Green River Badlands

Joan and I had another opportunity to go on a packrafting trip.

Packraffting, for us, extends the backpacking and lets us enjoy the Colorado Plateau differently. And, arguably more than other landscapes, the rivers define the region more so than other areas in many ways.

With our packrafts, I feel we get more immersed in what makes this landscape rather than observing it from above or aside it.

We started at a place mentioned in Powell’s dispatches for our more recent trip and became an accidental geyser in the 1930s.

Though diminished due to vandalism (placing rocks down the pipe), it still makes for an engaging site for those fortunate enough to view the geyser.

We camped nearby Friday evening and enjoyed both the geyser and the nearby formations along the Green River.

After a relaxing evening, we launched in the quiet morning and into the river.

PCO Joan

The quiet river with lots of birdlife would make a memorable part of the trip if it inspired a bit of my inner NPS documentarian!

The day ended up quieter than our previous excursion on the river. And the quicker flow made for a more leisurely day overall.

We made stops to stretch our legs, hike a bit, and enjoy the scenery more reminiscent of the Badlands of South Dakota or the Great Divide Basin in many ways. Minus the river, of course!

As typical in this area, we saw signs of other people who traveled along the river.

In this case, some distinctive Fremont images.

And one panel potentially depicted the river itself.

Though a full day of paddling, we reached our campsite with plenty of daylight left. We hiked around a bit, rested, and just enjoyed the sound of the river.  The sunset views from near our campsite did not disappoint.

We hiked out a very alkaline wash the following morning, leading to a series of dirtbike and later jeep roads to where we parked the day before.

We stumbled upon another geyser not listed on any of our print or electronic map layers along the way.

Bubbling away and hidden in plain sight.

Despite the harsh soil, we did see some early signs of spring, including some aptly named Badlands Mules Ears.

The landscape continued to remind us of other areas where we traveled.

Some may find the terrain too stark. But we find it striking, instead.

Eventually, we crested one of the ridges and saw our waiting vehicle and the bend of the Green River.

Our route took us back to the main jeep road, and we made quick time to the truck.

A comfy t-shirt, sandals, and cold drinks made our impromptu tailgate picnic by the river a relaxing and non-hurried way to end the trip.

We are already looking at maps and planning out the next trip. Time’s a gift, and we try to make the best use of it.

With so many options around us undoubtedly easy to use that gift of time.

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Eddy De Wilde
Eddy De Wilde
3 years ago

Good to see you ever exploring. The country does look forbidding. Do you see any wildlife?