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Raft through canyons as deep as 2,000 feet, hike to ancient Indian ruins, and witness the beauty of the Colorado River.
Just south of Moab, Utah where the Green and Colorado Rivers meet in a majestic setting called "The Confluence," Cataract Canyon begins. Bolstered by the Green River, the Colorado River doubles its force, and carves a deep 100-mile-long chasm through the heart of Canyonlands National Park. Experience the total thrill of class III-V Colorado River whitewater through Cataract Canyon. Discover absolute relaxation on calm stretches of river that wind through soul-stirring canyons and dazzling geologic formations. Go back in time as you explore ancient Native American ruins and fascinating pictographs. Finish your adventure with a stunning flight over Canyonlands National Park as you return to Moab.
Meet at Western River’s Moab Adventure Center
Arrive at Western River’s Moab Adventure Center between 12 noon and 8pm to check in. You will be given a final checklist, and up-to-the-minute details about departing the next morning. You may also purchase last-minute retail items at the Moab Adventure Center (sunscreen, clothing items, hats, etc.)
Meet Guides, raft through canyonlands national park, & hike to Inidan Ruins
Meet your guides at Western’s Moab Adventure Center where you’ll take a short bus ride to the launch site for Cataract Canyon. After meeting your guides, you’ll set off onto the Colorado River. Leave all the busyness of life behind as you glide along smooth-flowing currents winding through Canyonlands National Park where sculpted sandstone, isolated buttes, and red rock castles offer unparalleled vistas for picture taking. Hike to ancient Indian ruins, pictographs and a magnificent outlook high above the mighty Colorado River.
Raft canyonlands national park
As the canyon deepens to 2,000 feet, the mood of the river changes drastically. Here you’ll experience over 30 thrilling whitewater rapids! In one of the Colorado River’s most notorious whitewater stretches called the “Big Drops,” your raft plunges 30 feet in a matter of minutes through rapids that can match those of the Grand Canyon in power and difficulty. Loosen your grip after Imperial Rapid and reminisce over your unbelievable journey. Relish one more night camping on the river’s edge. Watch the final rays of sun paint the canyon walls as your guides prepare delicious appetizers, barbeque dinner, and Dutch-oven dessert. Fall asleep under one of the world’s most astounding views of the night sky.
Rafting & scenic flight over Canyonlands National Park
After a delicious breakfast, you’ll savor a soothing morning winding through towering, sun-drenched canyons as you make your way downriver towards Lake Powell. Enjoy a final lunch along the river before bidding farewell to the legendary Colorado River and your many new friends. Climb aboard a Cessna 5-7 seat aircraft and experience a spectacular 1-hour scenic return flight over Canyonlands National Park and back to Moab, Utah (arriving approximately 4:00 PM).
This itinerary is provided as a sample. Daily activities and sights will vary based on weather conditions and guide preferences.
Western River Expeditions helped pioneer the concept of rafting vacations over five decades ago. Since 1961, consistent dedication to quality, excellence in trip safety, integrity, and experience of guides provides ample confidence that you’re traveling with the best. Every year, Western River Expeditions escorts more people down the rivers we run than anyone else. Western’s claim to the best guides and trip leaders is not taken lightly; it is supported by rigorous selection and in-depth training sharply defined by five decades of experience. Each Western guide experiences nearly 300 hours of training before escorting his or her first guest down the river. This training includes swift water rescue certification, CPR and First Aid Certification, a state licensing test, food handler’s education, on-river cooking courses, geology and interpretation classes, and Western’s renowned custom guide-training program. The result? Trips unfold safely and seamlessly. The men and women who lead our trips are intelligent, personable, fun, responsible and dedicated.
The pre-travel email messages were really great, very helpful and definitely built excitement for the trip. Overall one of the most fun times of my life. Just thoroughly enjoyed the experience, the interaction with the guides and my fellow rafters, the hikes, the excellent food, the scenery and of course the actual running of the rapids. Western River knows how to run this type of trip - everything about the experience was efficient and smooth, allowing me to really enjoy the vacation and not worry about details.
