Solo Travelers Colorado River Rafting Trip

For the independent travelers among us: those of us who prefer to go solo, who aren’t afraid to get out on their own, we present six days in Cataract Canyon. Experience the roaring red heart of Canyonlands National Park via a motorless raft. Arrive on your own, and depart with new friends and memories enough to last a lifetime.

Whitewater rafting on the Colorado River through Cataract Canyon is one of Utah’s great wilderness adventures. And our early September trip is the perfect time to experience it at its best. The days are warm but weather has begun to turn towards fall, with cool nights perfect for stargazing. The river’s flow has receded, leaving huge, soft, sandy beaches for camping but still providing plenty of oomph through the rapids!

The Colorado River flows southwest from the town of Moab, Utah, and into a world of breathtaking red rock scenery, fascinating cultural sites, and epic whitewater. For the first few days of the trip, the river moves quietly. Kick back on one of our oar-powered rafts and let the quiet wash over you, or engage a fellow traveler in conversation. You could also paddle an inflatable kayak or stand-up paddleboard: solo time and a bit of exercise. We’ll pause each day for on-shore hikes and explorations of varying lengths, and make camp each night on a beach or sandbar under the stars of an International Dark Sky Park. The Colorado River meets the Green River deep within Canyonlands National Park, and beyond that is where the rapids begin! We’ll run more than 30 big rapids over the last two or three days of the trip, and emerge exhilarated. This is what it means to be alive. Join us on a trip especially designed for solo travelers. Leave the family behind this time, and take a trip that’s all about YOU.

Read More:  Insider’s Guide to Rafting the Colorado River through Cataract Canyon.

Need more convincing? Enjoy our River Currents Blog about traveling solo on a whitewater rafting trip

Featured Review:

“Food was excellent. Hikes were informative and beautiful scenery. This is better than an all-inclusive resort! There are no lines, no crowds, and its better than any theme park. Nature is fantastic.” (Eric Hubert)

Book This Trip

Trip Overview

  • Type:

    Rafting

  • Location:

    Colorado River - Canyonlands National Park

  • Length:

    6 Days

  • Dates:

    August 31–September 5

  • Meet at:

    Green River, Utah @ 8:00 pm (night before the trip)

  • Difficulty:

    Intermediate, Advanced

  • Min. Age:

    18

  • Deposit:

    300

Highlights

  • Oar power (no motors!) preserves the quiet of the wilderness
  • Solo exploration with inflatable kayaks & stand-up paddle boards
  • Warm water and great swimming opportunities
  • Float through Canyonlands National Park, an International Dark Sky Park
Getting Here Before You Go Packing List FAQs

Rates & Dates

6 Day

  • Adult:
  • $1,285
  • Youth:
    18 and under
  • $1,135
  • Senior:
    65 and older
  • $1,135
  • Group:
    10 or more
  • $1,135
Book This Trip
Check Availability
2020
  • August 31-Sept 5

Itinerary

Cataract Canyon trips begin at the Potash boat ramp on the Colorado River just south of Moab, Utah. Float through 47 miles of Meander Canyon, a beautiful appetizer to Cataract itself. Meet the Green River at the center of Canyonlands National Park. This is the true start of Cataract Canyon and its famous whitewater. Cheer and splash through more than 30 rapids before arriving at the northern tip of Lake Powell. We’ll take out just downstream of the mouth of the Dirty Devil River, not far from the former Hite Marina.

Sample Itinerary

The night before your trip:

In order to facilitate a speedy start to the trip, we ask you to attend a pre-trip meeting at our Green River, Utah, warehouse at 8:00 p.m. Mountain Time. Meet your guides and pick up your dry bags and pick up any last minute items from our store (look over our packing checklist for a list of such items). We’d love it if you also dropped off any personal beverages (specialty sodas, beer, wine, etc.) at this time so that we can pack them into our coolers.

Day 1:

Meet at our Green River headquarters at the time determined during the pre-trip meeting. We’ll drive 90 minutes to the put in, just southwest of the town of Moab. And then: ahhhhh. River time. Settle in on a raft or do some paddling in an inflatable kayak or on a stand-up paddle board (SUP). We’ll have lunch (chicken curry salad, anyone?) on a sandbar and maybe take a short afternoon hike to see a remarkable collection of petrified wood. Float beneath Dead Horse Point State Park and God’s Golfball before pulling in to a beach camp.

Day 2:

Enjoy the morning light on the canyon walls while you sip tea or coffee and eat breakfast. Bird song fills the air as we float downstream. Great blue herons fly ahead of us, and we may be lucky enough to spot a beaver along the shore. As the day warms, you may swim alongside the rafts or choose to lounge under an umbrella. Go on an afternoon hike to see thousand-year-old pictographs and rock structures built by the Fremont Culture. Your guides will point out granaries (ancient food storage structures) on the cliff walls as we continue downstream.

Day 3:

Today: arrive at the confluence of the Colorado and Green rivers, the center of the universe! The two rivers are frequently different colors and temperatures. Dangle your toes in the water or swim through the mixing currents where the two rivers meet. We’ll stop at the iconic Cataract Canyon sign that warns of rapids ahead, and sign up in The Box for downstream camps. Look up to your right for a view of the Doll House, a collection of pink and white sandstone columns. This is one of the most remote regions of the Maze District of Canyonlands.

Day 4:

Depending on where we camp, we may be able to start the day with a hike into the Doll House. It’s a big climb, but worthwhile. Ascend the steep trail to the canyon rim and explore surreal rock formations and prehistoric artifacts. Below, we’ll prepare for the rapids: more than 30 in 16 miles. We’ll stop and scout a few of the big ones, and may even camp in between the two biggest, Big Drop 2 and Big Drop 3. Let the steady roar lull you to sleep.

Day 5:

Enjoy a leisurely start to the day. We’ll run through more rapids, and perhaps go on a hike into a short slot canyon or a longer canyon with running water and pools. Celebrate one last night on the river with a steak and salmon dinner.

Day 6:

The canyon walls begin to close around us as we float into Lower Cataract Canyon. We’re now officially in Lake Powell, although depending on how high or low the reservoir is, it may still feel like a river. When the reservoir is high and the river current sluggish, our “Seldom Seen” motorboat will meet us to push us off the last few miles. Otherwise, we’ll row all the way to the Hite Narrows Bridge and take out just beyond the mouth of the Dirty Devil River. A two-hour drive brings us back to Green River. Our expected time of arrival back at our headquarters is from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m.

Wilderness river trips are changeable by nature, and flexibility is key. Please understand that this is only a sample itinerary. Your trip may camp in different places and go on different hikes. Whatever the itinerary, we can assure you that you’ll see and do incredible things!

Trips into Cataract Canyon are true wilderness adventures. Each trip’s itinerary will vary widely due to available campsites, weather, your group’s interests, and countless other variables. This is a sample itinerary intended to provide one possible schedule for a six-day trip through Cataract.

Reviews

Still not convinced? See what others are saying.

Submit your review
1
2
3
4
5
Submit
     
Cancel

Create your own review

Holiday River Expeditions
Average rating:  
 0 reviews