by Julie K. Trevelyan

Brin cooks breakfast in Canyonlands

We decided to round up a few favorite things about rafting trips. River rafting has a whole host of super coolness that attracts people. From the whitewater rapids to the tall canyon walls to the deep intimacy with our beautiful natural world, a rafting adventure offers bucket loads of fun. On this round-up we discuss some of the wonderful things you will experience on a whitewater rafting trip!

The Guides!

River rafting guides are a fit, hard-working, fun-loving breed unto themselves. They wear many hats: chief rower, ornithologist, biologist, chef, and hydrologist. As well as captain o’ the laughter patrol, medic, meteorologist, navigator, organizational expert, storyteller, historian, and so many more. Their training with Holiday is extensive and focused. The more time they spend on the river, the more they learn and share. Holiday’s guides can be the best part of the trip, adding a degree of richness and understanding to the guests’ perception of the landscape through which they’re passing.

Like so many in the outdoor industry, river guides love their job and are immensely thrilled with the opportunity to follow their wilderness passion over the whitewater rivers of the American West. Their enthusiasm for the river and the rafting experience is contagious. They pass on their deep appreciation for the water and the land to guests. Doff your hat to these men and women, and feel free to share your favorite memories of the Holiday guides in the comments below.

 

a few favorite things about whitewater

The Rapids!

River rafting has a whole host of super coolness that attracts people. From the whitewater rapids to the tall canyon walls to the deep intimacy with our beautiful natural world, a rafting adventure offers bucket loads of fun. We decided to round up a few of our favorite things about rafting trips. On this round we discuss the whitewater part of the trip!

Whitewater rapids are the big attraction for many people on a river rafting adventure. Shoot the rapids, ride the wave, yell and holler over the roller coasters or big drops—it’s what people think of when they think of rafting. Running a rapid can make you feel alive and very much in the moment.

 

a few favorite things about camping

Choosing your camp spot!

Choosing your own campsite is an unexpectedly fun part of a river rafting or mountain biking trip with Holiday River Expeditions. When you pull into camp and grab your gear after it’s unloaded, the guides direct you toward the campsites area. Which one to choose? Up high or down low? Close to the river on a raft trip? Near the canyon rim on a bike trip? Away from all snorers? Close to the kitchen so you don’t miss the call of “Hot coffee!” ringing out in the morning?

For those who have never camped outside before, picking the right site might seem intimidating at first. With a little direction from the guides or other experienced campers, however, you can point your feet to just the perfect spot to lay your head tonight and have a peaceful slumber.

Wandering through the campsites, you keep your eyes focused on the flat spots, searching for the perfect one. This one is shaded by a juniper tree. That one offers superb views. The one over there will be greeted by first morning’s light, while the one over here will let you be lulled to sleep by the whoosh and burble of the river just beyond. If you’re a little nervous about things that might go bump in the night, there’s probably a great area close to the comforts of the the kitchen and other people. If you prefer more privacy, wandering a little up that hill over there reveals a tucked-away place.

 

Take the time to really enjoy the campsite as you pick out your spot. There’s a reason these campsites are used—they’re beautiful, serene, and kept very clean by high standards practiced by everyone traveling on the rivers or the backcountry bike trails. Trust me, you’ll know the best little spot for your tent as soon as you see it. It will be the one that says, rest here for the night. Sweet dreams!

 

Mealtime!

River rafting trips have a whole host of super coolness that attracts people. From the Colorado River whitewater rapids to the tall canyon walls to the deep intimacy with our beautiful natural world, a rafting adventure offers bucket loads of fun. We decided to round up a few of our favorite things about rafting trips.

Getting away from it all on a river rafting adventure is a big draw. Something else that attracts plenty of guests? Someone else does the cooking! No need for you to plan, chop, or prepare any part of the meal. Just sit down and eat.

In fact, watching the guides make your food can be a little highlight of the trip as well. Food prep at Holiday River Expeditions is a well-oiled machine, and the way the guides set it up can be a thing of organizational beauty. Just wait for an omelette morning and you’ll see exactly what we’re talking about.

