By Susan Munroe & Julie Trevelyan
Women’s river rafting trips are an opportunity for women to slip into nature wearing their own skin. Leave society and its pressures behind and enter a world with no schedule, no expectations, and no to-do list. Every summer, Holiday offers fully catered, multi-day, all-women rafting (and sometimes biking!) trips. Professional (female!) guides lead the way through the spectacular river canyons of Utah and Colorado. These strong, talented women row the rafts and take care of all the camp chores, leaving you free to embrace each moment.
Beautiful and remote, a few days floating the Green, Colorado, Yampa, or San Juan rivers can be life-changing. These canyons offer diverse scenery and different levels of whitewater excitement, from easy-mellow to breathless-exhilarating. Campsites are often on open beaches or tucked into groves of cottonwood or box elder trees. Days are spent floating and hiking, talking and swimming. Inflatable kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding are another way to get deeper into these places that remain protected from human influence.
Our women’s river rafting trips add yoga, writing, meditation, or water color painting to all of the above. Holiday partners with local female artists, writers, yogis, and community leaders to offer something different every year. With a focus on relaxation and rejuvenation, our goal is to cultivate an environment where women can pause, reflect, try new things, and create new bonds with nature as well as each other.
Bring your daughters, mothers, sisters, friends, or just bring yourself! There’s a unique energy and power in an all-female group, whether composed of old friends or perfect strangers.
Here are our 11 best reasons for joining an all-women’s trip this year.
- Spending time with other women means you can relax, let go, and totally be yourself!
- Women can hold a very safe space for one another, both emotionally and physically. A river rafting adventure can include that added comfort of sanctuary when all your co-adventurers are also female.
- Two words: belly laughs. Laughter between women is hearty, expansive, and just plain fun. There’s always a lot of beautiful, healing laughter on all-women’s trips.
- Two more words: role models. Moms with daughters of a certain age frequently comment on how great it is for their daughters to watch strong, competent female guides in action.
- Learning a new skill like river rafting can be intense no matter what. Surrounded by other women, female participants often feel more comfortable going at their own pace.
- You don’t yoga? It’s all good—there’s plenty of space on the beach for reading, napping, chatting, or just relaxing.
- You do yoga, but you worry you aren’t good at it? Yoga can be more soothing and freeing in a group of only women, where there’s no need to worry about how you look as you drop into downward-facing dog.
- Let’s face it: women still do a lot of the work around home. On the river, someone else cooks and cleans up. Seriously, how cool is that?
- Moms, executives, wives, girlfriends, leaders—women fill a lot of roles. A river trip (sans children or partners, business or domestic) can be a refreshing break from daily responsibilities, a way to get back some of your personal mojo.
- Performance anxiety is usually at a minimum in an all women’s group. The rhythm of the trip is dictated less by a need to impress and more by a desire to simply enjoy.
- Women who travel solo often feel more comfortable in a group of strangers who are all women. We’ve seen some solid friendships form on these trips!
So here’s our invitation to all women: bring a daughter, mother, or a best friend, or just bring yourself. Join us on the river and discover just how joyful, revitalizing, and empowering women’s river rafting trips can be!
TRIPS FOR 2021
May 15–19 5-day Women’s Watercolor Workshop w/Suze Woolf on the San Juan River
Let your creative juices flow in an environment that’s both supportive and spectacular! The San Juan River will carry you through the dramatic geology of Utah’s Four Corners area. Suze Woolf will teach you how to translate what you see into painted imagery. And proceeds will go toward supporting the work of the Great Old Broads for Wilderness, an advocacy group working to protect wilderness.
July 8–11 4-day Women’s River and Yoga Trip w/Katie Wood in Lodore Canyon on the Green River
Experience the magical landscape of Dinosaur National Monument in the company of women. See the thousand-foot red walls of Lodore through a variety of perspectives as yoga teacher Katie Woods leads you through sun salutations and gentle flows geared toward the interests and abilities of each woman in the group.
NEW: Holiday’s first-ever LGBTQ Rafting Trip Series!
At Holiday, we recognize that women aren’t the only group of people who may sometimes need a space that’s just for them. In 2021, we are thrilled to offer 6 days through Cataract Canyon for members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community. And due to the high level of interest in the Cataract trip, we have added a shorter 3 days through Westwater Canyon as well! Join us and our partners with Outside Safe Space and The Venture Out Project in creating these intentional, safe, and liberating spaces on the wild Colorado River!
OPTIONS FOR ALL
Don’t worry: if you’re into yoga but don’t want your non-female partner or friends to miss out on a great time, we’re also offering non-gender-specific yoga trips, including: Wild Yoga in Desolation Canyon with Rebecca Wildbear, 6 days in Cataract Canyon with yoga instructor Jennifer Gilmore (plus SUPs and stargazing!), and an autumn biking and yoga trip on the White Rim Trail.
Or, charter your own trip! Get your favorite group of gals together for a birthday, anniversary, or just-because celebration. Pick the section of river or biking trail that suits your fancy and spend some quality time with those you love. Learn more about private charter trips.
Co-Written by Susan Munroe & Julie Trevelyan
Susan Munroe is a reader, writer, traveler, and river guide. She moved to Utah from New Hampshire for the mountains, but it was the allure of the desert and its rivers that have truly kept her transfixed. More than eight years after she first came to work for Holiday River Expeditions, she still can’t get enough of life on the water. Susan spends her winters skiing and working in Salt Lake City, Utah, with frequent trips to southern Chile to run the Río Baker and support the work of the educational kayaking exchange program Ríos to Rivers. See more of Susan’s work here: www.susanmunroe.com, and photos of the river life here: www.susanmunroe.zenfolio.com.
Julie Trevelyan 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 on Wild Girl Writing.