Adventures on the Colorado River

May 09, 2021 - May 14, 2021

Join our private departure May 2021 for this exciting rafting trip on the Colorado River through Cataract Canyon with Oars. This river has it all: breathtaking scenery, multiple days of relaxing flat water, and one action-packed day of Class III-IV whitewater rafting. Add to that rollicking Utah hiking expeditions by foot in Utah’s dramatic canyon country among multi-million-year-old rock formations and you have a whitewater rafting adventure suitable for the whole gang. Explore Canyonlands National Park created in the wake of the John Wesley Powell expedition of 1869 and get a taste of the wild waters of the Colorado River from the deck of an oar raft, dory, inflatable kayak, or stand up paddleboard (paddle rafts may be available by request).


Every trip is different depending upon the group, other trips on the water and sometimes the weather. The following is a sample of what our trip might be like:

The Day Before Your Trip…

We meet at 6:00 PM in the breakfast room of our hotel for a pre-trip meeting. This is an opportunity to meet your fellow travelers and ask any last-minute questions.  Your trip leader will give you a thorough trip orientation and pass out your waterproof river bags so you can pack your belongings that evening.

Day 1 – Meander Canyon

We’ll get going first thing in the morning, taking a short drive to our Colorado River put-in at Potash. Upon arrival at the boat ramp, our guides will present a safety talk and orientation to our boats and gear. We’ll cover some miles on the first day, likely stopping for a short hike to see some 250-million-year-old petrified wood. We’ll make camp on a big sandy beach, watching afternoon turn to evening as your guides prepare dinner and the sun sets behind towering canyon walls.

Days 2 – 4 – Meander Canyon and The Confluence

Morning begins with a coffee call from the kitchen. Grab a hot drink and watch the sunrise play out on the cliffs above you. Get a head start on packing up your dry bags, and then enjoy a hearty breakfast and some time to relax as we get our gear back on the boats. The river meanders peacefully, each new bend revealing stunning views of eroded canyon country. Hiking opportunities may come at the Lathrop archaeological site or Indian Creek Canyon, where  Ancestral Puebloan ruins and a stunning seasonal waterfall await.

As we head downriver, the Colorado winds through the Loop—an exceptional example of the river’s convoluted twists and turns and a venue for another great hike—before we reach the confluence with the Green River. Here, the current picks up, signaling the beginning of Cataract Canyon. We’ll try for one of the great campsites in the upper reaches of Cataract Canyon. We won’t let the mesmerizing spectacle of a billion bright stars keep us awake too late, wishing to be well-rested for the days to come.

Weather permitting, the active hikers among us may make an early morning bid to hike 1,500 feet up to the Doll House, with astounding views in all directions. (Please note that this is a strenuous hike which can’t be undertaken during the intense heat of mid-summer.)

Day 5 – Cataract Canyon

This is usually the day that we’ll be off into the rolling depths of Cataract Canyon to challenge the Big Drops and the big wave thrills of the mighty Colorado. After a day of drenching whitewater excitement, we’ll make camp and toast to the thrills and spills with new friends. On the final night, revel at the river’s edge as your guides prepare a farewell feast.

Day 6 – Cataract Canyon, Narrow Canyon, & Lake Powell

After a delicious breakfast, we’ll be back on the boats winding through the final dramatic miles of Cataract Canyon, where lofty cliffs rise 2000 feet above us. There may be a few fun rapids left on this last morning before motoring the impounded waters of Lake Powell, held back by Glen Canyon Dam 180 miles or so downstream. After a final lunch on the river, we’ll come to our take-out at Hite Crossing where we’ll say goodbye to our guides and take a five-minute van shuttle to the airstrip. The scenic flight to Moab grants a bit of time to reflect, as we trace our path backwards through Cataract Canyon from high above, looking down on the beautiful landscape from a bird’s-eye perspective.

Included in Your Trip Cost

  • Skilled professional guide service
  • All meals from lunch on day 1 through lunch on the last day
  • 5 nights catered camping
  • 2 waterproof bags to hold your gear for the trip (13” diameter x 25” tall—approximate sealed size, not to exceed 25 lbs. packed). Your sleeping bag and pad must fit into one bag and your remaining gear will fit into the other bag. Please note: If you rent our gear it will come already packed in one of the two waterproof bags issued to each passenger. Your remaining gear, therefore, must fit in one
  • 1 small waterproof bag for camera and other small items you’ll want during the day (17” tall x 9” diameter—approximate sealed size)
  • 2-person tents on a shared basis (there is a $30 charge for a private tent)
  • Personal flotation device (PFD) which must be worn at all times on the river in compliance with insurance requirements
  • 12-ounce insulated Klean Kanteen with Café Lid to use for drinks in camp
  • Camp chairs
  • Eating utensils, cups and plates
  • Highest quality inflatable rafts and related equipment
  • Transfers to the river and back

Not Included in Your Trip Cost

  • Transportation to and from Moab
  • Pre- and post-trip accommodations and meals
  • Sleeping bag & a deluxe 3-inch thick air-filled pad (these items may be rented)
  • Single supplement to guarantee use of a single tent ($30)
  • Insurance of any kind, including a travel protection plan
  • Alcoholic beverages (be advised that the state-run liquor store closes at 7:00 PM)
  • Items of a personal nature (an equipment list will be provided)
  • Gratuities

Available For Rent

Please indicate on your guest registration form whether you want to rent a sleep kit or if you prefer to bring your own.

