Scenic USA - Utah

Green River

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Stillwater section of the Green River - Utah

Photos by Rob Jones
Rob's Stillwater Trip Report

     One of the major tributaries of the Colorado River, the Green River, begins its Green River Canoe Trip 730 mile journey in Wyoming's Jim Bridger Wilderness, among the peaks of the Wind River Range. Astute geography students may already know another one of the area's major rivers gets it start not far from here in the Tetons. While the Green River heads southward, the 1000 mile long Snake River defies logic and heads through the mountains of the northwest. The Green River's waters, mostly stained with reddish silt, flow through numerous canyons of the Colorado Plateau and the states of Wyoming, Utah and a small section of Colorado's western border.
     Before 1921, the Green River joined what was called the Grand River to Green River Petroglyphs - Utah form the Colorado River. A Congressional committee was persuaded to rename the Grand River to the Colorado, creating the third longest river in the West. The confluence is best seen today at Canyonlands National Park in the Island of the Sky District.
     Float trips on the Green River vary from the wild whitewater runs through Lodore Canyon to the lazy paddle through the Labyrinth and Stillwater canyons. Pictured here is a Stillwater scene nearing the confluence of the Green and Colorado rivers. A canoeing trip can last from four to seven days, depending on the amount of exploration along the way. Petroglyphs sites, slot canyons, ancient granaries and awe-inspiring views of 240 million Green River Granary - Utah year old canyon walls may detain even the most eager river-runners.
     Some of the earliest inhabitants, called the Fremont Culture, flourished here from the 7th to the 13th centuries. Later, the nomadic tribes of Ute and Shoshones lived along the river valley above the Uinta Mountains. Spanish explorers moved through the area during the late 18th century, eventually using the name Rio Verde (Green River). Reasons for this name remain unclear, and even though three theories linger, none offer a convincing explanation to this day.

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