Labyrinth Canyon is an amazing wilderness trip through some of the wildest, most remote and most stunning desert landscapes in the United States. No seriously, it’s amazing.
The thing is this, though. You can’t just book a guide and have them handle all of the arrangements for you. You have to plan the trip on your own and guide yourself down the canyon. Even if you don’t have much river experience, you can do this!
Get off the beaten Moab path and have a unique and enriching experience. It is, however, a remote backcountry trip. You should feel comfortable in such environs and be ready to deal with changing circumstances where you will be far from help. There is no cell phone coverage past Ruby Ranch.
The river itself is moving flatwater with an average gradient of 2 feet per mile. But don’t be deceived. The canyon can whip up a wide range of weather conditions. It can throw gale force winds. It can snow. It can hail and brutally hard, which almost always seems to happen when you are terribly exposed. Depending on what time of year you go, expect to be variously cooked by the sun, freeze-dried/baked by the wind, soaked by cloudburts, pelted with hail, or frozen by snow or river water temperatures. But don’t let that persuade you. Just be ready for the conditions and you will have an absolute blast.
Here is some quick background on Labyrinth Canyon.
Where is it
Labyrinth Canyon is located on the Green River in southern Utah. The put in is located in the town of Green River, Utah or several points south of there.
The take out is at Mineral Bottom on the eastern edge of Canyonlands National Park.
How long is the trip?
Depending on your put in location, Labyrinth Canyon is between 45 and 68 miles. It is typically floated as a 3-5 day trip, although I have done it in (and continued on to Stillwater below) up to a 10 day slow speed float, too. That’s awesome and I highly recommend it if you have the time.
What is the camping like?
Camping is unimproved but there are many established and popular camps along the river. You can camp anywhere along the river that you choose. Camps at high water can be hard to find due to an overgrowth of an invasive tamarisk species. Low water camps are typically on big comfortable sand bars.
You must carry all waste in and out of the canyon, including all human solid waste. Don’t worry — we’ll cover all of this later. It’s no big deal and easy to manage.
What about permits?
You need a permit in order to float labyrinth canyon. We’ll cover the details of securing a permit later.
What’s a trip on Labyrinth Canyon like?
Floating Labyrinth Canyon is about as close as you can get to a Grand Canyon experience, without the whitewater, expense, and the lifetime long waiting period.