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If you’re not afraid of a sore muscle or two why ride to the river in a van? When you could be flying along the White Rim Trail on a bike? Sixty-five miles from mesa top to river bottom will show you the ride that has become the standard against which all others are judged. After three days of following the White Rim trail and its meandering course of the Green and Colorado rivers, the white sandstone bench descends to the river bottom, and your whitewater journey begins.
Dave, Zach and Justin were proficient, professional and fun to be with. Grade A+. They were very flexible, kind and accommodating. The White Rim bike trip was perfect in all ways. From the guides, to the bikes to the support van to the food to the terrain to the other guests to the drivers Tim and Susan, to the dog "River", everything was wonderful. One of our best family vacations ever! Thanks much Holiday Team.
Phenomenal everything! One of the best 5 days of my life! Great food prepared by 4 great people who steered us like true pros down a wonderful river to see beautiful flora and fauna. What could be better! Canyonlands and the White Rim Trail is an adventure we consider repeating because of the awesome beauty and great mountain bike riding.
The White Rim bike ride was a real accomplishment for the two of us who "are of a certain age." The windstorm which greeted us the first day and a half was an added challenge. However, our group was made up of wonderful travelers from all over the US and our guides were so supportive we had a terrific time. The transition to the river was handled well despite our getting stuck in the last mile of sand before the river. Our river experience was much more laid back and, although the pace was different, just as enjoyable. All in all we had a swell time and would recommend this trip to anyone who would like to immerse themselves in the magic of Canyonlands for a week.
The White Rim Trail is world renowned not only for its beauty but also it’s incredible biking terrain. The trail circles the region between the Colorado and Green Rivers above the confluence, and passes by some of Canyonland’s most spectacular views.
Cataract Canyon is an anomaly. Its Rapids rank along with those of the Grand Canyon in power and difficulty. Yet Cataract contains mile after mile of rafting through canyons where you are awe struck, not at whitewater, but the deep multicolored canyons of this section of Canyonlands National Park. Side canyon hikes to ruins and petroglyphs delight you as you head towards the Confluence of the Colorado and the Green Rivers. Once you reach the Confluence, the Colorado’s behemoth rapids emerge. Rapids 15 through 23 comprise Mile Long and The Big Drops, a fall of 80 feet in less than four miles–one of the Colorado’s steepest descents.
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 Island in the Sky District and raft trip through Cataract Canyon using the Green River’s Labyrinth and Stillwater canyons. Because of changes in the river’s speed the White Rim/Cataract trip varies slightly with the time of season that you go. The May trips usually meet up with the rafts in mid to late afternoon of the third day out. The September trips will meet up with the rafts prior to lunch on the third day.
Meet group at Holiday River headquarters in Green River, Utah. A two-hour van ride to the head of the Shafer Trail marks the start of the trip. The first day’s ride will take the group down the switchbacks of the Shafer trail before cutting back south towards Musselman Arch. The trail continues to wind southward as it follows the meandering course of the Colorado River. Camp on this evening is made at or near Gooseberry Canyon.
Our ride will take us over undulating roads past the white, sandstone-capped monoliths of Monument and Twin basins. Then in the afternoon up to Murphy’s Hogback, one of this trips’ challenging uphill stretches. After conquering the hill we will set camp for the night.
By the morning of this day the trail has turned back north and is following the contours of the Green River. We ride around the labyrinths of Soda Springs Basin and by Candlestick Tower before reaching where the rafts are waiting at Labyrinth or Taylor Canyon (May), and Beaver Bottom (September).
The river’s smooth current transports our rafts to stops at Valentine Bottom or Turks Head where we will observe prehistoric Indian ruins and petroglyphs. Quiet beaches, hidden canyons, and refreshing water fights are common through this section of the trip.
We reach the confluence of the Colorado and Green Rivers. The Ute Indians believed the Confluence to be the center of the universe, and some people still do. Just below the meeting of these two rivers enjoy a view of the Doll House, an appropriately named collection of free standing, sandstone columns.
Possible early morning hike into Doll House. Ascend steeply to the canyon rim in the Maze District with red rock formations. After descending to the river, the rapids of Cataract Canyon await. The climax: Big Drop Rapid s with Little Niagara and Satan’s Gut.
Lunch at Rock Canyon and a trip across Lake Powell with the aid of motorboat “Hayduke” brings you to Hite Marina and the end of the trip. A two-hour drive brings you back to Green River.
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 disembark at Hite, Utah. From Hite we will take you back to our headquarters in Green River (2 hour van ride). Our expected time of arrival back at our headquarters is 5:00 to 6:00 p.m
The White Rim bike route is a technically challenging route. This undeveloped dirt road has steep downhills, loose rocks, sand, and ruts. Riders who have no off-road bicycling experience, or who are not athletic will most likely find this trip too challenging. 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 is 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 separately, at the end of each trip segment.
We provide ice water, gatorade, two sodas per day 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
IN THE EVENT OF EMERGENCY CIRCUMSTANCES THE NIGHT BEFORE THE TRIP, OUR GREEN RIVER HEADQUARTERS NUMBER IS 435-564-3273.
In April, May, September and October the daytime temperatures are 60 to 90 degrees, with nighttime temperatures 40 to 60 degrees. It seldom rains in Canyonlands, but when it does it can cool temperatures considerably, so be prepared for the possibility of cooler temperatures. There will also be 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 in the desert is so pleasant. Any wilderness trip, however, is subject to an occasional localized insect hatch. During these hatches 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 in a tent instead of under the stars.
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.
Exploration of the Colorado River Powell $12.95
Canyonlands River Guide Belknap (waterproof) $19.95
National Geographic, “Exploring Canyonlands Nat’l Park” (7/71) N/A
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 H.E. 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: email@example.com">
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