Holiday River Expeditions FAQs

Why Holiday River Expeditions?

Holiday was incorporated in 1966. Since then ownership has not changed. We are still a family-owned-and-operated business. An inherent company philosophy is that we exist to protect the environment through education and conservation. Part of this philosophy is evident in the fact that Holiday runs strictly oar-powered and/or paddle rafts, as opposed to motorized rafts on our trips.

With more than 50 years of experience we understand that safety is the most important aspect of any wilderness vacation. We take great pride in every important detail of planning your vacation. Our boats and equipment are top quality and impeccably maintained. Our guides are the best in the business, each trained professionally in river safety and first aid. We are proudly the 2003 recipient of the Canyonlands National Park Safety Award.

I’ve never been camping before. What are the accommodations?

Each night is spent camping on the beaches of the river, or on bike trips in a beautiful wilderness setting. You will be sleeping in a tent or out in the open, under the stars, whatever you prefer. Your biggest responsibility will be setting up your tent (if you rented a tent from us, the guides will show you how to put up your tent). All other aspects of camping, such as food preparation and clean-up, are taken care of by the guides. The camping is comfortable and easy.

How do you go to the bathroom?

The Baño, er… toilet… “Where will I go to the bathroom?” is a common but serious question! The management of human waste has a huge yuck factor, but we make it easy, and sanitary. With each camp site, our guides will set up the “baño”, also known as the “groover”, or toilet in a discrete and private location along the river, often with the best view in town! Similar to what you have at home, the baños have a regular toilet seat that is attached to a box. One for solid waste and one for urine. Toilet paper and a separate hand washing set-up keep things clean. So don’t worry! We’ve got you covered! When we pack up camp, the guides break down the baño, and pack it away for the next camp site. Now, that’s not so bad, is it?

How do I choose a trip that’s right for me?

First you’ll want to decide when you are free to come, then the length of the trip you’d like to take, the location, and the age range and abilities of your group. Do you want to actively row in a paddle boat, or would you rather kick back and enjoy in an oar boat? 4-6 person oar powered rafts are typically scheduled on all Holiday trips and the guide navigates the rapids and rows through calm sections using a set of wooden oars. Paddle rafts are available on certain trips at certain times of the year. Paddle rafts are powered by the guides and each of the guests in the raft have a paddle. A paddle raft requires 6-8 guests who are who are willing to paddle all day, through both the rapid and calm sections. We also take along small one-person inflatable kayaks that a willing guest can paddle without the aid of a guide and the guests trade off using them. Guests in an inflatable kayak are not allowed to paddle the more difficult sections of the river. Check out our “Impeccable Gear” section for photos!

How difficult are the rapids?

Each trip is rated beginner, intermediate, or advanced. These are subjective ratings that portray the physical demand and technical challenge of each trip. River trips also have a class rating according to the difficulty of their toughest rapid. Class II trips consist of flatwater and gentle waves. Class III rated trips include moderate waves and obstructions (rock, gravel bars etc.) in the river. Class IV rivers have bigger and faster water than Class III. Trips rated Class V are the most difficult with large waves, powerful currents, and unpredictable hazards.

Do you take families with young children?

Yes, our trips make wonderful family vacations. Holiday offers trips for children as young as five years old and our trip consultants can help you find the trip that is right for your family. On trips with children, our guides may take along our “Kids Kit”, a box full of fun with engaging activities.

What activities are provided for children?

There are many activities that are directed toward children. Our guides are experts in the history of the area with great stories of outlaws and explorers that seem to catch children’s attention. They may also have a “Kids Kit” with a variety of activities for children. At camp, volleyball nets can be set up along with other camp games. Along the rivers, sandy beaches are a stage for many activities from building sand castles to mud creations. Hikes are also very exciting and entertaining for children of all ages—they will see things that were created many years ago by early Indian inhabitants, or more recently by western explorers. Water fights always seem to erupt when children are around too.

Where do you start? Where do you fly into?

The meeting point is different for each trip. Airplanes, shuttles and cars are all transportation options. Please refer to your trip information packet for specific information. Our trip consultants can also offer transportation suggestions.

How many people are on a trip?

Holiday trips are generally limited to 25 guests, though trips often have less. We also offer charter trip services for groups.

Can you accommodate someone who is traveling by themselves?

Yes, of course. We have lots of people who come by themselves. In some cases arrangements can be made to share a rental car with another person or group that is going on the same trip.

Can you accommodate vegetarians?

Absolutely! We take pride in preparing fresh delicious meals for guests with all types of dietary requests. Be sure to let us know on your guest data sheet or over the phone.

How hard is the biking?

On mountain bike trips the routes are suitable for the athletic-beginner to the experienced mountain biker. Although, you need to know that there are steep grades and loose gravel, and one must be comfortable to be able to maneuver a bike appropriately and safely, so as not to endanger oneself or others on the trip.

What is a typical tip for the guides?

If you feel the guides have been instrumental in your enjoyment of the trip, you may choose to direct a gratuity to the trip leader. He/She will then distribute it evenly to the other crew members. An average tip is $20-$30 per guest per day.

What do you wear during the day?

Most people wear what is most comfortable to them. When the weather is hot during the day a swimsuit with shorts and a t-shirt can be worn while on the raft. Water shoes or sandals are usually worn while on the raft, and during hikes most people wear a comfortable pair of tennis shoes. When the weather is cooler, be sure to wear something that is going to protect you from getting wet because once you get wet, you’ll stay wet. Layering your clothing is also a good idea. Read our checklist on what to bring. If you pack appropriately you will be comfortable and happy.

How many hours do we spend on the river each day?

The itinerary of a river trip has to be flexible. The length of time on the river depends on the camp sites and how much time is needed for activities during the day such as lunch and side hikes. On average you will spend 4-7 hours per day on the river.

What kinds of people are on the trip?

This depends entirely on your specific trip. Certain trips attract certain demographics. We have trips that are directed towards families with young children to trips that are more advanced for the real adventure-seeker. There are also trips with solo guests, couples, families, groups of friends, and groups of colleagues. Come prepared to meet people that are looking for the same thing you are, A GREAT ADVENTURE VACATION!

What if I don’t know how to swim?

Many of our trips are appropriate for non-swimmers. Our trip consultants are happy to discuss which trips are appropriate for your particular interests and comfort level.