Utah USA: (ZZ-RAFTS-02)
The Cataract Canyon Rafting Experience:
From the beginning of the trip, you will find yourself seduced by the pace of the river while absorbing beautiful scenery, and enjoying the camaraderie of interesting people. Shortly after the confluence of the Colorado and Green Rivers, a series of steep descents and powerful whitewater known as the Mile-Long Rapid begins. Then comes the Big Drops: Little Niagara and Satan's Gut ~ during high water, the waves are gigantic.
We offer a 5-day and a 6-day trip - with the 6-day trip offering more hiking and exploring opposrunities.
Deep within the boundaries of Canyonlands National Park, Cataract Canyon is a perfect balance between serene floating, incredible hiking, and fast-moving rapids. 300 million years of rock history, abstract sculpted sandstone spires, and ancient Anasazi petroglyphs and granaries grace Cataract Canyon.
The rapids are run on days 3 & 4, and during high water (May through June) provide the biggest and most challenging whitewater in the U.S. In July the river drops and the rapids become more moderate, yet still exciting.
There are beautiful beach camps with plenty of time to do all the great hikes and numerous camp activities. We stop daily for hikes up secret canyons only accessible by river. We’ll visit Native American Anasazi ruins, incredible rock formations and enjoy the solitude.
The oarboat is the traditional raft on the Colorado River. This type of craft places you ‘up close and personal’ with the river and its natural awesome power. It’s a pure wilderness river trip combining all the comforts needed to enjoy the outdoors. Carrying four to five people, the small 18-foot rafts put you right in the heart of the whitewater action. Only the quiet dipping of the oars in the water breaks the impressive natural quiet of the smooth water sections. The 5 day oarboat trip allows for more hiking as well as a more overall pure wildernesses trip. The oarboats will be motored off of Lake Powell at the end of the journey.
Return to Moab by scenic airflight (suggested option) offering a bird’s eye view of Canyonlands National Park and Cataract Canyon.
In the Comfort of our cozy chairs, sit-down dining and fabulous meals. Your Vacation is our priority: whether you are a novice camper or a great outdoorsman, our goal is to help each guest enjoy their river vacation.
Each evening we establish camp on the riverbank. While you explore and relax, the guides set up chairs and the kitchen, where they prepare fresh, delicious abundant meals. The clean air amplifies a vibrant blue sky, creating a perfect environment for hiking and unparalleled photographic opportunities. Depending on the length of your trip, time is set aside for hiking to geological and historical sites including Ancient Pueblo ruins and petroglyphs. Each day, as evening yields to night, the sun melts from the sky, and is replaced by a vivid star show that enhances the evolving conversations you will share with the other guests and the guides.
We hold a pre-trip orientation the evening before the trip launches. Here you will meet one of your guides, sign your release forms, receive your dry bags (river luggage), learn what to expect and how to prepare, and ask questions. The orientation is held at our office in Moab
Day 1 The expedition begins at 7:30 AM at our office. We then drive a few miles south of Moab and launch into the mighty Colorado. Within a short time we enter the imposing, humbling landscape of Canyonlands National Park. Today, and each day of your trip, you will create your own deli masterpiece for lunch and enjoy a generous and delicious dinner prepared fresh by your guides. Camp is always full of wonder and anticipation of tomorrow’s spectacle.
The character of the Colorado River varies with changes in water flow. The river fluctuates dramatically from year to year and month to month depending on the year’s snow pack. Cataract Canyon presents some of the biggest and most challenging rapids in the United States from mid-May to mid-June. After June, the water flow decreases and the rapids become more moderate and family friendly.
You don't have to be an experienced whitewater rafter to enjoy the thrill of the exciting rapids in Cataract Canyon. If you have never rafted or camped before, rest assured that we are professionals at making your trip comfortable, fascinating, and safe. Our multi-talented guides are extremely good at helping you enjoy your river vacation.
By the end of the second or third day, you will sense the anticipation of the group rising as we near the rapids. The guides take time to teach you how to enjoy the rapids safely, and then the fun begins! Everyone has their place, their instructions, and their camera as the guides focus on what is to come. For the next day or more, you will experience the thrill of a lifetime!
