion for the outdoors and adventures.