  • Sleep Kit: Can be rented for $40 per person. Sleep kits consist of a sleeping bag, deluxe 3-inch thick air-filled sleeping pad, ground tarp, sheet, pillow and pillowcase.
  • Sleeping Pad Only: The deluxe 3-inch thick air-filled pad only may be rented for $15.
  • Single Tent: We provide 2 person tents. It is assumed you will share this tent with another person. You can (if you prefer) have a tent to yourself for an additional charge of $30 per tent.
  • See Oars Website for more details.

Per Person Pricing
(Based on double occupancy)

$1799.00 See description above for bedding options


$400 per person deposit to hold your spot. 

Final payment is due by January 9, 2021


Reservations and Deposits

A $400/person deposit is required at the time of booking. Deposits may be made by Visa/Mastercard (American Express and Discover incur a 3% processing fee). Receipt of the initial deposit signifies acceptance of our complete Terms and Conditions. . Cancelling your trip will incur cancellation fees because holding spots for you means we are likely turning others away who would like to book the trip. 

Cancellations and Refunds

Your deposit is fully refundable for 7 days after you book when you submit a deposit 7 days or more prior to the final payment due date.

If you must cancel your reservation after the rescission period described above, your cancellation fee will be determined according to the schedule below. We do not make exceptions to the cancellation policy for any reason, including weather, wildfire, terrorism, civil unrest or personal emergencies. There is no refund for arriving late or leaving a trip early.

Date of Cancellation Cancellation Fee
180 or more days prior to your trip $50 per person
179 – 90 days prior to your trip $100 per person
89 – 60 days prior to your trip $400 per person, balance available as a limited-time trip credit
59 days or less prior to your trip Full Fare
Please note that different deposit/cancellation policies may apply for charter groups. Refer to the group organizer’s confirmation e-mail for details.


If you transfer from one trip to another within the same season, there is a $25/person fee up until 90 days prior to departure. You may choose to make a one-time transfer of your payments to a credit account for use during the following season, which incurs a $50/person fee up until 90 days prior to departure. Transfers made after this time will be treated as cancellations.


Under most circumstances, if you are of an adventurous spirit and in reasonably good health, you should have no problem enjoying an OARS Canyonlands trip. People with medical conditions, including pregnancy, should have a physician’s approval before taking an adventure travel trip.

Travel Protection

We offer the OARS Travel Protection Plan to help protect you, your travel investment and your belongings before and during your trip. Travel Protection can reimburse you for non-refundable payments if you should have to cancel your trip for a covered reason such as your illness or the illness of an immediate family member. For complete details go online to:

Acknowledgement of Risk

Everyone is required to sign a standard Acknowledgement of Risk form before the trip, acknowledging awareness that there are inherent risks associated with the trip. However, due to the nature of the activities, a condition of your participation is that you will sign this form and return it to our office before the trip begins. Anyone who refuses to sign the form will not be allowed to participate, and consistent with OARS Canyonlands cancellation policy, there will be no refund of the trip fees at that time.

Responsibility – An Important Notice

O.A.R.S. Canyonlands, Inc. and cooperating agencies act only in the capacity of agent for the participants in all matters relating to transportation and/or all other related travel services, and assume no responsibility however caused for injury, loss or damage to person or property in connection with any service, including but not limited to that resulting directly or indirectly from acts of God, detention, annoyance, delays and expenses arising from quarantine, strikes, theft, pilferage, force majeure, failure of any means of conveyance to arrive or depart as scheduled, civil disturbances, government restrictions or regulations, and discrepancies or change in transit over which it has no control. Reasonable changes in itinerary may be made where deemed advisable for the comfort and well being of the participants, including cancellation due to water fluctuation, insufficient bookings (this trip requires a minimum of 4 guests), and other factors. There is risk in whitewater rafting, particularly during high-water conditions. Rafts, dories and kayaks do capsize. You could be swept overboard. Your guide will make every attempt to assist, but you must be strong and agile enough to “self-help” and “float-it-out” without further endangering yourself or others. We reserve the right not to accept passengers weighing more than 260 pounds or with a waist/chest size exceeding 56 inches. We may decide, at any time, to exclude any person or group for any reason we feel is related to the safety of our trips. We are experienced at accommodating people with various disabilities. Please give us an opportunity to make you feel welcome. We need to discuss any special requirements ahead of time.

OARS trips occur in areas where unpredictable environmental conditions are to be expected. To moderate dangerous situations for our guests and guides, it is important that all travelers obey the rules and regulations as determined by the managing agencies and the Trip Leader and demonstrate reasonable consideration for other guests and OARS employees. We reserve the right to remove any guest from a trip if, in our opinion, that guest’s actions or behaviors pose a threat to the safety of her/himself or others, or if those actions or behaviors compromise the enjoyment of the trip for others. Should a guest be asked to leave a trip, there will be no refund for the unused portion, nor will OARS be responsible for additional expenses incurred by the guest for accommodations, return transport, change fees, etc. On advancement of deposit the depositor agrees to be bound by the above recited terms and conditions. Prices subject to change without notice. OARS is an equal opportunity provider.