Westwater Canyon River Rafting
About This Trip
Colorado River rafting doesn’t get much better than this! Our Westwater Canyon whitewater rafting trip takes us down a segment of the Colorado River that is magnificent and is often referred to as a miniature Grand Canyon. The beauty and grandeur of this section of the Colorado River offers memorable sights such as pristine beaches, charming side canyons, and beautiful campsites. Westwater Canyon is a great rafting trip for those who want the beauty and thrills of a traditional Colorado River rafting vacation, and yet only have a few days available for their river rafting tour. Westwater: the ultimate two or three-day getaway.
WESTWATER CANYON RAFTING HIGHLIGHTS
- Great introduction to river rafting trips
- Excellent choice if you are short on time
- Exciting class III & IV whitewater rapids
- Stunning wilderness canyon with unique rock formations
One of the advantages of a river trip is the flexibility of the daily itinerary. It can vary widely from one trip to the next based on group desires, Mother Nature, and courtesy for other groups on the river. The typical itineraries below illustrate a 3-day and a 2-day trip through Westwater Canyon on the Colorado River.
Sample Two-day Itinerary:
Day Two: Leisurely breakfast before rapids of Westwater. Rapids, one right after another, Marble, Staircase, Hunter’s, Funnel Falls, and Surprise . . . leads to Skull Rapid, one of the Colorado’s fiercest drops. Finish with Bowling Alley, Sock-it-to-me and Last Chance. Vans will return you to our headquarters in Green River at the end of the trip.
Sample Three-day Itinerary:
Day One: Meet at headquarters, in Green River, Utah before two-hour ride to the put-in at Loma. Float leisurely through the desert scenery of Ruby Canyon. For those interested, inflatable kayaks or stand up paddle boards provide the opportunity to experience the river on a solo basis. A side hike up Rattlesnake Canyon reveals a variety of desert plants and wildlife. Camp at Black Rocks where billion year old black schist provides the background setting.
Day Two: Peaceful floating and more time in the inflatable kayaks before reaching Westwater Ranger Station. The river enters the narrow canyons that give Westwater the nickname, “the Little Grand”. Small rapids begin to materialize along the otherwise peaceful stretches of the Colorado. Camp at one of the many beaches within Westwater Canyon.
Day Three: Gear up for rapids–one right after another–Hunter’s, Funnel Falls, Surprise and the big-names: Skull and Sock-it-to-me. Observe bald eagle, great blue heron and snowy egret habitats in the meandering flat-water below. Enjoy a short trip back to Green River.
Beginning of the trip: Upon your arrival at our headquarters (8:00 a.m., Mountain Time), we will issue your waterproof bags. You can buy any last minute items from our accessory’s store at this time (see our packing check list for a list of items you can find at our store). We will then take a 90-minute van ride to the embarkation point, where we will transfer to the boats.
After the trip: We will return you to Green River (90 minute van ride). Our expected time of arrival back at our headquarters is 4:00 to 5:00 p.m.
Medical emergencies: Our guides are trained in first aid and carry first aid supplies only. REMEMBER to bring your own prescription medicines. ALERT our guides to any medical problem you might have such as diabetes or allergic reactions. Wilderness expeditions are a long way from hospitals, doctors, and pain-relieving medicines. Evacuations to modern medical care are uncertain, and protracted. In case of evacuation and/or medical treatment beyond first aid, expenses incurred are the responsibility of the participant.
Cancellation Policy: If cancellations are made prior to 90 days before the trip, monies will be refunded less a $50.00 service charge per person. If cancellations are made within 90 days and outside of 45 days of the trip date monies will be refunded less a $100.00 service charge per person. Cancellations made within 45 days of the trip date are non refundable. Prior to 45 days to the trip date we will transfer reservations to another trip in the same year with a $25.00 service charge per person. All policies will be enforced and we strongly recommend trip cancellation insurance. Cancellation of a trip is very unlikely, but we reserve the right to cancel any trip due to river or weather conditions or the lack of sufficient reservations. A full refund will be made if such is the case.
