Utah
is seldom known as a white water state. Sure everyone has heard of
Cataract Canyon and Westwater on the Colorado, but what about the
rest of Utah? With mountains higher than its famous neighbor Idaho,
it’s no surprise that Utah has numerous exciting white water runs.
This summer while traveling to Hell’s Canyon of the Snake, we had
several days to boat in Utah. I can certainly recommend the state’s
white water, which was clear, clean, and challenging.

Our
Utah boating party consisted of Brian Postalwarte C-1 canoe, Will
Reeves C-1 canoe, Bill “Hawk” Reeves C-1 canoe, Chad Young
K-1 kayak, Brad Moulton K-1 kayak, and Scott Zink K-1 kayak. We
planned to run several rivers on our way north toward Hell’s Canyon.
The main itinerary included Price Canyon, the Weber, and Logan
Canyon.

The
first stop on the adventure was Price Canyon in the Brook Cliffs.

Price
River is small and creek-like, with many similarities to eastern
white water. The river starts high up in the Brook Cliffs and drops
through numerous boulder-choked drops into the city of Price. We put
in near the top, and soon found that the drops visible from the road
were much larger than they first appeared. Price started with a
small three foot drop, and continued down hill with numerous class
III rapids. The group eddy-hopped through most of the rapids for
about a mile. Then the river changed completely; the small rock
filled drops metamorphosed into steep boulder-choked rapids.

Still
boat-scouting, we ran the next several miles. The rapids became
class IV with numerous holes and sharp rocks. The river continued
this way in a drop and pool fashion for five more miles. We had to
worry about wood blocking the channel in several rapids, but
everything was boatable.

The
steepest section was near the end, with one big class V drop.
Everyone had a problem at some point in the rapid. The hole at the
top stalled several of the boaters, and Brian missed an important
eddy in the middle and flipped. We boated through several more
rapids before reaching the take-out.

From
here we drove to the American Fork and camped. The next morning we
scouted the run and concluded it would take too long to boat and
scout this creek to run it on our schedule. The American Fork is a
definite class IV-V creek run and something we can look forward to
next time. So we continued on to the Weber.

The
Weber is a dangerous short run with only two rapids in the mile long
lower canyon. The big rapid is called Scrambled Eggs; it’s dangerous
because of the sharp rocks and rebar left over from the Interstate,
which crosses over above the drop. After a brief stay at the Weber
we headed out to Logan, Utah.

The
Logan River was our last run in Utah. Logan Canyon is a beautiful
place. The canyon cuts a deep limestone slash through the mountain
range with a narrow river at its heart. As we drove up the Logan,
the beautiful blue water looked so enticing, but the white water
appeared to be rather lame. A disgruntled murmur could be heard from
the back of the Jeep “I can’t believe it, we drove all this way
to run the Nantahala.”

We
arrived at the spring, which was the source of over half the Logan’s
flow, and the start of the run. We put in, but no one seemed really
happy about the run. However, once again we learned the river is
always bigger than it appears from the road. The Logan was fast and
really big. The tiny waves we had seen from the road were really six
feet and non-stop. There were no eddies, and the
banks were undercut.

After
a few minutes and about a mile of river, the Logan made a ten foot
plunge. Everyone ran the big drop successfully, but it was very
unnerving to be unable to scout anything as we flew downstream. For
several miles we boated a continuous Table Saw-like drop with no
rocks, but numerous holes and waves.

Then
the bottom really dropped out and the Logan fell more than a hundred
feet in the next mile. It was everyone for themselves as we ran that
white mile. Then, just like it never happened, the river calmed down
and flattened out. Chad and Scott said they had had enough but Brad,
Brian, and I (Will) all wanted to run it again, so we put in another
run before settling in for the night.

Overall,
Utah is a great white water state and I hope to see more of it next
year.

by Will
Reeves
From The Eddy Line, February 1997