White Rim Trail & Cataract Canyon Bike & Raft Trip

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White Rim Trail & Cataract Canyon Combination Trip – About This Trip

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If you're not afraid of a sore muscle or two, why ride to the river in a van when you could be flying along the White Rim Trail on a bike? Join us on one of the best multi-sport active adventure trips available, the White Rim Trail biking and Cataract Canyon rafting combination trip! Sixty-five miles of biking from mesa top to river bottom will show you the Moab-area multi-day ride that has become the standard against which all others are judged. After three days of following the White Rim Trail around the Island in the Sky District of Canyonlands National Park, the white sandstone bench descends to the river bottom and your whitewater journey begins. This biking and rafting trip through Canyonlands National Park will be a human-powered adventure you'll never forget!

Cataract Canyon is a red-rock paradise in the heart of Canyonlands National Park, a deliciously difficult-to-access region known for its powerful rapids, dramatic scenery, and fascinating geology. Holiday's oar-powered trips allow you to go at the pace of the river and achieve a rare sense of calm and connection with nature. Fully catered and supported from day one through seven, Holiday's professional guides will lead you on a stunning journey on bike and raft and foot, leading you to prehistoric ruins and rock art, waterfalls, arches, and slot canyons; you'll travel above and along the flat water of the Green River to its confluence with the Colorado, and from there, through over 30 rapids, including Mile Long and The Big Drops, a fall of 80 feet in less than four miles—one of the Colorado's steepest descents.

Indian Creek Falls in Cataract Canyon

Trip Overview

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Location: White Rim Trail & Green River - Canyonlands National Park
Type: Bike/Raft
Length: 7 Days
Dates: May & September
Meet At: Green River, Utah 7:00 a.m.
Rating: Intermediate & Advanced
Age Min: 12
Deposit: $300

Highlights

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  • Human-powered active adventure in Canyonlands National Park
  • Oar-rafts (no motors) provide a tranquil flat water experience and a thrilling whitewater ride
  • White Rim featured on KUED and The Salt Lake Tribune's "Bucket List" program
  • The perfect balance of hard work and relaxation
  • Breathtaking views from the top and bottom of canyon-country
  • Select 2019 Spring trips listed on "Great Deals"

Trip Price & Departure Dates

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Adult - $1,685
Youth - $1,485 (18 & under)
Senior - $1,485 (65 & older)
Group - $1,485 (10 or more)

2020 Trip Dates

May 2, 16
Sept 5, 19

Trip Slideshow

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Full Gallery

Map

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Start the biking at the Shafer Trail on the eastern edge of the Island in the Sky District of Canyonlands National Park. Ride clockwise toward the Green River. Meet the rafts near the start of Stillwater Canyon and then meander south to the confluence with the mighty Colorado. The rapids begin below the confluence, and don't let up until the northern limit of Lake Powell and the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. Our take-out point is near the old Hite Marina, 65 biking miles and nearly 90 river miles from where we began.

Itinerary

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A bike/raft combo trip is the ultimate Canyonlands wilderness adventure, and like any wilderness experience, each trip's itinerary will vary widely based on weather, campsite assignments or availability, the interests and abilities of the group, and other unpredictable elements. This sample itinerary illustrates a bike trip through the Island in the Sky District and raft trip through Cataract Canyon via the Green River's Stillwater Canyon. Because of changes in the river's flow the White Rim/Cataract trip varies slightly depending on the time of year. May trips usually meet up with the rafts in mid- to late-afternoon of the third day out and can anticipate higher water through the rapids. September trips will meet up with the rafts prior to lunch on the third day.

Day 1: Meet at Holiday's headquarters in Green River, Utah, at 7:00 a.m. Mountain Time. We'll issue your waterproof bags and figure out packing logistics for both the biking and rafting portions. We'll also conduct a pre-trip inspection of your bikes: please make sure that your bike is in good repair. We recommend getting a complete service by a professional shop prior to the trip. Guests whose bikes fail our inspection will be asked to rent a Holiday bike for $170.00/person.

We'll load up in our vans for the two-hour ride toward Moab and the top of the Shafer Trail. Built by uranium prospectors, the Shafer Trail's switchbacks descend a massive cliff face for an exhilarating start to the bike ride. Check out an overlook of the Colorado River and walk out to the Musselman Arch. Look high up on the right for a view of Mesa Arch on the way to the first night's campsite at Gooseberry Canyon.

