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The Sights of Cataract Canyon by Oarboat for 5, 6 or 7 Days ON THE COLORADO RIVER T h r o u g h
C a n y o n l a n d s
N a t i o n a l
P a r k
As featured in Outside Magazine and The Washington Post
Cataract Canyon Details
Highlights: Wildly Fun Rapids Indian Ruins Time to Hike Canyonlands National Park Oarboats 2000 Ft Redrock Canyons Scenic Return Flight Great Cowboy/Outlaw History Delightful riverside camping
Host City: Moab, UT (Airport: CNY)
Rapid Rating: III-V(depending on water)
Minimum Age: 10 Years Old
The Sights of Cataract Canyon trip through Canyonlands National Park is our premier trip that offers great whitewater, spectacular hikes and beauty found only on the Colorado River. From the beginning of the trip, you will find yourself seduced by the pace of the river while absorbing beautiful scenery and enjoying the camaraderie of interesting people. This is a spectacular, remote wilderness with 2000 foot red rock cliffs, 28+ fun and exciting rapids and national park quality hikes.
See red rock spires that tower 2000 ft. above the river. Explore 1000 year old Native American petroglyphs and granaries found around every bend in the river. The oarboat is the traditional raft on the Colorado River. This type of craft places you 'up close and personal' with the river and its natural power. It's a pure wilderness river trip combining all the comforts needed to enjoy the outdoors. Only the quiet dipping of the oars in the water breaks the quiet of the smooth water sections. If you have never camped before, rest assured that we are professional at making your trip comfortable, fascinating and fun.
The whitewater in May and June is a thrill seeker’s dream. The waves are large and the ride is very exciting. Shortly after the confluence of the Colorado and Green Rivers, a series of steep descents and powerful whitewater known as the Mile-Long Rapid begins. Then come the Big Drops: Little Niagara and Satan's Gut ~ during high water, the waves are gigantic. In July and August the whitewater is still fun but not as big. The later trips are great for those that want to enjoy the other great parts of river rafting: swimming, large sandy beaches, more time in camp for fun outdoor games such as bocce and horseshoes. Explore some of the lost canyons of Cataract Canyon as we motor off Lake Powell. The trip concludes with a flight back over Canyonlands National Park. For More Information: http://www.griffithexp.com/cataractcanyon-oar.htm
The Cataract Canyon Rafting Experience Sample Rafting Itinerary Day One: Once on the river we settle into the boats and enter the true heart of Canyonlands National Park as begin their journey down river through the heart of we near the Confluence. If it has rained recently, the mixing of the rivers will be defined in brilliant swirls Canyonlands National Park. This morning guests may of red and green. visit a petrified wood bed and will pass the Pyramid Tonight we will experience a night of Butte. peaceful camping and quiet anticipation. Fall asleep The canyon walls are a to the quiet sounds of river music: quiet splashing beautiful, deep red accompanied by the high tones of crickets and the which contrasts low tones of nearby owls. beautifully with the pristine blue sky that will be your ceiling for Day Four: After a healthy breakfast the guides take the next 5 days. After time to teach you how to enjoy the big rapids safely. lunch, we settle back Then the fun really begins. We will experience the first of the Cataract Canyon rapids, numbers 1 onto the boats and through 10. By now the river has doubled in size and continue down stream, where we will pass force. The rapids are not huge, but will suffice in Tex's Grotto, where a getting everyone good and wet. Grand Piano is set up This afternoon we will navigate through for concerts during the more intimidating rapids, including Big Drop 3, Moab Music Festival, and Dead Horse Point, where the Satan's Gut and movies Mission Impossible 2 and Thelma and Louise Little Niagara. were filmed There may be stops Day Two & Three: We will pass Lockhart Canyon, along the way as where Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid used to the guide scouts hide their stolen cattle until they could move them to the rapids to find market. You will see pass picturesque Airport Tower, the best route through the which rises nearly 1200 Feet above the canyon rim, and churning whitewater. After June, the water flow is long enough to land an airplane on. We will also see decreases and the rapids become more moderate and the Coffee Pot Ruin and the "Racing Stripe." family friendly. After we recreate our riverside oasis, guests are welcome to kick back, relax and relive the day's adventures over and over again as the evening deepens and a bright canopy of stars replaces the blue sky.
