Westwater Canyon, just north of Moab, Utah, has it all: red rock desert scenery; a perfect mix of rapids and calm water; huge, dark skies perfect for stargazing; hikes to overlooks and historic sites; and opportunities to swim and paddle inflatable kayaks and stand-up paddleboards. At Holiday, we feel like Westwater is the perfect 2- or 3-day introduction to a desert rafting trip. And we love getting emails from you describing your first impressions of river life—and how excited you are to get out and do it again! We’ve gathered some of our favorite reviews here. Thanks to all of you who come out and try something new.
This trip was one of the most unreal experiences! We bonded with so many other guests and were surrounded by the most beautiful backdrops and scenery I have seen. The food was gourmet and blew away any expectations of “camping” food we previously had. I cannot wait to get out on the river again!
By Nicole Ricioli
Super Human Guides
The guides are awesome. Where do you find superhumans like this? Rowing the boat all day, keeping organized, taking a quick run up the canyon after we end the day’s float, then cooking dinner, and cleaning up, and the list goes on. It is mind-boggling to say the least. The food is terrific, and I particularly appreciated that some accommodations were made to not blow out my low-carb diet entirely. My daughter and I had a really wonderful experience. I know we’ll never forget it. Swimming in Westwater Canyon was just amazing. We had an unusual group of no couples at all, and a flock of compatibly-aged kids to hang together. Many thanks to Brin, Maya, and Zack for making it a memorable part of our lives.
By Mike & Paula Beckerle
Guides Were Easy-Going and Respectful
Even though we were a large group we were given excellent customer service specific to each of our families, even birthdays were remembered by the guides. My kids really enjoyed the pictures on the website and it really got our family excited about the trip. All of the gear was in good shape and the tents were very easy to put up, my 12 year old did it by himself. The guides were great and were able to track the names of folks. All of them had a good sense of humor and were very knowledgeable about the particular canyon and region. We learned a lot about geology, and animals and birds in a great fun way. Guides were very easygoing and respectful too. Great food, quickly prepared, and served well. We cleaned our plates. After the trip, all 33 of my family members agreed it was the best vacation anyone had taken in a very long time. We all agreed that we all forgot about work etc. and just enjoyed the vacation. It is one of the best ways to really get away from it all!! We are already thinking about our next raft trip. Thanks Holiday Expeditions- you are wonderful.
By Eric Lee & Jean Henkels
Clear Night Skies & Counting Shooting Stars
All the guides on our trip were friendly, informative, efficient, and helpful. No improvement possible! The hikes were short which in the heat was good – and interesting. The food was really excellent. Especially the steaks! And breakfast, and lunch…The van that took us to the launching site was more than a cut above the other companies launching at the same time. We came from the UK to spend 2 weeks in Utah. We spent a week in Zion and then headed East for our rafting trip. It was a highlight of the holiday, especially as we lay in our sleeping bags on the first night, in a long line, counting shooting stars. Totally memorable. Thank you for a really brilliant rafting trip. I would love to think we will be back some time and we would definitely recommend you to our friends.
By John & JoAnna Denham
Bonding Around a Campfire
The rental equipment was fairly new and very clean. All of the guides we had were great. They shared information about the wildlife, foliage, and history of the area. They also shared jokes and laughs around the campfires. The steaks, lasagna, and brownies were excellent. It was fun to watch the guides preparing and cleaning up dinners – everything was very organized. I planned four trips for 100 people. Everything, from the initial planning to the final trip, was great. The gal in the office was great to work with – she responded to all of my emails and phone calls timely and helped me keep my sanity throughout all of the planning. The guides were friendly, fun, and knowledgeable. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Holiday River Expeditions to anyone.
By Susan Dill
Guides Worked Wonders With The Dutch Oven
I wasn’t really sure what I was getting myself into when I had agreed to go on this trip with a group of friends. Brin and Alex were our tour guides and they were awesome! They were very friendly and knowledgeable. Not only did I get to take in the breathtaking scenery around me, but I also learned a lot about the history of the area. The optional hikes were a little difficult for me but incredibly rewarding. And the food was delicious! It’s incredible what these guides can cook outside the normal kitchen. One night we had filet mignon with freshly baked brownies (yes, they made a Dutch oven)! This was one of the greatest experiences I’ve had and I will definitely be coming back and booking a trip with Holiday River Expeditions in the future. Thank you for a memorable time!
