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)

Book This Trip

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:
  • $525
  • Youth:
    18 and under
  • $485
  • Senior:
    65 and older
  • $485
  • Group:
    10 or more
  • $485
Book This Trip
Check Availability
2020
  • June
  • 17, 20, 22, 24, 27, 29
  • July
  • 1, 4, 6, 8, 11, 13, 15, 18, 20, 22, 25, 27, 29
  • August
  • 1, 3, 5, 8, 10, 12, 15, 17, 19, 22, 24, 26, 29
  • September
  • 5, 12, 19, 26

3 Day

  • Adult:
  • $680
  • Youth:
    18 and under
  • $630
  • Senior:
    65 and older
  • $630
  • Group:
    10 or more
  • $630
Book This Trip
Check Availability
2020
  • May
  • 4, 8, 11, 15, 18, 22, 25, 29
  • June
  • 1, 5, 8, 12, 16, 19, 21, 23, 26, 28
  • July
  • 3, 5, 7, 10, 12, 14, 17, 19, 21, 24, 26, 28, 31
  • August
  • 2, 4, 7, 9, 11, 14, 16, 18, 21, 23, 25, 28, 30
  • September
  • 4, 11, 18, 25

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:  
 123 reviews
by Katy Nystrom on Holiday River Expeditions

Holiday River Expeditions EXCEEDED my expectations for my trip! I went for two days in the Westwater Canyon and it was better than I could have imagined.

The tour guides were super friendly and knowledgeable... they took care of us so well! We ate good food, relaxed as we floated down the river, and camped right next to the river. The rapids were wild and the tour guides made it a blast!

Though this was my first time white water rafting, it will not be my last! I am definitely coming back to bring my family on this excursion, and will be booking through Holiday River when I do. Such a great time and so many memories made! Thank you Holiday River Expeditions.

by Jerry Kent on Holiday River Expeditions

Trip was amazing. I am not an outdoors person and after this trip I am a fan of Holiday River Expeditions. Dave, Nick and Jacqueline were amazing guides and I would recommend them highly. The wildlife, rapids and friendship was awesome.

by Timothy Redfern on Holiday River Expeditions

The gear was absolutely great. Only thing that could use an upgrade is the pillow. Next time i would bring something with more density.

Our guides were awesome! Jacqueline, Nick and Dave were A+. Very accommodating and great to hang out with. I left hoping I would cross paths with all three at some point in the future.

One word, EPIC. I was on a corporate executive retreat and did not know what to expect. The Holiday team made the experience memorable, fun and safe! From the days on the river to great camps to the awesome meals everything was top notch. I can't wait to go again and bring my family along for the ride!

by Peter Anastos on Holiday River Expeditions

Very practical and comfortable arrangements. Rented tent and sleeping gear. Extremely knowledgeable, fun, witty, and professional guides. Hikes were spectacular, and food as good as it gets on the water. Holiday River Expeditions totally exceeded our high expectations. Staff professionalism and personalities blended nicely with our group and cadence of rafting, stopping, hiking, and camping was perfect. Scenery was spectacular.

by Marcie & Byron Bailey on Holiday River Expeditions

Overall this was a fantastic trip and I would highly recommend your company to anyone. My only criticism was that the information provided downplayed the bug situation. Had I known how fierce the mosquitoes would be, not responding to 25% deet, I would have soaked all of my clothes in permethrin before I came and would have brought 99% deet. I immediately bought a Thermacell when I got home. Other than that, I did appreciate the bug nets you provided for our heads. Thanks!

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