Enjoy an action-packed river adventure in two and a half days! Carving a chasm through Canyonlands National Park, the red-rock wonder of Cataract Canyon begins at the confluence of the mighty Green and Colorado Rivers. Experience the mighty Colorado River canyon's splashy thrills on this classic three-day rafting adventure. Journey over 50 miles in the depths of Cataract Canyon through Canyonlands National Park, tackling the "big drops" like Satan's Gut and Little Niagara Falls-famed as some of the world's best rapids. Enjoy exhilarating days of stand-up paddle boarding and camping beneath desert skies. Kick off this trip in Moab, Utah's adventure hub, and end it with a scenic flight from Lake Powell back over Cataract Canyon, the gateway to the Grand Canyon. See below for a sample itinerary of your day-to-day activities.
Note - Actual itinerary routes vary from departure to departure depending on environmental and river conditions, as well as group abilities. Actual daily mileage and hours vary.
Float through the scenic red-rock wonderland of Utah's Canyonlands National Park in three days
Raft legendary "Big Drops" on this legendary river adventure
Try stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking and go for a swim where the Green and Colorado Rivers meet
Arrive in Moab, Utah's lively adventure hub, and meet your MT Sobek Trip Leader for a continental breakfast welcome orientation. Ride to the Cataract Canyon put-in at Potash Boat Ramp. Meet your other guides by the river and receive a safety briefing before the journey begins. Adjust to the pace of the warm Colorado River as you motor past spectacular scenery. Stop to explore Native American ruins and learn about the flora and fauna of this fragile desert environment. Upon arrival at camp, join the guides in setting up tents and play fun river games like horseshoes and bocce ball. After dinner, watch the sunset to the chirp of the canyon wren.
After breakfast, pack up and motor past the confluence of the Green and Colorado Rivers. Accessibility through this stretch allows for perhaps the Loop Hike - a short, steep 1-mile hike with majestic vistas. Meanwhile, the rafts continue downriver to prepare your post-hike lunch by the river. Prepare to face some of the best rapids in the world! Known as "the Big Drops," these classic rapids, including Satin's Gut and Little Niagara Falls, provide heaps of adrenaline-fueled fun. This evening, camp on a sandy beach under a rich blanket of stars - Canyonlands National Park is recognized as one of the few Dark Sky Parks. Let the guides surprise you with riverside festivities.
Awake for your last day on the river, which features only a half-day of rafting - about 20 miles on the river through one of the most spectacular canyon stretches. The towering walls rise higher as you get deeper and approach Lake Powell, just upstream of the Grand Canyon. At the take-out, enjoy a riverfront lunch and transfer to the Hite Airstrip, where a charter flight whisks you up and over Canyonlands National Park and the Colorado River. Upon landing, a vehicle is waiting to transport your group back to Moab.
Note - Actual itinerary routes vary from departure to departure depending on environmental and river conditions, as well as group abilities. Actual per day mileage and hours vary.
MT Sobek's been rafting the world's greatest rivers since 1973 and is a trusted river operator with special permits to run the Colorado River.
Our Cataract Canyon operation is based in Moab and our river adventure is led by expert river guides.
We offer a selection of ways to enjoy the Cataract Canyon, including an option to charter!
Our expert guides and trip leaders are truly the key to our trips' success. Many are locals who live in-country year-round; others have made it their second home—all are passionate, enthusiastic and endlessly knowledgeable. Meet a few of the guides that might be on your trip.
Rafting flatwater to IV rapids (depending on season), stand-up paddle boarding, swimming, and fun games and feasts at camp.
Two nights at riverside camps.
Dry desert environment with spring/fall temps from 65°-85°F and 55°F at night. Summer temps from 85°-100°F and 65°F at night.
The boats and water craft used will depend on water levels and safety considerations. In high water, we will have a larger motorized raft accompany our standard oar boats. In medium to lower water, we use an oar raft and paddleboats. In low water, we bring inflatable kayaks and stand-up paddleboards for calm sections.
Very little. Sun protection, bathing suit and comfortable river shoes are most of what you need, as we provide most of the specialty gear needed (2 dry bags for packing, a well-sized life jacket, and a paddle).
Under the desert starry skies, you'll get lost gazing as the roaring river lulls you to sleep. We provide a tent, sleeping bag and a thick Paco pad.
The peak runoff when the water levels are at their highest usually happens in June. Water levels reach their lowest during the beginning of May, August and September.
We are happy to adjust our menus and accommodate any needs that you may have. We freshly prepare everything alongside the river, so we will give guides all dietary requests in advance.
The dry desert environment is not good for mosquitos. However, when the water levels drop, there are a moderate amount of mosquitos, so don't forget your repellent just in case.
Make any of our trips a custom adventure or start from scratch. Take two itineraries and match them up to create a unique third. Add extras and extensions and more...if you can imagine it, we can make it happen!
"A prominent reason we have chosen MT Sobek as our favorite adventure travel company has been the excellent travel guides."
Carol & Burt D.
MT Sobek Guests
"The Cataract Canyon rafting trip is an exciting experience for both young and old. We saw amazing natural sandstone structures, were thrilled by challenging white water, learned about ancient petroglyphs, had fun cooling off by floating in the river, and slept under the sparkling canopy of the Milky Way. It was a perfect summer adventure!"
MT Sobek Guest, Cataract Canyon 5-Day Rafting Adventure