Now, go on. Just get out on that river rafting trip and enjoy yourself. Your meals are in very good hands, and it’s wonderful knowing for once, those hands don’t have to be yours.

Who bakes lasagna and a chocolate peanut butter cake in the middle of nowhere? Awesome!

~Robert Johnson

I must really commend Holiday for the food, and of course, the guides who did all the cooking. It isn’t easy to satisfy the many palates of people but you guys did a great job of it. All the fresh veggies and fruit make a healthy meal. Thank you.

~ Mary Gavan

River Guide Zack Colman cooking up Big Drop Omelets. Photo credit: Mike Libecki

 

a few favorite things about silent floats

Silent Floats!

River rafting has a whole host of super coolness that attracts people. From the whitewater rapids to the tall canyon walls to the deep intimacy with our beautiful natural world, a rafting adventure offers bucket loads of fun. We decided to round up a few of our favorite things about rafting trips. In this portion we talk about the beauty of a silent float.

 

There is something utterly magical about floating a river in silence. Listening only to the breeze, the warbling sound of a canyon wren, the gentle riffles and eddies of the water. The light slap of a small wave against the raft are noises easily missed if we are talking or giggling or laughing. Drifting down one of the beautiful rivers of the West encased in silence. Having only thoughts and sensations for distraction, brings about a deeper contemplation and appreciation of the river, the canyon, the journey.

Next time you take a river rafting trip, ask if there can be a silent float during part of one day. The experience may awaken you to a new perception of these very special adventures on the river. Go with the flow, and enjoy the quiet ride.

 

a few favorite things about dark night skies

Dark Night Skies!

River rafting has a whole host of super coolness that attracts people. From the whitewater rapids to the tall canyon walls to the deep intimacy with our beautiful natural world, a rafting adventure offers bucket loads of fun. We decided to round up a few of our favorite things about rafting trips. This weeks topic is dark night skies.

The sky overhead at night is one of the things about a river trip that tend to awe people. Who knew the night could be so very dark? Or how about that that many stars danced up there? Who knew the sky was so vast, beautiful, and visible? Most cities and suburban areas have such intense light pollution that most residents never get to experience what a night sky is really like, in its untouched natural state. Even when the moon is out on a night spent by the river, the way it illuminates the canyons and sand beaches and individual trees can be an astounding thing to behold.

Enjoy those great dark night skies the next time you launch. It truly is a rare thing to experience! Or if you’re really looking to go the next step, join us on one of our Stargazing trips  led by a Clark Planetarium star guide.

 

 

 

Wildlife!

Wild critters abound in and around the rivers. Highlights include these lovely creatures:

Utah Wildlife Bighorn Sheep

Bighorn Sheep

Commonly seen on the Green through Lodore Canyon and in Idaho on the Salmon Rivers.

Bald Eagle in Westwater Canyon

Eagles (Golden and Bald)

Look to the skies above Desolation Canyon, Westwater Canyon and the Main Salmon River.

Beaver in Desolation Canyon

Beaver

Catch sight of these industrious workers on the Green River through Lodore and Desolation Canyon.

River Otter in Lodore

River Otter

Scan the shoreline and the river in Westwater Canyon and the Green River through Lodore Canyon.

Pike Minnow

This endangered fish species can grow up to three feet in length. The upper Colorado River basin still has populations, which might be seen on Lodore, Yampa.

Moose in Lodore

Moose

Keep your eyes peeled on the Main Salmon and late fall in Dinosaur National Monument.

Black Bear Desolation Canyon

Black Bear

Notoriously shy, you may possibly catch a glimpse along the banks of Desolation Canyon, the Main Salmon.

Wild Turkeys in Westwater

Wild Turkeys

Listen for gobbles on the Salmon River Canyons, Westwater Canyon, and Dinosaur National Monument.

Do you have photos of other Wildlife sightings from our trips?  Email your photos to [email protected] and we’ll add them to the list!

Julie TrevelyanWritten by Julie Trevelyan.

Julie is a freelance writer and wilderness guide in southern Utah. She especially enjoys books, coffee, yoga, wild country, horses, and dark chocolate.