By: Lauren Wood

I know we are all twiddling thumbs and daydreaming about summer as the cold sets in. With a long winter ahead of us, we are more than happy to fixate on adventures on the horizon! We are excited to offer so many unique ways to spend your vacation with us this next summer.  Come take a look!

History Trip Series

SpecialtyThis summer we will be partnering with Dr. Andrew Gulliford for a two-part river history trip series. On our first trip, we will dive deep into the canyons of the Yampa River, May 18-21st. Andrew will be an invaluable resource, helping us understand the layered histories of its ghost-filled walls. We will be centering living indigenous histories, alongside their ancient ancestors, and learning about settlers, prospectors, & dam builders alike all who share this storied landscape. Our second historical offering will take us through Desolation Canyon on the Green River August 22-27th. This is another canyon with untold tales to tell. Histories of former indigenous peoples, cattle rustlers, outlaws, & indeed river pioneers like the revered John Wesley Powell will make for lively storytelling. Put on your curiosity caps and join us!


Del Sol QuartetDel Sol String Quartet Trip

It was “music to our ears” when Del Sol String Quartet’s members asked to collaborate with them on this uniquely auditory offering. This string quartet trip, offered May 21-25th on the Yampa River, will provide the perfect setting for truly listening. Enjoy the music of nature alongside a classical quartet. The resonance we can expect from these skilled musicians in varied “concert halls,” found each day will be truly spectacular. Situated on the Yampa River, one couldn’t ask for a better setting for epic acoustics!  The rehearsals around the campfire at night are an exquisite way to transition from day to night. Bring your listening ears & open hearts along as we embark on this whole new kind of river trip. Read more about Del Sol here. 


Retro River Rafting

Frogg Retro RaftingGet ready for one heck of a blast from the past with our retro river rafting trip, this June 3-7th on the Yampa River. Roy Webb holds the honor of being one of river history’s biggest names. He has written numerous books & interviewed countless river legends from whitewater rafting’s “golden era.” He will be sharing these river stories of yore each day. And the Holiday guide staff will bring a bit of the old ways back to life in front of your eyes.

There are many ways we do things now that have their roots back in the mid 1960s when Holiday got its start under the vision of its founders Dee & Sue Holladay. Those methods will be (selectively) returning for one trip only. We will honor our rich history, uncover some simple elegance, and appreciate how far we’ve come. Don’t worry, we’ll still bring sleeping pads on this 2021 retro offering!


Kayak Workshop

Whitewater Kayaking Workshop

The kayak workshop is a six-day workshop in Desolation Canyon August 1–6, in the Green River Wilderness. We have teamed up with Andy Thunell of Rapid Progression Kayak School to create a safe and fun learning environment. A minimum age of 16 years old is required, and successful completion of a kayak swimming pool class is highly recommended.

The workshop winds through the Green River’s picturesque southwest canyons. The class itself focuses on using the equipment, what to expect on the river, kayak safety, tips about getting in and out of the kayak, learning forward and reverse strokes, how to react when the kayak rolls over, how to ride river rapids, sculling and the basics of learning how to roll a kayak.


Watershed Trip

Colleen Cooley The Watershed Specialty Trip with Rica Fulton and Colleen Cooley will be a deep dive into Desolation Canyon & into the complex layer cake of laws, policy, social movements & indigenous lifeways that govern and are in relationship with the all-powerful force of water in the West. Join Rica Fulton, a watershed organizer based in Grand Junction & Colleen Cooley, a river guide & advocate for these sacred waterways as they spend 6 days, August 8-13th, unpacking the knapsack of the most threatened watershed in America. Set against the unparalleled backdrop of Desolation Canyon, tall canyon walls, pristine sandy beaches & shady cottonwood trees will set the stage for such an auspicious story.



Canyonlands National Park

Fall Extended Hike, Raft & Stargazing

The fall extended hike, raft & stargazing trip through Labyrinth, Stillwater & Cataract Canyon in Canyonlands National Park is September 19-30th and meets in Green River, Utah. This adventure-filled Utah white water rafting trip is 12 days long. Even people that have already seen the beauty of these canyons will enjoy this outdoor adventure, which provides a unique, in-depth view of all these places have to offer. Historic dwellings remain, once inhabited by ancient indigenous cultures. Highlights of the trip may include the possibility of a layover day and opportunities to hike into hard-to-access regions of the park, such as the Doll House.

These unique adventures distinguish the highly skilled, talented guides at Holiday River Expeditions. Helping create memorable vacations and whether it be instilling, reigniting, or affirming a passionate love of the outdoors, these dedicated guides turn these experiences into memories that will last a lifetime.


Writer Lauren WoodAbout the author:  I have been a river runner my entire life.  It was learning from the Holiday boatwomen and men of the 1990s that led me to find my own oars. I have been a guide for Holiday River Expeditions since 2009. In my spare time, I work as the Green Riverkeeper Affiliate with Living Rivers & Board Chair of the Utah Chapter of the Sierra Club. A life well spent organizing communities to protect the rivers and lands I love.  I find that the lessons from the river inform my climate justice work and truly all aspects of my life.