Whitewater Kayaking Workshop

About This Trip

Are you looking for more than an adventure vacation? Then this kayaking experience through some of the most magnificent wilderness canyons of the Southwest is the answer. Prior kayaking experience is not necessary, but a kayak swimming pool class is suggested to help speed your learning on the river. These classes can be found at most colleges and universities. You should be in excellent physical condition and comfortable around water. Andy Thunell from Rapid Progression Kayak School will provide the instruction and all kayaking equipment.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Kayak familiarization including safety and strokes
  • How to read the river, its rapids and eddy’s
  • Play in rapids, and begin to learn to roll

Read more about Holiday’s Kayak Workshop Specialty Trip

Starting at Sand Wash put-in in the center of the Tavaputs Plateau, this 84 mile white water rafting trip into Desolation Canyon takes us on the ride of a lifetime and we will encounter over 60 rapids! The whitewater builds in intensity each day and finally leads you out of the Plateau at Swasey’s take-out, just north of our Green River headquarters.

KAYAK WORKSHOP

Day 1

    • Familiarization with Equipment
    • What to expect on the Trip
    • Loosening and Stretching
    • Safety
    • Getting in and out of the Kayak
    • Learning the Forward and Reverse Strokes
    • How to Exit the Kayak while Rolled Over in the Water
    • Learning the Sweep Stroke
    • How to Enter and Exit Eddies (back current on the river)

Day 2

    • Learn various Types of Braces
    • Learn how to Read the River
    • What to do in Rapids
    • How to Ferry across the River
    • Learn the Draw Stroke
    • Learn Sculling
    • Begin Learning how to Roll

Day 3,4,and 5

    • We will cover the same skills as day 2, but will go into more depth and detail. We will strive to improve in the various areas and to make them become more automatic.

Day 6

  • Greater emphasis on playing in the rapids, and will go over items learned throughout the trip

 

 

We meet for your trip in Green River, Utah at Holiday River Expeditions headquarters (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. If you are driving, your car can be left at our headquarters. Departure time can vary from 6:00 to 9:00 a.m. (Mountain Time), depending on your flight. For this reason it is imperative that you attend our pre-trip orientation the night before your trip to finalize your departure time.

When you arrive in Green River the day before your trip, there will be a pre-trip orientation meeting at 8:00 p.m. (Mountain Time). A Holiday representative will give you a short orientation on all aspects of river travel. At this time we will issue your waterproof bags, answer any questions you may have, and finalize your flight departure time for the trip. If you plan on buying any last minute items from our accessory’s store, please plan to do so at this time (see checklist of what to bring for a list of items you can find at our store). Special Note: Due to the limited space and weight on the aircraft. If you have any specialty sodas, beer, wine or other extra heavy items, please bring items to our headquarters by 2:00 p.m. the day prior to your trip (see beverages).

Beginning of the trip: On the morning of your trip, plan to arrive promptly at the pre-determined time established at the pre-trip orientation meeting. We will then take you to the local airstrip. Our pre-scheduled flight will be waiting to take you to the embarkation point (30 minutes). The flight is on a small single engine type aircraft.

After the trip: We will return you to Green River, Utah (30 minute van ride). Our expected time of arrival back at our headquarters is 3:00 to 4:00 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 60 days of the trip date monies will be refunded less a $100.00 service charge per person. Cancellations made within 60 days of the trip date are non refundable. Prior to 60 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.  They 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 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. However, because of the limited space on the charter flight we must control the amount of extra beverages you carry with you on the plane. If you intend to bring 1 case or less, then please bring the beverages with you the morning of the trip and carry it onto the plane. For quantities greater than this we request that you contact our office three weeks prior to your trip to make arrangements in getting your beverages to the river. 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

Desolation weather:  In May and early June temperatures average 70 to 80 degrees during the day and 50 to 60 degrees at night.  In late June through August the daytime temperatures are 80 to 100 degrees, with nighttime temperatures 60 to 70 degrees.  Light rain showers occasionally occur in this area, and it can cool temperatures considerably.  With this in mind we recommend you have a poncho or rain suit, long underwear, fleece, and a light tent.  If you reserved a rental kit with us when you booked your river trip, we will have a tent and rain gear for you.  There will also be an abundance of sun, so bring a hat and plenty of suntan lotion and/or sunscreens. *Please avoid spray on sun-screen for the health and safety of your guide and fellow-guests.

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 a generous supply of 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 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:

Exploration of the Colorado River Powell…………………………………………. $12.95
Desolation River Guide Belknap (waterproof)…………………………………… $19.95
Life in Stone Christa Sadler……………………………………………………………. $11.95
The Educated Outlaw Harvey Lay Murdock (Grandson)…………………….. $10.95
The River Knows Everything – Aton/Miller……. $34.95
Desolation and Gray Canyons Felix E. Mutschler………………………………. $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 Expedition 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).

Air Service to Salt Lake City (SLC) 

Transportation Options from Salt Lake City to Green River, Vernal or Blanding, Utah:

Rental Cars

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.

  • Salt Lake City to Green River 180 miles
  • Salt Lake City to Blanding 300 miles
  • Salt Lake City to Vernal 180 miles

Bus
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)

Trip Overview

Location: Desolation Canyon – Green River Wilderness
Type: Kayak
Length: 6 Days
Dates: Aug 14-19
Meet At: Green River, Utah 6:00 am
Rating: Advanced
Age Min: 16
Deposit: $300

Trip Prices

$1,400 per person

*$25 BLM fee per person

Departure Dates

6 Day Trip Date

August 14-19, 2007

Check Availability

What’s Included

Life Jacket
Large Waterproof Bag
Day Bag
Camp Chair
Eating Utencils & Plates
Full Course Meals: Lunch the first day – lunch the last day
Drinks: Ice Water, Lemonade, Juices, One pop/person/per day

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 limit gear to no more than 15-20 lbs.

Other Items We Will Furnish:

Kayaks / Flotation
Paddles
Spray Skirts
Helmets
Instructor
Transportation from Blanding, Utah to the San Juan River and back.

Holiday will deduct $80.00 off of the kayak workshop price if you provide your own kayak.

What’s NOT Included

Cup
Plastic mugs work well
Water Bottle
Not included in the rental kit
Sleeping Bag
Compact and warm
Poncho/Rain Suit
high quality important for Dinosaur & Desolation trips.
Sleeping Pad/Air Mattress
Compact, must fit in the provided bag
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-person tent for $65.00. 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.

Additional Things to Bring – Kayak Workshop:

Extra Sunscreen
Waterproof is recommended
Nose Plugs
For when you learn to roll
Wet Suit Booties / Tennis Shoes
A must while in the kayak
Paddling Jacket with Shell
Wool Sweater
Sunglasses
with Chums or Croakies to hold them
Visor to fit under the helmet
Example: Head Gasket

Optional:

Water Skiing Gloves 
For tender hands
Wet Suit
Bring Farmer John style 1/8″
Small Waterproof Pouch
Carry goodies in during the day

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by John Tokarz on Blank Business Name

We had a great time! I turned 60 on this trip and was able to spend time with my daughter Kim, her husband Ro and my son Allen. This was our 2nd trip with Holiday and our guides were Brin, Sam and Trevor. They were phenomenal and were just as good at cooking gourmet meals as Lauren and Molly were on our 1st trip.

by Pete Litz on Blank Business Name

All aspects of the trip exceeded my expectations. Chet was a phenomenal trip leader. Andy did a super job with the kayak workshop. The Kayak Workshop is the trip of a lifetime. If you are physically capable of paddling for six days, you owe it to yourself to try it.