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Westwater Canyon Colorado River
Our 37th Year!

Raft Trips

Westwater Canyon
Colorado River Rafting

Trip Length: 2 or 3 days Westwater offers great rapids in what many consider to be the most scenic canyon on the Colorado River. There are wonderful camping beaches here, along with interesting side canyons and historic sites (Native American, outlaw and pioneer.) This is a great choice for people seeking a shorter trip that doesn’t skimp on excitement.
rowing westwater canyonOften called a miniature Grand Canyon, this segment of the Colorado River is the answer for the person who is short on time but wants it all...a wilderness canyon so stunningly beautiful you 'll have no doubt but to leave the world behind. The finale - world class whitewater. Depending upon water level and trip length, you will see from eighteen to fifty miles of the Colorado's finest beaches, side canyons, and campsites.
A century ago pioneer river explorers Thane Galloway and John Wesley Powell developed two distinctive rowing styles. Your guides will employ them to meet the challenge of Westwater's rapids. Galloway's innovative facing style will be used in most of the rapids that demand tight boat placement, including Funnel Falls and Sock-it-to-me. Powell's distinctive style is used for Skull rapid where a powerful thrust is required to thrust through a diagonal wave feeding right into Skull Hole.
westwater camping

Inside tips on booking Westwater usually sells out so book early. The three-day trip offers more time to leave the world behind and the opportunity to become one-on-one with the Colorado River in an inflatable kayak.: the ultimate three-day getaway.
Westwater's rapids on this trip are created when the swift flowing Colorado River is forced through Granite Canyon, a narrow seam of polished black schist capped with red slickrock towers. Virtually unknown 30 years ago, Westwater Canyon has become a favorite choice for its pace, rhythm, and intensity.

One of the advantages of a river trip is the flexibility of the daily itinerary. It can vary widely from one trip to the next based on group desires, Mother Nature, and courtesy for other groups on the river. The typical itineraries below illustrate a 3-day and a 2-day trip through Westwater Canyon on the Colorado River.

hiking in  westwater canyonBeginning of the trip
Upon your arrival at our headquarters (8:00 a.m., Mountain Time), we will issue your waterproof bags. You can buy any last minute items from our accessory's store at this time (please see our packing list). We will then take a 90 minute van ride to the embarkation point, where we will transfer to the boats.

If you have any questions prior to leaving for your trip, we welcome you to call our Salt Lake City office, Monday through Friday at 800-624-6323 (outside Utah) or 801-266-2087 (inside Utah). We're happy to take the tme to answer your questions. You may also contact us by email at


After the trip: We will return you to Green River (90 minute van ride). Our expected time of arrival back at our headquarters is 4:00 to 5:00 p.m..
Ages: 8 years and up
Westwater Canyon 2-Days 3-Days
Adults $465.00* $610.00*
Children ages 8-18 and Seniors 65+ $425.00* $560.00*

*On Westwater Canyon trips there is a Bureau of Land Management Special Area Fee of $10 per person for 2 day trips and $16 for 3 day trips.
All river equipment including waterproof bags for your personal belongings. Full course meals from lunch the first day to lunch the last day. Transportation from the meeting point to trip, and return to original meeting point. All National Park, B.L.M., and Forest Service fees. Please see our packing list for what to bring and what not to bring on this trip.

The prices above may not be current.

We no longer offer reservations for this adventure.

Please contact: Holiday Expeditions at 800-624-6323
You can also contact them by email at:

Day 1: Meet at headquarters, in Green River, Utah before two-hour ride to the put-in at Fruita. Float leisurely through the desert scenery of Ruby Canyon. For those interested, inflatable kayaks provide the opportunity to experience the river on a solo basis. A side hike up Rattlesnake Canyon reveals a variety of desert plants and wildlife. Camp at Black Rocks where thousand year old ebony colored schist provides the background setting.

Day 2: Peaceful floating and more time in the inflatable kayaks before reaching Westwater Ranger Station. The river enters the narrow canyons that give Westwater the nickname, "the Little Grand." Small rapids begin to materialize along the otherwise peaceful stretches of the Colorado. Camp at one of the many beaches within Westwater Canyon.

Day 3: Encounter rapids of Westwater--one right after another--Hunter's, Funnel Falls, Surprise and . .. THE BIG ONE: Skull Rapid. Observe bald eagle, great blue heron and snowy egret habitats. Short trip back to Green River.

Day 1: Pack bags at river headquarters in Green River, Utah before ride to Westwater Ranger Station. Relaxing float to Little Hole Canyon's natural amphitheater where shards of Indian pottery can be seen. In favorable conditions a short hike up Little Dolores Canyon reveals a beautiful desert waterfall and swimming hole. Camp near Little Dolores.

