Cataract Canyon Stargazing & Rafting Trips


Stargazing & Rafting on the Colorado River through Cataract Canyon – About this Trip


The part of the Colorado River that's seen through your Cataract Canyon stargazing and rafting trip will be cradled in Canyonlands National Park, an official “Dark Sky Park” accredited by the International Dark Sky Association. Of all the things Cataract Canyon offers visitors to do, this stargazing trip is one of the best. While your days will be spent luxuriating in the sunshine, exploring side-canyons and facing some of the biggest whitewater rapids the Colorado River has to offer, your nights will open up a whole new world. Using both binoculars and the naked eye, we will explore the Milky Way, see the Andromeda Galaxy, watch satellites and meteors, and learn constellations.

Cataract Canyon Stargazing Trip

Trip Overview


Location: Cataract Canyon - Canyonlands National Park
Type: Rafting/ Naturalist
Length: 5-6 Days
Dates: June 24-28 & Sept 29-Oct 4 
Meet At: Green River, UT 8:00 AM
Rating: Intermediate
Age Min: 8
Deposit: $300


  • Explore the heart of Canyonlands National Park
  • Classic Southern Utah Red Rock Desert environment
  • Immense rolling whitewater waves
  • Colorado River rafting and side canyon hiking

Trip Price & Departure Date

5 Day Trip

$1,180 per person

6 Day Trip

$1225 per person

2019 Trip Date

June 24-28, 2019

Sept 29-Oct 4, 2019

Trip Slideshow

Full Gallery



Cataract Canyon runs just downstream of Moab UT and into 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 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 on the river. This typical itinerary illustrates a five-day trip through Cataract Canyon. From August to September, we lengthen the Cataract trip by one day and follow this general itinerary.

Day 1: Upon your arrival at our headquarters (8:00 a.m., Mountain Time), we will issue your waterproof bags. You can buy any last minute items from our accessories store at this time (see our packing checklist for a list of items you can find at our store). We will then take a 90-minute van ride to the embarkation point, where we will transfer to the boats. After pushing off we will float past a collection of tabletop mesas. Short hikes could reveal a variety of ancient artifacts or a petrified forest.

Day 2: The River peacefully meanders into the heart of Canyonlands National Park. Quiet beaches, hidden canyons, and refreshing water fights are common throughout this section of the trip.

Day 3: 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 4: 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 5: 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. Our expected time of arrival back at our headquarters is 5:00 to 6:00 p.m.

If you are on a 6-day Cataract Canyon trip, you can expect a similar itinerary to this 5-day.  However with lower late-season river flows and an extra day to play, you may take some extra time in the upper canyon exploring artifacts or side-canyons and reach the confluence sometime on the 4th day. You may dive into some whitewater on day 4, but likely will spend the 4th night nestled between mighty rapids in the heart of Cataract Canyon. On Day 5 you would then run out the “Big Drops” and the rapids below Lake Powell’s historic high-water mark. This 6-day trip will finish much like its earlier season counterpart, exploring the upper reaches of Narrow Canyon and the boat-ramp back to the ‘real’ world.

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!


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Holiday River Expeditions
Average rating:  
 6 reviews
by Teresa Solak on Holiday River Expeditions

Had a great time! Loved getting pampered by the guides :-) The Kayak was super fun and absolutely loved the star gazing!! Thanks Tom!!

by Jamie McDermott on Holiday River Expeditions

Amazing! We have many wonderful images from the trip!

by Frederic Gochard on Holiday River Expeditions

We were taken care of by Jesse, Julian and Colin: awesome guides!

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