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Uintah River, Utah
Report by Marc W. McCord

Uinta Valley Campground to Power Plant
~ 8.5 Miles

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SOAR Inflatable Canoes - Somewhere On A River

General Description

The Green River is a very long stream forming in the Wind River Range of the Rocky Mountains in Bridger Teton National Forest of Sublette County, Wyoming, then winding its way south into Utah, turning east into Colorado and finally back south down into Utah where it terminates at the confluence of the Colorado River in Canyonlands National Park in San Juan County. The featured section is the approximately 20 mile run on the San Rafael River tributary of the Green River from Fuller Bottom near Joe's Valley Reservoir to San Rafael Campground below SH 10 near Castle Dale.

The Uinta River forms high in the Uinta Mountains, in the Wasatch National Forest of Summit County on the Wyoming border, then flows south through Fort Duchesne, Gusher and Bandlett to Ouray and its Green River confluence in Uintah County southwest of Vernals. Along the way it picks up the waters from the Whiterocks River, which joins it between the Towns of Whiterocks and Fort Duchesne. Other than the first few miles from its headwaters, the river flows entirely within the boundries of the Uintah and Ouray Indian Reservation of northeastern Utah.


Summit and Uintah Counties of northeastern Utah, just south of the Wyoming border. Vernals, to the east, is the nearest significant city, and Salt Lake City, to the west, is the nearest large city.

Distance from major cities

Salt Lake City 190 miles; Grand Junction 315 miles; Durango 485 miles; Denver 561 miles; Albuquerque 998 miles; Phoenix 809 miles; Oklahoma City 1,186 miles; Dallas 1,345 miles; Austin 1,526 miles; San Antonio 1,509 miles; Houston 1,595 miles; Little Rock 1,502 miles; Kansas City 1,167 miles (all distances are approximate and depend upon starting point, destination point on the river and route taken.)

Water Quality and Flow Rates

Water quality in the Uintah River is usually good to very good, flowing silty, salty and cold. It is not drinkable without purification, and may not be drinkable even after purification due to the quantities of silt and salt it carries. Navigable flows are generally limited to mid-spring through early summer, when snows melt in the Uintah Mountains at the headwaters.

Best times to go

April through June is the prime season for running this section of the Uintah River. Mid- to late-summer rains can provide temporary flows that are boatable, but don't rely on that in this desert region of low annual rainfall.

Hazards to navigation

River Access Points

Campgrounds and accommodations

Liveries, outfitters and shuttle services

There are no known outfitters located along the Uintah River in Utah. Plan on bringing everything you need and running your own shuttles.

Reviewer's comments

The Uintah River is located in a region of historic significance, especially to the indigenous people who have lived here for more than 12,000 years. This high desert river comes to life in the high elevations of the Uintah Mountains very near the Wyoming border, surrounded by the Wasatch National Forest, then descends nearly 8,000 feet to its Green River confluence on the Uintah and Ouray Reservation just southwest of Vernals. It is fed by several other significant streams including the Strawberry, Duchesne and Whiterocks Rivers which contribute to its flow between Randlett and the Green River at Ouray. Access is as much a limiting factor for river running as is adequate flow. The river is situated in a natural and undeveloped area of northeastern Utah where roads are few and services are even fewer.

Technical Data
Class Rating I to III
Length 8.5 miles
Minimum Flow cfs
Optimum Flow cfs
Maximum Flow
First Put-in Uinta Valley Campground
Lat. / Long. 40.6226997 / -110.1448975
Last Take-out Power Plant
Lat. / Long. 40.5349998 / -110.0635986
Elevation msl
Gradient fpm
USGS Gauge Web: Power Plant
Boats Canoes w/ flotation, Kayaks

Canoeman River Guide Service - Guided river trips in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado and Utah

Utah Whitewater Club - Canoeing, Kayaking and Rafting

Lone Star Paddler - the paddlesports web site of Marc W. McCord

Click the links below for information regarding the section of the Green River and its tributaries where you want to paddle.

Green River
[ Green River Homepage ] [ Flaming Gorge Dam to Browns Park NWR ] [ Gates of Lodore to Split Mountain Campground ]
[ Split Mountain Campground to Ouray ] [ Ouray to IH 70 ] [ IH 70 to Colorado River ]

[ Duchesne River ] [ Nine Mile River ] [ Upper Price River ] [ Middle Price River ]
[ Lower Price River ] [ Upper San Rafael River ] [ Lower San Rafael River ] [ White River ]

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Last updated September 14, 2014

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