Desolation Canyon Utah Family Rafting… (trip)

Desolation Canyon Utah Family Rafting on the Green River

  • United States
  • Active & Adventure
“Your office staff� made the whole booking experience effortless.� Your guides exceeded our expectations!� Their knowledge of the river, ability… ”
Green River
, Tavaputs Plateau, Utah, United States

from $1,320* per person5 DaysMay-August
Comfort accommodations Exertion level: 4
Operator: Holiday River Expeditions 20 people max
Desolation and Gray canyons are on the National Register of Historic Places because the famous and infamous were drawn here. In 1830, trapper Denis Julien left graffiti on the canyon walls. Almost 40 years later, John Wesley Powell traveled through the canyons and christened them. Soon after Powell passed through, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid found this a great place to escape justice. Today, if you really want to get away, there's no better place than the Green River Wilderness.

The Green River cuts a series of chasms through the Tavaputs Plateau and forms a gorge deeper than the Grand Canyon at Bright Angel Creek (5500'). There are petroglyphs, ruins, abandoned homesteads and marvelous camping sites among verdant cottonwoods on soft sand beaches. This is a perfect place to try your skills with an inflatable kayak.

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Locations visited/nearby

Green River , Tavaputs Plateau, Utah, United States

1 testimonial about this trip

  1. Reviewer: Connie Roller located in Holladay, UT USA
    Your office staff� made the whole booking experience effortless.� Your guides exceeded our expectations!� Their knowledge of the river, ability to guide the boats, attention to the needs of all the guests including children and a guest who could not swim. � Their preparations for meals was smooth and their ability to go with the flow was priceless!

3 testimonials about the provider, Holiday River Expeditions:

  • Reviewer: Geralyn DeFelice located in Pittsburgh, PA USA
    "Just want to thank you for everything and to let you know that I TOTALLY LOVED THE TRIP--WILL REMEMBER IT ALL MY LIFE!  I will never be the same after experiencing the river as we did!  Personally, I felt the entire trip was perfect.  What a great group of people Holiday has!  Our guides were great and we so enjoyed them.  The food was delicious, loved Clari, the yoga and massages, our hikes, the rapids, our campfire...perfect!"  
  • Reviewer: Ryan Higginson located in Salt Lake City, UT USA
    I have done the white rim with holiday 5 times, and each trip is the highlight of the year for me.  The scenery is spectacular.  The bigger than life red rock spires and bluffs that are prevalent throughout the ride give an abundance of photo opportunities. Doing the ride in 3 or 4 days allows for enough time to take in the scenery, and still get plenty of biking in each day. The guides for each of my trips have created an atmosphere of lighthearted fun and excitement balanced with plenty of knowledge about the geography and native american indians who inhabited the area in the past.  I'm always impressed with the great food they prepare and the organization around the kitchen.  The white rim trip has always been an unforgettable experience.

  • Reviewer: Kim England located in Scottsdale, AZ USA
    We had a great time.  We appreciated the informed guides and  the educational experience they were able to provide.  Our 7 year old thinks it was the BEST trip ever!  The kids activity kit came in handy.  Making friendship bracelets and sand castles.  The ducky was his favorite!  Also, We never expected the food to be one of the highlights of a camping/rafting trip!

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Special information

  • Family oriented trip.


Day 1: Fly into Sand Wash put-in from Green River. There is a 30 minute downhill hike from canyon rim to the rafts waiting at river bottom. The trail is well marked but there is some loose footing along the way. Plan ahead to wear appropriate shoes for the hike. Guests who are apprehensive about the hike can be transported by vehicle to the river. View a historical marker at head of Desolation Canyon before entering the canyon. Camp this evening near Gold Hole.

Day 2: Hikes to Fremont Indian ruins and petroglyphs interspersed with sections of whitewater. Steer Ridge Rapid is the most memorable. Camp in a cottonwood grove or on a mile-long sandbar.

Day 3: Side canyon hike up Rock Creek, a clearwater stream. Extensive petroglyphs, and abandoned Rock Creek and McPherson Ranches, where Butch Cassidy's Wild Bunch slept.

Day 4: The whitewater has gotten bigger each day. The crescendo: Belknap, Three Fords, and Coal Creek rapids. Leave Desolation and enter Gray Canyon.

Day 5: We will run a half dozen more rapids before lunch and then take out near Swasey's beach. Short trip back to Green River and our headquarters.

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