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Thread: Labyrinth Canyon Utah

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jun 2004
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    SW Montana
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    Labyrinth Canyon Utah

    I'm Planning a 4 or 5 day float trip through Labyrinth Canyon at the end of April. Looking forward to a nice casual float on the Green . Just seeing if anybody has done this float and can recommend any site seeing spots along the way.

    One more question, will Polaroid type 55 work in a Fuji Quickload holder, of course for exposure only?

    Thanks for your help.

    Ken

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jun 2004
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    Re: Labyrinth Canyon Utah

    So the trip was awesome. Had a really great time, lots to see in some amazing country. Full trip report here. Not in the report but spent some time in Moab after the float. Biked the slick rock trail, how can you not bike the slick rock trail when in Moab? Hiked to Delicate Arch in Arches National Park. Then I was off to Ft Collins Colorado to visit some friends, more biking, and some hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park. Great trip. Good to be home.

    Ken

  3. #3
    westernlens al olson's Avatar
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    Sep 2006
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    Southwest Mountains of Colorado
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    Re: Labyrinth Canyon Utah

    About 5 years ago did a group float (canoes and a couple of kayaks) from Mineral Bottom to Spanish Bottom (5 days). The next year we put in at Ruby Ranch, again with a take-out at Spanish bottom (6 days). Both times the outfitter picked us up at Spanish Bottom with a jet boat and returned us up the Colorado. Just the return was worth the price of the trip. The jet boat with canoes and gear was loaded onto a trailer part way up the Colorado and hauled the rest of the way to Moab.

    There is available from the outfitter a book of river charts (Belknap's Waterproof Canyonlands River Guide) which mark out various points of interest and river history (there were actually steam boats operating on the river at one time, the Undine capsized above Moab in 1901) as well as graffiti going back a hundred years or more. Given the right light there are phenomenal views from river level that include Anasazi ruins and pictographs.

    There are very few camp sites, hence the need to get permits, because there are few flat areas that are accessible from the water. Also there is dense Tamarisk (some genius made the decision to import this junk from Asia to stabilize the river banks and it killed out all of the willows that were doing the same task) that overgrows the trails and is difficult to break through.

    Some points of photographic interest are: Buttes of the Cross, Masonry Tower at Ft. Bottom, Natural Arch in Twomile Canyon, Denis Julien's graffiti at Hell Roaring Canyon done on 5/3/1936, Turk's Head rock formation, the Doll's House, as well as various cliff dwellings and Anasazi structures.

    On my first trip I used a 35mm point and shoot and a digital p&s for the second, because I was concerned about capsizing and losing my good cameras. On neither trip did I see any four-footed animals. Not many ducks or geese, either. One Snowy Egret and a couple of Great Blue Herons.

    I was just in Canyonlands this past weekend, but on higher ground. It was very windy so I did most of my exposures with digital and MF. I did some long exposure photography after dusk at the Green River Overlook when the wind died down.

    Good luck,
    al

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jun 2004
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    Re: Labyrinth Canyon Utah

    Thanks Al, we are already planning the Stillwater section (Mineral Bottom to the Colorado confluence) for next spring. We did see one deer on our trip, along with a bunch of ducks and geese, a fair number of Great Blue Heron, two or three Snowy Egret, some Grebe, and two Beaver. Thankfully, not too many people only 6 on the river in 5 days. We did have the Belknap book and though it was great for the river stuff, we thought it was very lacking in the off river exploring descriptions. All in all a fantastic trip.

    Ken

  5. #5

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    Re: Labyrinth Canyon Utah

    If you interested I posted some more photos from the trip here. These were with the 4x5 that I finally got around to developing and scanning.

    Ken

  6. #6
    westernlens al olson's Avatar
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    Sep 2006
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    Re: Labyrinth Canyon Utah

    Great B&Ws, Ken. Your location on photo #2, was that a difficult climb?

    The club member who organized our trips told us that on an earlier trip he had decided to climb over the Bow Knot and meet his party on the other side. He said that he had grossly underestimated the difficulty of the climb.
    al

  7. #7

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    Re: Labyrinth Canyon Utah

    Al,

    looking at the picture, we came up from the left side, opposite end of the bench where the photo was taken from. The climb up wasn't too bad, maybe 15 or 20 minutes. It was a little steep but there was a faint trail to follow. We didn't try to go down the right side, but it looks a little more involved. I don't recall seeing any signs of a trail going down. In the picture it looks a little more cliffy. One would want to be careful with his route finding going down the other side for sure.

    Ken

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