The most prominent feature of the Desolation Canyon Wilderness is the 84-mile segment of the Green River through Desolation and Gray canyons. The wilderness has an extensive system of deep canyons. The canyon at Rock Creek is more than 1 mile deep. The wilderness contains arches, pinnacles, and other erosional remnants not known to occur elsewhere in the Wasatch Formation in similar concentrations or settings.
Vegetation is diverse, ranging from desert to high mountain types in a distance of only 5-10 miles. Elevations within the wilderness vary by 5,600 feet. Vegetation types include pinyon-juniper woodland, Douglas fir, riparian, saltbrush, grassland, mountain mahogany, sagebrush, and blackbrush. Rocky mountain bighorn sheep frequent the wilderness.
In addition to outstanding whitewater river recreation, the wilderness has exceptional opportunities for hunting, geological study, backpacking and the study of historic and prehistoric cultures.
Leave No Trace
How to follow the seven standard Leave No Trace principles differs in different parts of the country (desert vs. Rocky Mountains). Click on any of the principles listed below to learn more about how they apply in the Desolation Canyon Wilderness.
Desolation Canyon Wilderness stretches from the West Tavaputs plateau to just north of the town of Green River, UT.
Digital and paper maps are critical tools for wilderness visitors. Online maps can help you plan and prepare for your visit ahead of time. You can also carry digital maps with you on your GPS unit or other handheld GPS device. Having a paper map with you in the backcountry, as well as solid orienteering skills, however, ensures that you can still route-find in the event that your electronic device fails.
Motorized equipment and equipment used for mechanical transport is generally prohibited in all wilderness areas.
This includes the use of motor vehicles, motorboats, motorized equipment, bicycles, hang gliders, wagons, carts, portage wheels, and the landing of aircraft including helicopters.