Day 1: Starting The Adventure
This morning after breakfast, you will transfer overland to the river launch, where the crew packs all of the camp gear into the rafts and fits everyone with a life jacket. After a safety orientation, you are off!
Within a short time you enter the spectacular landscape of Canyonlands National Park. Here the Colorado River is broad and quiet, and you float lazily under the red cliff walls towering 2000 feet overhead.
The canyon walls are a beautiful, deep red which contrasts beautifully with the pristine blue sky that will be your ceiling for the next 5 days. After lunch, we settle back onto the boats and continue down stream, where we will pass Tex's Grotto, where a Grand Piano is set up for concerts during the Moab Music Festival, and Dead Horse Point, where the movies Mission Impossible 2 and Thelma and Louise were filmed.
Potential Hiking Opportunities: Tex's Grotto, Little Bridges, Petrified Wood.
River Camps are on set-up along sandy beaches. The supply raft arrives at the campsite and creates a river lounge, restaurant and tent bungalows. Relax and enjoy a cool beverage on the riverbank in comfy camp chairs as your professional river chef begins the evening's dining presentation which will be served at sunset at linen clad tables.
After dinner a guide will bring the day full circle with a discussion about the wonders of Canyonlands National Park, Native American history or one of the many other topics that they are versed in.
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.
Day 2: Exploring Canyonlands National Park
Each morning in camp begins with a hot and healthy breakfast. Camp attendants will take down the camp (including your tent bungalow) and off you go on the day's adventure.
This morning we will pass Lockhart Canyon, where Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid used to hide their stolen cattle until they could move them to market. We will also stop and hike to 800 year old Indian Ruins at Lathrup Canyon.
We provide a gourmet lunch in your canyon dining room. We'll pull off river for a healthy lunch and possibly a short hike. Vegetarian option is available with advance notice.
This afternoon we will see picturesque Airport Tower, which rises nearly 1200 Feet above the canyon rim, and is long enough to land an airplane on. We will also see the Coffee Pot Ruin and the "Racing Stripe", a bright white stripe of Gypsum suspended amidst the deep red sandstone that makes up the rest of the canyon.
Sheri Griffith Expeditions is renowned for combining luxury comforts with the most enchanting environment in the world. By day the raft is the mode-of-travel, drifting you past incredible scenery and historic places. By night the dining is at linen covered tables on sandy beaches. The meals are prepared by our expert chef and served at sunset. Your sleeping quarters are oversized tents erected by camp staff and include comfortable cot beds, tables and night lights.
We will pull off river for another evening of big sandy beaches, exploration, contemplation and beautiful starry skies. After we assemble our River Side Oasis, you are welcome to sit back and relax or take a short hike up Indian Creek Canyon to see the waterfalls (spring trips only). Spend the evening in warm camaraderie as you relax and enjoy the desert wonders around you.
Potential Hiking Opportunities: Lathrup Canyon or Indian Creek Canyon
Day 3: Meeting the Confluence
Breakfast is served in your canyon dining room. Breakfast offerings will vary throughout your rafting expedition. Hot coffee, tea and chocolate are always available, as are juices, and fresh fruit.
These first couple of days will provide opportunities for extraordinary exploration as travel deeper into Canyonlands National Park where the spectacular scenery rivals the lower Grand Canyon.
As your journey progresses, you will sense the anticipation of the group rising as the rapids near. On the afternoon of day three, you will pass the confluence of the Green and Colorado Rivers. We now enter the true heart of Canyonlands National Park as we near the Confluence. If it has rained recently, the mixing of the rivers will be defined in brilliant swirls of red and green. Here the Colorado doubles in size and force and here you will experience your first run of smaller rapids. You run just enough whitewater to get everyone good and wet before reaching tonight's camp set on a beach overlooking the rushing rapids.
Our private river chef begins the evening's dining presentation. Enjoy a cool beverage on the riverbank in comfortable chairs. Dine at sunset at linen clad, candle lit tables. We depart every morning after a healthy and hearty breakfast. Camp assistants will take down the camp and off we'll go on the day's adventure.
Tonight we will experience a night of peaceful camping and quiet anticipation. Fall asleep to the quiet sounds of river music: quiet splashing accompanied by the high tones of crickets and the low tones of nearby owls. The old west's pioneers and explorers are among the many topics that may be discussed before the evening ends.
Potential Hiking Opportunities: The Loop Hike or The Dolls House
Day 4: Whitewater Day
This morning's fare is complimented by the sound of rushing water and the anticipation of a great day of running the famous rapids of Cataract Canyon. There will be a river safety review so that everyone is comfortable with the exciting run ahead. We will load everything back onto the boats and prepare ourselves for the exciting day at hand.
This morning we will run some of the biggest whitewater in the Western United States (on trips during May and June, later season trips ~July and August~ have smaller rapids). Rapids whose names are almost as intimidating as the whitewater itself: Big Drop 2, North Seas and Capsize. Everyone will be thoroughly soaked as we take a break at midday for lunch and to catch our breath.
Stop for Lunch and for some "Land Time". While the Chef prepares lunch, guests are welcome to explore the canyon a bit or watch as others run the big rapids they have just been through.
Once we have finished with lunch, we get back on the boats and head into the big whitewater. This afternoon we will navigate through more intimidating rapids, including Big Drop 3, Satan's Gut and Little Niagara. There may be stops along the way as the guide scouts the rapids to find the best route through the churning whitewater.
You don't have to be an experienced whitewater rafter to enjoy the thrill of the exciting rapids in Cataract Canyon. If you have never rafted or camped before, rest assured that we are professionals at making your trip comfortable, fascinating and safe. Our multi-talented guides are extremely good at helping you enjoy your river vacation.
We will pull off the river. 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. The guides, the chef and camp attendants will do all the work, leaving you time to hike, explore and relax.
Traditionally, this last night is a "Dress Up" night. Anything goes, from formal wear to clown outfits with floppy hats. Guests are not required to participate, but are welcome to use their imagination and help celebrate an amazing trip.
Day 5: Lake Powell
This morning we will pass through the final rapids. You've met new people, gained outdoor experience and some personal alone-time exploring some of the most unusual canyons in the country, but this is your last day on the Colorado River.
We may have some opportunities for hiking in some of the canyons previously lost to Lake Powell's waters, but accessible now that the waters in the lake have dropped. Clearwater Canyon and Dark Canyon are guide favorites.
We'll climb back aboard the boats and follow the Colorado River as it pushes its way into the calm waters of Lake Powell. Here we'll be in the deepest part of the canyon, surrounded by nearly 2,000 foot cliffs. We'll see the Dirty Devil River and Piano Leg Arch.
We'll motor off of the lake and pull off near what used to be the Hite Marina on Lake Powell. You will be escorted to the landing strip for your return flight to Moab. As you take this scenic flight, watch for the Henry Mountains, the White Rim, the Abajo Mountains, the La Sal Mountains and nearly the entire Colorado Plateau.
You will bet met at the Moab airport and transferred back to Moab and the Sheri Griffith Expeditions office where your journey ends.
Potential Hiking Opportunities: Clearwater Canyon, Bowdie Canyon, Dark Canyon