Westwater Canyon River Rafting

Westwater Canyon rafting trips are the best way to get a little taste of everything a river trip has to offer. Spend a weekend discovering the majesty of the Colorado River in the canyon that some call a miniature Grand Canyon. Paddle an inflatable kayak or a stand-up paddle board beneath smooth pink and orange sandstone walls. Run exciting rapids through a canyon made of polished black stone (over a billion years old!). Explore side canyons and climb to the rim for the bird’s eye view. Or, just relax! Kick back on a raft and let the world float by. Dig your toes into the sand at camp and dig into that book you’ve been wanting to read. This is your trip; our guides will help you make the most of it.

These trips are a great idea for those who want the beauty and thrills of a traditional Colorado River rafting vacation but only have a few days. Our Westwater Canyon trips are the ultimate two- or three-day getaway. Just enough time to experience something wild and still be home in time for work on Monday. Or, plan a one-day trip with a group of 12 people or more.

Want to know all the details? Check out our Insider’s Guide to Rafting the Colorado River through Westwater Canyon.

Featured Review:

“The entire experience was amazing and the guides were perfect! They took the time to make sure everyone knew what was going on and that everyone was having fun and being safe too! The food was better than I eat at home and everyone agreed it was the best food they had had on a camping/hiking trip. The guides’ personalities were awesome and they took the time to point out things to make the trip even better than standard and really made the trip memorable! I couldn’t have asked for a better trip.” (Daniel Lederer)

Acknowledging the traditional inhabitants of this land: in a gesture of respect and appreciation for the Indigenous people who have lived on and cared for the rivers and canyons where we play, Holiday wishes to acknowledge that Westwater Canyon is the traditional homeland of the Núu-agha-tʉvʉ-pʉ̱ (Ute) people. Read more about our land acknowledgements here.
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Trip Overview

  • Type:

    Rafting

  • Location:

    Colorado River - Westwater Canyon

  • Length:

    2 and 3 Days

  • Dates:

    May–September

  • Meet at:

    Green River, Utah @ 8:00 am

  • Difficulty:

    Intermediate

  • Min. Age:

    8

  • Deposit:

    300

Highlights

  • Exciting Class III & IV whitewater rapids
  • Play on stand-up paddleboards & inflatable kayaks in the calm water
  • Stunning wilderness canyon with billion-year-old black rocks
  • Narrowest part of the Colorado River: Skull Rapid
  • See bighorn, birds of prey, & otters
Getting Here Before You Go Packing List FAQs

Rates & Dates

2 Day

  • Adult:
  • $570
  • Youth:
    18 and under
  • $530
  • Senior:
    65 and older
  • $530
  • Group:
    10 or more
  • $530
Book This Trip
Check Availability
2022
  • June
  • 15, 18, 20, 22, 25, 27, 29
  • July
  • 2, 4, 6, 9, 11, 13, 16, 18, 20, 23, 25, 27, 30
  • August
  • 1, 3, 6, 8, 10, 13, 15, 17, 20, 22, 24, 27, 29, 31
  • September
  • 3, 10, 17, 24

3 Day

  • Adult:
  • $725
  • Youth:
    18 and under
  • $675
  • Senior:
    65 and older
  • $675
  • Group:
    10 or more
  • $675
Book This Trip
Check Availability
2022
  • April
  • 29
  • May
  • 2, 6, 9, 13, 16, 20, 23, 27, 30
  • June
  • 3, 6, 10, 14, 17, 19, 22, 24, 26, 28
  • July
  • 1, 3, 5, 8, 10, 12, 15, 17, 19, 22, 24, 26, 29, 31
  • August
  • 2, 5, 7, 9, 12, 14, 16, 19, 21, 23, 26, 28, 30
  • September
  • 2, 9, 16, 23

Itinerary

The Colorado River slips over the Utah-Colorado border just west of the Colorado National Monument. Three-day rafting trips begin in Loma, Colorado and float through the sherbet-colored sandstones of Ruby Canyon before entering the black schist of Westwater itself. The two-day trips begin at the Westwater Ranger Station in eastern Utah and get right to the heart of the black rocks. Both trips end in Cisco, Utah, a ghost-town-turned-artist-colony.

