- Sample Itinerary
- Trip Details
- About the Area
- Getting Here
Mountain biking and Moab are nearly synonymous; the former uranium boom town has become a mecca for bikers wanting to swoop, soar, climb, and roll over the region’s sinuous sandstone and wild desert trails. Our Moab Sampler trip lets you get a taste of it all, and allows your group the flexibility to tailor each day’s ride to your interests and skill level. From a centralized base camp, our guides will lead you on single and doubletrack adventures through a red rock wonderland. Whether it’s slaloming downhill past the Gemini Bridges or pedaling between dinosaur footprints at Klondike Bluffs, or exploring sections of the famous Kokopelli Trail, you’re sure to find the ride that leaves you just the right amount of breathless. Follow this up with two days of floating on the Colorado River, splashing through rapids beneath the sheer black walls of Westwater Canyon, falling asleep to the sound of water on rocks: relaxation well deserved.
MOAB SAMPLER / WESTWATER CANYON HIGHLIGHTS
- Explore Moab’s world famous trail network
- Excellent choice if you want fully supported Moab riding: meals, shuttles, and guides
- Heart-thumping riding and world-class scenery
- Exciting class III & IV rapids, including Skull Rapid, the narrowest section of the Colorado
- Stunning canyon wilderness with unique rock formations
BIKE / RAFT WESTWATER CANYON
One of the advantages of a bike/river trip is the flexibility of the daily itinerary. It can vary widely from one trip to the next based on group desires and ability level, Mother Nature, and courtesy for other groups in the area. This typical itinerary illustrates a bike trip in the Moab area and raft trip through Westwater Canyon on the Colorado River.
Day 1: Meet group at headquarters in Green River, Utah. A one-hour van ride to Moab marks the start of the trip. We will select a base camp on public land outside of town, location to be determined by where we want to ride, weather, and camp availability. We will begin with a warm-up ride, depending on the group’s interests and ability level. The Bar M trail network north of Moab provides a number of excellent short beginner and intermediate singletrack loops. Options for after lunch include riding the Klondike Bluffs or Magnificent 7 trail networks. Klondike Bluffs features intermediate, undulating trails; more difficult trails climb up ledgy rocks and over expanses of slickrock. Magnificent 7 provides options for longer technical downhill rides, as well as lengthy scenic loops, including side trips to the spectacular Gemini natural bridges. Dinner and solar showers await back at base camp.
Day 2: Today’s ride can be as leisurely or as ambitious as the group wants. With the whole day ahead, advanced groups could choose to tackle the Bar M trails. The new Navajo Rocks loop is a longer intermediate option that climbs gradually and descends via a long, flowy trail with short technical sections (remember: it’s always okay to walk sections you don’t feel comfortable with!). Or, return to Magnificent 7 or Klondike to try the trails we missed the day before. Or check out one of the dozens of other options Moab has to offer! Our guides are always out exploring new trails and can suggest the best options for each group. Night two’s camp could be the same as night one’s, or in a location more convenient to the day’s ride, or even at one of the developed campsites along the Colorado River.
Day 3: Drive to the put-in for Westwater Canyon on the Colorado River. Relaxing float through mellow whitewater, with a possible side trip to Little Hole Canyon’s natural amphitheater, where rock art and shards of Indian pottery can be seen. In favorable conditions a short hike up Little Dolores Canyon reveals a beautiful desert waterfall and swimming hole. Camp on the river near Little Dolores.
Day 4: Leisurely breakfast before rapids of Westwater. Rapids, one right after another, Marble, Staircase, Big Hummer, Funnel Falls, and Surprise . . . leading to Skull Rapid, one of the Colorado’s fiercest drops and the narrowest section of the entire river: only 35 feet across! 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.
As mentioned earlier, this is a sample itinerary and should not be thought of as the trip you will experience. It is intended to give an idea of what the trip will be like. It could also be exactly what you do. Keep an open mind, be flexible, go with the flow, and enjoy!
We meet for your trip in Green River, Utah at Holiday River Expeditions headquarters, 7:00 a.m. (Mountain Time) the morning your trip begins. Our headquarters are located 1/4 mile east of the Green River Bridge, across the highway from the Motel 6 and behind the Comfort Inn. If you arrive in Green River by shuttle, bus, Amtrak, or plane, call our headquarters (435-564-3273) upon your arrival to make arrangements to have you and your gear transported to our headquarters the morning of the trip. If you are driving, your car can be left at our headquarters.