Hikes could include Indian Creek Falls, Native American ruins at Lathrup Canyon or We may take the opportunity to participate in the Loop Hike, which takes us to the top of the ridge around which the Colorado River takes a four mile bend onto itself. Towards the end of day three you will pass the Confluence of the Green and Colorado Rivers. We now
Day Five: As we leave the whitewater, the Colorado River slides its way into Lake Powell and we start the outboard motor to scoot across the lake to our take-out. After pulling the rafts and gear from the lake, the guides escort guests up to the landing strip for the return flight to Moab. This is no ordinary flight back, this is a scenic flight over Canyonlands National Park and the river you just rafted ~ the perfect end to the perfect vacation
The Cataract Canyon Rafting Experience
A Typical Day on the River Going on your first river trip or your tenth some of the most common questions are what do we do, how long are we on the water and what is camp like. The answer is, our trips are never exactly the same because of slight differences like; the river, mileage to make, how long the trip is and group preferences. Our crew’s specialty is catering to each group to make their vacation exactly what the group is looking for in the trip. What you will Experience is one of the best vacations you’ve ever had. You will Escape the daily grind of life and learn the meaning of “River Time.” Throughout your trip you will Discover what it is like to be in an “outdoor museum.” Exploring hidden wonders and gems of the Colorado Plateau. Sample Day on the River 7:00 a.m. Wake up to the smell of fresh coffee and a delicious breakfast cooking. As you enjoy sipping the beverage of your choice, watch the sun light up the canyon walls. During is time you can enjoy mingling with other guests or just find a quiet spot to enjoy your morning while your guides prepare a delicious breakfast. Breakfasts may include stacks of hot pancakes, French toast or breakfast burrito severed with fresh fruit, and tasty bacon. Note: Meals are served from a set daily menu, but you are welcome to request, in advance, special dishes or tell us if there are particular things you would prefer not to have. 9:00 a.m. After breakfast we will begin to pack up our camp for the day. As you pack up your personal bag and camp, your guides will pack up the rest of camp. As the guides load the boats you can take time to relax, stretch or just enjoy the morning. 10:00 a.m. We begin our day on the river floating, watching for wildlife and listening for birds. River rafting offers quality time and many experiences. There is adventure time, quiet time, interaction and reflection time and lots of time to play. Our trips are in some of the world’s finest wild areas. Your boat may be one of several options, Sheri Griffith Expeditions provides on trips determined by the river, the length of the trip or, your personal choice. 12:00 noon Lunch is served around mid-day along the banks of the river. Lunches are prepared fresh, on the spot and may include deli sandwiches, chicken Cesar wraps or a pasta salad. While lunch is being prepared there may be time to hike, swim or just enjoy a cold soda. 2:00 pm. We are back on the water enjoying more spectacular scenery, interrupted now and then by a swim to cool down, or a fun rapid. We always try and take an afternoon hike. 4:00 p.m. In the late afternoon we will pull into our next camp, our home for the night. After a brief orientation to camp we will unload all the camping gear from our boats. On the first night we will have a tent demonstration to teach first timers how to set up your tent. 6:00 p.m. Appetizers are set up in a central location along with water, lemonade, Gatorade and cold drinks in a cooler. During this time of the day you will have time to sit down and enjoy our river library, take a stroll or join in a game of Horseshoes or Extreme Bocce! 8:00 p.m. After a delicious dinner, we will talk about how to be prepared for the next day. The rest of the night is spent reliving the day’s activities, telling stories and on the last night of the trip we have a special “dress up” celebration for our trip! And at the end of the day you go to bed under a canopy of stars! Ready for the next days adventure.
