Cataract Canyon lies deep in the heart of Canyonlands National Park. The route there is not simple; but well worth the journey. Just thirty minutes south of Moab, Utah the voyage begins on the mighty Colorado River. As you wind your way deeper through majestically cut canyons, past Dead Horse Point State Park, and beyond the confluence of the Colorado and Green River, you'll be witness to nature in its most rugged and pristine form, sent back in time as you encounter dwellings and carvings from ancient civilizations, and come head to head with world-famous class III-V whitewater. The way out is by air. While your charter plane flies you back over the river for one last look at its magnificent corridors, you'll have time to reflect how this experience is so much more than an amazing whitewater rafting trip; more than a chance to see exquisite rarely-seen canyons filled with incredible history. Cataract Canyon is a place that builds friendships, strengthens family bonds, takes you down a path of self discovery, and most importantly, it's a place you'll never forget.
Day-by-Day ItineraryDAYS 1 & 2 »You will meet at the Moab Adventure Center at 7:30 AM where you'll start your trip with a short bus ride to the launch site on the Colorado River. Once you have met your guides and they secure your gear, you'll set off for Cataract Canyon. The minute you embark, you shed the hustle and bustle of life as the river washes all worry away. You'll glide along smooth-flowing currents snaking your way through Canyonlands National Park where red rock spires, sandstone castles, and remote buttes offer unequalled opportunities for photography. Cliffside hikes will take you to Native American ruins and petroglyphs as well as remnants of an ancient petrified forest.
DAY 3 » The cliffs soar to greater heights as the canyon deepens to over 2,000 feet. The mighty Colorado River crashes down the canyon with nearly 30 action-packed whitewater rapids! Capsize, Little Niagara, Repeat, and the notorious “Big Drops,” your raft will hurtle over 30 foot waves with the power and intensity of the Grand Canyon. After you pass Imperial Rapid, you can relax your grip and reminisce over your incredible journey. Enjoy your final night of camping at the river's edge as your guides prepare a splendid meal with savory appetizers, rich barbecue dinner, and a delicious Dutch-oven dessert. Once the final rays of sun paint the canyon walls and stars envelop the sky, you will fall asleep under a wondrous night sky.
DAY 4 » Once you have finished breakfast, you'll embark on your final day of rafting. You'll bask in the morning sun as you wind through towering, sandstone canyons heading downriver to Lake Powell. Savor a final lunch along the river with your new friends before bidding farewell to the mighty Colorado River. You will return to Moab, Utah aboard a 5-7 seat Cessna aircraft, passing over Canyonlands National Park in a one-hour scenic flight (arriving approximately 5:00 PM - Return time may be earlier depending on flight schedules).
ADVENTURE EXTENSION: Get a good night's rest before your river trip with the comforts of Moab's Hampton Inn. Return from your Cataract Canyon adventure to the sophistications of Red Cliffs Lodge, a deluxe guest ranch on the banks of the Colorado River. After a warm shower and some relaxation on your private patio, savor dinner overlooking the reflections of the setting sun at the water's edge. Experience a horseback ride in the morning from the Red Cliffs Corral. Spend the afternoon relaxing or hiking the spectacular trails surrounding Castle Valley. Top off your day with an exhilarating Sunset Hummer Safari, an absolute must on the Moab, Utah adventure list.
Pre-Trip Travel Information
Beginning in the quaint town of Moab, Utah this trip offers plenty of opportunity for additional activities, shopping, dining and relaxing. Schedule a few days before or after your trip to explore downtown Moab, Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, and participate in some unforgettable Moab adventures such as an off-road Hummer Safari or canyoneering. We highly recommend adding a Sunset Hummer Safari to your itinerary. You'll ride over incredible sandstone fins out to a beautiful sunset overlook that will take your breath away. At any time before departure, Western can add to your itinerary additional activities, lodging, airport shuttle, and jeep rental. Simply give us a call and we'll arrange everything for you.
How to Get to Moab
Drive Time to Moab, Utah
Where and When to Meet
Where to Stay
Post-Trip Travel Information
You will likely want to reserve at least one night of lodging on the final day of your trip as you'll return to Moab around 3:00 PM. If you will be traveling on but wish to shower before leaving Moab, we can direct you to several locations in town that offer shower facilities.
Tip » We highly recommend adding a Sunset Hummer Safari to your itinerary. You'll ride over incredible sandstone fins out to a beautiful sunset overlook that will take your breath away.