Beginning of the trip: Upon your arrival at our headquarters (7:00 a.m., Mountain Time), we will issue you waterproof bags. You can buy any last minute items from our store at this time (see check list of what to bring for a list of items you can find at our store). Before leaving our headquarters, each guest along with a Holiday guide will perform a pre-trip inspection of your bikes. If you are providing your own bike, please make sure that it is in good repair; we recommend a complete service by a professional shop prior to the trip. Guests with bikes that fail our inspection will be asked to rent a Holiday bike for $160.00/person. We will then take a two-hour van ride to the embarkation point.
After the trip: We will return you to Green River (45 minute van ride). Our expected time of arrival back at our headquarters is 4:00 to 5:00 p.m.
The Bicycling: The Moab Sampler mountain bike trip does not have a fixed itinerary, but is designed to provide access to the best of Moab’s bike trails. These trails may consist of packed dirt with gentle up and down sections; loose rocks and gravel; sand; ruts; winding or steep turns; technical ascents and descents including ledges, exposure, or slickrock; steep uphill and downhill sections. Guides will select trails based on groups’ interests and riding ability, but a good level of fitness will make the riding more enjoyable. Riders who have no previous off-road bicycling experience, should be experienced road cyclists with good athletic ability. All riders should prepare for the trip by riding their bike on a regular basis prior to the trip.
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 and 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 $15.00 and $25.00 per guest, per day. Note that on this trip you will have one set of guides for the biking, and a different set of guides on the river. If you intend to tip both, you should do so at the end of each trip segment.
Beverages/Snacks: We provide ice water, gatorade, lemonade, one soda per day per 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/snacks that you bring so that you can keep track of them. 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. We will have high-energy snacks (for the bike portion) and fresh fruit available, but if you have a favorite energy bar or snack bring it along.
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@example.com.
IN THE EVENT OF EMERGENCY CIRCUMSTANCES THE NIGHT BEFORE THE TRIP, OUR GREEN RIVER HEADQUARTERS NUMBER IS 435‑564‑3273
Moab/Westwater weather: The biking portion of this trip may take place at altitudes between 6,000 and 8,500 ft.; temperatures are traditionally 10 to 15 degrees cooler than they are on the river portion. It seldom rains in this region, but when it does it can cool temperatures. In July and August the daytime temperatures range from 70 to 100 degrees, with nighttime temperatures 50 to 75 degrees. This is the time of year that swimming in the Colorado becomes a popular activity. These temperatures seem hot but remember the humidity is very low. There will be an abundance of sun, so bring a hat and plenty of suntan lotion and/or sunscreens. Please avoid spray-on sunscreen for the health and safety of your guide and fellow guests.
Bugs, snakes, etc. are are generally no problem. In fact, the lack of pesky insects is one of the reasons wilderness camping is so pleasant. Any wilderness trip, however, is subject to an occasional localized insect hatch. During these hatches (most common early- to mid-July) mosquitoes can be bothersome. Be sure to bring long sleeved 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 strictly an optional activity. There are many interesting short hikes available. Hiking can be done in your biking shoes, durable sneakers, or lightweight hiking boots. Remember that hiking and other activities vary widely depending on time and what other plans are ahead for the day.
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 offers family dining with riverside seating.
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, Colorado National Monument, Goblin Valley State Park, San Rafael Swell, Capitol Reef National Park, Natural Bridges National Monument, and the La Sal and Henry Mountains.
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.
If you are flying, you can fly to Salt Lake City located 180 miles northwest of Green River, Utah. From there you can rent a car or take a shuttle with Moab Luxury Coach (call 435-940-4212 or www.moabluxurycoach.com) to Green River. If you need assistance with your travel arrangements, please ask your Holiday River Expeditions reservation agent.
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).
Flight Recommendations - Salt Lake City, Utah
Air Service to Salt Lake City (SLC)
- Air Canada 888-247-2262
- Alaska Airlines 800-252-7522
- America West Airlines 800-235-9292
- American Airlines 800-433-7300
- Continental Airlines 800-525-0280
- 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
- US Airways 800-435-9792
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)
Biking/Rafting Gear & Clothing Checklist
PROVIDED BY HOLIDAY RIVER EXPEDITIONS
- LIFE JACKET
- LARGE WATERPROOF BAG
- DAY BAG
- CAMP CHAIR
- EATING UTENSILS AND PLATES
- FULL COURSE MEALS lunch the first day through lunch the last day
- DRINKS ice water, gatorade, lemonade, juices, 1 pops/person/day-mix of reg. & diet
- BIKE REPAIR KITample for common road repair on standard Mt. Bikes. If your bike has nonstandard components, come prepared.