Day 2: Leisurely breakfast before rapids of Westwater Canyon. Rapids, one right after another, Marble, Staircase, Hunter's, Funnel Falls, and Surprise . . . lead to Skull Rapid, one of the Colorado's fiercest drops. Finish with Bowling Alley, Sock-it-to-me and Last Chance. Vans will return you to our headquarters in Green

Bugs, snakes, etc. are generally no problem. In fact, the lack of pesky insects is one of the reasons that wilderness camping on the river is so pleasant. Any river trip, however, is subject to an occasional localized insect hatch. During these hatches (most common in June to mid-July) mosquitos can be bothersome. Be sure to bring long sleeve clothing and repellent. Insect repellents that contain "deet" are by far the most effective during heavy hatches, but are also suspected of causing various health problems. Citronella-based products (skin-so-soft) work only in light hatches. We rarely see any snakes, but if the thought of them bothers you, try sleeping on the beaches or in a tent instead of rocky or bushy areas.
small waterfalls are refreshing Hiking is a highlight of the trip, however, it is strictly an optional activity. There are many interesting short hikes available. Hiking can be done in durable sneakers or lightweight hiking boots. Remember that hiking and other activities vary widely pending time, and what other plans are ahead for the day on the river.
Medical emergencies Our guides are trained in first aid and carry first aid supplies only. REMEMBER to bring your own prescription medicines. ALERT our guides to any medical problem you might have such as diabetes or allergic reactions. Wilderness expeditions are a long way from hospitals, doctors, and pain-relieving medicines. Evacuations to modern medical care are uncertain, and protracted. In case of evacuation and/or medical treatment beyond first aid, expenses incurred are the responsibility of the participant.
Beverages We provide ice water, lemonade, two sodas per day per person and ample cooler space. If you choose to bring any specialty sodas and/or alcoholic beverages, we have no problem taking whatever you want to bring - within reason. Don't bring beer, wine coolers or sodas in glass containers. Wine packaged in a box is ideal. Mark beverages that you bring so they are packed on your boat. In Utah, wine or liquor is not sold after 7:00 p.m., before 11:00 a.m. or on sundays and holidays.
Westwater Canyon weather In the early and late seasons (May to mid-June and late August to September) the daytime temperatures are 70 to 90 degrees, with nighttime tempatures 50 to 60 degrees. It seldom rains in Westwater Canyon, but when it does, it can cool temperatures considerably in May and September. From mid-June to mid-August the days are hot and temperatures average 80 to 100 degrees during the day and 60 to 75 degrees at night. This is the time of year that swimming in the Colorado becomes a popular activity. This seems warm but remember the humidity is very low. There will be an abundance of sun, so bring a hat and plenty of suntan lotion and/or sunscreens.
Tipping the guides Many guests ask us if tipping is appropriate after the trip. If you feel the guides have been instrumental in your enjoyment of the trip, you may choose to direct a gratuity to the trip leader. He/She will then distribute it evenly to the other crew members. Of those that choose to tip, the average contribution amount ranges between $10.00 and $20.00 per guest, per day. However, the decision to tip is left at your sole discretion.
Things to see in the area John Wesley Powell Museum in Green River, Utah. Arches National, Dead Horse Point State Park, Canyonlands National Park, Fisher Towers, Colorado National Monument, Goblin Valley State, San Rafael Swell, Capital Reef National Park, Natural Bridges National Monument, and the La Sal and Henry Mountains.
swimming in westwater canyon

Meeting Place & Time
We meet for your trip in Green River, Utah at Holiday Expeditions headquarters, 8:00 a.m. (Mountain Time) the morning your trip begins. Our headquarters is located 1/4 mile east of the Green River Bridge, across the highway from the Motel 6 and behind the Comfort Inn. If you arrive in Green River by shuttle, bus, Amtrak, or plane, call our headquarters (564-3273) upon your arrival to make arrangements to have you and your gear transported to our headquarters the morning of the trip. If you are driving, your car can be left at our headquarters.

If you are flying, you can fly to Salt Lake City located 180 miles northwest of Green River, Utah. From there you can rent a car, take a shuttle with Bighorn Express (call 888-655-7433), ride a bus, or fly in a light aircraft to Green River, Utah. If you need assistance with your travel arrangements, please ask your Holiday Expedition reservation agent.
In the upper right hand corner of this page, you can enter your location or a point that you know of and hit enter and google maps will open and show you a map to the meeting location and driving time.

Refund Policy
If cancellations are made prior to 90 days before the trip, monies will be refunded less a $50.00 service charge per person. If cancellations are made within 90 days and outside of 45 days of the trip date monies will be refunded less a $100.00 service charge per person. Cancellations made within 45 days of the trip date are non-refundable. Prior to 45 days to trip date we will transfer reservations to another trip in the same year with a $25.00 per person service charge.

All policies will be enforced and we strongly recommend trip cancellation insurance. Ask us about a brochure with applications. Cancellation of a trip is very unlikely. But, we reserve the right to cancel any trip due to river or weather conditions or the lack of sufficient reservations. A full refund will be made if such is the case.

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