Packrafting Canyonlands - Hitting all 4 districts of Canyonlands in one trip.This was our first true packrafting trip. We were following the footsteps of a fellow adventurer and hero of ours, Yans. This will probably be the last time we retrace his steps; the man is intense!
Canyonlands National Park is divided into 4 districts or regions:
We had visited each of these districts separately, but we were excited to link them all together in one epic trip. The only way to visit all 4 districts in one day is via packraft.
Canyonlands is a beautiful, rugged landscape. It's an extremely remote and harsh desert, especially in the Needles and Maze districts. There are deadly rapids and mellow rivers. One amazing feature of this area are the desert springs, which make backcountry travel possible. You need to know your route well ahead of time, as well as whether the springs are flowing or not, or you can easily get dehydrated and die out here. This is not a forgiving landscape. Not only is heat a danger, but there are cliffs, rattlesnakes, and a maze of narrow canyons that have claimed the lives of more than one adventurer due to getting lost in the maze.
Our friend Adam joined us on the trip, and he was fantastic company. We learned a lot, struggled a lot, and overall accomplished a lot. The enjoyment of this trip would rate a 2/10; it's definitely type 2 fun, like running a marathon: we're so glad we did it, and we proved to ourselves that we can do difficult things, but it wasn't very fun in every moment. Nevertheless, this is our story.
Are we going to packraft again? Absolutely! Will we be repeating this trip again? Probably NOT! In the closing words of Adam, our hiking companion, it was a million dollar experience that we wouldn't pay a dime to repeat.
Steve and Tess love to explore nature, whether it be backpacking, packrafting, mountain biking, hiking, or just wandering. The more we explore, the more we realize just how little we've seen.