FEATURED BOOK OF THE WEEK:
THE EXPLORATION OF THE COLORADO RIVER AND ITS CANYONS
by J.W. Powell
This book can be purchased at the CRATE BOOKSTORE for $12.95
Complete reprint of “Canyons of the Colorado” 1895 edition, with supplementary map. This was the first published account in book format of Powell’s 1869 discovery journey down the Green and Colorado Rivers. 150 illustrations and photographs. Dover Publications.
The Colorado River is probably the most famous river in the world. The river flows 1450 miles starting at the Continental Divide in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado and flowing into the Gulf of California between Baja and mainland Mexico. The Colorado River drains 246,000 square miles in parts of seven U.S. states and two Mexican states.
The most famous sections to raft the Colorado River are through the Grand Canyon, Cataract Canyon, and Westwater Canyon. Colorado River & Trail Expeditions offers rafting trips on these sections as well as on the Fisher Towers 1-day stretch near Moab, Utah. Each trip offers a unique rafting experience full of excitement, beauty, and fun.
Grand Canyon Rafting
The Colorado River whitewater rafting trip through the Grand Canyon is probably the most famous stretch of river in the world. The Colorado River travels 277 miles from Lees Ferry to Pearce Ferry in Arizona. In order to cover all 277 miles of the canyon one needs a minimum of 8 days. Partial trips are available to or from Phantom Ranch and Whitmore Wash. The biggest rapids along the Colorado River in this stretch are Crystal, Lava Falls, Hermit, and Granite.
Cataract Canyon Rafting
Cataract Canyon is located in Canyonlands National Park near Moab, Utah. It is upstream of the Grand Canyon and downstream of Westwater Canyon. The Colorado River joins the Green River right before plunging into Cataract Canyon. Cataract Canyon offers rapids larger than the Grand Canyon at flows above 30,000 cfs and can become awe-inspiring at flows over 60,000 cfs. At lower flows the rapids are much smaller, but still fun. Though exciting, whitewater is just a small part of the experience of rafting the Colorado River in Canyonlands National Park. The sandstone landscape is unlike any other in the world and the mesas, buttes, and graben valleys offers plenty of exploration opportunities. Plan on spending 3-4 days to see this marvelous landscape. The most famous rapids on this stretch are the Big Drops.
Westwater Canyon is located on the Colorado River near the Utah and Colorado border. The trip is short and sweet, covering 17 miles of rapids, sandstone cliffs, and precambrian rocks. Famous rapids along this stretch include Skull, Funnel Falls, and Sock-it-to-Me. This trip can be a destination as an overnight river trip or as part of the Canyon Country experience combining it with hiking, biking, or jeeping in the Moab or Green River, Utah area.
Colorado River Trip Near Moab
This one day stretch is very popular. The Colorado River flows underneath tall sandstone cliffs and over fun rapids. This is great trip for those short on time and is a fun introduction to rafting on the mighty Colorado.
How and when the Grand Canyon of the Colorado River was formed is a very complex undertaking. Although many of the details are constantly changing with new scientific data there are some ideas about the formation of the Grand Canyon that are almost universally accepted. This is where “Dude the Canyon Rocks” comes into play.
Deposition-In order for a canyon to exist there must be walls. The Grand Canyon contains sedimentary rock that ranges from over 1 billion years old to 270 million years old. Over this huge amount of time sediments were deposited by marine environments as well as terrestrial environments as the ocean came in and covered the area then receded multiple times. An easy way to imagine the deposition of multiple layers of rock is to image books stacked on top of each other. At the bottom of this stack of sedimentary rocks is the Grand Canyon Metamorphic Complex dating back to 1.75 billion Years.
Uplift-Uplift of the Colorado Plateau and the sedimentary layers of the Grand Canyon started about 75 million years ago during the Laramide Orogeny, a mountain building event that also helped create the rocky mountains to the East. A unique thing about the uplift of the Colorado Plateau is that it was uplifted more like a table top than a mountain range. This made the cutting of a canyon much easier.
Down-Cutting-The Colorado River acts as a stationary saw as the plateau around it is uplifted.
Erosion -Erosional forces of wind and water continually widen, deepen, and expand the Grand Canyon. Anyone who has taken a Grand Canyon rafting trip has seen these powerful forces at work.
Colorado River thru the Grand Canyon, 7/11
A bighorn ram I am not.
Me. I sleep upon a cot.
And I piddle
In the middle
Of the river.
I wear bright orange on the boat
If I dunk then I will float.
Watery froth I often meet
And if I’m hot its very sweet.
Our guides are super
They haul the pooper
With ease. And in the kitchen
They create food bewitchin’.
And when our Walker says its time
To land on sand we’re soon to dine.
And Mindy does double work with smiles
With grace and strength, over many miles.
And Megan shoots a mean water gun.
So our Boston men must even run.
Our guides take good care of us all
Whether our goals are big or small.
And Mike our fine teach
Diverse topics does he reach.
He brings books and games
Things wild and tame
Serious and hilarious.
Jeremy, Kristin and Noah
All so bright and gung ho(a).
Helping and yelping,
Boating and floating.
In all, a smashing, splashing venture.
An incomparable adventure.