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BLM>Utah>Moab>Recreation>River Recreation>Westwater Canyon>Use of Motors
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Use of Motors

All motorized use by watercraft is regulated by the Utah Division of Parks and Recreation. Wakeless speed must be observed when within 150' of other watercraft or individuals. 

State of Utah Boating Regulations: The Utah Division of Parks and Recreation has the primary responsibility for boating safety and enforcement on Utah waters under the Utah Boating Act. On Utah rivers, every person on board a vessel must wear a personal flotation device (life jacket) of proper size and of an approved type; except on designated flat water areas where they may be loosened or removed. Life jackets must be worn by all persons from 1) Westwater Ranger Station to Big Hole and 2) Onion Creek to Drinks Canyon. Persons under 12 years of age must wear personal flotation devices at all times while on Utah rivers. Utah law also requires that an extra oar or paddle be on board, as well as a bailing device. All motor powered craft must be registered in Utah or in the boater's home state. Click here for highlights from Utah boating laws and rules.

How Do I Register My Boat: All motorboats and sailboats must be properly registered with current registration decals to legally operate on Utah waters. Boat registrations are processed by the Utah State Tax Commission, Division of Motor Vehicles. To register your boat, submit a signed appplication to your local office of the Utah Division of Motor Vehicles. A registration certificate, along with two yearly registration decals and two expiration decals will be issued. The assigned bow number must be displayed on the boat with the decals as shown on the Utah State Parks website. The bow number will remain with the boat as long as it is registered in Utah. The registration certificate must be carried on board the boat for which it is issued and must be available for inspection whenever the boat is in operation.

Wondering where you can motor on waterways
within the Moab Field Office?

Colorado River

Colorado/Utah State Line to Westwater Ranger Station

Use of registered boats/motors is allowed. Up running is NOT legal.

Westwater Ranger Station to Cisco Take Out

Use of registered boats/motors to run downstream is allowed year round. Up running within Westwater Canyon is NOT legal.

For wildlife conservation purposes the launching of boats for upstream travel from the Westwater Ranger Station, or the Cisco Take Out, is not authorized between February 1st and Octrober 15th annually.

Cisco Take Out to Canyonlands National Park Boundary

Use of registered boats/motors to run upstream is allowed up to the island by Cottonwood Wash from October 16th to January 31st annually.

From the Cisco take out, downstream boaters may NOT use motors for two miles.


Dolores River

Dolores River from Gateway to Dewey Bridge

Use of registered boats/motors is allowed throughout the year. Up running is legal but be advised that there are generally low water levels and many rocks.


Green River

Use of registered boats/motors is allowed for both upstream and downstream travel to the boundary with Canyonlands National Park.