Our shuttles routinely fill. By the time your trip launches we may have turned away others for your shuttle space several times. To confirm your space on our shuttles, we ask for a $100 per person deposit due within two weeks of the date your reservation is made. This deposit is nonrefundable at any time for any reason. The goal is to hold space for those committed to the trip, not those who are still deciding. If someone cancels from your trip, their deposit will be removed from your invoice. Therefore we encourage you to collect firm commitments from your trip mates before making a group deposit. Your trip mates are welcome to make their own deposits as well. Although your deposit is nonrefundable, it is transferable. If you can find someone else to fill your empty seat, the deposit will remain on your invoice.
- Basic camping and trip planning skills
Do you know how to choose good campsites, assemble a tent, and secure everything in your camp from elements and animals?
Do you know about basic concepts of Leave No Trace camping?
Do you know how to be organized and punctual (for your put in and pick up days)?
- Basic gear and menu planning skills
Do you know how to choose and waterproof gear?
Do you know how to look at a weather forecast and plan what kind of gear to bring?
Do you know how to plan a menu and pack food for a multi-day trip?
- How to plan kitchen and camp gear so you don’t have duplicate items that create overloaded/unsafe canoes?
- Topographic map reading and basic navigation skills
- Knowing how to swim or wear a lifejacket (or when to do both)
- Canoe paddling, maneuvering, and rescue skills
- Do you know how to rescue a swamped canoe?
- Do you know how to deal with wind, mud, heat, cold, high water, bugs, etc…?
- First Aid Skills
- Self reliance, troubleshooting, and self rescue skills
- The ability to have a good time, go with the flow, and take things as they come
An excellent video on desert low impact camping can be found here: Flatwater River Trips
Leave No Trace Camping is the standard ethic when traveling in delicate desert ecosystems. Upon leaving a campsite, the next group should find no evidence of your presence there. A great video by Canyonlands National Park on Leave No Trace Camping can be found here: Flatwater River Trips
A fire pan is required for all wood and charcoal fires. Both the BLM and the NPS require a durable metal fire pan at least 12 inches wide with at least a 1.5 inch lip around the outer edge and sufficient to contain fire and remains. We recommend metal oil drain pans commonly purchased at auto parts stores. Light aluminum does not stand up to the heat of a fire. We provide fire pans free of charge with every shuttle. A fire pan is intended to replace a fire pit or fire ring. All campfires should be built small enough to be completely contained within the fire pan.
When breaking camp we are all faced with the problem of what to do with the remains of a campfire. Since all buoyant, unburned sticks and coals must be carried out, the following procedure is recommended:
- After allowing the fire to burn down, fill a bucket about 3/4 full of water. Shovel the fire pan residue into the bucket in small amounts, stirring slowly.
- Remove the pieces that float, putting them in a sturdy container for carryout or re-burning in the next day's fire. Repeat the process until the fire pan is empty.
- The residue that sinks to the bottom of the bucket can be disposed of in the main current of the river along with the remaining water.
- The disposal of ash in the river's backwaters may have a detrimental effect on young, endangered Squaw fish. Therefore dumping ash only in the main river channel is best for maximum dilution.
- When you leave a camp there should be no evidence of your campfire remaining.
Conscientious paddlers rarely capsize on the flatwater of the Green and Colorado Rivers. Daily paddle splash and the possibility of rainy weather necessitates protecting equipment from moisture. This is especially true for equipment sitting at the bottom of the canoe where water will collect.
Many boaters use heavy duty dry bags available in most outdoor stores. Large plastic storage boxes are very useful but are not watertight in the event of a capsize. Large heavy duty trash bags can be used to line your storage boxes. A complete list of rental dry bags and boxes can be found at our Rentals Page.
All overnight trips on the Colorado and Green Rivers are required to have a toilet system. The rivers and desert canyons of this land are beautiful but fragile places. Canyonlands is still a relatively untouched environment, but if the thousands who use the rivers annually deposit feces and toilet paper wherever they please, it will become yet another landscape abused by mankind.
Tex's Riverways provides rental toilet systems which comply with all BLM and National Park Service regulations. We are able to outfit groups of any size with complete systems including toilet seat, waste container and deodorizing chemicals. The only item you need to bring is toilet paper. Our system has been custom made to meet the specific needs of our business. It is completely self-contained, very sturdy and designed for commercial use. We strongly recommend use of this system, but you are welcome to bring any other system so long as it complies with BLM and NPS regulations.
Waste disposal is included in the rental of our system. If you elect to bring your own system, disposal of the waste will be your responsibility. Instruction on use of our system will be provided in person on launch day. As a condition of our permits with the NPS and BLM, we cannot provide service to any group without an approved toilet system.
We consider the following items essential to any river trip:
- Large heavy duty plastic tarp - This is especially nice for setting up a kitchen/sleeping area when camped on a sand bar. Don't forget a whisk broom to keep the sand off. Tarps are also great for keeping a dry camp in rainy weather.
- River shoes - These can be as simple as an old pair of sneakers or as high tech as water sandals. It is essential to have shoes that you can get wet and muddy with no worries. A second pair of dry "camp shoes" is also important for hiking and comfort around camp.
- First aid kit - A good basic first aid kit is a must for any wilderness trip.
- Rain gear - One of those items you may not need but will be glad to have if you do.
