Cataract Canyon in Canyonlands National… (trip)

Cataract Canyon in Canyonlands National Park

  • United States
  • Active & Adventure
Desolation Canyon
, Green River
, Salmon River
, Idaho Wilderness, United States

from $1,360* per person6 DaysMay-August
Comfort accommodations Exertion level: 6
Operator: Holiday River Expeditions 20 people max
Cataract Canyon rafting is an anomaly. Its rapids rank along with those of the Grand Canyon in power and difficulty. In fact, the river becomes unruly during the run off in May and June.

Yet Cataract Canyon contains mile after mile of rafting through canyons where you are awe struck, not at whitewater, but the deep multicolored canyons of this section of Canyonlands National Park. Side canyon hikes to ruins and petroglyphs delight you as you head toward the Confluence of the Colorado and Green rivers.

Once you reach the Confluence, the Colorado's behemoth rapids emerge. Rapids 15 through 23 comprise Mile Long and The Big Drops, a fall of 80 feet in less than four miles--one of the Colorado's steepest descents.

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Locations visited/nearby

Desolation Canyon , Green River , Salmon River , Idaho Wilderness, United States

0 testimonials about this trip.

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

  • This is a custom departure, meaning this trip is offered on dates that you arrange privately with the provider. Additionally, you need to form your own private group for this trip. The itinerary and price here is just a sample. Contact the provider for detailed pricing, minimum group size, and scheduling information. For most providers, the larger the group you are traveling with, the lower the per-person cost will be.


Day 1: Meet group at headquarters in Green River, Utah. After a 1 hour drive to the put-in the river takes you past a collection of table top mesas. Short hikes reveal a variety of ancient artifacts.

Day 2: The river peacefully meanders into the heart of Canyonlands National Park. Quiet beaches, hidden canyons and refreshing water fights are common through this section of the trip.

Day 3: We reach the confluence of the Colorado and Green rivers. The Ute Indians believed the Confluence to be the center of the universe, and some people still do. Just below the meeting of these two rivers enjoy a view of the Doll House, an appropriately named collection of free standing, sandstone columns.

Day 4: Possible early morning hike into Doll House. Ascend steeply to the canyon rim in the Maze District with red rock formations. After descending to the river, the rapids of Cataract Canyon await. The climax: Big Drop Rapids with Little Niagara and Satan's Gut.

Day 5: Lunch at Rock Canyon and a trip across Lake Powell with the aid of motorboat "Hayduke" brings you to Hite Marina and the end of the trip. A two-hour drive brings you back to Green River.

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