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For over a century Moab existed in obscurity, until the first mountain bikers discovered that this was the place. Today, Moab is the premier destination for mountain bikers from around the world. Our La Sal Mountain loop embodies the heart-thumping style of wilderness riding that has propelled this region to fame. Giant ponderosa pine trees stand as sentinels along the 25 mile route leading to the overlook of Fisher Valley. Day two of the trip stuns the senses as you descend 4,000 vertical feet, from alpine forests to the red rock desert at Onion Creek. Combined with two days on the Colorado River, this 4-day excursion provides the best of the best… unprecedented mountain biking and world class whitewater rafting.
The food was awesome. The guides polite and attentive. Biking was challenging but well worth the effort. We had an awesome trip and loved Onion Creek, especially going through the creek! and the views were spectacular :) The food and guides were top notch. Rafting was a blast.
I liked seeing the cave in Westwater containing old bed frames and rusted items on a table where robber brothers lived, petroglyphs, sheep footprints on a hiking trail. I enjoyed different foods at every mealtime, hot cooked meals, the vegetables, the rustic cowboy coffee pots, and desserts. Not having to organize where to go and meals on a trip, made it easier and an adventure. I was surprised at the scenery at every turn. I saw a bald eagle for the first time in my life!
Moab, Utah and its surrounding regions are world renowned for their incredible beauty and world-class mountain biking. Our La Sal Mountain loop encompasses a variety of riding conditions from the pine tree forested trails on day one, to the descent into Onion Creek and the desert valley on the second day.
Westwater’s rapids on this trip are created when the swift flowing Colorado River is forced through Granite Canyon, a narrow seam of polished black schist capped with red slickrock towers. Virtually unknown 30 years ago, Westwater Canyon has become a favorite choice for its pace, rhythm, and intensity.
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, Mother Nature, and courtesy for other groups in the area. This typical itinerary illustrates a bike trip through the La Sal Mountain range outside of Moab, and raft trip through Westwater Canyon on the Colorado River.
Meet group at headquarters in Green River, Utah. A two-hour van ride to the Manti – La Sal National Forest marks the start of the trip. The first day’s ride will take the group along old logging roads through forests consisting of huge ponderosa pine trees and abundant mountain streams. The trail continues to wind northward to altitudes upwards of 8000 feet. Camp on this evening is made at or near Bull Draw.
Our ride today requires each and all to tighten their helmet straps and hold on! After a hot breakfast the route begins a breathtaking descent from alpine forest to desert floor. Along the way we’ll take time out to appreciate the spectacular overlooks that are abundant in this region. By the end of the day we will have dropped 4,000 vertical feet to the desert floor.
Put-in on the Colorado river at the Westwater Ranger Station. Relaxing float to Little Hole Canyon’s natural amphitheater where 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 near Little Dolores.
Leisurely breakfast before rapids of Westwater. Rapids, one right after another, Marble, Staircase, Hunter’s, Funnel Falls, and Surprise … lead 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.
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 is 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.
Upon your arrival at Holiday River Expeditions headquarters (7:00 a.m., Mountain Time), we will issue your bags. You can buy any last minute items from our accessory’s 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 safety 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 $150.00/person. We will then take a two-hour van ride to the embarkation point.
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..
The La Sal Mountain bike route follows a graded dirt road for most of the trip with a variation of uphill and downhill segments. This dirt road has steep gradients, loose rocks, sand, and ruts. 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.
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.
If cancellations are made prior to 90 days before the trip, monies will be refunded less $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.
Medical and cancellation insurance on a vacation plan can be obtained from numerous insurance companies. We offer plans underwritten by TRAVEL GUARD that cover accident, baggage and cancellation claims. An application should be enclosed with this information package. We encourage all to take advantage of this coverage. It is available to American and Canadian citizens, as well as citizens of another country as long as you have a U.S. address. If you have questions give us a call. 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.
