On October 25, 2015, www.OnlyInYourStateEight.com/Utah by Catherine Rees
she selected 8 of the rivers that flow within or have an impact on the Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area. If you have not visited the Heritage Area in Utah, you are missing on some spectacular scenery. Come along on Utah Heritage Highway 89 for a visit. There sis something for everyone!
For a desert state, Utah has a surprisingly large number of rivers! This is by no means a comprehensive list; I’ve tried to include a sampling of rivers from all parts of the state.
Quite possibly the most politically contentious river in the West, the Colorado is surrounded by controversy. When the Glen Canyon Dam was built, creating Lake Powell, many disagreed (and still do). In Utah, the Colorado winds through some of the most inaccessible parts of our state, and also provides plenty of recreation. The rapids through Cataract Canyon are Class IV during the high season of May and June.
Originating near the town of Escalante, the river winds about 91 miles before emptying into Lake Powell. The Escalante River Hiking Trail follows the river through some of Utah’s most beautiful terrain, through the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.
The Green River is the main tributary of the Colorado. It’s one of Utah’s largest rivers. It ranges from 100 to 1,500 feet wide and is 3 to 50 feet deep. The flow of the river is 6,121 cubic feet per second (as measured at Green River, Utah).
The Paria is very familiar to the canyoneers that navigate the slot canyons of Southern Utah. Buckskin Gulch is one of the longest, deepest slot canyons in the United States. The Paria winds from Garfield County down to the Glen Canyon Dam.
If you’re into fly fishing, you’re probably very familiar with the San Juan. It’s said to be one of the best fly fishing rivers in the country and is reported to have as many as 1,500 fish per mile! A tributary of the Colorado, the San Juan stretches along the very most Southern portion of our state before crossing the Four Corners area and dipping down into New Mexico.
The Sevier wins the prize for longest Utah river contained entirely in our state! It stretches 383 miles and flows through Kane, Garfield, Piute, Millard, Sevier and Juab counties. You’ll find browns, rainbows and cutthroats in the Sevier.
The Virgin runs through some of Utah’s most beautiful red rock country — from just north of Zion National Park to Arizona, just past the town of Virgin. It’s home to several endangered species of fish, including the woundfin, Virgin River chub and Southwestern willow flycatcher.
Did I miss your favorite Utah river?