Utah River Rafting Trips

Whitewater Rafting Trips in Utah

Utah is the place for world-renowned river rafting trips. Accessible to people of all ages and experience levels, Utah’s rivers travel through an astonishing array of canyons. The Green, Yampa, and San Juan rivers run long and fast across Utah before flowing into the Colorado River; these four rivers and their canyons represent the best whitewater rafting opportunities in Utah. This multitude of river miles means it’s easy to find the perfect trip for you and your family and friends.

Enjoy the peace and quiet of Holiday’s non-motorized oar rafts on each of our Utah whitewater river rafting trips. Float the Green River through Lodore Canyon in Dinosaur National Monument and see faulted rocks twisted into rainbow arcs. Run the Yampa River, the last truly free-flowing river within the Colorado River system. Navigate Warm Springs Rapid, the biggest on the Yampa. Skip a hundred miles downstream to where the Green enters Desolation Canyon, the best trip for inflatable kayaks and big, shady beach camps. Over on the Colorado, short trips through Westwater Canyon offers the best whitewater bang for your buck. And then there’s Cataract Canyon, the watery centerpiece of Canyonlands National Park, the place where the Green meets the Colorado.

Each of these Utah whitewater river rafting trips presents its own unique moments of inspiration and adventure. Although people come to our state for the notorious whitewater rafting excitement, they tend to come back for the whole experience. From the first riverside meal to the last glowing side canyon, Holiday aims to please and the incredible landscape of the Colorado Plateau always abides. Some of the best parts of the Colorado River aren’t even in Colorado, but as our motto says, when it comes to rafting in Utah, “you have to go to know.”

3–5 Day San Juan River

Southeastern Utah’s San Juan River snakes through steep sandstone and limestone canyon walls, cutting through dramatic uplifts and fault lines. Human history is a highlight of this trip, with Native American ruins and rock art dating back thousands of years, and more recent artifacts from the days of miners and oil prospectors. Hike to the rim along an old mining supply trail, or wander the ancient ruins of River House. Spend three days in the upper canyon for maximum archaeology, or choose a four-day trip through the steep goosenecks of the lower canyon—or opt for a five day trip to see it all!

5–6 Day Desolation Canyon

The Green River flows through Desolation Canyon in eastern Utah, through one of the largest roadless areas in the Lower 48. One of our most popular rafting trips for families, Desolation Canyon is a great introduction to whitewater rafting, with consistent but mostly gentle rapids, with a handful of bigger ones just for fun. There are endless side canyons to explore on foot, and rich historic and prehistoric sites to visit. Spend five or six days and feel the joy of reconnecting with the flow of nature.

2–3 Day Westwater

Westwater Canyon is the best Utah whitewater rafting trip for folks who are short on time but still want a taste of a wild river and canyon. Chose from two- or three-day trips and see bald eagles, red rock canyon walls, and the famous black rocks that give Westwater the nickname “The Miniature Grand Canyon”!

5–6 Day Cataract Canyon

Legendary Cataract Canyon lies buried in the heart of Utah’s Canyonlands National Park. Experience both sides of the Colorado River: float the calm water of the upper canyon and relax into “river time”; on day three or four, hold on tight for the adrenaline rush of some of the biggest rapids in the West. In low water or high, our motor-less rafts make it possible to visit remote corners of the national park while still preserving the sounds and smells of the river corridor. Hike to ancient archaeological sites and sleep under the stars of this International Dark Sky Park. This is Holiday’s signature Utah whitewater rafting adventure. Come ride with us!

3 Day Cataract Canyon

Scheduled upon request for groups of eight people or more, our three-day, two-night Cataract Canyon trip is a great way to experience some of the best river rafting in Utah in a short time frame. We hire a jet boat service to speed you through the first three-quarters of the canyon. Our guides will be waiting for you downstream with our custom-built 18-foot oar rafts. Spend two nights camping on the sandy beaches of Cataract Canyon, check out a side hike or two, and enjoy the excitement of running 30+ rapids, deep in Canyonlands National Park.

4 Day Lodore Canyon

Lodore Canyon on the Green River in northeastern Utah is a trip full of iconic rapids and beautiful scenery. The trip begins at the “Gates of Lodore”, where the river flows into an exquisite, 800-foot-deep, vermillion canyon. Hiking opportunities to waterfalls and ancient rock art sites abound, and there is ample time for relaxing on the shaded, sandy beach camps. This trip begins in Colorado and crosses into Utah, running through the heart of Dinosaur National Monument.

4–5 Day Yampa River

The free-flowing Yampa River in the heart of Dinosaur National Monument is one of the West’s better kept secrets. The last un-dammed river in the Colorado River system, the Yampa runs through northwestern Colorado and then merges with the Green River in northeastern Utah. For an early season river rafting trip, there isn’t anywhere better! Yampa trips meet at our HQ in the town of Vernal, Utah.