Specialty Trips

May 11, 2023
Jac rowing guests through Westwater

Holiday River Expeditions runs roughly 200 river trips every season (May-September), and over 20 of them are labeled as “Specialty Trips”, each dedicated to its own emphasis. Over the last handful of years, we’ve had recurring specialty trips like Stargazing, Yoga, or Retro River Rafting, but we’ve also added a number of new ones. Keep reading to see what we’ve got in store for this season and to check availability!


Women’s Mountain Biking Clinic

A new addition from last summer that we are excited to bring back is the women’s multi-day mountain bike clinic! Join Holiday’s experienced guides and the professional coaches of Women in the Mountains for a women’s mountain bike clinic trip on the iconic White Rim Trail! Holiday’s guides handle the cooking, and camp logistics, and bring a 4×4 support van to carry the load. Meanwhile, Women in the Mountains provides top-notch, certified PMBIA coaches to guide you through this biker’s paradise.

Our 3-day trip is intended for intermediate mountain bikers comfortable biking 25-30 miles/day on mostly double track.

Our extended 4.5-day trip provides ample time for skills clinics with your coaches. While this curriculum is designed for beginners, it is an excellent way for seasoned riders to review the basics, break old habits, and ride trails with renewed confidence.



Affinity-Based TripsAffinity Trips LGBTQ Pride Flags Cataract

Join Holiday and The Venture Out Project as we navigate our 4th year of LGBTQ+ trip offerings – inspired in collaboration with Mikah Meyer & Outside Safe Space. Or join Holiday for our second year running a BIPOC river trip!  Regardless of where your identity lands, you are most welcome to go with the flow alongside us!

If you have any questions regarding any of our affinity group trips don’t hesitate to call our administrative office & ask for Lauren!



Retro River Rafting through Lodore Canyon with Roy Webb

We are stoked to continue to offer one of our longest running specialty river trips, the Retro River Rafting trip with historian and river expert Roy Webb. As if floating through the spectacular Lodore Canyon wasn’t reason enough to get out on the river, Roy and our guides will add the right amount of retro for this unique fun and educational experience. We won’t go as far as to bring out the old bucket boats or have you drink water straight out of the river, but we will probably be sporting our jean shorts, have our Chuck Taylors laced up, and have the Sierra cups at the ready to toast to river legends of the past. In addition, each evening Roy will share the stories, lessons, and history that has shaped the rivers and canyons as we know them today.



Intro to Overnight Rafting on the Colorado River

We are excited for the second season of this new addition to our specialty trip offerings, geared specifically towards beginners: Introduction to Overnight Rafting! This trip is perfect for individuals or families who are interested in the multi-day river trip experience but who are apprehensive to book a standard trip. You may be new to camping, unsure about whitewater, or don’t want to commit to a longer trip in the wilderness. Either way, this is the perfect trip for those who want to learn what overnight rafting is all about in a spectacular setting and in the presence of similarly experienced folks.

Our guides remember what it’s like to be new to the experience and will help you every step of the way to get the most from your trip, teach you the tricks of the trade, and share their favorite river stories. This is a 3-day, 2-night trip through Ruby-Horsethief Canyon on the Colorado River, an easygoing stretch filled with calm water and spectacular scenery.



Learn to Row through Desolation Canyon

Do you have experience on the river but have never learned how to row the boat? Are you interested in learning the “Holiday Way” of piloting a raft? Then this is the trip for you! Join our expert guides and like-minded individuals for this 6-day trip through Desolation Canyon where you will learn all the basics of rowing a boat. These skills include rowing techniques, reading water, boat spacing, commonly used knots, river etiquette, safety basics, and more! With over 60 class I-III rapids to practice, Desolation Canyon serves as the perfect training ground for folks who want to hone their skills on the oars.



