Red Ceek Rapid is the largest and most dangerous rapid in the first 30 miles of the Green River below Flaming Gorge Dam. Red Creek Rapid derives its name from the confluence of the Green River with tributary stream Red Creek. In 1983 Red Creek had huge flows from the enormous snowpack and hot temps that year. This event forever changed the rapid and made it much more difficult to navigate. Red Creek is subject to flash flooding, and when it does blow out the red clay stained water can last for days making the lower B and C Sections unfishable.
At most water levels there are 2 main options for navigating the rapid. At low flows (below 1,200 cfs) a majority of the Green River guides drop off both of their passengers prior to running either side of the rapid. There is a decent spot to pick them up on river left from where the picture to the right was taken.
The left side run (when facing downstream) is the safest and easiest route. River Left is a semi dangerous class II rapid with several large barely submerged boulders, surrounded on both sides by exposed boulders. The left run is narrow, but definately the way to go for less experienced drift boat oarsmen. You will hit rocks at low flows - just hit them straight on. At flows of 1,200cfs and higher the left side is fairly easy to navigate and can be done with all passengers in the boat.
The river right side of Red Creek Rapid is a class III rapid. The strong river current pushes boats hard towards a cliff wall. The best aproach is to row away from the wall, but be carefull to not go too far left, there are exposed boulders all down the middle of the rapid. There is one large drop about 1/2 way down this side of the rapid coined "The Pepsi Drop" by the "Dean of the Green" Emmett Heath. Emmett calls it the Pepsi Drop because once you pull your drift boat hard enough to the left and clear the drop off you can relax and enjoy a Pepsi. The next obstacle is the Dragons Tooth so named because of its jagged shape. The Dragons Tooth is located at the center-bottom of the river right run. You can go either left or right around this obstacle - most guides go left. In the picture above the drift boat is directly above the "Dragons Tooth", and just below the "Pepsi Drop".
After the main drops of Red Creek Rapid (left & right) there are several boulders to dodge during the next 300 yards or so of the rapid. The best option is to stay alert and near the center of the river until the rapid ends.
At high river flows, 7,600cfs and above, there is a suck hole at the top left of the rapid. It doesn't look like much, but it is the most dangerous spot on the river at these flows. Guides have claimed it to have a tractor beam that sucks the boat in and once a boat is in it is not getting out without flipping or a swift rescue from another party. There is a ton of room in the tongue of the rapid and you can easily stay 30+ feet away from the suck hole. The best line once past this spot is middle left of the big waves. Once you are in the big waves, keep the boat pointed straight into the oncoming wave trains.