Enjoy action-packed river adventure in under a week! 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 four-day rafting adventure. Journey over 94 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 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 conditions and group abilities. Please call for more details about each departure.
Float through the scenic red-rock wonderland of Utah's Canyonlands National Park in four days
Raft legendary "Big Drops" on this legendary river adventure that also includes one night in Moab
Try stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking and go for a swim where the Green and Colorado Rivers meet
Meet your Shuttle and Trip Leader in front of your hotel in Moab at 9:00am for a 30-minute drive to the Cataract Canyon put-in at Potash Boat Ramp. Meet your guides by the river and receive a safety briefing before the journey begins. Adjust to the pace of the warm Colorado River as you paddle 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.
Start the day at a leisurely pace, enjoying the canyon's solitude. After a tasty brunch, if conditions allow, head out on the Loop Hike — a short, steep 1-mile trek (800 vertical feet) with majestic vistas. Meanwhile, the rafts continue downriver to prepare your post-hike lunch by the river. Float past the confluence of the Green River as it joins the Colorado River, an iconic spot where two great rivers meet. Follow tradition and go swimming here, before starting the journey into Cataract Canyon. This evening, camp on a sandy beach and let the guides surprise you with festivities.
If conditions allow, start with a sunrise hike to the Dollhouse in the heart of the Maze District of Canyonlands National Park - a 2,000-foot vertical trek to remember. By mid-morning, get some thrills in Cataract Canyon with over 15 rapids, including Brown Betty and Mile Long. Hear your laughter echoing off the canyon walls as you scout the rapids and feel the rush of the famous rapids. Make camp on a sandy beach this afternoon, in time to watch the sunset while chatting with new friends over appetizers and drinks. Make sure to gaze into the night sky, Canyonlands National Park is a Nationally Recognized Dark Sky Park. This is some of the most magical night sky in America!
Rise to face some of the best rapids in the world known as Big Drops, Satin's Gut and Little Niagara Falls to name a few. They are sure to provide a serious adrenaline rush. Scouting the rapids is common, so the guides can assess the safest and best route down these memorable rapids. After an adventurous whitewater day, your last night on the river will be filled with campfires, laughter and a special feast for the whole group.
The last day on the river features only a half-day of rafting through one of the most spectacular canyon stretches. Enjoy a final lunch on the river beneath the towering walls which rise higher as you approach Lake Powell, just upstream of the Grand Canyon. At the take-out, you will be transferred to the Hite Airstrip, where a charter flight retraces your journey through Lake Powell, Canyonlands National Park, Meander Canyon, the Colorado River and finally back to the town of Moab. Have your camera ready the views are epic. Upon landing, a vehicle will be waiting to transport your group back to your starting hotel.
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), scenic hikes, stand-up paddle boarding, swimming, and fun games and feasts at camp.
Four nights of riverside camps, with tents or sleeping under the stars.
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.
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.
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 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.
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
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