Desolation Canyon Youth Rafting Trips


About This Trip


This canyon is the perfect location for youth groups, where kids of all ages will enjoy the beauty of colorful canyon walls and natural rock sculptures created by Mother Nature. Many of the rapids on the Green River through Desolation Canyon are perfectly suited for young paddlers to get in the driver’s seat in an inflatable kayak. With nearly 60 exhilarating but forgiving rapids, they will have plenty of time to get into their own unique rhythm with the river.


  • Deeper than the Grand Canyon at the Bright Angel Trail
  • White sandy beaches, shimmering side streams, and abundant wildlife
  • 60 easy rolling rapids makes this trip great for kids

Trip Overview


Location: Green River
Type: Rafting
Length: 4–9 Days
Dates: May - August
Meet At: Sand Wash boat ramp
Rating: Beginner
Age Min: 5
Deposit: $300

Trip Price & Departure Dates


Up to 50% OFF for Youth Groups of 14 or more.

Please call for pricing 800-624-6323

Mondays May through August

Please call for availability 800-624-6323

Trip Slideshow


Full Gallery



From the Sand Wash put-in at the center of the Tavaputs Plateau in eastern Utah, Desolation Canyon cuts southwest through the largest roadless area in the contiguous United States. We'll finally regain civilization just north of our headquarters in Green River, Utah, after navigating over 60 rapids and 84 river miles.



Our itineraries can vary - it's never boring out there! Weather, the interests of our passengers, and campsite availability mean that every trip is unique. Here's a sample itinerary for a possible five-day youth trip through Desolation Canyon. For trips in later summer, we recommend a minimum of six days to account for lower river levels.

Day 1: The fun starts right at the boat ramp: water fights, inflatable kayaks, and opportunities to swim give the kiddos a wet welcome to river life. Look for the nests of cliff swallows, and crane your necks upward as the canyon walls rise around us. Get in the groove of camp life by helping the guides unload the boats at our campsite, then explore the rich riparian ecosystem around us.

Day 2: Hike to an ancient Fremont cultural site and learn how to be respectful of sacred sites. Take turns in inflatable kayaks as we begin to encounter bigger rapids such as Little Wild Horse and Surprise. Watch the stars come out after dinner and discuss the magic of the Milky Way.

Day 3: Explore a historic homestead at Rock Creek Ranch. Imagine being a pioneer or an outlaw trying to survive in this environment! More rapids keep us cool, and we'll camp on a giant sandbar or maybe within a shady grove of cottonwood trees.

Day 4: We'll tackle some of the best waves in the canyon today in Wire Fence, Three Fords, and Coal Creek rapids. We'll also leave the tall, red walls of Desolation behind and cross into Gray Canyon.

Day 5: One more morning of hot cocoa and sand in your hair as we approach the end of the canyon and our return to civilization. There are plenty more fun rapids on the way to the boat ramp, and we'll stop for lunch and maybe even swim through a mellow rapid. Last stop is the boat ramp near Swasey's Beach, where we'll load up the boats and gear and drive back to our headquarters, just a 20 minute trip down the road. We typically expect to arrive back at our headquarters between 3:00 to 4:00 p.m.

If you opt for a longer trip in Desolation Canyon, the itinerary will naturally expand to include different campsites and more options for off-river excursions as well as more time for playing on the beach and swimming or for educational activities.

Please keep in mind that this is a sample itinerary and not an exact description of your trip. The intent is to give a general idea of what your trip may entail. Rest assured, if you're not doing these things, it's because you're doing other amazing things! It's why our motto is "Go With the Flow"!


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Holiday River Expeditions
Average rating:  
 1 reviews
by Tracy Thompson on Holiday River Expeditions

AMAZING trip... Everything blew our expectations out of the water. Our guides were professional, fun, energetic and inspiring young women. We loved our trip and it was the time of our lives. Thank you Holiday for everything you did to make it one of our best vacations of all time.