Our guides (Brian, Taylor, Daniel, and Mackay) made this experience 100% awesome. They went out of their way everyday to be as accommodating as possible. During down times, when they could have been resting, they joined in and even introduced games for everyone to play. The dynamic between them would suggest that they've worked together for years, rather than it being their first trip together. I would book another trip with these four in a heartbeat. Without a doubt, the 4 day Cataract Canyon trip was an experience of a lifetime. From the moment we said go, Western River has delivered.
Excellent response time anytime we had questions. Western River always kept us up to date and informed before the trip. We had a great time with everyone that shared our experience. We had a variety of nationalities plus families from all over the United States on our raft trip. We all bonded over the 4 days and hope stay in touch.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best way to get to the trip start location?
Driving directly to Moab, UT or flying into Grand Junction, CO (GJT) or Salt Lake City, UT (SLC) and then renting a car or catching a shuttle make getting to Moab easy. Boutique Air offers flights from Salt Lake City (SLC) or Denver (DEN) into Moab (CNY).
What are the accommodations like?
Camping along the Colorado River in the depths of Canyonlands National Park, and Cataract Canyon is one of the most sublime experiences on earth. Guides provide:
Freshly laundered sleeping bags and sheets provide warmth on cool evenings. You'll receive your personal sleeping bag upon arrival to the river.
Cots make sleeping and relaxing on the river easy. You'll lay your sleeping bag on top of the cot and sleep about 12 inches off the ground.
Tents are always available and easy to set up. You may be like many of our river guests who prefer to sleep under the vast canopy of stars.
Your personal water-resistant bag will protect your duffel bag, sleeping bag and other personal items from exposure to sand and water.
A smaller, personal day-use bag keeps important items handy during the day. This offers a convenient place to store rain gear, sunscreen, medication, etc.
Camp chairs offer comfortable seating along the river's edge. Camp chairs are stowed away while on the river and available while in camp.
A ground cloth keeps your gear and camping areas clean. This can be placed under your tent or cot at night.
A portable toilet and hand wash system is set up each day in camp in a secluded location that assures privacy.
What type of raft is used?
May-June trips when the water is higher and faster, a motorized J-Rig is used. Typically in the months of July and August, as the water levels lower and rapids become more technical, oar boat and paddle boats are used in Cataract. Though there is no guarantee when the switch over from J-Rigs to oars and paddles will occur, it is most commonly the first or second week of July.
Do you have an age restriction?
The minimum age is 12 (May-June) & 10 (July-Aug).
Can solo travelers get their own room? Is there an optional or forced supplement, and how much is it?
Cataract Canyon trips have no single supplements for solo travelers. Solo travelers have their own tent.
If included, what is the food like?
Beginning with lunch the first day, food is delicious and plentiful! Fresh fruits and vegetable, meats, whole-grain breads, and desserts are presented in mouth-watering array. Hearty breakfasts fuel guests for the day’s start and dutch oven desserts give a sweet finish to day’s end. Snacks are offered between meals periodically throughout the trip.
How much extra money should people budget?
Your guides will make every effort to see that your trip is enjoyable and successful. Gratuities for guides are appropriate, greatly appreciated and at your discretion, as a gesture of thanks for their professionalism and service. A suggested guideline is 10 percent of the trip cost. The common practice is to give the gratuity to the trip leader on the last night. It will later be divided equally with the rest of the crew. Paying in cash is the most common form of payment though you can always bring along a check and make it out to the trip leader.
What should people bring?
For a complete packing list, check out Western River Expeditions Gear List
Do you require or recommend travel insurance? If so, who do you recommend to your clients?
We highly recommend purchasing travel insurance for all trips. Travel insurance allows you to seek reimbursement if you are forced to cancel your trip for unforeseeable reasons, or if you need to cover medical help, emergency transport, and/or theft or accidental damage while traveling. For travel insurance suggestions, please email us.
CAN I CANCEL THE TRIP?
You may cancel reservations up to 72 hours after a booking is made. After that time period, all cancellations/modifications will be granted at the sole discretion of the operator. Cancellation processing fees may apply.
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