Day 2: Today's ride is mostly gentle, with a few small hills and plenty of fun, rolling terrain. Stop to stare out across the sandstone-capped pillars of Monument Basin, and then prepare for the first big uphill: Murphy's Hogback. We're rewarded with sweeping views and a long downhill on the other side.

Day 3: Today we head north for the river, with a possible side hike over the intimidating Black Crack for views of Turks Head and the river we'll soon be floating. In early season trips, we'll bike up and over Hardscrabble Hill to meet the rafts at the Labyrinth campsite or Taylor Canyon. Later in the season, the rafts will pick us up at Beaver Bottom before we reach Hardscrabble.

Day 4: The river’s smooth current transports our rafts to stops at Valentine Bottom or Turks Head to see prehistoric ruins and petroglyphs. Enjoy your well-earned rest on a raft, or try out a stand-up paddle board or inflatable kayak. Camp on a beach or tucked into the mouth of a side canyon.

Day 5: Listen to your guide read aloud from John Wesley Powell's journal. The first white man to explore these remote reaches of canyon country, the landscape approaching the confluence of the Green with the Colorado River remains little changed from Powell's days. Buckle on your personal flotation device, because the rapids are just ahead! The water between the confluence and the rapids slows and pools as the river prepares for its imminent descent.

Day 6: Depending on where we camp, we may have the option of an early morning hike into the Doll House, a region of free-standing sandstone pillars and bizarre rock formations high above the river. Back at the beach, we'll load up and get ready for whitewater. Brown Betty, North Seas, Capsize, and Ben Hurt will whet our appetites for the really big ones: Little Niagara and Satan's Gut.

Day 7: Enjoy one more sumptuous breakfast by the river before climbing aboard for a few last rapids, then settle in for the ride through the northern tip of Lake Powell. When the reservoir is high, the river current disappears, and we get a motorized assist from "Seldom Seen", our little motorized dinghy. When Powell is low, however, we ride the river current all the way through the end of the canyon and out into the open near the Hites Crossing Bridge. After loading our boats and gear onto our trailers, we'll drive you the two hours back to Green River where we started seven days ago. Our expected time of arrival back at headquarters is 5:00–6:00 p.m.

Please keep in mind that this is a sample itinerary and not an exact description of your trip. The intent is to give a general idea of what your trip may entail. Rest assured, if you're not doing these things, it's because you're doing other amazing things! It's why our motto is "Go With the Flow"!

***The Bicycling: The total bicycling mileage for the bike/raft combo trip is approximately 65 miles; most of that distance is mellow double-track with a hard, rocky surface or graded gravel. In some sections you will encounter loose rock and sand, and there are two significant climbs followed by steep downhills, but these more challenging parts are relatively short and easy to walk if you are not comfortable.

Riders who have never ridden off-road before or who are not in good athletic shape will likely find this trip challenging. Even those riders with more experience will find the trip most enjoyable if they spend some time biking on a regular basis before the trip.

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Holiday River Expeditions
Average rating:  
 7 reviews
by Mike Casey on Holiday River Expeditions

Lauren Wood, second time I booked through her she is great to work with! The longest Holiday bike leg ever (32ish miles with both Hard Scrabble and Murphy's Hogback climbs included) was difficult on some of our group who expected 20ish mile days. A lot of the group question why it happened (doing the White Rim in reverse to accommodate the jet boat clients??). The long day resulted in some members of our party openly complaining about the trip (unjustly in my opinion). Rocky did a very very good job of handling the issue so that the concerned individuals 'calmed down'. To do so Rocky had to show/do some serious PR skills; he deserves a lot of credit for how he handled it!



Eriks's nighttime bocce ball set was great fun!

by Brian & Catherine Clark on Holiday River Expeditions

The guides were outstanding (Sam, Rocky, Julian). All were very professional, attentive to our needs, very friendly, and they worked their tails off the entire time, from sun up to long past dark. Thank you for the great trip. We appreciate Holiday's hospitality and warm welcome!

by Maren Quigley on Holiday River Expeditions

Great trip! Guides (Ben and Rocky) were professional and enthusiastic. Good food and plenty of it. No complaints!

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