Sample Itinerary

3-DAY WESTWATER/RUBY CANYON RAFTING TRIP

Day 1:

Meet at our headquarters in Green River, Utah, at 8:00 a.m., Mountain Time We’ll issue your waterproof bags and give you time to pack them. You can buy any last minute items from our warehouse store at this time (see our packing checklist for a list of items we stock). Next we’ll load up into our vans for the two hour ride east to the put-in at Loma, Colorado. This is Ruby Canyon, characterized by smooth sandstone walls and unique pillars. The water is calm at first, with a few small rapids, perfect for playing around with inflatable kayaks or stand-up paddle boards. A side hike up Rattlesnake Canyon reveals a variety of desert plants and wildlife. Camp at Black Rocks, where 1.7 billion-year-old black schist provides the background setting.

Day 2:

Enjoy a peaceful morning of floating before reaching the Westwater Ranger Station. From there, the river enters the narrow, black rock canyon of Westwater itself. Rapids begin to get bigger, which means more fun in the inflatable kayaks! Camp just upstream of the biggest rapids, deep within Westwater, and savor a steak dinner while watching the stars come out.

Day 3:

Gear up for rapids! One right after another: Big Hummer, Funnel Falls, Surprise, and the narrowest point of the Colorado River, Skull Rapid. Once we’ve made it through the rapids, sit back and look for bald eagles, great blue herons, and even an occasional big horn sheep. We aim to be at the Cisco boat ramp by 2:00. After loading boats and gear, we’ll make the 45-minute drive back to Green River. We typically return between 4:00 and 5:00 p.m.

2-DAY WESTWATER/GRANITE CANYON RAFTING TRIP

Day 1:

We’ll start at our Green River, Utah, headquarters at 8:00 a.m., Mountain Time. You’ll get your river bags and have time to pack and pick up last minute items from our on-site store (see our store supplies page for a list of items we stock). We will then hop in the vans and ride for approximately one hour east to the Westwater Ranger Station. It’s a relaxing float at first, with a possible hike to Little Hole Canyon’s natural amphitheater where Native American rock art 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.

Day 2:

Leisurely breakfast before rigging for the rapids of Westwater! The waves come fast and furious and in quick succession, including Skull Rapid, one of Colorado’s fiercest drops and the narrowest part of the river. Finish with Bowling Alley, Sock-it-to-me and Last Chance. Vans will return you to our headquarters in Green River between 4:00 to 5:00 p.m.

As mentioned earlier, this is a sample itinerary and should not be thought of as the exact trip you will experience. It is intended to give an idea of what the trip will be like, and could also be exactly what you do. Keep an open mind, be flexible, go with the flow, and enjoy!

One of the advantages of a river trip is the flexibility of the daily itinerary. It can vary widely from one trip to the next based on group desires, assigned campsites, weather, and other unpredictable elements. Embrace the adventure and go with the flow!

 

Reviews

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Holiday River Expeditions
Average rating:  
 154 reviews
by Carson Parker on Holiday River Expeditions

The guides were amazing and they took care of everything! The food was delicious and it was impressive to watch the setup and break down of the campsite. I would absolutely use Holiday River Expeditions for another trip.

by Lucas Wiggins on Holiday River Expeditions

It was an absolutely awesome experience. Spending a few days away from the crazy world with a few friends on the river is an experience we will never forget. When you are on river time, the only things that matter are having fun and "throw me another cold one!"

by Jamie and Jason Rydberg on Holiday River Expeditions

Our guides Julian, Vern & Jim were phenomenal and really made our trip spectacular!

by Allen Butler on Holiday River Expeditions

We had the most remarkable trip with Holiday River Expeditions. Not only was everything perfect, but we felt, in every instance, that our guides did their best to make our trip memorable. This has definitely become something we will remember, draw upon, and cherish for many years to come. All thanks to the Holiday staff who managed to give us a trip of a lifetime!

by Christina Kallaher on Holiday River Expeditions

We had the best guides! Nick, Joey, Eve, and Josh were amazing. They made our experience extra special. Can’t wait to go again

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