Looking for paddling suggestions - Moab area

4000lbsOfGoat

Active member
Greetings,
I'll be heading to Moab for the first time in June - not really my first choice for camping but we were invited to join a group with some friends so I can deal with the crowds for a few days.

That being said, I'd love to get out to paddle while I'm there. Does anyone have suggestions for nice, quiet places to paddle around Moab? I'm willing to go up to an hour and a half from town for the right lake. My preference is small mountain lakes at the end of many miles of bad FS road. Is there anything like that around Moab?
 

AbleGuy

A Son of the Purple Sage
Sadly, IIRC other than the potash ponds 😖, there’s really no still waters close by to play on. There’s plenty of muddy river water near though.

While I’ve spent time up in the Manti La Sal range east of Moab, I don’t ever remember stumbling upon any small lakes up there...other than Buckeye Reservoir, on the Colorado side.

The closest lake by regular roads maybe Highline (if there’s any water in it), maybe @15 miles across the border NW of Grand Jct. being close to that big community, it’ll likely be crowded. Last summer when we were up in that area, most of the Colorado small reservoirs we stopped at looked like almost completely drained bathtubs.

Maybe you can hit something interesting along the way? Where in Montana are you coming from?
 
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AbleGuy

A Son of the Purple Sage

Access wise, it looks like the Moab Trail takes you right to this one.
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AbleGuy

A Son of the Purple Sage
Whoa! Just found another small lake possibility I’d never heard of, Pace Lake, again over by the border, while checking my maps...but this one seems to require quite a long, indirect route to access it by vehicle.

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4000lbsOfGoat

Active member
Long, indirect route is exactly what I'm looking for! Generally keeps the less serious folks away...

I won't be coming from Montana as I'll be relocating to Bullhead City, AZ prior to this trip. So, I'll be coming from Bullhead City but looking for interesting routes in both directions.
 

AbleGuy

A Son of the Purple Sage
You’ve got some great route choices to get up to Moab from Bullhead. If you don’t have to take the fastest (boring freeway) route, the zig zag from St. George then to and thru Zion, past Hatch to south of Panguitch and then over thru Escalante to Torrey, runs you through little Boulder, where there is one of the best out of the way restaurants to stop at in the entire west...Hell’s Half Acre I think it was...
 
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greg.potter

Adventurer
Friends have mentioned the Green river as a pretty mellow paddle to me. I haven't done it or even looked into it myself and have no idea what the shuttle logistics would look like. In my more youthful days I used to do a bit of solo paddling and use a bike for the shuttle - not sure if there are any stretches that would support a bike shuttle but it might be an option. You didn't used to need a permit or reservation for the Green - not sure if that is still the case or not.
 

NatersXJ6

Explorer
I did an outfitted trip on the Green through Stillwater Canyon a few years ago. It was really awesome in some ways, and not in every way, but I’m not much of a boat guy.

In my estimation, you would have an extremely difficult to maybe impossible time paddling upstream. It was Memorial Day weekend, we were in canoes, and the downstream current was something like 3-5+ mph (corrected for memory)... if we missed a landing only by a few hundred feet, it was an all-out pull with every paddle in the water for 30 minutes just to get upstream within visual distance. There wasn’t much slack water. On the other hand, Powell did the section that took us 4 days of floating and drinking and bacon in 1 afternoon, so paddling Stillwater and riding back with one of the jet boat outfitters could probably be done in a day or maybe with a brief overnight by someone dedicated to paddling.

The outfitter we used was Tex’s Riverways. They were great.
 

4000lbsOfGoat

Active member
Thanks for the suggestions!

You’ve got some great route choices to get up to Moab from Bullhead. If you don’t have to take the fastest (boring freeway) route, the zig zag from St. George they Zion, past Hatch to south of Panguitch and then over they Escalante to Torrey runs you through little Boulder, where there is one of the best out of the way restaurants to stop at in the entire west...
Is that route trailer friendly? I'll be pulling an Off Grid Expedition.
 

Rando

Explorer
If you have an interest in moving water, the 'Moab Daily' on the Colorado just up stream of Moab is a great fun stretch, and you can almost certainly thumb a ride back to your put in on Hwy 191. It is class II-III so very doable in a canoe if you are experienced, and fun in inflatable regardless of experience.
 

AbleGuy

A Son of the Purple Sage
Thanks for the suggestions!

Is that route trailer friendly? I'll be pulling an Off Grid Expedition.
If you mean the paved highway route I posted, the last time (about 2 years ago?) I was thru that area, it was a well maintained, beautiful scenic road....suitable for just about any rig combo. Your small trailer should not be a problem.
 
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