A Colorado River rafting Utah vacation is the perfect trip for thrill-seekers looking for an exhilarating way to explore this part of the country. The splendid natural beauty, the red rock canyon, and the challenging rapids make for a memorable trip; the Colorado River has four spots that are particularly good for rafting in Utah, and each has rapids to suit both beginners and intermediate rafters. Most of the key rafting sections are found in and around the city of Moab, which is located in eastern Utah and is a famous destination for adventure travelers. A couple of Moab river rafting sections are particularly famous: West Water Canyon and Cataract Canyon, and the best trips here can range from mild days on the water to adrenaline-pumping sessions through the rough rapids.
Cataract Canyon is an exciting option for a Moab rafting trip. Visitors love this section for its scenic beauty, historic importance, and rough waters. There are 26 challenging rapids ranging from Class IV to Class V, and all are suitable for intermediate rafters. The 110-mile river trip from Moab to Hite along the canyon usually takes four to seven days. If you are planning for a multi-day trip with your group, then a Cataract Canyon rafting vacation is a great option. While this river rafting trip is known for its heart-pumping rapids, there are occasional calm waters as well, which offer an excellent opportunities to catch a glimpse of the canyon's ancient Indian artwork and the 300-million-year-old red rock. Your multi-day trip will also provide access to some of the best hikes and scenic wilderness in Utah.
Similar to Cataract Canyon, Westwater Canyon provides access to some excellent scenic spots. It is the first Utah canyon and is located northeast of Moab. With Class IV rapids, Westwater offers a great Moab river rafting experience to expert rafters. You can see the splendid scenery of ancient rock and ancient Indian petroglyphs along this seventeen-mile river rafting trip. In addition, there are other historic sites to visit, including an old wild-west outlaw cave and a miner’s cabin. It’s possible to book day trips through local outfitters to travel through Westwater Canyon and see the sights.
Beginners looking for a calm and relaxing Colorado River rafting Utah trip will find the first 62 miles of their Moab rafting trip quite calm and slow-moving. In fact, the section above the confluence of the Green River and the Colorado River offer calm waters without any rapids. There are rocks at mile 14.5 and 33.5, which can be risky, so it’s still best to take a guide, but overall this section is terrific for beginners and for families with young children.
The best months for challenging, multi-day Moab rafting trips are May and June, when the rapids are high. Less-experienced rafters often go Moab river rafting during the summer months, when the water is lower, though the temperatures can get up to 100 degrees. However, if you take necessary precautions and bring plenty of sunscreen and drinking water, you can have a terrific Colorado River rafting vacation at almost any time during the summer.