Camping Each evening we establish camp on the riverbank. If you have never camped before, rest assured that the guides are professional at making your camping experience comfortable, relaxing and fun. While you explore or settle down, the guides set up chairs and the kitchen, where they prepare fresh, delicious abundant meals. All Sheri Griffith Expeditions trips are all inclusive: we include tents, sleeping bags, and sleeping pads for all our guests. We take care of all the details and make camping experience easy and fun. All you need is your clothes. We provide enough civilization for almost anyone to be comfortable on our river rafting trips. All our equipment is top quality, state of the art and in great condition. Roomy tents that are easy to set up. Freshly laundered sleeping bags provide warmth on cool evenings. Large sleeping pad for comfortable sleeping at night. Water-resistant bags help keep your personal items out of the sand and water. A personal day-use bag keeps important items handy during the day. Larger Camp chairs offer comfortable seating while in camp. Personal Mug for hot and cold beverages
Hiking Canyonlands Canyonlands National Park and Cataract Canyon offer amazing hikes very day. The clean air amplifies a vibrant blue sky, creating a perfect environment for hiking and unparalleled photographic opportunities. Depending on the length of your trip, time is set aside for hiking to geological and historical sites including Ancient Pueblo ruins and petroglyphs. In spring there are waterfalls in some of the side canyons. You can participate or relax by the river edge. Some hikes can be strenuous with large elevation gains to canyon overlooks. Every hike is optional and the guides will organize the trip to the group’s desires.
Traveling by Oarboat The oarboats trips are longer in length and allow for more hiking as well as a more overall pure wilderness trip. The oarboat is the traditional raft on the Colorado River. This type of craft places you 'up close and personal' with the river and its natural power. It's a pure wilderness river trip combining all the comforts needed to enjoy the outdoors. Only the quiet dipping of the oars in the water breaks the quiet of the smooth water sections. The oar boats are smaller than the motorized boats for the shorter Cataract Canyon trips. This means a wilder ride in the Rapids, especially in May and June.
Cataract Canyon Whitewater By the end of the third day, you will sense the anticipation of the group rising as we near the rapids. Before the rapids the guides take time to teach you whitewater safety instructions. The character of the Colorado River varies with changes in water flow. Depending on snow pack, the river fluctuates dramatically from year to year and month to month. Cataract Canyon presents some of the biggest and most challenging rapids in the United States from mid-May to mid-June. After June, the water flow decreases and the rapids become more moderate and family friendly. The small 18-foot rafts, carrying four to five people, puts you right in the heart of the whitewater action. Shortly after the confluence of the Colorado and Green Rivers, a series of steep descents and powerful whitewater known as the Mile-Long Rapid begins. Then come the Big Drops: Little Niagara and Satan's Gut - during high water (May and June), the waves are gigantic. History
This 100 mile stretch of the Colorado River has some of the most colorful and interesting river history on the entire Colorado River. Cataract Canyon became part of Canyonlands National Park in 1964. There are numerous secluded Ancient Pueblo sites along the river. You will get a chance to ponder the disappearance of these ancient peoples while exploring their 800 year old dwellings. Major John Wesley Powell named Cataract Canyon after his monumental 1869 expedition down the Green and Colorado Rivers. You will get a chance to see inscriptions that he and other early river runners left behind while navigating Cataract’s challenging rapids. Canyonlands is also home of many legendary outlaw hideouts. One of the most famous is Robber’s Roost where Butch Cassidy and the Wild Bunch would lay low between robberies. The Weather
You can expect warm, sunny, delightful days in Southeastern Utah. In April through June, high temperatures range between 70° and 90°. July and August high temperatures typically range between 90° and 100°, with September and October temperatures ranging between 70° and 80°. The climate here is very dry with little humidity and is not oppressively sweltering. Summer evenings are quite comfortable though cool in spring and fall. Other than an occasional rain cloud, there are few overcast days. Geology