Watercolor Painting WorkshopMichael Onyon

This fluid, lyrical art form is the perfect medium of expression for a workshop while floating down the San Juan River.  Treat yourself to 6 days of humbling canyon walls, playful rapids, inspiring natural colors, and decidedly decent dining, all while digesting the canyon’s magic through art. We have enlisted the best when it comes to our artist in “river-dence-” Michal Onyon, who has married her stunning artwork with Holiday River Expeditions trips for over three decades.




Balance & Flow YogaBalance & Flow Wellness

Tap into the healing power of the natural world on a yoga wellness or women’s naturalist trip. In the rush of our day-to-day lives, it can be hard to find the time and space to pause and reconnect with our sense of peace. With this in mind, Holiday has created a series of wellness trips. We know better than most how to go with the flow of nature. Our river and bike trips will lead you into spectacular wilderness settings, far from the chaos of the modern world.

We’ve designed a broad selection of trips to nurture your mind, body, and soul. Choose between a 5-day trip that combines yoga and stand-up paddleboarding through Labyrinth Canyon, a 4-day float with like-minded women through the awe-inspiring Lodore Canyon, a 4-day trip down the Lower San Juan River practicing illustrated journaling with the Great Old Broads, or a 4-day adventure practicing your poses and pedaling your bike across the White Rim Trail. Join a professional yoga instructor and our expert guides in a serene desert setting.



Do you yearn for a creative way to capture memories from an experience of a lifetime? Do you enjoy photography, painting, or writing, and want to hone your skills with the direction of a seasoned professional? If you answered yes to either of these questions, then consider hopping on our first Pixels, Paint, and Prose trip through Lodore Canyon! Joining our guides will be Utah-based artist and river advocate Chris Peterson, staff photographer of the Salt Lake Tribune Fransisco Kjolseth, and seasoned outdoor writer Brett Perryman. Each of these gentlemen will offer their guidance in their respective expertises and assist you in honing your skills as you float through the spectacular Lodore Canyon. By the end of the trip, you will have expanded your artistic capabilities beyond what you thought possible and head home with a new appreciation for documenting memories.


Enneagram River RetreatLodore Canyon Girl Smiling Beach Enneagram

Come and explore what motivates you and how you choose to live. By beginning to have self-awareness in who you are and how you see the world, you will ultimately find joy in embracing your authentic self.

It’s hard to learn about yourself when you’re sitting behind a desk. This retreat will be a chance to get out of the ordinary, to see what challenges you so the entire experience is an evaluation and a look into your responses to life. Where do you find yourself experiencing anger, joy, or sadness, and what precipitates those emotions? You will be offered a safe space to be vulnerable and brave.

This Enneagram River Retreat will be led by trip facilitator Lori Mueller. Lori is an adventure leader with 30 years of experience in the human service field. She was the Executive Director in the non-profit world for many years. She is passionate about supporting others to find joy in their life. She is a certified Enneagram teacher and a believer in creating self-awareness and personal growth outside the classroom.


Live Music on the Rivertwo guests playing instruments on the river

In 2024, Holiday River Expeditions will host three specialty music trips! Join the Del Sol Quartet on the Yampa River and get swept away to another world through their ethereal string playing. If bluegrass is the soundtrack to your soul, then the Salt Lake City-based band The Pickpockets is for you, with their expansive catalog of heartfelt originals and classic favorites. Or, strap on your dancin’ sandals and discover the passion and talent of desert swing magnificos Pompe n’ Honey.

We’re so excited to welcome these professional musicians on the river this year, elevating what is already an amazing experience. We hope you join us for what promises to be a magical adventure!



Kayak Workshopkayaks lines up on grass- rapid progression kayak school

The Green River through Desolation Canyon is a perfect training ground for a whitewater kayaking workshop. The canyon offers plenty of slow-moving water where you can practice the basics, and more than 60 fun, low-consequence rapids where you can put your new skills to the test! Holiday has teamed up with Andy Thunell and his Rapid Progression Kayak School to put together a fully supported, six-day whitewater kayaking workshop.

If you’re looking for a more active vacation or want to get up close and personal with the Green River in one of the most spectacular wilderness canyons in the West, this is the trip for you. Professional kayaking instructors provide the instruction and all the kayaking equipment.