Insurance: Medical Evacuation and cancellation insurance on a vacation plan can be obtained from numerous insurance companies. You should be aware that medical evacuations in the backcountry can easily cost $10,000 and up. You are responsible for these potential expenses and we strongly encourage all guests to have this coverage. We offer plans by TRAVEL GUARD that cover evacuation, baggage and cancellation claims. It is available to American and Canadian citizens, as well as citizens of another country as long as you have a U.S. address. For a quote or questions give us a call or include Your Names, Birth Dates in an Email and we will send a quote. Also, if you are bringing expensive cameras, binoculars, or other items we suggest you have insurance coverage for them (commonly available through Homeowners Policies). In the event of a loss, our insurance will not cover those items.
Tipping the guides: If you feel the guides have been instrumental in your enjoyment of the trip, you may choose to direct a gratuity to the trip leader in the form of cash or check. He/She will then distribute it evenly to the other crewmembers. The average contribution amount ranges between $20.00 and $30.00 per guest, per day. Cash is the preferred method of tipping.
Beverages: We provide ice water, lemonade, one soda per day/person and ample cooler space. If you choose to bring any specialty sodas and/or alcoholic beverages, we have no problem taking whatever you want to bring – within reason. Don’t bring beer, wine coolers or sodas in glass containers. Wine packaged in a box is ideal. Mark beverages that you bring so they are packed on your boat. The liquor store in Green River, Utah is located in the back of the West Winds restaurant. In Utah, wine or liquor is not sold after 7:00 p.m., before 11:00 a.m., or on Sundays and holidays.
If you have any questions prior to leaving for your trip, we welcome you to call our Salt Lake City office, Monday through Friday at 800-624-6323 (outside Utah) or 801-266-2087 (inside Utah). We’re happy to take the time to answer your questions. You may also contact us by email at [email protected].
IN THE EVENT OF EMERGENCY CIRCUMSTANCES THE NIGHT BEFORE THE TRIP, OUR GREEN RIVER HEADQUARTERS NUMBER IS 435-564-3273
Bugs, snakes, etc. are generally no problem. In fact, the lack of pesky insects is one of the reasons wilderness camping on the river is so pleasant. Any river trip, however, is subject to an occasional localized insect hatch. During these hatches (most common in June to mid-July) mosquitoes can be bothersome. Be sure to bring long sleeve clothing and repellent. Insect repellents that contain “deet” are by far the most effective during heavy hatches. Citronella-based products work only in light hatches. We rarely see any snakes, but if the thought of them bothers you, try sleeping on the beaches or in a tent instead of rocky or bushy areas.
Hiking is a highlight of the trip, however, it is strictly an optional activity. There are many interesting short hikes available. Hiking can be done in durable sneakers or lightweight hiking boots. Remember that hiking and other activities vary widely pending time, and what other plans are ahead for the day on the river.
The best place to eat in Green River is Ray’s Tavern. Ray’s is a true small western town bar rich in atmosphere and good food. They serve incredible hamburgers, pork chops, small salads and steaks. The Tamarisk Restaurant also offers family dining with riverside seating and some delicious cuisine to boot.
Things to see in the area: John Wesley Powell Museum in Green River, Utah. Arches National Park, Dead Horse Point State Park, Canyonlands National Park, Fisher Towers, Goblin Valley State Park, San Rafael Swell, Capitol Reef National Park, Natural Bridges National Monument, La Sal and Henry Mountains and the recently added Bear’s Ears National Monument.
Reading material, you may enjoy:
Canyonlands River Guide – Belknap (waterproof)………………………………… $19.95
Canyonlands Country – Donald L. Baars……………………………………………. $15.95
Life in Stone – Christa Sadler……………………………………………………………. $11.95
The Educated Outlaw – Harvey Lay Murdock (Grandson)…………………….. $10.95
These books can be ordered online at www.bikeraft.com, or by sending the appropriate amount listed above plus $5.60 priority shipping to Holiday River Expeditions, 544 East 3900 South, SLC, UT 84107. This is available within the U.S. only. If outside the U.S. additional shipping and handling charges will be added. You can call 801-266-2087 for rates. These books can also be purchased at our headquarters in Green River.
