For our family, unwinding on vacation means getting away from our phones, WiFi, and the chaos of urban life to truly disconnect. There are few places as perfect for that kind of week-long getaway as Cataract Canyon. With its mix of chill time, excitement, and adventure, Cataract has something to offer the whole family, every day, without the hassle of planning a thing!

Day 1

We arrived at the put-in and got fitted for our lifejackets while the guides prepped the boats.

When it was time to launch, we all found our preferred vessels and headed downstream!

Boats and duckies, the first mile of Meander Canyon

The boys got silly on the paddle boards…

Paddle board silliness

… Very silly!

Falling in off the SUP

When it was lunchtime, we pulled over to a beach and made Chicken Caesar Salad wraps!

Salad lunch!

And then it was time for a nap…

Naptime

…To rest up for our first hike!

Group hike

We saw petrified wood and learned about how it was created thousands of years ago.

Petrified wood

When we arrived at our first camp, the wind decided to pick up and make cooking tricky for the guides, but they got creative!

Windy dinner cooking

While the rest of the guides cooked dinner, one guide came to talk to us about the river, the importance of water in the west, and what the future holds for the desert.

Garrison talking to the group at camp

Day 2

The next morning, we woke up with coffee and breakfast before pushing off on the river for the day.

Casual rowing

We came to another hike and saw a breathtaking indigenous site.

Family photo on a hike

After the hike, most of us took the opportunity to cool off in the river and float downstream.

Chillin in the water!

The paddle board was a big hit!

Flat water SUP

Our campsite on the second night was another beauty!

Gorgeous camp in Cataract

The guides cooked up a salmon feast.

Salmon on the griddle

We were always impressed with what they whipped up in the kitchen.

Salmon night!

On the second night of camping, we felt like we had already found our groove and enjoyed staying up late to stargaze.

Sunset color in the sky

Day 3

Our morning started with another hike, this time up and over at a spot called “The Loop”…

Hikers at the Loop

…which has one heck of a view at the top!

Taking in the view

Lunchtime!

Sandwiches

The kids all tried rowing the big boats.

Confluence

Another amazing campsite!

Camp

Lots of water fun to be had by all!

Football in the water

The stars were breathtaking each night.

B&W stars

Day 4

On the morning of day 4, we thought it might rain…

Storm brewing on the water

… But the sun came out and it was another gorgeous day. The guides signed up for our next campsites…

Rocky and Garrison sign up for camp at the Box

…And scored the best one in the canyon!

Brown Betty

Everyone took turns paddling the kayaks in the rapid in front of camp…

Ducky time!

We felt like pros!

Ducky fun!

After cooling off in the river, we took a hike from camp to a place called “The Dollhouse”…

Doll house

…Which was a labyrinthian desert wonderland!

Slot canyon in Dollhouse

So cool!

Cooling off in the Dollhouse

Collared lizards everywhere!

Collared lizard

That evening, it finally rained, cooling off the July heat and exciting the guides for the next day’s whitewater.

Cheering on the rain

Day 5

The day finally came that the kids were most excited for…

Kids on the raft

…Rapid day!!!

Guide rowing through rapid #10

Rolf rowing rapid #10

Crashing through a big wave

The guides pulled over to “scout” the trickiest rapids. It felt like we were always in safe, professional hands.

Scouting the Big Drops

Big drop #3 was a thrill!

Joey navigating tricky whitewater

Big rapids!

After the thrill of the rapids, we needed to refuel with some lunch.

Lunch in lower Cataract

Then continue on downstream to find our last evening’s campsite…

Lower Cataract Canyon

Day 6

Garrison treated us to one final reading on the last morning.

Buzz reading

We loaded up on the boats and tried to take in all of the scenery before re-entering “real” life.

Lounging on the boat

We met up with a motor boat for the last push off of Lake Powell…

Motor barge

… And spotted a group of bighorn sheep munching on some grass!

Bighorn on Lake Powell

At the takeout, we marveled at the ingenuity the guides put to use to get the boats up the steep “ramp”.

Boat ramp at takeout

We created memories and made friendships that will last a lifetime! The next trip can’t come soon enough!

Group shot on the last morning