White Rim Trail / Cataract Canyon Combination Rafting and Bike Trip
White Rim Trail Mountain Biking & Cataract Canyon – About This Trip
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? Sixty-five miles from mesa top to river bottom will show you the ride that has become the standard against which all others are judged. After three days of following the White Rim trail and its meandering course of the Green and Colorado rivers, the white sandstone bench descends to the river bottom, and your whitewater journey begins.
Cataract Canyon is an anomaly. Its Rapids rank along with those of the Grand Canyon in power and difficulty. Cataract also contains mile after mile of rafting through canyons where you are awe struck, not at whitewater, but the deep multicolored canyons of this section of Canyonlands National Park. Side canyon hikes to ruins and petroglyphs delight you as you head toward the Confluence of the Colorado and the Green Rivers. Once you reach the Confluence, the Colorado's behemoth rapids emerge. Rapids 15 through 23 comprise Mile Long and The Big Drops, a fall of 80 feet in less than four miles--one of the Colorado's steepest descents.
Location: White Rim Trail / Green River: Canyonlands National Park
Length: 4 and 5 Days
Dates: May & September
Meet At: Green River, Utah 7:00 am
Rating: Intermediate & Advanced
Age Min: 12
- A truly bucket list bike tour
- Epic whitewater & tranquil floating
- The perfect balance of hard work and relaxation
- Breathtaking views from the top and bottom of canyon-country
Trip Price & Departure Dates
Adult - $1,605
Youth - $1,405 (18 & under)
Senior - $1,405 (65 & older)
Group - $1,405 (10 or more)
2018 Trip Dates
May 5, 12, 19, 26
September 1, 8
Trip SlideshowFull Gallery
The White Rim Trail carves its route around the ‘island in the sky’ between the Green and Colorado Rivers. This trip will start on the Green River side of the drainage and meander through Stillwater canyon to converge at the confluence of the mighty Colorado. Cataract Canyon runs through the heart of Canyonlands National Park. After all the rapids you can handle the river enters Glen Canyon National Rec. area where we take out below the confluence of the Dirty Devil.
One of the advantages of a bike/river trip is the flexibility of the daily itinerary. It can vary widely from one trip to the next based on group desires, Mother Nature, and courtesy for other groups in the area. This typical itinerary illustrates a bike trip through the Island in the Sky District and raft trip through Cataract Canyon using the Green River's Labyrinth and Stillwater canyons. Because of changes in the river's speed the White Rim/Cataract trip varies slightly with the time of season that you go. The May trips usually meet up with the rafts in mid to late afternoon of the third day out. The September trips will meet up with the rafts prior to lunch on the third day.
Day 1: Meet group at headquarters in Green River, Utah at 7:00 a.m. Before leaving our headquarters, each guest along with a Holiday guide will perform a pre-trip inspection of your bikes. If you are providing your own bike, please make sure that it is in good repair, we recommend a complete service by a professional shop prior to the trip. Guests with bikes’ that fail our inspection will be asked to rent a Holiday bike for $160.00/person.
A two-hour van ride to the head of the Shafer Trail marks the start of the trip. The first day's ride will take the group down the switchbacks of the Shafer trail before cutting back south toward Musselman Arch. The trail continues to wind southward as it follows the meandering course of the Colorado River. Camp on this evening is made at or near Gooseberry Canyon.
Day 2: Our ride will take us over undulating roads past the white, sandstone-capped monoliths of Monument and Twin basins. Then in the afternoon up to Murphy's Hogback, one of this trip’s challenging uphill stretches. After conquering the hill we will set camp for the night.
Day 3: By the morning of this day the trail has turned back north and is following the contours of the Green River. We ride around the labyrinths of Soda Springs Basin and by Candlestick Tower before reaching where the rafts are waiting at Labyrinth or Taylor Canyon (May), and Beaver Bottom (September).
Day 4: The River’s smooth current transports our rafts to stops at Valentine Bottom or Turks Head where we will observe prehistoric Indian ruins & petroglyphs. Quiet beaches, hidden canyons, and refreshing water fights are common throughout this section of the trip.
Day 5: We reach the confluence of the Colorado and Green Rivers. The Ute Indians believe the Confluence to be the center of the universe. Just below the meeting of these two rivers enjoy a view of the Doll House, an appropriately named collection of freestanding, sandstone columns.
Day 6: Possible early morning hike into Dollhouse. Ascend steeply to the canyon rim in the Maze District with red rock formations. After descending to the river, the rapids of Cataract Canyon await. The climax: Big Drop Rapids with Little Niagara and Satan's Gut.
Day 7: Begin the journey through majestic Glen Canyon and the former high-water mark for “Lake” Powell. Aided by motorboat “Hayduke” during higher lake levels, you’ll finish the trip at Hite Take-out. A two-hour drive brings you back to Green River. We will disembark at Hite, Utah. Our expected time of arrival back at our headquarters is 5:00 to 6:00 p.m.
As mentioned earlier, this is a sample itinerary and should not be thought of as the trip you will experience. It is intended to give an idea of what the trip will be like. It could also be exactly what you do. Keep an open mind, be flexible, go with the flow, and enjoy!
The White Rim bike route is a technically challenging route. This undeveloped dirt road has steep downhills, loose rocks, sand, and ruts. Riders who have no off-road bicycling experience, or who are not athletic will most likely find this trip too challenging. All riders should prepare for the trip by riding their bike on a regular basis prior to the trip.