In 1916, Bert Loper and Ellsworth Kolb earned bragging rights as the first people to run a section of the Colorado River now known as Westwater Canyon. Nearly a century later, this 17-mile stretch of humbling whitewater and scenic flat water has become one of the most popular sections of river in Utah. The fall Westwater trip has become a tradition among Durangoans looking for one last river fix before the snow flies.

A perfect example of getting together and going nowhere: the
time-honored, post-rapids party barge. Ben Lehman behind the oars somewhere near the Utah state
line. Stacy Falk paddles through the Black Granite Gorge, home to the
oldest exposed rock formation in Utah, dating back an estimated
1.75 billion years.