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My 3 Favorite Places in Desolation Canyon

Every canyon I’ve been in has its own unique beauty that is breathtaking; however Desolation Canyon holds a special place in my heart. The scenery is amazing, the wildlife is incredible, and the history of the canyon is mind blowing. Every time I raft the Green River, I learn something. It is such a beautiful canyon that it is impossible to pick a favorite spot. So, I’ll give you 3 of my favorite spots in Desolation Canyon.


If you love rapids as much as I do, you would appreciate my favorite rapid spot. Passengers seem to like it too. Three Fords Rapid is my favorite rapid in the canyon. This rapid follows closely after Wire Fence Rapid. I love the way my passengers react when we are coming up on Three Fords. Passengers are usually pumped after hitting Wire Fence. They are usually celebrating, and then I yell “Everyone get ready because here comes Three Fords!” Then as we come around the bend all they see is a rock garden. A field of giant boulders with no escape! Little do they know that as you head river right and come around this field of rocks, there are these nice rolling waves that make for a fun ride and a clean run. Three Fords is also the marker where the canyon begins to change. You start to leave Desolation Canyon and head into Grey Canyon. The change in scenery between the two canyons is very different and always refreshing. It’s a pretty neat experience that you can’t get from reading about or in pictures.


If history is more your forte, then you would love Rock Creek Ranch. This is where we stop to look at an old ranch where you can see a cute, old stone house and old farming equipment. Guides will tell you stories about the ranchers in the area and the outlaws that they had to deal with. The canyon is full of history from one armed explorers to ancient Indians. I would share a story, but I don’t want to ruin the surprise.


My favorite campsite is Three Canyon. It has a beautiful sandy beach that is perfect for volleyball, tag, and sand castles. It has a nice, large eddy which makes it perfect for swimming and bathing. There are also some great hikes, one to an arch and another to some petroglyphs. I also love it because at night when you’re lying awake in your cot you can see all the stars, even the Milky Way! It’s an indescribable sight that is breathtaking. With a view like that, it’s kind of hard to fall asleep sometimes. There’s also this nice cliff that hides the sun in the morning, so we get a nice cool breakfast. It’s the perfect campsite.

Desolation Canyon is a beautiful place, and everybody’s favorite spot will be different. It’s just something you have to experience for yourself to truly understand how great of a place it is.

Tori Hudgens

My name is Tori Hudgens, and I've been guiding for Western for two seasons (coming up on my third!). I'm from Heber City, Utah. I am currently attending Utah Valley University as an Art Education Major. The plan is to become an art teacher and volleyball coach (and to guide as long as possible) I love guiding. All the canyons I've been fortunate to raft are beautiful, and it has been an unforgettable adventure. My other hobbies include playing the guitar, snowboarding, playing/coaching volleyball, and any other adventures I can get my hands on.

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Desolation Canyon

Desolation Canyon

Astounding scenery, over 60 rapids, and great beaches!

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