SEASON: Seldom runnable, but keep an eye on the gauge during late
May to June.
FUN FACT: The best way to experience the San Rafael Swell.
ACCESS: The long run (3 days) starts at the Highway I-70 bridge
across Muddy Creek less than a mile east of exit 97. Alternative access
points exist at Lone Tree Crossing, Tomisch Butte, Chimney Canyon, Salt
Wash, and the final take-out at the Highway 24 bridge in Hanksville. Keep
in mind that your shuttle can take several hours.
DESCRIPTION: Muddy Creek can be boated as a multiday trip, but
The Chute is often boated as a day trip.
Starting from I-70 Muddy Creek flows through ranch land as it cuts a
course across the desert. This first 11 mile section contains some class
The next section starts at Lone Tree Crossing. This infrequently
boated section has some great camping along the river as the river
begins to cut a course through the impressive geology of the San Rafael
Swell. There are few rapids in this 19 mile class I/II section.
The most popular section begins at Tomisch Butte. It's a long drive
from Highway I-70 exit 129. Follow the frontage road as it heads west
along the south side of I-70 and make sure you have a good map. There
is camping at the put-in and in the rare years when flows are good
floaters gather to paddle this 15 mile section that includes The Chute.
There are a few class II rapids along this section until you enter The
Chute which is a very impressive canyon up to 300' deep and only 7' wide
in places. This narrow box canyon is approximately 4 miles. There is an
access point at the end of this section at the Chimney Canyon trailhead
near the Hidden Splendor Mine.
Once you leave the access at the Chimney Canyon trailhead you will
leave the day trippers behind. It's another 5 miles of class I/II water to an
access point downstream from Salt Wash where a spur road off Highway
24 ends at the river.
The final 22 miles is class I that cuts across the desert.
for additional information see:
Alternate access that serves as a take-out.
The airstrip at Hidden Splendor Mine is an alternate access point that serves as a take-out below the Chute. Don't park on the airstrip.
Alternative access point.
The narrow box canyon that is the highlight of this run.
Alternate access point for the short day run of the Chute at Tomsich Butte Trailhead.
We ran the river on 6/7/19 at the level of 226 from Tomish Butte to the airstrip. With stops for lunch and a little carnage it took 5 hours and 45 minutes to run. We were in duckies and had a lot of beginners with us so it could have gone a lot quicker. The river peaks at Tomish Butte around 8am. So plan accordingly. It also tends to fall during the day so go prepared to walk if your trying a low water run. Low water runs have taken us 10 hours before and were so very painful with all the boats dragging over rocks all the time. Truly amazing scenery. The biggest planning for the trip is the shuttle which takes around 2 hours to complete.Road trip Ryan app has an excellent GPS way point map to get back there and to do the shuttle.
Appendix 16 covering wild and scenic rivers from the Record of Decision for the Price Resource Management Plan.
Flow range is approximate. 200 cfs is a good level.
Permits are not required for this reach.
We have no additional detail on this route.
Use the map below to calculate how
to arrive to the main town from your zipcode.
Camp from above
The Chute of Muddy Creek
At I 70 put-in
Log Jam in the Chute
If someone gets hurt on a river, or you read about a whitewater-related injury, please report it to
American Whitewater. Don't worry about multiple submissions from other witnesses, as our safety
editors will turn multiple witness reports into a single unified accident report.
Washington, DC – Today, Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Representative John Curtis (UT-3) introduced the Emery County Public Land Management Act of 2018, a historic conservation bill protecting over one million acres of public land, and 98 miles of Wilderness and Wild & Scenic Rivers in Utah’s Emery County. American Whitewater worked to ensure that the Green River, Muddy Creek, and the San Rafael are protected under the legislation.
American Whitewater staff traveled to Green River, UT in late March to meet with private water users and state agencies, and to participate in the official opening of the new boat passage through the Green River Diversion (Tusher Dam). Completion of the boat passage has freed the Green River from its last in-stream obstruction between the Flaming Gorge Dam and the confluence with the Colorado River – over 400 floatable river miles through iconic canyons and historic landmarks. It has a been a long process, and our work isn’t over yet! As your boating representative, American Whitewater will continue to work closely with the dam operators and Utah’s Division of State Lands (FFSL) to ensure that the boat passage meets the needs of the public during its inaugural year.
The Bureau of Land Management is considering the potential for oil shale and tar sands development on 2,431,000 acres of public land in Utah, Wyoming and Colorado. This development could threaten the quality of paddling experiences including the multi-day desert floats on Desolation and Grays Canyons of the Green as well as the adventure available for kayaks and packrafts to explore the San Rafael, Muddy and Escalante. American Whitewater partnered with our colleagues in the Outdoor Alliance to highlight the value of these areas for outdoor recreation.
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