By Tania Farrar
Never A Dull Moment!
Malia and Brian were absolutely wonderful. As always the guides made the trip and it was great getting to know them! My family has been doing trips every year since 2004, as usual, we had a great trip. The guides are always a pleasure to get to know and the food is fantastic. I have been on many vacations that include Hawaii and cruises and I can honestly say that the river trips with Holiday are my favorite. The river is the one place where you can truly get away from the craziness of the world and learn to appreciate nature again. If you are on the fence about going- definitely go! Holiday River Expeditions is the greatest and there is never a dull moment!
By Johanna Jensen
Same Trip, Different Experience
Everything is done very well and the guides are super personable. We did the exact same trip over the exact same weekend as last year and had a totally different experience. The water was running about twice as fast so although it felt like we were on the river about the same amount of time the 1st and 2nd day, we got in a lot more hikes which were really fun, too. The guides were just as great as last years, very friendly and helpful, and got us through the big rapid safe and sound. We stopped for lunch and camped overnight in all different locations which made exploring interesting. It was so nice to be on the river with huge canyon walls surrounding us and to be away from the day to day events of life. Thanks!
By Julie Guiney
The River Transformed my Grandchildren
We brought our six grandchildren (ranging in age from 11-21). We wanted them to have the experience of a 3 day, 2 night journey on the Colorado River with Holiday River Expeditions. The guides went out of their way to make sure their experience was memorable. Reaching camp early each afternoon, they took them on hikes after unloading the boats and played catch with them after dinner. We knew we would not be disappointed as we had traveled with Holiday River in 1997.
These kiddos who have grown up without any previous camping experience out how self-sufficient and independent they could be. They set up and broke down their campsites, were able to kayak on the calm part of the river, and experience the excitement of the rapids later in the trip. The meals were fantastic with amazing menus in the middle of nowhere. This was a memorable trip for all of us.
Trip Review By Web & Joan Golden
Enjoyed Optional Paddling Opportunities
The guides were extremely knowledgeable and respectful and they did an excellent job preparing the food! Additionally, Colin played a mean guitar! The trip was better than I could have imagined! It was relaxing and laid-back. Also, it was nice to have the option of paddling a kayak or ducky or paddleboard.
By Denise Chasse
Plenty of Wildlife Sightings
Super fun!! What a well-organized trip with beautiful weather and great food. The guides were efficient, safe, and very tolerant of our large group of women. Thank you, Colin, for the awesome guitar. The canyon was gorgeous- replete with wildlife like eagles, bighorn sheep, river otters, and growling rapids. I want to do it again.
By Connie Sliwinski
Thank You to the Guides
A special commendation to the fabulous guides… Their knowledge of the area, skill in handling the boats, efficiency, and expertise with setting up camp. Also the amazing cooking and food choices! Their musical talents and overall charm, wit, and humor made for a truly extraordinary and wonder filled experience! Thank you guys, much love and gratitude – the Irish Girl on Rolf & Aarons team. 😉
By Anne Marie Cantwell
Amazing Women’s Trip
We did a “girls trip” (OK more of a middle-aged women’s trip), there were 27 of us on 5 boats and it was an absolute blast! The guides took great care of us and dealt with our antics in a fun and professional manner. The campsites were great and the food was absolutely AMAZING!!
By Krista Fogerty
Far Exceeded Expectations
The guides, Jesse & Justin in particular, were outstanding and far exceeded my expectations. They were knowledgeable and kept their cool under some very challenging situations. They made this trip far more than I had hoped for and were very fun. EXCELLENT!!!! Oh, and Justin’s culinary skills deserve a shout-out as well! From booking to completion, this trip was outstanding. All of the staff were friendly, helpful, and genuinely nice people to deal with. I plan on using Holiday again in the future. Great job!!