Extended Hiking Trips

Our standard river rafting trips offer a great balance of activity between floating downstream, hiking up trails, hanging out at camp, and staring at the stars. However, if your mission is to hike as much as possible and have some extra time to do it, then check out our extended hiking trips. On September 16, we will launch on a 5-day Labyrinth Canyon trip where your guides will lead you down side canyons, up to magnificent viewpoints, and to hidden archaeological sites. The fall weather and extra time in the canyon makes for easy hiking conditions. If this isn’t enough, you can choose to stay on the trip fro another 7 nights through Stillwater and Cataract Canyons for more incredible hiking, rafting, and desert time.



Lodore Stargazing Parent PageStargazing

At Holiday we are fortunate to live, work, and play under one of the few remaining pockets of truly dark sky, and we’re eager to share it with you. We’ve teamed up with the experts from Salt Lake City’s Clark Planetarium to provide stargazing vacation trips like no others. The trails we bike and the rivers we run traverse some of the darkest, most remote corners of Utah and Colorado, including two International Dark Sky Parks: Canyonlands National Park and Dinosaur National Monument. Float or cycle through red rock wonderlands during the day; at night, settle in on a sandy beach and stare up at the starry ribbon of sky. Learn from our expert guides and special star guests, and discover the powerful sense of awe that the night sky can impart.



San Rafael Swell Biking and Stargazing: 4-day, May 4-7 ~ 9 seats available

Yampa River Stargazing: 5-day, May 29-June 2 ~ Please Inquire!

Retro River Rafting through Lodore Canyon: 4-day, June 1-4 ~ 17 seats available

Del Sol Quartet Lodore Canyon: 5-day, June 7-11 ~ Please Inquire!

San Juan River Watercolor Workshop:  6-day, June 13-18  ~  10 seats available

Lodore Canyon Stargazing Trip: 4-day, June 29-July 2 ~ Please Inquire!

Pickpockets Music Trip on the Yampa River:  5-day, June 29-July 3  ~  Please Inquire!

Intro to Overnight Rafting on the Colorado River: 3-day, July 8-10 ~ Please Inquire!

Intro to Overnight Rafting on the Colorado River: 3-day, July 22-24 ~ Please Inquire!

Cataract Canyon Stargazing: 6-day, July 28-August 2  ~  13 seats available

Intro to Overnight Rafting on the Colorado River: 3-day, August 5-7 ~ 20 seats available

Whitewater Kayaking Workshop: 6-day, August 5-10  ~  Please Inquire!

Learn to Row through Desolation Canyon: 6-day, August 19-25 ~ 12 seats available

Women’s River & Yoga in Lodore Canyon: 4-day, August 22-25  ~  20 seats available

Desolation Canyon Stargazing Trip:  6-day, August 26-31  ~ 13 seats available

Pompe n’ Honey Music Trip in Lodore Canyon: 4-day, August 31-September 3  ~  13 seats available

Pixels, Paint, and Prose Through Lodore Canyon: 4-day, September 6-9 ~ 16 seats available

Great Old Broads Illustrated Journaling on the Lower San Juan River: 4-day, September 16-19 ~ 14 seats available

Green River Labyrinth Canyon Hiking Special: 5-day, September 16-20 ~ 15 seats available

Fall Canyonlands Extended Hiking Special: 12-day, September 16-27 ~ 15 seats available

Women’s Skills Clinic White Rim Trail:  4.5-day, September 23-27  ~  10 seats available

Stand-Up Paddle Boarding and Yoga in Labyrinth Canyon: 5-day, September 23-27 ~ 19 seats available

White Rim Biking and Stargazing: 4-day, September 28 – October 1 ~ 11 seats available

Women’s White Rim Trail Mountain Biking and Yoga: 4-day, October 12-15 ~ 10 seats available


Call our office at 800-624-6323, or email info.holidayriver@gmail.com to book your seat!