July 26-28, 2017
This is part two of our trip report. For part one, see “Flaming Gorge Trip Report.”
We moved from the Lodgepole campground (~8000’) to Green River campground at only 4750’ elevation. The storm had passed, so we moved from cool mountain air to hot, dry air in a campground with little shade. I was surprised how crowded the campground was. Why were there so many people in this hot, desolate place?
We were here, mainly, to run the river through Split Mountain. I had a permit for Thursday, and Isaac had a permit for Friday. I suppose most of the other people were there to visit the Dinosaur Quarry.
We arrived at our campsite Wednesday evening at about 9:00 PM. We quickly got dinner cooking and tents set up. Eating in the dark was a little annoying because of all of the moths flying in our face. But at least we didn’t have many mosquitoes.
The next morning, a few stayed at camp with the kids, while the rest of us headed out on the 50-minute drive to the put-in Rainbow Park. Hannah brought her IK, so we now had two IKs and my raft.
Since the river is inside Dinosaur National Monument, we needed a permit and we had to meet all of their guidelines. For a day trip, the guidelines seem excessive to me. They recommend a portable toilet, and require an extra life jacket and paddle/oar for every boat. We also had to have a major first aid kit, Z-drag rescue rope and pulleys, etc.
There are four named rapids on this stretch of the Green River; Moonshine, SOB, Schoolboy, and Inglesby. But there are also several unnamed rapids that have some fun waves.
Just as we were about to launch, a group coming through Island Park from Lodore Canyon was about to catch us. We paddled on to have a little space between groups.
The river was flowing at about 3000 cfs. Some of these rapids are really fun in higher water, and extremely rocky in lower water. At this level, the rapids were fun, but nothing to really brag about. There were still a lot of rocks, so you had to pay attention all the time.
We had an ambush waiting for us at the take-out.
Isaac and all of the kids were waiting with buckets and squirt guns. It felt good to get cooled off by the water since the rapids failed to get us very wet.
The Split Mountain take-out is only about two miles upriver from our camp, so Isaac and Tressa decided to give the kids a ride in the IKs down to camp. We later learned that you really need a “play” permit to do this – since it is still inside the park boundaries.
After lunch, we went to visit the dinosaur quarry and visitor’s center.
We returned to camp for dinner, and then went on an evening hike near Josie Morris’ cabin.
The hike goes up a short box canyon and offers lots of shade. It is a great family hike.
After breakfast the next morning, we got to celebrate Sophie’s birthday.
The adults that watched the kids yesterday got their turn on the river today. I turned my raft over to Barry so I could ride in the IK with Jamie. It was a fun ride.
For our first run, we never saw a ranger, so we just dropped our permit in the drop box. For day two, we had two rangers at the put-in, who verified that we had all of the required safety gear. And then another ranger at the take-out, making sure we didn’t hog too much space on the ramp. That ranger also informed us we couldn’t float the kids down to camp.
So, we quickly dried off the boats, packed up, and returned to camp for lunch. We then started for home. We stopped for dinner at Granny’s in Heber. They always have great milk shakes.