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 problem; so if you have concerns, test your bags. 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.
GEAR YOU MUST BRING OR RENT FROM HOLIDAY
- CUP plastic mugs work well
- WATER BOTTLE (S) (not included in rental kit)
- SLEEPING BAG compact and warm
- GROUND CLOTH waterproof
- PONCHO/RAIN SUIT high quality important
- SLEEPING PAD Compact, must fit in the bag described above.
- LIGHT TENT 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-man tent for $65.00. Rentals must be reserved in advance. 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.
- BIKE must be in good repair; Holiday rental bike with helmet is available $160.00/bike; If personal bike fails to meet minimum safety standards you will be asked to rent a Holiday bike. Please note if renting bike - if you have clipless shoes you MUST bring your own pedals. Holiday rental bikes come with platform pedals only.
RECOMMENDED CLOTHING & GEAR
- SWIMMING SUITS
- SHORTS quick drying
- LONG PANTS quick drying
- HAT for sun protection, with strap
- SUN GLASSES with safety strap
- SUN SCREEN SPF 15 or higher
- CHAPSTICK with sun screen
- HAND LOTION non-fragrant, small plastic bottle
- COMB or BRUSH
- TRAVEL TOWEL dries quick
- KLEENEX small travel pack
- CAMERA (at your own risk), extra memory cards (or film), batteries, and waterproof container
- BINOCULARS (optional, at your own risk)
- SARONG (optional)
- SHIRT (S) short-sleeved, cotton, bike jerseys; i.e. T-shirts
- SHIRT (S) long-sleeved, quick dry for sun protection
- SHOES keep dry for camp/hiking/biking, i.e. durable sneakers or light weight hiking boots
- SHOES to get wet while rafting, i.e. water sport shoes or sneakers
- SOCKS several pair, 1 cotton, 2 polypropylene or wool
- JACKET fleece or pile with wind/rain resistant shell
- LONG UNDERWEAR (optional) medium weight polypropylene/synthetic type
- BIODEGRADABLE SOAP available at outdoor specialty stores, or ivory soap
- INSECT REPELLENT Deet concentrate in small bottles works best
- TAMPONS/ZIPLOCK BAGS 1 bag per day
- MEDICATION Aspirin/IBU Profen/Tylenol and personal prescriptions
- FLASHLIGHT or HEADLAMP small with extra batteries
- STUFF SACK to keep wet/dry clothes separated, i.e. pillow case or plastic bag
- FANNY PACK for hiking
- EXTRA BEVERAGES/SNACKS (optional) NO GLASS PLEASE, liquor/boxed wine/canned-beer/specialty pops/juice/high energy foods
- GROUND CLOTH (optional) for sleeping under the stars
Things not to bring on your trip - glass-bottled beverages, radios, firearms, pets, and large amounts of cash beyond what you'll want for your guide's gratuity. Do not bring expensive jewelry, watches or electronics i.e. cell phones, laptops, tablets etc. Warning: In the event of a loss our insurance will not cover these items. **If you do decide to bring any of these items along with you to the meeting point for your trip, the most secure location to leave them behind would be at your hotel in their safe or locked up in the trunk of your vehicle. As a last resort we have a non-secure location at our headquarters, but we cannot assume responsibility for these items.
EARLY OR LATE SEASONS SUPPLEMENTS
(May, June and September)
- STOCKING CAP wool/synthetic
- GLOVES wool/synthetic
- RIDING TIGHTS cold weather riding
- WETSUIT BOOTIES (optional) replaces water sport shoes above
- PILE OUTERWEAR in addition to a quality jacket, synthetic pile pants
- LONG UNDERWEAR medium weight smartwool/synthetic type
BIKE CLOTHING & GEAR SUPPLEMENT
- TUBE PATCH KIT
- BIKE SHORTS padded
- BIKE GLOVES a necessity
- HELMET required - no exceptions, ANSI or SNELL approved
- SPARE BIKE TUBE Tuffy/Kevelar thorn strips are nice
- WATER BOTTLE (S)/HYDRATION SYSTEM
- GEL BIKE SEAT OR GEL SEAT COVER (optional)
ITEMS YOU CAN BUY AT HOLIDAY'S ONLINE STORE:
www.BikeRaft.com or at our accessories stores in Green River and Vernal; the meeting points for our White Rim/Cataract, Moab/Westwater and Yampa Bench/Yampa trips.
ITEMS YOU CAN BUY AT BACKCOUNTRY.COM Backcountry camping gear and clothing