I have been travelling around the US by bicycle and hitchhiking for 4.5 months. During all that time I have been carrying an alpacka raft and now its time to use it! My ide is to start in the Missoula MT area and my destination is Phoenix. I need some info about rivers which will lead me south. I have been studying maps and its possible to take snake river, green river and colorado river. I will have to hitchhike from river to river. I also need some info about permits… I dont know how it works and for which parts I need a permit. Do I always need a permit for colorado river or is it just the grand canyon area? Happy for all help I can get, if you know any helpful websites, please post em. Im from Sweden, thats the reason for limited knowledge about american rivers.
I am not aware of the restrictions outside of the Colorado - but within Colorado on the Colorado river you will need no permits. However, prepare to portage a section or two due to dams. For example. you will need to portage above hanging lake dam and walk some distance down to shoshone power plant (mostly class III whitewater till Glenwood Springs) to avoid the class 5 rapids shortly after it.
Desolayion canyon on the Green requires permit. Dinnosaur National Monument wont allow solo packrafters. Canyonlands requires a permit, and so does Westwater. The Green and the Colorado are your only choices this fall in Utah.
there is no chance of you getting a Desolation Canyon Permit. For Cataract Canyon you will need to show up at the permit office prepared with a spare class I, III, or V pfd, a spare paddle, wag bags, a 12" diameter firepan with a 1" lip and prepared to paddle for a week or two from Moab to Hite Marina. There is a small convenient store at Hite.
For westwater, you will need the same stuff, even for a day trip, and you need to apply two weeks in advance
Thank ya’ll for the great info! Im starting my rafttrip within 4 days and hopefully it will work out with campsites, permits and rapids! You can follow my trip on my website Www.cyclemaniac.se there will be text and pictures. Enjoy!