By Kim Hill
Sleeping Is Better Under The Stars
I called with concerns about the high water, and my concerns were addressed thoroughly and accurately. Dave, Leland, Brian, and Kailei were all absolutely fantastic; great with kids, patient, knowledgeable, skillful, and lots of fun. I don’t have a bad thing to say about any of them. Also, the food was top notch and there was plenty of it! We absolutely had the time of our lives in Westwater Canyon. I brought my two daughters ages 8 and 9. The guides were excellent with my girls and kept us all laughing. They were well-trained and hard-working and whipped up some excellent meals! That combined with breathtaking scenery, thrilling rapids, and nights nestled in our sleeping bags under the stars made these three days we will never forget.
By Stacy Davis
Our overall grade? A+ !!
Tammy was very organized and kept in contact before our trip. She remembered me by name when I called to ask a last-minute question. Our guides, Rocky, Leland, and Erika were extremely competent and knowledgeable. They were not only knowledgeable about the whitewater trip but also about the geology and ecology of the area.
We were looking for a whitewater experience that our entire family could enjoy together. Being able to take our 8-year-old along and feel completely confident that she was safe sold us on the Westwater Canyon trip. Getting into a remote country, sleeping along the riverbank, and getting an adrenaline rush was also at the top of our wish list.
Our guides and the rest of the Holiday River Expeditions team delivered on all counts. Plus they served excellent and surprising food and educated us about the environment we were traveling through. Our overall grade? A+ !!
Trip Review by Brad & Lisa Judge
You Have the Most Personable Guides
The guides were great!!! They are very personable and very helpful. They have a great rapport with each other which makes the trip all the more interesting. The hikes were enjoyable and helped break up the trip. We made camp near a waterfall and pool that was great fun. The food was surprisingly good especially since they are feeding about 20 people on a beach. This was my 2nd trip with Holiday (prev. was 20 years ago) and my experience was as pleasurable as the first.
By Eduard R. & Lori Fermano Pass
Staff was Upbeat and Helpful
The fantastic guide (Tilts) exceeded our expectations. He was a gracious expert who was entertaining, and let us relax and have a great time! We would travel with him anytime! The food was fantastic! We do a lot of self-contained back-country activities (backpacking, kayaking, and canoeing) on our own, but you all provided a measure of pampering we hadn’t expected. It made for a wonderfully relaxing outdoor experience. All of your staff was unfailingly upbeat and helpful. Adult summer camp may never be the same for us! Thanks for everything.
By Kevin Kolk & Jan Beile
Loved The Pineapple Upside Down Cake
The guides were very fun to be around and very interactive with us. The food was delicious (as always). I think you guys do the BEST job with the food. It’s always so tasty and it gets put together really quickly. My favorite was the pineapple upside-down cake for dessert Saturday night, I’ve never had that before on the river and it was AWESOME! The trip was so much fun, this was my 4th year going and I loved it. I love that I don’t have to help cook or clean! The river and scenery were gorgeous. The rapids the next day were tons of fun. It was an awesome trip and I can’t wait to go again!
By Megan Gebhard
Thank you for Providing & Promoting Eco-Friendly Tourism
Outstanding guides. Dave had an infectious interest in geology and the native habitat. Randy was an outstanding boatman. The food was outstanding. It is hard to believe that the guides were able to make ice cream in the middle of nowhere. This was my second trip with Holiday Expeditions. Every staff person that I interacted with was courteous, helpful, patient, and very informative. I especially appreciated the eco-friendly value orientation. Many thanks.
By John Sheff
The Weather Actually Enhanced Our Trip!
This was a terrific end to our short trip through Utah. Two days on the river was just enough time to unplug. Our guides were experts in handling the rafts, setting up camp, cooking, and delivering a good time. They even arranged for lightning and thunderstorms to keep us amused. In spite of heavy rain and lightning, I never felt at risk on the river. As soon as we were able, we took shelter in an old prospector’s cabin. We were delighted to see multiple red flash flood waterfalls as we progressed down river. It was likely a once-in-a-lifetime experience for most of us. Susan, Julian, KC, and Larkin provided a very enjoyable trip!
By Mike & Sue Yeoman
Providing The “Gold Standard” For River Rafting
As a ski instructor and former tour operator myself, I know firsthand what it takes to manage a group on a tour. I have to commend you and your staff for providing the best and most professional customer service imaginable. All your guides were terrific, but Julian and Susan were exceptional. Their attentiveness to safety, hygiene, maintaining the gear and boats while providing for the comfort of all the guests throughout the entire trip. We were extremely impressed with the cohesiveness of the group and the teamwork exhibited by your staff who worked their “butts” off.
