Gunnison River Itinerary 3-day, Escalante Bridge Put-In
Gunnison River 3-Day Itinerary.
- Day 1: Meet your guide staff at the designated put-in at Escalante Canyon Bridge, located 35 miles south of Grand Junction, CO and enjoy a continental breakfast before packing your dry bags and loading the gear in the canoes.
- After breakfast, each car owner will drive his vehicle to our private parking location at the Whitewater take-out. Centennial Canoe will shuttle all drivers back to the put-in meeting point. This generally takes approximately one hour. While the shuttle is being run, everyone else will be packing gear and preparing to paddle when the drivers return. Upon their arrival to the put-in our guides will demonstrate paddling instructions and safety issues before launching. Shortly after launching, you will begin paddling past the towering red sandstone walls of Escalante Canyon.
- Enjoy the thrill of paddling through Hail Mary’s Rapid (or you can choose to skirt around the side). Paddle downriver until approximately noon and enjoy lunch on the river’s edge, maybe catching a glimpse of an eagle or a desert sheep.
- After lunch, continue paddling and having water fights (optional) until roughly 3 p.m. You will make camp near the ancient red sandstone walls of Dominguez Canyon (depending on campsite availability).
- Late afternoon on the first day is devoted to setting up your tent and possibly taking a short hike, relaxing, playing, or floating in the river.
- Happy Hour begins at 5:30 p.m. and shrimp, cheese, crackers and wine are served.
- Dinner is served around 7 p.m. followed by campfire activities that may include games, singing, western tall tales, or guitar playing.
- Day 2: The middle day will often be a layover day devoted to hiking the Dominguez Canyon Wilderness Area (depending on campsite availability). Here you can discover ancient Indian petroglyphs and waterfalls, cool off and play in the water pools, and see wildlife. Many times lunches will be packed for the hike so you can explore this multi-million year old canyon to your heart’s content. Other activities during the day may include playing in the river, floating through a stretch of rippling water, and/or relaxing in camp. However, your guides may choose to move downriver on the second day. Factors that influence this decision are weather, pace of the group, campsite availability, etc.
- Day 3: You will break down camp after a hearty breakfast and paddle out of the majestic Dominguez Canyon where the scenery begins to turn much greener with vegetation.
- After numerous water fights, river barging, joke telling, and just having good fun, you typically reach the Whitewater takeout between 2-4 p.m. after lunch on the last day of the trip. It takes about an hour to unpack gear, and then you're on your way home.