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Westwater Canyon Wilderness Study Area

Westwater Canyon WSA (31,160 acres)

Westwater Canyon WSAThis WSA spans the Westwater Canyon portion of the Colorado River with the eastern two-thirds located in the Dolores Triangle. Major tributary canyons on the east side of the river include Little Dolores, Marble, and Star canyons.  A short box canyon, Little Hole, and a Rincon, Big Hole, are the main features northwest of the river.  Pinyon-juniper woodlands cover over half of the WSA, with the remaining cover consisting of sagebrush and blackbrush.  Most recreation users visit the area as part of a Westwater Canyon float trip.  Opportunities for whitewater boating and related camping and hiking are outstanding.  Westwater Canyon has great scenery and unique geologic features including black, pre-Cambrian rock, the oldest exposed rock in Utah, which forms Westwater’s inner canyon.  Commercial outfitters offer river trips throughout the spring through fall period.  Reservations for noncommercial private river trips must be obtained from the Moab Field Office (435-259-7012). Click here for detailed information regarding private Westwater river permits  Endangered species in the area include the Bald Eagle and four species of fish native only to the Colorado River system.

Location: South of I-70 near the Colorado border.  The WSA is accessible from the interstate via the Cisco and Westwater exits.