by Julie Trevelyan


Uniquely Holiday River Expeditions

Colorado River through Cataract Canyon

Colorado River through Cataract Canyon


Top Five Reasons Holiday River Expeditions is Unique. Looking to enhance your river rafting vacation? A river trip should always be fun. At Holiday River Expeditions, innovations specific to the company ensure what we believe are the best river trips out there. Check out these top five things about Holiday River Expeditions that make our river rafting adventures very safe, exciting, fun, efficient, and overall just plain great.







1. No motors for our boats.

Part of the simple joy of a river rafting trip is getting back to nature in a stunning wilderness setting. Loud motors can very much detract from that experience. Holiday’s solution to that has been simple: we just don’t use motors. Period.  “Our guides take pride in that tradition which sets us apart from our competition,” says owner John Wood.   “It also attracts the best guides in the business.  They understand the intrinsic value between dropping a motor in the water vs rowing your own boat.  Our guests do too”.


Dee & Sue Holladay

Dee & Sue in the 60’s

2. Same ownership since 1966.

Dee and Sue Holladay started this company, and they’re still with it. Every other river rafting company out there has somehow, throughout the years, been morphed, merged, bought, sold—you name it.  Holiday is exactly the same, and we think that’s a really solid point in our favor.


3. Red oars.

Those very red oars stand out on rivers! A signature for Holiday, our red oars are fun, a little saucy, and memorable. You always know it’s a Holiday trip when you see those fire engine oars paddling downstream.


Brin Finnigan

Brin giving a Geology talk in Canyonlands


4. Guides who know more than just how to row a boat.

Rowing the boat is pretty important, and our guides excel at that. But there’s more to a river trip than just knowing how to handle a boat. Dee Holladay edited and published half a dozen interpretive references specifically for sharing the history, geology, wildlife, and plant life of the rivers Holiday runs. He also developed a guide training program that covers not only boat handling and safety, but culinary skills and guest interpretive training. Accurate interpretation for each river’s particular history, geology, flora, and fauna is all a part of guide training. Go on, ask your guide questions about the local geology or the animals you see along the way—their answers will add more depth to your trip and help you appreciate the beautiful rivers even more.



Dee Holladay


5. Dee Holladay’s innovations.

Dee has been a pioneer in the river rafting industry in many ways. Some of his particular innovations that really make Holiday stand out, include these:



Colorado River Rafting

Lounging on the Colorado River

Safest, most comfortable rafts in the business

-Innovations in rigging and boatload weight, size, and positioning, all formulated with guest safety and comfort foremost in mind

-One of the last remaining companies to manufacture our own custom raft rigging to our own design
-Most efficient put-ins and take-outs (which are the only places on river rafting vacations you don’t want to spend your time!)
-Boathouses that allow rafts to be loaded and fully rigged when they leave the warehouse
-Innovations in trailer design enable quick transitions at put-ins and take-outs


“Each trip with Holiday is different. All trips are very well run. I am a “gear guy” and notice the Holiday setup and it is clever!”  Quote ~ Earl Warhmund

Julie TrevelyanWritten by Julie Trevelyan.

Julie is a freelance writer and wilderness guide in southern Utah. She especially enjoys books, coffee, yoga, wild country, horses, and dark chocolate.

See more of her work at