Many guests ask us if tipping is appropriate after the trip. 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 crew members. Of those that choose to tip, the average contribution amount ranges between $15.00 and $25.00 per guest, per day. However, the decision to tip is left to your sole discretion. 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.
We provide ice water, gatorade, two sodas 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 and fresh fruit available, but if you have a favorite energy bar or snack bring it along.
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.
The biking portion of this trip takes place at altitudes between 6,000 and 8,500 ft. so 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 warm 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.
Bugs, snakes, etc. 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 (mostly early to mid July) mosquitos 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, but are also suspected of causing various health problems. Citronella-based products (skin-so-soft) 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 in 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 pending 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.
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, Capital Reef National Park, Natural Bridges National Monument, and the La Sal and Henry Mountains.
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 our e-store, or by sending the appropriate amount listed above plus $4.95 shipping and handling for the first book, and an additional $2.00 for each book thereafter 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.
You can fly to Salt Lake City located 180 miles northwest of Green River, Utah (all major airlines), or fly to Moab from Denver (Great Lakes Aviation) 52 miles south of Green River, Utah. From both destinations 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) www.river-terrace.com
Comfort Inn 435-564-3300 (inside pool, hot tub, continental breakfast – in front of our headquarters) *10% discount for Holiday guests – must have a trip invoice at check in. www.comfortinn.com/hotel-green_river-utah-UT424
Holiday Inn Express 435-564-4439 (inside pool, hot tub, continental breakfast – west of our headquarters) www.hiexpress.com
Super 8 435-564-8888 (inside pool, hot tub, refrigerator, microwave) www.super8.com
Motel 6 435-564-3436 (pool, kids free, lower rates) www.motel6.com
Sleepy Hollow 435-564-8189 (clean with lower rates)
*When making advance reservations at the 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).
BE SURE TO MAKE ADVANCE RESERVATIONS!!
There are two campgrounds in Green River: the Green River State Park (no pool, lower rates and may have mosquitos – call 435-564-3633 to make reservations), and the KOA Campground (435-564-8195 – across from our headquarters).
Holiday River Expedition's Travel Agents - Mateja Harrington & Cindy Swenson with Cruise and Travel Masters are happy to assist you with your travel plans. Contact Mateja or Cindy to take the work out of "Getting Here".
Toll Free - 800-264-0557 (You must ask for Mateja Harrington or Cindy Swenson) Or, do it yourself, we can help… Air Service to Salt Lake City (SLC) or Denver (DEN) 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. Salt Lake City to Green River 180 miles Shuttle Service to Green River or Blanding, Utah from Salt Lake City (Vernal is on a Charter basis only) TRANSPORTATION OPTIONS FROM DENVER to Green River, Vernal or Blanding, Utah Air Service to Moab (CNY) (52 miles south of Green River), Utah from Denver, Colorado
Email Attention Mateja or Cindy: firstname.lastname@example.org">
Colorado and Utah Rivers
Gateway - Salt Lake City, Utah OR Denver, Colorado
All rental cars are located in both terminals of the Salt Lake City Airport.
Salt Lake City to Blanding 300 miles
Salt Lake City to Vernal 180 miles
Air Service to Vernal (VEL), Utah from Denver, Colorado
Or, do it yourself, we can help…
Air Service to Salt Lake City (SLC) or Denver (DEN)
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.
Salt Lake City to Green River 180 miles
Shuttle Service to Green River or Blanding, Utah from Salt Lake City (Vernal is on a Charter basis only)
TRANSPORTATION OPTIONS FROM DENVER to Green River, Vernal or Blanding, Utah
Air Service to Moab (CNY) (52 miles south of Green River), Utah from Denver, Colorado
PROVIDED BY HOLIDAY RIVER EXPEDITIONS
Printable PDF version
ITEMS YOU CAN BUY AT HOLIDAY'S ONLINE STORE: www.HolidayExpeditions.com/store or at our accessories stores in Green River and Vernal; the meeting points for our combination Bike and Raft trips.
ITEMS YOU CAN BUY AT BACKCOUNTRY.COM: www.backcountry.com