Fruita to Westwater
We got on the river around 5 p.m., and paddled just a few miles to a nice sandy beach to camp. The water was very fast and we barely had to paddle at all. I wanted to go as slow as I could to see everything. It was very different from the Hudson in New York, which is where we usually are! The heat really wasn't that bad for late summer; the elevation is still pretty high (4400 appx.).
The second day we paddled to Mee Canyon, and hiked up it to see the spires. The land really is truly spectacular. Words just can not do it justice. It was quiet and relaxing and I finished my Cormac McCarthy book that evening.
Going through blacks rocks in Ruby Canyon was fun, but don't underestimate the power of this river. It can get tricky in a sea kayak, as some of places were quite narrow. The last day we paddled all morning and reached our truck at Westwater around 1 p.m. This was a very pleasant trip, even though our campsites were taken both nights.
You must carry a portable toilet system; we had one, but Rimrock Adventures rents them if you don't have one.
None, but the BLM likes you to register with them and record where you will be camping on the river at the Loma boat ramp. We found a problem with this, however. We recorded our campsites and when we got there found less considerate paddlers there already, so keep this in mind and if possible be off the water in time to claim the ones you want!
Get off I-70 at either Loma or Fruita. You can leave a car at the Loma boat ramp, but at Rimrock Adventures (out of Fruita), they told us that they have had theft problems with their own vehicles there, and told us we would be safer leaving our truck at their facility (which is a few miles upriver). Rimrock took our truck into Utah and left it at the Westwater Launch for around $70.
Belknap's Revised Waterproof Canyonlands River Guide.
- Trip Duration: 2-3 Day Trip
- Skill Level: Intermediate
- Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)