As we leave the whitewater, the Colorado River slides its way into Lake Powell and we start the outboard motor to scoot across the lake to our take-out. After pulling the rafts and gear from the lake, the guides escort guests up to the landing strip for the return flight to Moab. This is no ordinary flight back, this is a scenic flight over Canyonlands National Park and the river you just rafted ~ the perfect end to the perfect vacation.
The oarboats will motor off of Lake Powell at the end of the journey.
6-day Trip option
The 6-day trip offers a hikers paradise and allows for
ample time to see the 300 million years of rock history, sculpted
sandstone spires, and Native American petroglyphs and granaries. It is is a pure wilderness river trip combining all the comforts needed to enjoy the outdoors. There are beautiful beach camps and with six days there is plenty of time to do all the great hikes and numerous camp activities.
We believe in protecting the environment and enhancing your vacation. This is why we rarely do trips larger than 25 people. Most of our trips are 10-15 people in size. On our multi-day trips there will never be more than 5 guests on each oarboat. With small groups you will get the attention you deserve and the chance to get to know all the guides and other guests.
Our guides are professional, exceptional people with outstanding talents, who are eager to share their knowledge, experience, and enjoyment of life in the outdoors. They continually strive to perfect their understanding of our wilderness and its secrets. This is their way of life, and their passion is to share this adventurous way of life with you.
Our guides’ objective is to help you have fun. However, you can rest assured that your safety is their top priority and you will observe this in their behavior as well as their expectations of you. They are Red Cross First Aid and CPR certified, and have completed river rescue training. They are required to complete hours of training on each river stretch before they can “guide” our guests. If you are like most people, you will marvel at the quality of their work, while feeling as if you have just made a new friend.
The canyon hosts an extraordinary diversity of plants and animals that live in many climatic environments. Wildlife is abundant in this region, though often shy. One of the West’s largest herds of Desert Big Horn Sheep resides in the canyon. During the heat of the day lizards sun themselves while eagles, vultures, ravens, and hawks soar on thermal airstreams along the canyon walls. In the morning and evening, deer, muskrat, beaver, coyote and the great blue heron move along the river's edge.
In the 1930’s, the Grand Canyon extended 550 miles from Moab to Lake Mead. In the 1960’s Glen Canyon Dam was built to form Lake Powell, and Cataract Canyon was separated from the Grand Canyon. This 100 mile stretch of the Colorado River, south of Moab, has some of the most colorful and interesting river history on the entire Colorado River.
Cataract Canyon became part of Canyonlands National Park in 1964. There are numerous secluded Ancient Pueblo sites along the river. You will get a chance to ponder the disappearance of these ancient peoples while exploring their 800 year old dwellings.
Major John Wesley Powell named Cataract Canyon after his monumental 1869 expedition down the Green and Colorado Rivers. You will get a chance to see inscriptions that he and other early river runners left behind while navigating Cataract’s challenging rapids.
Canyonlands is also home of many legendary outlaw hideouts. One of the most famous is Robber’s Roost where Butch Cassidy and the Wild Bunch would lay low between robberies.
There are numerous secluded geological sites along the river. Cataract Canyon is a geologist's paradise. You will see 300 million years of rock history in a glance. Throughout time the river has sliced through this rock and left it exposed for all to see. These multi-colored layers of rock sparkle in the warm Utah sun, creating spectacular sunsets and photos.
Rates and Dates for Cataract Canyon
Overnight camping, all meals, professional guides
Tax 1: 6 %
Tax: 6 %
Transfer and Other Options:
Transferout from office in Moab to the river is included - the return flight is not
Scenic Return Flight back to Moab ~
Rates do not include:
Flight back. Gratuities. Taxes
Meeting: rafting office in Moab , Utah
Airport: Moab, Grand Junction, Las Vegas
Transfer: return transfer hire to drive car to meet them at river ~$150 (no tax)
You can expect warm, sunny, delightful days in Southeastern Utah. In April through June, high temperatures range between 70° and 90°. July and August high temperatures typically range between 90° and 100°, with September and October temperatures ranging between 70° and 80°. The climate here is very dry with little humidity and not oppressively sweltering. Summer evenings are quite comfortable though cool in spring and fall. Other than an occasional rain cloud, there are few overcast days.
What To Bring: