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History of Flaming Gorge, Utah
Taken from the Utah History Encyclopedia. (Links Added)
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Red Canyon was the longest of the canyons of the upper Green, and it was also the roughest. In the three short canyons above there was only occasional fast water; in Red Canyon there were real rapids. First and most notable was Ashley Falls, where house-sized boulders had fallen from the left wall, blocking the river. In 1825, when William Ashley and his band of trappers were floating the Green, they portaged their skin boats around the boulders. Ashley painted "ASHLEY 1825" on the cliff above the rapid, and it was visible well into the twentieth century. Although many early river travelers portaged the spot, the rapid looked worse than it was. There was an easy chute on the right at almost any water level; the Todd-Page party of 1926 floated it in their cork life jackets. After Ashley Falls there were many more rapids, including one that cost William Manly and his men their boat in 1849, forcing them to make dugout canoes to continue their voyage to California. When a prospector named Hook drowned in Red Canyon in 1869 trying to follow John Wesley Powell, the Green's reputation as a deadly river was secure for another fifty years.


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