There are numerous secluded geological sites along the river. Cataract Canyon is a geologist's paradise. You can see nearly 300 million years of rock history in a single glance. Throughout time the river has sliced through this rock and left it exposed for all to see. These multi-colored layers of rock sparkle in the warm Utah sun, creating spectacular sunsets and photos. We will pass Limestone and Sandstone layers with a variety of shapes and sizes that make this country a beautiful national park. Wildlife
The canyon hosts an extraordinary diversity of plants and animals that live in many climatic environments. Wildlife is abundant in this region, though often shy. One of the West’s largest herds of Desert Big Horn Sheep resides in the canyon. During the heat of the day lizards sun themselves while eagles, vultures, ravens, and hawks soar on thermal airstreams along the canyon walls. In the morning and evening, deer, muskrat, beaver, coyote and the great blue heron move along the river's edge
The Sheri Griffith Expeditions Advantage Our Mission: To Enhance to People’s Lives through Outstanding Outdoor Adventures. Sheri Griffith River Expeditions is the rafting outfitter offering " A Touch of Class" to all of our river rafting adventures on through Cataract Canyon since 1971. We have received numerous awards for business ethics and community involvement. Including the prestigious “Best of State Award” for River Outfitter and is the only Moab based outfitter to be recognized by National Geographic as one of the “Best Outfitters on Earth.” What does "A Touch of Class" mean?" It means we provide more amenities and service than any other outfitter. Our goal is to help you feel comfortable in the outdoors. We provide enough civilization for anyone to be comfortable on our river rafting trips. Great meals, cozy sleeping bags, comfortable chairs and professional, serviceoriented guides create a relaxing and comfortable camp setting, complimenting the relaxed pace of the day's river rafting activities. This means we make YOUR trip… 1. Safer: Our number one priority has always been the safety of our guests since 1971. We call it soft adventure, because it is soft on risk yet high on adventure. 2. Easy: All our trips are all inclusive: we include tents, sleeping bags, and sleeping pads for all our guests. We take care of all the details and make your vacation easy. All you need is your clothes. We provide enough civilization for almost anyone to be comfortable on our river rafting trips. Great meals, cozy sleeping bags, comfortable chairs and professional, service oriented guides create a relaxing and comfortable camp setting, complimenting the relaxed pace of the day’s river rafting activities. 3. Fun: Our fun loving professional guides are the best in the business with an average of 10 years of experience. This is not just their summer job, it’s their life. Our guides not only live in Moab, but work and play on the river. 4. High Quality: We provide the highest quality equipment, guides, & food on all of our river expeditions. o Guides: Our guides are the best in the business. They have learned our standards of Service and Safety, established and refined since 1971, of showing guests the wonders of whitewater rafting. Our company’s years of knowledge are passed on to our team through extensive training and workshops. You may rest assured that they all have comprehensive outdoor skills, a strong commitment to the environment, impressive leadership skills and a sharp sense of responsibility. This is not a summer job but a lifestyle for SGE guides. From the first call to the last meal the SGRE team is the friendliest, most competent and fun group of professional travel associates in the business. o Food: We provide and prepare all the meals. Our guides are great river chefs. They do all of the work of preparing the highest quality, healthy meals made with fresh ingredients. There is a variety of fruits and vegetables, local meats, and non-meat options. The evening meals are grilled and baked to perfection. We can accommodate a variety of diets from Kosher to Vegetarian and everything in between. o Equipment: Each Sheri Griffith Expeditions trip has top quality equipment. Comfortable chairs, roomy tents, soft pads, and quality sleeping bags are provided free of charge and in great condition. Valuable: Small groups without paying hundreds of dollars more. Each trip offers an adventure that provides exhilaration and a sense of wonder in the great outdoors.
