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Green River - Split Mountain to Sand Wash. Bryan Burke's Trip Report - Page 1

Not many people run this stretch of the Green River, and fewer still have written trip reports on it. It lacks dramatic canyons, wilderness quality, and whitewater, so it simply isn't on the "to do" list of most boaters. However, I had very good reasons to want to run this stretch, chief among them that I'm working on the goal of running the entire Colorado River Basin, omitting only tributaries less than 50 miles long, the impoundments, Class V or VI, and stretches of river that are so channelized, diverted, over-extracted, rip-rapped, urbanized, or otherwise modified that they no longer resemble rivers.

Added to that was a substantial convenience factor. This trip followed a Yampa trip so I was already in position, and I'd be accompanied by a solid, willing river running friend, Doug Green. Doug and I have run about 600 river miles together, the vast majority on unpermitted stretches of the Green and Colorado with difficult shuttle logistics. To top off the list of attractions, our timing was perfect. The Green was near peak run-off. We'd had 17,000 cfs a couple of days before on the Yampa, and Flaming Gorge Dam on the main Green was putting in another 3,000 or so. The Jensen gauge was reading 19,000 when we put in on the 4th of June, barely down from a peak of 20,000.

Barring headwinds, Doug and I were pretty sure we'd have three or four miles an hour of current, even with the lesser gradient in this flat section. Our plan was to use my 14' raft, the same boat we had used on the Yampa. While not the ideal flat water boat, it certainly was better than hauling two extra sea kayaks along and was already rigged and ready from the Yampa trip. All we needed was a quick re-supply in town. With a favorable wind forecast, plenty of current, and two guys to man the oars constantly in shifts, we figured we could do the 103 mile stretch in three days, four at the most.

We also expected the high water would keep the mosquitoes down, which are rumored to be horrific in this area during the summer. Last but not least, the shuttle was easily arranged and quite reasonable, using River Runner's Transport out of Vernal. Like so many other customers who have recommended them on river running web sites, I found their service to be extremely professional and endorse them without reservation. On the off chance that we moved faster than expected, we asked them to have my Honda Odyssey at Sand Wash on June 6th.