More Rides

Easy Drifting

Jul 1, 2001
Outside Magazine

Labyrinth & Stillwater Canyons, Green River
Southeastern Utah
Your only concerns as the Green zigzags through the red rocks of Canyonlands National Park? Taking a few paddle strokes now and then—and admiring one jaw-dropping view after another. Distance: 120 miles; 6-8 days Gradient: 1.6 feet per mile Season: Year-round; best in September and October Do It Yourself: Put in at Green River State Park; take out at Spanish Bottom. For a permit (required) call Canyonlands National Park, 435-719-2313. Canyon Voyages Adventure Company (800-733-6007; www.canyon rents canoes and rafts for $32Ð$75 per day. Guided Trips: Moki Mac River Expeditions (800-284-7280; runs six-day canoe and raft trips for $995 per person.

Eleven Point River
Southern Missouri
This Wild and Scenic River blows off most of its steam high in the Ozarks. By the time it reaches Thomasville, in a valley rimmed with dolomite and sandstone bluffs, it musters up little more than a few Class II riffles—perfect for an easy canoe or float trip through the Mark Twain National Forest and the Irish Wilderness. Distance: 35-44 miles; 4 days Gradient: 5 feet per mile Season: April-August; best in May Do It Yourself: Put in at Thomasville or Cane Bluff; take out at Missouri 142. No permit required. Richard's Canoe Rental (417-778-6186) rents canoes for $35 per day. Guided Trips: Doug's Outdoor Adventures (616-468-5203 ) offers two- to five-day canoe trips for $135-$300 per person.
Grande Ronde River
Eastern Oregon
You can paddle this river in four easy days just by letting the gentle Class I-II current carry you from the Wallowa Mountains through Umatilla National Forest. But the riverside campsites—shaded by Douglas firs and carpeted with pine needles—are so cush you'll want to tie up your boat and dally at least a week. Distance: 46 miles; 4 days Gradient: 20 feet per mile Season: Year-round; best April-June Do It Yourself: Put in at the confluence of the Wallowa and Minam Rivers; take out in Troy. No permit required. The Minam Store (541-437-1111) rents rafts for $65 per day. Guided Trips: Little Creek Outfitters (541-963-7878; runs four-day raft trips for $250 per person per day.