Floating down the San Rafael River was one of the most rewarding adventures I’ve ever had the pleasure of experiencing. You get to see the “Wedge” or Little Grand Canyon in the San Rafael Swell from below. A whole new way to see the desert here!
I went in early June 2017 after a very nice winter with a lot of snow pack in the mountains. That’s the sad part, you can only do this if the conditions are right.
I went with a bunch of friends that had rented a couple large river rafts and a very knowledgable man in the paddling seat! I don’t recommend doing this without the proper equipment, and going alone is a bad idea if you’re not experienced.
This is just a little story about my trip and to inspire others to do the same. If you’re not near the area, I would suggest doing a little research to find out the conditions of the river first. I would plan on going in May or early June. Besides, it gets pretty hot out there with no shade at all.
I do know you can look at raft rentals at carbon.Utah.gov and follow instructions there to book the rentals.
We dropped a vehicle off at The Swinging Bridge by the river and drove down to Fullers Bottom to launch. The high cliffs with all the desert varnish and rock formations so familiar to this area start to come into view as you float lazily down the river. So peaceful, so stunning. There is a great place off to the right to stop and have lunch or to take a break and walk around. It’s called Virgin Spring Canyon and it’s about the halfway point. There are some pictographs a little ways down the canyon to check out. People camp here too, and if you can get a spot, it would be a great place to do it.
I am hoping to do this adventure again hopefully in the near future. But unfortunately we are at the mercy of a good winter. So we will see….