Desolation Canyon Yoga, Stargazing, & Dark Sky Photography Trip

Join us on this star-studded 6-day adventure through Desolation Canyon, named by John Wesley Powell as “a region of wildest desolation.” Not only do we bring an all-star crew of professional guides, but special for this stargazing trip, we have not one – not two- but three out of this word facilitators!

Spend your days exploring outlaw hideouts and ancient indigenous cultural sites. We’ll splash through consistent, fun whitewater (this is a great trip for playing in inflatable kayaks). Our guides will satiate your curiosity with tales about who came before you in this ancient canyon full of ghosts and ancestors.

At camp, join outdoor yogi, Jennifer, ‘Fur,’ Gilmore, as she guides you to move your body and connect with nature. And what better place to reclaim your instinctive humanity, relax and unwind your mind, and reconnect with nature than while floating through Desolation Canyon on the Green River?  In the evenings our minds will expand along with the universe as it becomes visible around us. Our resident star expert, Tom Beckett, will guide you through the Milky Way using binoculars and the naked eye. Hunt for the Andromeda Galaxy, watch for satellites and meteors, and drift off to sleep while listening to stories about the constellations. Stargazing in Desolation Canyon brings us closer to the cosmos and inspires a sense of wonder.

As if yoga and stargazing aren’t enough on their own, we’ll also be joined by Astrophotographer, Bettymaya Foott, who works for DarkSky International. Bettymaya’s life goal is to preserve dark skies. Learn more about how she’s working towards this, as well as how to capture awe-inspiring night sky photographs with her!

Read more about our resident star expert and his passion for dark skies. Check out our Stargazing blog.

Meet our Facilitators:

Jennifer Gilmore Facilitator

Jennifer ‘Fur’ Gilmore

White Rim Tom Beckett Stargazing

Tom Beckett

Bettymaya Foott

 

Green River, Utah: Things to Do and Places to Explore

Featured Review:

“This was an incredible experience. My brother and I took my father, for his 80th birthday, on a trip to retrace the path of one of his heroes, John Wesley Powell. We took the Desolation Canyon trip. Everything about it was exceptional: the guides, the scenery, the plane trip, the food…even the weather (you can take credit for that!). My father has been raving about it since. Thank you for an incredible experience!” (Lucas Hoffman)

Book This Trip

Trip Overview

  • Type:

    Stargazing

  • Location:

    Green River Wilderness

  • Length:

    6 Days

  • Dates:

    August 26-31, 2024

  • Meet at:

    Green River, Utah @ 7:00 p.m. (night before your trip)

  • Difficulty:

    Beginner

  • Min. Age:

    5

  • Deposit:

    400

Highlights

  • Learn from Holiday's resident astronomy expert
  • Wide canyon walls that expose a full canopy of stars
  • Not so tall tales of this river's human history
  • Consistent Class I-III whitewater rapids
  • The best trip for inflatable kayaking
  • Gentle yoga and meditation on sandy beaches
Getting Here Before You Go Packing List FAQs

Rates & Dates

Itinerary

Start your trip with a scenic flight in a small plane. Fly over the Tavaputs Plateau and gaze down at the river you’ll soon be floating. The Green River flows out of the Uinta Basin and carves its way through some of the youngest rocks on the Colorado Plateau. From the Sandwash put in to the take out at Swasey’s Beach near the town of Green River, Utah, you’ll travel more than 80 river miles and enjoy over 60 named rapids!

Sample Itinerary

Plan to arrive in Green River, Utah, one day before your trip in order to attend a pre-trip meeting at 7:00 p.m. (Mountain Time). We’ll go through a brief orientation to prepare you for life on the river, give you your waterproof bags, answer any last questions, and let you know what time to meet for your flight the next morning. Our store will be open if you need to purchase last minute items (please look at our packing checklist for a list of items you can find at our store).

Special note: due to the limited space and weight limits on the aircraft, please plan to bring any specialty sodas, beer, wine, or other extra heavy or bulky items to our headquarters by 1:00 p.m. the day before your trip.

Day 1:

Please arrive promptly at the time established at last night’s pre-trip meeting. We’ll drive you out to the local airstrip to meet your pilots and prepare for your flight to the boat ramp. It’s approximately 30 minutes from Green River to Sand Wash, along the same route you’ll be floating for the next several days. Your guides will meet you at the landing strip, and will lead you on a gorgeous 45-min downhill hike to the river. Be sure to wear appropriate shoes for the hike. Guests who are unable to hike can ride to the boat ramp in one of our vans. We’ll push off into the lazy currents of upper Desolation; imagine you are one of John Wesley Powell’s boatmen, seeing this region for the first time, with no idea what to expect around each new corner. We’ll settle in to camp that night and treasure the rare experience of watching darkness fall in the absence of light pollution.

