Experience the Best Whitewater Rafting in Utah

It’s not much of a secret anymore that whitewater rafting trips in Utah are world-class. Accessible to people of all ages and experience levels, Utah’s rivers travel through an astonishing array of canyons.

The Green and San Juan rivers run long and fast across Utah before flowing into the Colorado River; these three rivers and their canyons present Utah’s best whitewater rafting opportunities. With so many rivers and canyons to choose from, finding the perfect trip for you and your friends and family is easy!

Enjoy the peace and quiet of Holiday’s non-motorized oar rafts on each of our Utah whitewater rafting trips. There’s nowhere else you can experience such a great concentration of geologic and archaeological marvels as on the winding San Juan River.

Or choose to float the Green River through Desolation Canyon, the best trip for inflatable kayaks and big, shady beach camps. Down in Labyrinth Canyon, the river slows and invites you to explore its side canyons, paddle it’s calm waters, and unwind on it’s expansive sandy beaches. 

Over on the Colorado River, two- or three-day trips through Westwater Canyon make the perfect weekend getaway. And then there’s Cataract Canyon, the watery centerpiece of Canyonlands National Park, and the place where the Green meets the Colorado – boasting some of the largest rapids in the Colorado Plateau’s river network.

Scenic campsite in Cataract Canyon
Family enjoys the whitewater of Desolation Canyon

5–6 Day Desolation Canyon

Starting Price: $1,558
Minimum Age: 5
Meeting Location: Green River, UT

As one of the largest roadless areas in the contiguous US, Desolation Canyon is aptly named. Go where no road can take you as you float the Green River through this classic Eastern Utah canyon. This option is one of our most popular Utah rafting trips for families, and is a great introduction to whitewater rafting with consistent but mostly gentle rapids, and a handful of bigger ones just for fun. With endless side canyons to explore on foot and rich historic and prehistoric sites to visit, adventurers can take five to six days to feel the joy of reconnecting with the flow of nature.

A variety of boats to choose from peacefully floating down the Colorado River

5–6 Day Cataract Canyon

Starting Price: $1,485
Minimum Age: 8 (16 in May & June)
Meeting Location: Green River, UT

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. During the high water of May and June, we employ our famous "triple rigs", and the age limit for those trips is 16. In low water or high, our motorless 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 in this International Dark Sky Park. This is Holiday’s signature Utah whitewater rafting adventure. Come ride with us!

Open Seats on Utah river & Bike trips

2–3 Day Westwater

Starting Price: $640
Minimum Age: 8
Meeting Location: Green River, UT

Westwater Canyon is the best Utah river rafting trip for folks who are short on time but still want a taste of a wild river and canyon. Choose 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." In just a couple days, you can experience the best of both worlds: Relaxing flat water followed by big, punchy rapids. This truly is the best bang for your buck!

Labyrinth from Above Canyon Scenery

5 Day Labyrinth Canyon

Starting Price: $1,255
Minimum Age: 12
Meeting Location: Green River, UT

Labyrinth Canyon, which recently earned protection as a designated wilderness area, is home to a rich plethora of natural and cultural treasures. This calm, serene stretch of the Green River is enveloped by smooth, dizzyingly steep sandstone walls that only get taller as you float downstream. Beyond the breathtaking scenery, the hiking options of Labyrinth set it apart from other stretches. Bask in the ephemeral stream that flows at the bottom of Three Canyon, or climb to the saddle of the iconic Bowknot Bend. Check out historic inscriptions in several places, such as the markings left by Norm Nevills, Buzz Holmstrom, the Kolb brothers, and the elusive French-Canadian fur trapper, Denis Julien. What Labyrinth lacks in whitewater it more than makes up for in pristine beach campsites, otherworldly scenic views, and diverse hiking adventures.

Visit Ruins on the San Juan River Rafting Trip in Utah

3–5 Day San Juan River

Starting Price: $1,030
Minimum Age: 5
Meeting Location: Bluff, UT or Blanding, UT

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. From Native American ruins and rock art dating back thousands of years to more recent artifacts from the days of miners and oil prospectors, you'll see it all on the San Juan. 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, choose a four-day trip through the steep goosenecks of the lower canyon, or opt for a five-day trip to see it all!

Green River through Desolation Canyon

Each of these Utah whitewater rafting trips present their own unique moments of inspiration and adventure. Although people come to our state for the notorious whitewater rafting excitement, they come back for the whole experience. Once you feel the calm, peaceful energy and contentment cultivated on the river, it becomes addictive in the best way and impossible to replicate elsewhere.

From the first riverside meal to the last glowing side canyon, Holiday aims to please, and the incredible landscape of the Colorado Plateau never disappoints. Some of the best parts of the Colorado River aren’t even in Colorado, but as we like to say, when it comes to rafting in Utah, “you have to go to know.”

After nearly six decades leading expeditions into the wilderness, we have learned how to maximize our guest experience, attend to every detail of your expedition, and do our best to exceed expectations. If you have never been on a rafting trip before or if you are a seasoned veteran, you can trust Holiday to facilitate an unforgettable adventure.

Our helpful and passionate staff are available to answer any questions you may have and find the perfect trip for you! Call us today and let’s get you on the water!

Featured Review:

“Holiday creates trips that are more than just a boat down a river. They are able to connect your soul to nature in a way you weren’t considering before. The peace of mind, tranquility and support from your guides will truly change your life.

Our guides were playful, fun, knowledgeable and prepared without being overbearing or showy in regards to their experience. They told fun stories that fit our group’s conversation and always brought the conversations back to us. Upon first meeting Tristan and Brayden, they seemed like friends I haven’t seen in a while. I loved their demeanor, their zest for river life and their ability to make us all feel welcome in the spaces they call home. I am so glad we went on this trip, and even still- I wake up at my own home, thinking and longing for the magic created on here.

Thank you, Holiday, you all are remarkable and I cannot wait until the next time I drive up your gravel road, ready to pack my dry bag, airplane mode my phone, and hit the water. All the best to you.”

– Whitney L, Westwater Canyon Trip, June 2024

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