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Whatâ€™s Included on a Sheri Griffith Trip: Full Days on the River: We begin early the first day and return late afternoon on the last day. This allows for more hiking, relaxing and river time to increase your vacation enjoyment. Camping Gear: Including a deluxe Sleeping Kit (clean sleeping bag & thick pad), and a high quality clean 2 person tent. One smaller day bag and one larger bag for clothes and other items. More dry bags are available upon request. All Rafting & Safety Equipment: We provide high quality state of the art Rafts and related rafting equipment. This includes lifejackets, rafting safety equipment, full kitchen and dinning setup, and toilet equipment. HIKING: All our trips offer experiential experiences to wonders just off the rivers edge. Short walks to longer, more difficult hikes (all optional). Highly Experienced, Professional, and Licensed Guides: Trained in the art of river running. All guides are licensed, have Emergency Medical Response, CPR and river rescue training. Few companies train this extensively. Their knowledge and skills will entertain and make you feel comfortable. Sheri Griffith Expeditions is very proud of the skills our guides have, along with their ability to row the most technical rapids on the Colorado River and then create an unbelievable meal in camp that night. All High Quality and Quantity Meals: Beginning with lunch the first day through lunch the last day. Many of our fruits and vegetables are grown locally. Hors dâ€™oeuvres are served nightly. Every meal is balanced and there is always plenty. . Our meats and cheeses are purchased from our local meat shop that focuses on the highest quality ingredients. We accommodate different diets and food restrictions and make special plans for anniversaries, birthdays, etc. Just let us know. Our preparation and food storage techniques adhere to national health and safety regulations Iced Coolers on boats: Provided specifically for personal beverages that you would like to bring. There is plenty of room, but please no glass. Lemonade, Gatorade and Water Available All Day: Coffee, teas, hot cocoa, and juice available in camp. Iced drinks: After the trip for return to Moab. Transportation: Land transportation from Moab to the river and back from the airport. Cataract Canyon trips have a charter airplane flight option for the return to Moab for an additional cost. What is not included in trip fares:
Trip insurance: For the unexpected changes
Guide Gratuities by no means required but always appreciated by our guides. We recommend 10-20% of the cost of the river portion of the trip. Transportation to and from your home to the departure town. Lodging and meals prior to or following your expedition (except where noted.) Government User fees and taxes (about 6% of trip cost.) Beer, wine, or alcoholic beverages. Except on our Expeditions in Luxury trips and International trips.) Cataract Canyon Return flight
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Custom Trips We can help you schedule other activities in Moab around any of our river adventures. There are a variety of things to do in the Moab area including skydiving, Hummer/ATV tours, canyoneering, guided hikes, horseback riding, mountain biking, and scenic flights. Along with your river trip, we are available to help with booking the above activities as well as to assist with booking your lodging and transportation needs while in Moab.
Sight of Cataract Canyon Trip Options
The 5 day Sights of Cataract Canyon trip is the premier whitewater vacations and offers the perfect balance of floating, hiking and whitewater. You will find yourself seduced by the pace of the river while absorbing the beautiful scenery of Canyonlands National Park, and enjoying the camaraderie of interesting people. The 6 day Cataract Canyon trips are more focused on hiking. The extra day to gives us more hiking time to see geological and historical sites including Ancient Pueblo ruins and petroglyphs. The 7 day Cataract Canyon Hiking Adventure is a complete getaway vacation, with extra days for hiking in Canyonlands National Park. The 12 day John Wesley Powell Adventure is the ultimate ESCAPE, that has it all combining the hiking Cataract Canyon Adventure with the 5 day Sea Kayak through Labyrinth Canyon for the perfect 13 day trip. The Expeditions in Luxury: Cataract Canyon for 5 days/ 4 night trip is the highest luxury trip in the River industry. These specialized expeditions allow you to experience the rugged nature of the Colorado River while wrapped in the comforts of a moving 5 star hotel. Most of us earn a few valuable days each year that we use to enhance the quality of our lives. We have created rafting vacations to enhance yours, and are grateful for the opportunity to share them. For questions, to book one of these trips or more information Call (800) 332-2439 or email Info@griffithexp.com
For more information on Cataract Canyon visit: www.griffithexp.com/cataractcanyon-oar.htm
The Sights of Cataract Canyon the Colorado River