Cataract Canyon is home to the biggest whitewater rapids in Utah. Each trip offers a nice combination of quiet floats and whitewater. You will wind through sculpted sandstone buttes and towering red rock cliffs. After passing the majestic confluence of the Green and Colorado rivers, you’ll enter Cataract Canyon, an area with exciting whitewater where you will experience some of the biggest rapids in North America, including the most notorious stretch known as The Big Drops, where your raft plunges 30 feet in a matter of minutes through a series of large rapids. After successfully navigating the rapids, your trip ends near Hite Marina on upper Lake Powell.
A flexible, open attitude is a necessity. You will be immersed in the varying elements of nature. There is no set daily itinerary, electricity, or indoor plumbing. There is plenty of adventure, camaraderie, good food, and beautiful Canyonlands scenery.
Cataract Canyon has many faces during the season. Spring is the high-water season (April – June), when experienced whitewater enthusiasts and adventure seekers can experience huge waves and rapids that rival those in the Grand Canyon. At its peak flows, this is some of the biggest navigable whitewater flows in North America. Later in the season, from July through October, as the water levels drop, this becomes a more moderate run with less intimidating rapids, suitable for all ages and levels of experience. These later summer months still offer a thrilling ride, but at a more leisurely pace.
We’ve been connecting our clients to water adventures around the world since 1987. We partner with select outfitters who share our values and are pros at creating exceptional experiences. There is no fee for our service; we earn our commission from the outfitters we represent, and the cost of your expedition is the same as booking direct.
Cataract Canyon 1-Day rafting trips begin in Moab, Utah where you will meet the outfitter and be transferred to the put-in point.
Your trip will end at Hite Marina, Utah on upper Lake Powell. Transportation from the take-out point back to Moab, Utah is provided by the outfitter and you will have the option to take a van or chartered plane ($130/ person additional cost) back from Lake Powell.
The outfitter will provide all the river related safety equipment, along with your lunch, non-alcoholic beverages, and snacks. Transportation by van shuttle to the put-in point and take-out point from Moab, Utah is also included. (An additional cost is required if you choose to fly back at the end of the river trip.)
April and May have cooler temperatures (average high 84°F, low 50°F), which require extra layers, but allow for longer hikes. June through August are the hottest months to raft Utah with temperatures ranging 95-101°F. As the rafting season winds down in September and October you can expect cooler weather, with highs averaging 89°F and lows around 53°F.
With a character similar to that in the Grand Canyon, the Colorado River within Cataract Canyon alternates between short sections of rapids and long calm stretches. Rapids range from easy (Class I) to a couple of large rapids (Class V). Unlike the Grand Canyon, this section of the Colorado River is not regulated, which means that the nature of the rapids can change depending on the time of the year that you choose to raft. The water is cold (48°F), and can be emerald green or chocolate brown depending on the season and section of the river.
Your boat will be a motorized J-Rig, a flexible and forward facing seating arrangement. The motorized engine allows for speedier travel between points of interest and is built to handle big waves.
Motor trips will have 1 to 2 boats, each carrying up to 18 guests with no more than 36 in the group.
One thing is certain on a Cataract Canyon rafting trip: There will be plenty of food! A riverside picnic sets the scene for lunch where you create your own sandwich. There are also plenty of snacks and beverages offered throughout the day. With advance notice, the outfitter is able to accommodate for some special dietary requirements.
Length: 1 day
Price: $425 – $555 per person (Other taxes & fees may apply)
Season: April – June
Min. Age: 7 years (Age is subject to change based on water levels & the discretion of the outfitter)
Activity: Whitewater Rafting
Adventure Level: Strong
I cannot tell you how impressed I was with the Rivers & Oceans’ staff, their organizational skills, knowledge and simply being just nice people. Once I decided to go with them every detail of the adventure was planned, organized and implemented without a hitch.
Absolutely wonderful. Rivers and Oceans is operated by people who truly care about your trip and have the personal experience to help you make the best choice. Now go see for yourself and let Rivers and Oceans lead you towards the adventure of a lifetime.
The folks at Rivers and Oceans are great. Helped us find and book a trip and patiently answered many questions over the weeks preceding the trip. Thank you.
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