Day 2:

Wake to the sounds of canyon wrens and your guides calling you to coffee and breakfast. After breakfast as the guides will up the rafts, join Marlena for some morning yoga and meditation to start the day off. Take advantage of the morning calm to paddle an inflatable kayak. We’ll run our first rapids today as we drop deeper into the canyon. Check out a cultural site and wonder at the story told by the images carved in stone. At night, listen to star stories and learn how to find the rising summer constellations such as Cygnus and Lyra.

Day 3:

Start the day enjoying some fresh eggs cooked to order and get ready for some good whitewater! Today we’ll pass through the deepest part of Desolation Canyon: over 5,000 feet from river to rim! Enjoy a tour of the historic Rock Creek Ranch, where Butch Cassidy’s Wild Bunch rested their horses and bootleggers traded moonshine for apricots. Camp will offer the opportunity to hike around an abandoned meander or up to a spectacular overlook.

Day 4:

Today we’ll encounter several exciting rapids. We’ll scout one of the wildest rapids in the canyon, Cow Swim. Created by a flash flood in 2008, Cow Swim is an exciting reminder that geology is happening continuously. Look high on the cliffs for McPherson’s Elephant Arch where we’ll pass out of Desolation Canyon and into Gray Canyon, a dramatic transition made even more exciting by Wire Fence and Three Fords rapids. The afternoon will bring one final rapid to scout, Coal Creek. After an exciting day on the water, hike along a side canyon and examine mineral deposits seeping out of the canyon walls, or lounge on the beach before one last gourmet dinner and dark, starry night on the river.

Day 5:

We will run a half dozen more rapids before lunch and then take out at the end of the canyon, near Swasey’s Beach. We’ll load boats onto trailers and take you for one last ride, 20 minutes down the road to our headquarters in Green River, for an anticipated return time of 3:00 to 4:00 p.m.

Wilderness river trips are changeable by nature. Please understand that this is only a sample itinerary, intended to give an idea of how your time will be spent on the river. You may have the opportunity to do all of the above activities, or you may have a variety of other memorable and exciting experiences. We encourage you to arrive with an open mind, a flexible attitude, and an appetite for adventure! Read more about why Desolation is the best place for going with the flow.

Desolation Canyon Stargazing trip, Guests in Duckies

Desolation Canyon trips are true wilderness adventures, and trip itineraries vary widely depending on weather, the desires of each group, campsite availability, and the need to be courteous to other groups on the river. This is a sample itinerary intended to provide one example of a six-day stargazing trip through Desolation and Gray canyons.

Reviews

Still not convinced? See what others are saying.

Submit your review
1
2
3
4
5
Submit
     
Cancel

Create your own review

Holiday River Expeditions
Average rating:  
 20 reviews
 by Chelsea May

Our group had a great time on the Desolation yoga/stargazing trip. Our guide, Jacqueline was amazing, knowledgeable, kind, and lighthearted. Melanie, the fitness instructor was so sweet and came prepared with various movement activities for us all. Tom, the Star-Lord, shared lots of interesting stories and folklore about the stars every night. This is my third time on the river with Holiday, the food is always great, all guides are accommodating, and most importantly knowledgeable about the ways of the river to keep everyone safe. Thank you for an amazing, memorable trip!

 by Suzi Sands

The stargazing and yoga trip was amazing. I really needed to connect with nature and give my soul a break from normal life.

 by Jim Ruther

The guides were awesome. Stargazing and yoga were good. The hikes were very good. The food was too good, I gained weight. I sat in the co-pilot seat on the plane, it was awesome.



The guides were extremely helpful and knowledgeable. My friend and I got along very well with all the guides and instructors, we helped the guides load and unload the rafts many times. I hated to see good food go to waste. I think I gained quite a bit of weight. The inflatable ducky was a challenge for me. I would rank my kayaking abilities as moderate, but I did an awesome job of making it through the rapids. As a retired firefighter of 64 years old with my friend of 71 years old, we thought the trip was awesome.

 by Paul Greguoli

I truly enjoyed being with the guides; Rachel, Jacqueline, and Alex. It was my pleasure to help them unload and set up camp and take it down. I would be willing to volunteer to do a raft trip with them just to help do camp and possibly cook. They said they never had so much help. It would be nice to do it all with them again! Jacqueline got a little too excited when a wave flipped me off the duckie, but she was very good at getting me into her raft. I trust the two of them very much! The weather did not cooperate so well, to see the stars, but Tom did a nice job Thursday night. I really enjoyed what we got to see. Doing yoga was not high on my list, but it was enjoyable and I learned a few things I should try to keep doing. Her name escapes me at the moment, but we were on Rachel's raft together and I enjoyed our conversations and company. The hikes were fun and I enjoyed the rock art and the homestead remains. The water was high, the temperature enjoyable the number of days were just right for me, and the scenery was what I had hoped it would be. The food was good and they did a wonderful job of preparing it. I really enjoyed the plane ride over the river and canyons. It was nice to see the area that way. I would and have said to others that they should do the trip. I am truly glad I did it!

 by Nicole Hunter

The plane ride was an added bonus!! Loved it all! Yoga and Stargazing were incredible!

Page 1 of 4:
«
 
 
1
2
3
4
 
»