The guide’s river running skills and competency speak for themselves, but their knowledge of all aspects of the trip from archaeology, geology, environmental sensitivity, etc. to their culinary and interpersonal skills vastly contributed to and enhanced our total experience. We certainly appreciated the trip and will recommend Holiday River Expeditions whenever the opportunity arises. You and your staff have set the bar high providing the “gold standard” for river rafting in general. Thank you again!
By Daniel J. Steffen
Holiday Handled Our Trip Logistics with Grace
The guides were wonderful. We had lots of special requests and unique planning considerations that they worked with easily and with amazing grace. I would happily work with Alex, Susan, and Colin anytime. Top marks all around (drivers too). NewCo totally appreciates all the flexibility, understanding and support that Holiday has provided as we get our feet on the ground. We hope to continue to build our relationship and look forward to running more trips with Holiday’s support. Everyone we have interacted with (Shout out to Tim), has been absolutely wonderful. We are looking forward to next season!
By Eli Shostak
Back To Being A Kid Again
I was extremely impressed at how great the sleeping bags smelled and that they had been laundered. I don’t know what I was expecting but didn’t expect sweet-smelling sleeping bags. Leland and Kasey met and exceeded our expectations. Leland was our boat guide and was polite, professional at all times. He was very knowledgeable about the river and area and was fun to have on the trip. He was excellent when we were involved in an emergency situation and was professional at all times. We had a great time swimming in the Colorado and sliding on the rafts.
The trip brought me back to being a kid again. The transportation was on time and very professional. Our experience was better than awesome. You indicated on our itinerary that although we had been on many trips we have never been on a trip like this. That was right! We were pampered, cared for and most of all were allowed to have lots of fun. I have told many of our friends of our experience and have recommended this rafting trip to everyone. Both my husband and I had a great time and will reflect back on this trip with excitement and praise.
By Herb & Ashley Castle
A Fine Blend of Serious and Fun Entertainment
We had Randy and Dave as guides and they were terrific! The hikes we took were lots of fun and educational too. We enjoyed the blend of goofiness (water fights, washers) and serious entertainment (geology, nature info, eagle watching, petroglyphs, hikes). The food was also marvelous. This is our second trip with Holiday and we will be back!
By Dave & Candy Olsen
I Raved About This Trip
I was really impressed by the service from the Holiday staff. From the first contact, they knew who I was even though my last trip was some years ago. The guides added wet suits which was a pleasant surprise for the early season cold water. Both guides were great, they were friendly, knowledgeable, and inspired confidence. The food was great. I wish that I had been able to book a longer trip!! It was gratifying that my friend who had not done a trip with Holiday before (and probably hadn’t slept in a tent in 30 years) found that it was as great an experience as I had raved about.
By Eileen Scott
I Want To Be A River Guide Now
My Guides were absolutely amazing, and I now consider them good friends of mine. I was super nervous about being hungry as an amateur bodybuilder. Then I was shocked at how good the food was and by the size of the servings. The trip made me question everything in my life. It has made me want to say, “Screw it. I’m quitting my job and becoming a river guide”. Truly an amazing 2 days!
By Gabe Gelleri
A Job Well Done
Your Guides are the best river guides of any guiding company I have experienced anywhere in the world. As a repeat Holiday Expeditions guest, I was not disappointed. I did this Westwater Canyon trip to introduce my friend to whitewater rafting, and although it was a totally different experience, it was as enjoyable as my previous trip through Desolation Canyon. As always, a job well done.
By Jan Beck
No Better Outfitter in the West
All of the gear (waterproof bags, PFD’s, rafts, etc.) were all in good condition and worked well. This was our 5th Holiday trip, and the guides were fantastic as usual and contributed as much to our overall satisfaction as the water and scenery. We were especially impressed with Kelly and even wrote Tim Gaylord to let him know how highly we thought of this young river runner. The side hike with Brian and Kelly went very well and was definitely worth the effort. The food was high quality, well prepared, and plenty of it. Also, the transportation was clean, safe, and efficient. All the vans were on time and had courteous drivers. We will be back, and we tell all our friends about our great experiences and how there is no better outfitter in the West.
By Stephen Tyson & Deborah Favreau