- Insect repellent, sunscreen, sunglasses, lip balm, a hat, toilet paper and extra rope. These are items that everyone hopes they haven't forgotten but never remember until that first night in camp.
Our rental canoes will quite easily accommodate ice chests up to 30 inches long (coolers longer than this will have to be repacked on launch day). We sell both block and chip ice at our office. There are several techniques for preserving ice on a desert river trip listed below.
- First is to plan your menu with the attrition of ice in mind. Perishable foods should be consumed early in the trip. Pasta, rice, tuna, and bagels are great options for later in your trip.
- Pack only food and block ice in your food cooler(s) and leave it closed as much as possible. Daily use items such as cold drinks and snacks should be stored in a separate cooler.
- The only thing in your cooler that is 32 degrees is your block of ice, so protect it. Putting corrugated cardboard between your food and the ice will help preserve it.
- Keep your food cooler in the shade or covered with a wet towel as much as possible.
As food and ice are used up, empty chests can be used as waterproof storage for loose items like sleeping bags, lanterns, or anything else you haven't found a place for. No trash should be stored in rental coolers, storage boxes, or dry bags.
Here's the lowdown on your pick-up:
- Jetboat pick-up time is 10 AM. Jetboat pick-ups may not happen every day. On Jetboat pick-up days there is only one pick up time. We will accommodate early pick-ups in emergency situations and on a space available basis. We do not save space for early pickups. Unscheduled late pick-ups due to your negligence cause logistical problems and will be at your expense. DON'T miss you pickup.
- Wash the mud and sand out your canoe at your pick-up point. (Periodic canoe cleaning during the trip will make this easier.) We will have a broom on board to help dust off your gear.
- We pick up paddlers on the Colorado River anywhere between Potash and Spanish Bottom. For paddlers coming down the Green River, we do jet boat pick-ups between the Confluence and Spanish Bottom. Your pick-up spot should be able to accommodate our jet boat: Ideally the shoreline should be sandy and free of rocks and the water about hip deep 10 feet off the shore with a deep water approach. If your pick up location is too shallow, you will be required to move.
Your cooperation with all of these items directly affects the efficiency of your shuttle.
Most canoes will easily carry several hundred pounds of weight, much more than is carried on a backpacking or kayaking trip. For safer, more comfortable paddling and to simplify camp set-up, it is advised that the amount of gear be reduced when practical. Below is a list of tips for efficient packing.
- Plan group meals to reduce the duplication of bulky cooking equipment.
- Communicate with your group members to determine what equipment is being brought.
- Plan your menu so that you are using less perishable foods. This reduces the amount of coolers needed for food storage. Pasta or rice with canned meat are excellent substitutes.
- Plan your menu, drinks, and snacks as though you were at home. If you don't normally consume four cases of beer and 15 boxes of granola bars in five days, then why would you bring them on your 5-day river trip?
- Cooking on a stove instead of fire eliminates the need to pack a bulky grill, dutch oven, and bags of charcoal. This also reduces the amount of trash to be carried out.
- Don't buy firewood. There are large piles of driftwood along the banks of the river. Collect driftwood for your evening fire during your paddle to camp. Why would you take wood to the woods?
- Water is most efficiently transported in 5-gallon containers. Bringing a gallon of water per person per day in 8-ounce disposable bottles translates to 16 bottles per person per day or 80 bottles per person for five days. Instead, bring a quart water bottle and refill it.
- Having shade on a sunny day is great. Pack a tarp instead of an E-Z Up style structure.
- Canoes have a finite amount of storage. Ask yourself: do I really need this?
On all trips involving jet boat pick-up we request that equipment weight be limited to 50 lbs. per person at pick-up time. This weight limit is necessary for us to properly book space for you on our jet boat, where cargo weight is a significant safety consideration. We reserve the right to charge additional fees to those grossly exceeding this weight limitation.
On the morning of your put-in you need to be at our office at 8 AM MST, more or less packed, shopped, and ready to go. Please park straight in facing towards our building when you arrive. Your group may not be the only group launching that day, so please park all of your vehicles together if possible; this makes loading a lot easier. Also, you might want your personal gear clearly labeled as it may be mixed in with other group's equipment during the loading process. There is water available at the front of our office for filling water jugs and we now have ice for sale (block and cube). If you need additional rental equipment it can be rented in the office on the morning of your put-in. Make sure that you leave a set of your keys with the office person. Thanks!
Tex's Riverways does not transport rafts of any kind at any time. We do transport inflatable kayaks, inflatable canoes, and inflatable pack rafts. Some watercraft are borderline, and it's hard to tell. Is it a raft, or is it an inflatable kayak/canoe? Basically if it's too wide to paddle with a kayak paddle, or it has a removable frame, we consider it a raft, and we will not transport it
While dogs are allowed in Labyrinth Canyon, Tex's Riverways does not transport dogs. Under the ADA, well behaved service dogs are allowed for those individuals with disabilities. Please inform us ahead of time of any special circumstances involving a service animal, so we can inform other parties who might be sharing your shuttle.
Tex's Riverways does not provide shuttles or rentals for day trips. We only service self-guided multi-day back country river trips.
Our crew of experienced river professionals work hard to provide safe, efficient, reliable transportation for you and your equipment. Everything from how we load the trailer on put-in day to how we unload the jetboat is considered. Obviously your gratuity is at your discretion, but it is always appreciated. An average base rate among our clients seems to be 15 – 20 % of your invoice. Thank you for your consideration.