Cataract Canyon in 3 Days

The 3-day Colorado River rafting trip through Cataract Canyon gets you straight to the big stuff. Go on a roller coaster ride over the thrilling Big Drop Rapids with names like Little Niagara and Satan’s Gut.

Our Cataract Canyon 3-day trip option gives you the fun and exhilaration of our longer five- and six-day river trips without as much of a time commitment. We make this possible by partnering with a Moab jet boat company. You’ll take a morning jet boat ride down the upper section of the Colorado River, and then transfer to our oar rafts above the confluence of the Green and Colorado rivers. It’s full speed ahead from there, deep into the red rock and white water of Canyonlands National Park.

Book Holiday’s 3-day Colorado River rafting trip with a group of 8 or more people.

Featured Review:

“Plush in comparison to what I had imagined we would have. Above and beyond on all aspects. I was VERY impressed with the work ethic and professionalism from our guides. They never stopped moving and never left any detail unattended. Also, who serves filet mingon on a rafting trip? Madness, but I loved it. It’s hard to fully express how the experience of a trip like this affects you. It was awesome! Exciting, fun, humbling but mostly, it rejuvenates and refuels your soul with a feeling that can only be found on the river. I am unable to say ‘once in a lifetime’ because I will be back. Thank you for what you do and for allowing people to remind themselves of what life is all about.” (Eric Ayers)

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Trip Overview

  • Type:


  • Location:

    Colorado River - Canyonlands National Park

  • Length:

    3 Days

  • Dates:

    Scheduled on request with 8 or more people

  • Meet at:

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

  • Difficulty:

    Intermediate, Advanced

  • Min. Age:

    8 (16 in June)

  • Deposit:



  • Scenic jet boat ride
  • Sandy beach camping
  • Classic red-rock canyon
  • Thrilling whitewater
Getting Here Before You Go Packing List FAQs

Rates & Dates

3 Day

  • Adult:
  • $1,210
  • Youth:
    18 and under
  • $1,085
  • Senior:
    65 and older
  • $1,085
  • Group:
    10 or more
  • $1,085
Book This Trip
Check Availability
  • Scheduled Upon Request
  • 8 or more people


You’ll launch on the Colorado River just south of the town of Moab, Utah. The first half of this stretch of river zips by in a few hours as you jet boat downstream to meet our waiting oar-powered rafts near the confluence of the Green River. Continue southwest on the waves of Cataract’s legendary whitewater, all the way to Glen Canyon National Recreation area and the take-out, near the old town of Hite.

Sample Itinerary

The night before your trip there will be a pre-trip orientation meeting at our warehouse in Green River, Utah, at 8:00 p.m. Mountain Time. A Holiday representative will give you a short orientation on all aspects of river travel. At this time we will issue your waterproof bags and answer any questions you may have. If you plan on buying any last minute items from our accessories store, please do so at this time (see our packing checklist for items we carry).

Day 1:

Return to our Green River headquarters at 6:00 a.m., packed and ready to go. We’ll drive you south to Moab and the waiting jet boat. Be sure to wear warm clothes: it can be cold on the jet boat in the morning. Roar downstream through red canyon walls that climb skyward as you descend. Meet our rafts near the confluence of the Green and Colorado rivers.

Day 2:

Prepare for rapids! More than 30 in total, Cataract Canyon is home to some of the most exciting whitewater in North America. From the top to the bottom of the Big Drops, the river looses over 30 feet of elevation in less than three-quarters of a mile.

Day 3:

Enjoy one last morning on the river before pushing off into lower Cataract Canyon. We’re now officially floating on the northern reaches of Lake Powell. Aided by motorboat “Seldom Seen” during higher lake levels, we’ll finish the trip near the former Hite Marina. We’ll load the boats and then climb in the vans for a scenic two-hour drive back to Green River. We typically expect to arrive back at our headquarters between 5:00 and 6:00 p.m.

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!

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, campsite availability, Mother Nature, and courtesy for other groups on the river. This typical itinerary illustrates a Cataract Canyon three-day trip.


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Holiday River Expeditions
Average rating:  
 15 reviews
by Ross Kantra on Holiday River Expeditions

The guides were great. They kept all of us informed and always made safety the first priority. The heat was rising during the trip at our last two campsites and they devised a makeshift shade structure with oars and tarps to keep everyone cool. They also cleared brush and other obstacles at our campsites. I really enjoyed the interpretive guided hikes because it is always good to learn new things about the area and its history.

by Matthew Herman on Holiday River Expeditions

Everything was in great condition and worked very well. The bags were very roomy! Our guides (Rocky, Josh, Brin, Julian) were amazing -- amazingly competent, helpful, knowledgeable, and friendly. They did a terrific job of being an integral part of the social aspect of the trip while not being imposing in any way. We spent most of our raft time with Brin and Julian. They were amazing. This was the most fun trip we've ever been on!

by Joan & Cristy VanAtta on Holiday River Expeditions

FABULOUS TRIP down Cataract Canyon, everything was PERFECT!! GREAT guides, good food, hiking, paddle boarding, kayaking and of course spectacular scenery and rapids… An EPIC off-the-grid vacation for me and my family. Thank you Holiday, we will be back. 

by Parish Dobson on Holiday River Expeditions

Astounding guides!! Skilled, patient, kind, informed and they were great cooks!! I can't imagine a better run trip than the one we took down Cataract Canyon with Holiday River Expeditions. They were professional on every level.

by Andrew & Leigh Ann Morse on Holiday River Expeditions

A river trip offers families the opportunity to see stunning landscapes and to re-connect with children and adults of all ages. There is nothing electronic, the natural environment, conversations and sunshine. It is simply magical.

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