• Summary
  • Sample Itinerary
  • Trip Details
  • About the Area
  • Getting Here
  • Checklist

In recent years, an increasing number of the guests on our desolate river trips look up at the Milky Way on moonless nights and candidly admit that they’ve never seen anything so beautiful in their lives.  This has not been the norm for humanity; only in recent centuries have we cast our eyes elsewhere and forgotten the stars.  Today, much of the Earth is losing its dark night skies to light pollution and most Americans will live their whole lives never seeing the Milky Way. Despite this, we are happy to say the rivers we run are all remote and have some of the darkest night skies on the planet. For this reason, Holiday River Expeditions is excited to partner Stargazing trips on the Colorado River Rafting trip with Clark Planetariumwith Clark Planetarium, to offer this Cataract Canyon “Dark Sky” specialty trip.

This Cataract Canyon river rafting trip will be cradled in Canyonlands National Park, recently certified as a “Dark Sky Park” by the International Dark Sky Association. While your days will be spent luxuriating in the sunshine, exploring ancient side-canyons and facing some of the biggest whitewater in North America, your nights will open up a whole new world. Using both binoculars and the naked eye, we will explore the Milky Way, see the Andromeda Galaxy, watch satellites and meteors, and learn constellations.

Utah is lucky to have a world-class institute like Clark Planetarium, dedicated to teaching people, especially kids, about astronomy. On these trips you can look forward to having a dedicated astro-wiz from the Planetarium as well as a dark canopy free of moonlight to see as far into space as humanly possible.  This combination will assure your river nights are as exciting as your river days.

Join Holiday River Expeditions & Clark Planetarium to share in the oldest of human traditions, staring at the night sky.


  • Explore the Heart of Canyonlands under a star filled dark sky
  • Classic Southern Utah Red Rock Desert Environment
  • Immense Rolling Whitewater Waves

Read more about our Naturalist Dark Sky Stargazing River Rafting on the Colorado River through Cataract Canyon in Canyonlands National Park

 Celestial Highlights

July 17-21  Cataract Canyon

  • The Milky Way
  • Saturn
  • Ptolomy’s open cluster
  • Albireo, a double star
  • Capricornids meteor activity
  • Dumbbell nebula
  • Ring nebula
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by Darrell Woolley & Ivy Brown on Blank Business Name

We have taken several trips with Holiday. I cannot tell you how amazed I am at the care taken to ensure our trips are the best. Great food and great guides. Every detail made fabulous life long memories. Thank you Holiday and staff you truly are 5 star!! I will be back next month and next year!