LGBTQ Colorado River Rafting Trip

Holiday River Expeditions, is partnering with our friend Mikah Meyer of Travel Beyond Convention and announcing our inaugural LGBTQ Colorado River Rafting Trip through Cataract Canyon. This 6-day river trip will take you through the heart of Canyonlands National Park while bringing together members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community to have a safe, restorative, and fun experience connecting with nature and disconnecting from the hustle of everyday life.

While queer culture has been long-established in cities–where communities can consolidate and flourish–it doesn’t mean we haven’t existed in rural and wild places forever.   The LGBTQ community has a long and often overlooked relationship with the natural world and we are hoping to help change that perception. This pilot river trip is a chance to intentionally reclaim a deep and meaningful connection to these wild places while having a relaxing and thrilling vacation with a supportive community.

Holiday River Expeditions has a longstanding history of fostering an inclusive and restorative ethos on all of our river trips, and was a pioneer in starting women’s specific rafting trips in the mid 1980’s. Now with the leadership of Lauren Wood, Holiday’s 3rd generation co-owner helping direct their family’s company, we have centered queer and non-binary leadership from the top down in their management and guide culture.  We are beyond excited to take the next step in creating this intentional safe and liberating space on this unbridled river.

Legendary Cataract Canyon lies buried in the heart of Utah’s Canyonlands National Park. Our whitewater rafts offer dynamic and comfortable transportation to side canyon grotto’s, waterfalls and ancient Pueblo ruins that are otherwise inaccessible within the Park. On this backdoor expedition through Canyonlands we see the most vivid contrast between serene tranquility and all-out high adventure with world class whitewater.

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

Featured Review:

“Multi-Day Rafting Trips with Holiday became my favorite National Park activity after visiting all 419 National Park Service sites, so I can’t advocate for them highly enough. In a world constantly digitally connected, it provides a respite from the noise and distraction of a cell phone, to connect with the nature and people that surround you.” -Mikah Meyer

Book This Trip

Trip Overview

  • Type:

    Rafting

  • Location:

    Colorado River - Canyonlands National Park

  • Length:

    6 Days

  • Dates:

    August 16-21st

  • Meet at:

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

  • Difficulty:

    Intermediate, Advanced

  • Min. Age:

    8 (16 in May & June)

  • Deposit:

    300

Highlights

  • Incredible guides who prioritize your comfort and experience at every bend
  • Oar power (never motorized) lets us truly go with the flow
  • Calm stretches perfect for inflatable kayaks & stand-up paddle boards
  • Great swimming opportunities; truly epic whitewater
  • Find your authentic wild side within the safe canyons of Cataract
  • Huge sandy beaches and red cliffs
Getting Here Before You Go Packing List FAQs

Rates & Dates

6 Days

  • Adult:
  • $1,325
  • Youth:
    18 and under
  • $1,140
  • Senior:
    65 and older
  • $1,140
  • Group:
    10 or more
  • $1,245
Book This Trip
Check Availability
2021
  • August
  • 16-21

Itinerary

Cataract Canyon trips launch from the Potash boat ramp on the Colorado River just south of Moab, Utah. Float through 47 miles of unbelievable canyon scenery to the confluence with the Green River at the center of Canyonlands National Park. This is where the whitewater starts. After more than 30 exhilarating rapids, we’ll arrive at the northern tip of Lake Powell, and take out at or near Hite Marina.

Sample Itinerary

The night before your trip:

Please meet at our Green River, Utah, warehouse for an 8:00 p.m. Mountain Time pre-trip meeting. You’ll meet your guides, receive your waterproof bags and instructions on how best to pack them, and have time to purchase last minute items from our store (look over our packing checklist for a list of such items). Please consider dropping off any personal beverages (specialty sodas, beer, wine, etc.) at this time so that we can pack them into our coolers.

Day 1:

We’ll meet you back at our Green River headquarters the next morning at the time determined during the pre-trip meeting. It’s a 90-minute ride to the put-in, east along the base of the Book Cliffs, then south toward Moab. Hop in an inflatable kayak or onto a stand-up paddle board (SUP) for some exercise, or settle in on a raft. We’ll lunch on a sandbar and maybe take a short afternoon hike to an exposed petrified wood boneyard. Look up high to wave to visitors at Dead Horse Point State Park.

Day 2:

Morning sun makes the walls glow like red gold. Listen for the descending song of the canyon wren, or paddle your SUP along the shore in search of otters and great blue herons. The Colorado meanders peacefully in this section. Swim alongside the rafts or lounge under an umbrella; the afternoon may provide the opportunity to hike to thousand-year-old rock structures built by the Fremont Culture. Learn to spot granaries (ancient food storage structures) on the cliff walls as we continue downstream.

Day 3:

Today we’ll reach the confluence of the Colorado and Green rivers, believed by some cultures to be the center of the universe. Swim through the line where the two rivers meet and buckle up your personal flotation device! Rapids are just a few miles ahead. Just below the confluence, enjoy a view of the Doll House, a collection of freestanding, sandstone columns: one of the remotest regions of the Maze District of Canyonlands.

Day 4:

Conditions permitting, ambitious hikers may start the day with a hike into the Doll House. Ascend steeply to the canyon rim in the Maze District to explore the red and white red rock formations and prehistoric artifacts. Below, the rapids of Cataract Canyon await. We’ll stop and scout a few of the big ones, giving plenty of time for the suspense to build. Hold on for the the Big Drops: Little Niagara and Satan’s Gut!

Day 5:

After a few last rapids, the water calms again, and the canyon walls rise, smooth and majestic. We’re now officially in Lake Powell, although depending on the reservoir level, it may still feel like a river for a long distance. When the reservoir is high, we’ll get an assist from our “Seldom Seen” motorboat. We’ll float under the Hite Narrows Bridge and pull over 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. Please understand that this is only a sample itinerary. You may have the opportunity to do all of the above activities, or you may have a variety of other memorable and exciting experiences. Holiday’s motto is “Go With the Flow”, and we encourage you to arrive with an open mind, a flexible attitude, and an appetite for adventure!

Cataract Canyon trips are true wilderness adventures, and itineraries vary widely depending on weather, the specific requests of this charter trip, campsite availability, and the need to be courteous to other groups on the river. This is a sample itinerary intended to provide one example of a five-day trip through Cataract.

In July and August, we lengthen our Cataract Canyon trips to six days to account for slower river flows. On this six-day Cataract Canyon trip, you can expect a similar itinerary to this one; however, with lower late-season river flows and an extra day to play, you may take some extra time in the upper canyon exploring archaeological sites or side canyons and reach the confluence sometime on the fourth day. You may dive into some whitewater rafting on day four but likely will spend that night nestled between mighty rapids in the heart of Cataract Canyon. Run the Big Drops on the fifth day and finish up on day six by exploring the upper reaches of Narrow Canyon on our way to the Hite boat-ramp and the “real” world.

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