Lodging before and after your trip can be booked at one of six locations:
- River Terrace Inn 435‑564‑3401 (locally owned, pool, hot tub, full breakfast, riverside rooms available) *10% discount
- Comfort Inn 435‑564‑3300 (inside pool, hot tub, continental breakfast – in front of our headquarters) *10% discount
- Holiday Inn Express 435-564-4439 (inside pool, hot tub, continental breakfast – west of our headquarters)
- Super 8 435-564-8888 (inside pool, hot tub, refrigerator, microwave)
- Motel 6 435‑564‑3436 (pool, kids free, lower rates)
- Sleepy Hollow 435-564-8189 (clean with lower rates)
*When making advance reservations at the River Terrace Inn or Comfort Inn, mention that you are on a Holiday River Expedition trip and you will be extended a discounted rate on your room (see above). You will need a trip invoice at check-in.
BE SURE TO MAKE ADVANCE RESERVATIONS!
If you are camping out, there are two campgrounds in Green River: the Green River State Park (no pool, lower rates and may have mosquitoes – call 435-564-3633 to make reservations), and the KOA Campground (435-564-8195 – across from our headquarters).
Air Service to Salt Lake City (SLC)
- Air Canada 888-247-2262
- Alaska Airlines 800-252-7522
- American Airlines 800-433-7300
- Delta Air Lines 800-221-1212
- Frontier Airlines 800-432-1359
- JetBlue Airways 800-538-2583
- KLM Royal Dutch Airlines 800-618-0104
- SkyWest Airlines 800-453-9417
- Southwest Airlines 800-435-9792
- United Airlines 800-241-6522
Transportation Options from Salt Lake City to Green River, Vernal or Blanding, Utah:
Once in Salt Lake City most of our guests rent-a-car and drive to our meeting points.
All rental cars are located in both terminals of the Salt Lake City Airport.
- Alamo 801-575-2211
- Avis 801-575-2847
- Budget 801-575-2821
- Dollar 801-575-2580
- Enterprise 801-537-7433
- Firefly 801-531-3563
- Hertz 801-575-2683
- National 801-575-2277
- Payless 801-322-6330
- Thrifty 801-265-6677
- Salt Lake City to Green River 180 miles
- Salt Lake City to Blanding 300 miles
- Salt Lake City to Vernal 180 miles
To Green River Only (Bus has limited schedule and is not as convenient as rental cars)
Shuttle Service to Green River or Blanding, Utah from Salt Lake City or Moab (Vernal is on a Charter basis only)
|Location:||Colorado River – Westwater Canyon|
|Length:||1, 2 and 3 Days|
|Dates:||May – September|
|Meet At:||Green River, UT 8:00 AM|
1-Day – $190 per-person
Adult – $480
Youth – $440 (18 & under)
Senior – $440 (65 & older)
Group – $440 (10 or more)
Adult – $630
Youth – $580 (18 & under)
Senior – $580 (65 & older)
Group – $580 (10 or more)
$10 (1-2 day)BLM Fees per person
$16 (3-day) BLM Fees per person
2017 Trip Schedule
2 Day Trip Dates
Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays
June 21 – August 30; Saturdays September 2-30
3 Day Trip Dates
Mondays and Fridays
May 1 through June 16;
Sundays, Tuesdays and Fridays
June 20 – August 29;
Fridays September 1-29
Large Waterproof Bag
Eating Utencils & Plates
Full Course Meals: Lunch the first day through
lunch the last day
Drinks: Ice Water, Lemonade, Juices, One pop/person/day-mix of regular & diet
The day bag 8″ diameter x 20″ high is for items you will need access to during the day. For your sleeping gear and clothing, we will furnish you with one bag 16″ diameter x 2 feet high. When properly sealed, bags are usually waterproof. Once in a while, one could develop a leak, so we always recommend packing important items in ziplock bags and leaving expensive electronics at home. Separate storage is provided for tents and beverages. Please remember to keep your gear light and compact. The less you bring, the happier you will be. Please limit gear to no more than 15-20 lbs.
What’s NOT Included
Plastic mugs work well
Not included in the rental kit
Compact and warm
high quality important for Dinosaur & Desolation trips.
Sleeping Pad/Air Mattress
Compact, must fit in the provided bag
Back packer style, not the bulky, heavy types
You can rent most of the items listed above in our sleeping rental kit. We offer two varieties, our basic sleeping kit which includes a sleeping bag, sleeping pad, rain gear and cup for $40.00, or the same basic sleeping kit with a two-person tent for $65.00. Rentals must be reserved in advance, especially on the San Juan trips where we meet away from our headquarters. Rentals requested the morning of the trip are subject to availability. Cups and water bottles available for purchase at our stores in Green River and Vernal Headquarters, or online.
Submit your review
This was my first river experience (on the Colorado). I was a staff member with Soul-r-Eclipse and really only knew what my part of the trip was going to be like. I just want to say what an amazing experience I had. Holiday thinks of everything to make this rugged trip comfortable. We had two amazing, strong, knowledgeable and very professional young ladies (Erika and Susan), who treated us like queens the whole time out there. I felt very much in good hands that it was easy to relax and enjoy the time on the river. Holiday runs an amazing trip and the staff are all around above and beyond what one would expect. It was mind blowing how such great food could be prepared while all being transported on the rafts and equipment was compact. I truly was blown away by this trip. It was really life changing for me and I can only express my fullest gratitude to Soul-r-Eclipse, Susan, Erika and Holiday and all the amazing ladies I shared this trip with for a great experience. I cannot wait to bring my family on this experience.
The guides were incredible. Susan and Erica were knowledgeable, competent, confident, amiable and outgoing. They gave all of the clients confidence. The two 'assistants', Ellie and Charlie, were also very good, helpful, considerate and hard-working. I can't praise the guides highly enough. Susan, the most experienced, then Erica, then the two relatively new folks were a delight.
Best trip I've ever been on! The guides were all amazing and so much fun! They were very flexible with our plans which allowed us to do activities that we wanted to do. Highly recommended trip!
This trip was a total blast from the minute we pulled into the parking lot to the minute we rolled back in. The guides were knowledgeable and extremely easy to get along with. They made the trip what it was. Our group can be a challenging group to handle, they rolled with it and did an awesome job keeping everyone on task. The food on the trip was awesome, the camp sites were incredible and the whole experience was A+.
Plush in comparison to what I had imagined we would have. Above and beyond on all aspects. I was VERY impressed with the work ethic and professionalism from our guides, Tburd and Flashlight(Colter). They never stopped moving and never left any detail unattended. Also, who serves Filet Minion on a rafting trip... Madness, but I loved it. It's hard to fully express how the experience of a trip like this affects you. It was awesome! Exciting, fun, humbling but mostly, it rejuvenates and refuels your soul with a feeling that can only be found on the river. I am unable to say "once in a lifetime" because I will be back. Thank you for what you do and allowing people to remind themselves of what life is all about.
They always provide great gear!! We always have a great time with Holiday every year. Your guides are super knowledgeable and very pleasant to travel with. The food is great as always. It was great to do a new river this year. Thank you for being such a great company to work with!!
Loved the hikes up to the outlaws hideout and mining cabin! Food was so good! Our family was paired with another family of similar ages which gave our kids someone to play with once we settled into camp. Guides Rocky and Mac were AMAZING! They were so knowledgeable about the river, history, facts and navigation. They interacted very well with the kids. During meals and at camp they worked their hardest to anticipate every want and desire. The meals were prepped efficiently and some of the best of our entire visit to Utah! The gear we rented from Holiday River was all in excellent condition. Rocky and Mac were two guys that never slacked off in the 32 hours they were with us. It is obvious that they truly enjoy what they do! THANK YOU FOR AN INCREDIBLE FAMILY EXPERIENCE! The highlight of our trip!
We really enjoyed our trip and it was our first time camping. The Guides (Justin, Rocky and Mac) really made our trip the experience it was. They were very knowledgeable about the geology and history of the river we rafted. And may we say the food was amazing!!! Best tour company around and we plan to do this trip again next summer.
Josh, Collin, Zack. LB, Brian and Rocky (and I am sure I am missing some) are the best guides EVER. They will fulfill any need at any time. From the young kids to the grandmas who are looking for a good laugh. Amazing young men who know how to make you feel safe and happy..... Helped to make memories to last a life time... priceless... Thanks guys for the good time! Xoxo
This is our third Westwater trip and each year it gets better and better. The service that your company provides is top notch and I would recommend Holiday River Expeditions to anyone!!