5 Day: Luxury River Trips in Desolation Canyon on the Green River - Sheri Griffith Expeditions

Expeditions in Luxury: Desolation Canyon on the Green River Family Trip



• Amazing Scenery
• Pampered Camping
• Kid-Friendly River
• Linen Covered Tables
• Oversized Tents, Cots, and Pads
• Setup Crews for Camp
• Professional River Chef
• Fine Dining

2023 Trip Rates

Adults: $3,399
Youth: $3,199
*(Scenic flight into Desolation Canyon included)
*Does not include taxes & government user fees

Trip Length:

5 Days/4 Night

Host City:

Moab, Utah 

Minimum Age:

5 Yrs Old


II-III(Depending on Water Levels)


2023 Trip Dates

July  16

*Charter Dates available all season.


Oarboats, Paddeboats, Inflatable Kayak

"I just wanted to let you know that I’m INCREDIBLY impressed with the time we spent in Desolation Canyon on the Green River under the guidance of Jon, Annie, and Sheri Griffith Expeditions. Again thanks a million. Looking forward to many, Many more over the years.”

Brett Hochmuth- Idaho Springs, CO


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2023 Trip Rates


2023 Trip Dates

July  16
Charter Trips available.

2 day Cataract Canyon booking

 What This Rate Includes:

More Information

Full Days on the River:

Camping Gear: Clean Sleeping Bag, Pad, & Tent

Oarboats and Inflatable Kayaks

All Camping Equipment

Great Hikes on the Green River

Quality Guides: Highly Experienced, Professional, & Licensed

High Quality and Quantity Kid Friendly Meals:

Iced Coolers on boats

Lemonade, Iced Water, and Gatorade: Coffee, teas, hot cocoa, and juice available in camp.

Scenic Flight  to the Launch

Lodging prior to and following your expedition.

Trip Deposit: $300 per person deposit required upon reservation. Full balance due 45 days prior to departure.

Trip Cancellation Insurance

Minimum Age: 5 years old

What is not included in trip fares:

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 Moab Utah.


Government user fees and taxes (about 9% of trip cost.)

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Family Luxury Rafting Sample Itinerary

Day 1: Starting The Adventure

Luxury Rafting Booking LinkWe meet early at the Moab Canyonlands Airport for a spectacular scenic flight to a mesa above the Green River. You will be met by one of your guides who will load your gear into a vehicle and take it to the boats. We will then get a chance to hike down the mesa overlooking the river.

Today is primarily flat water with a few riffles here and there. We have many river miles to cover to reach the whitewater, so depending upon water levels we may motor during the day. Regardless, today is a fun day of swimming and learning about the human and natural history of the canyon. We will pass Sumner's Amphitheater, named by John Wesley Powell in 1869. We will also see an abandoned iron-prowed skiff, whose history remains a mystery.

This evening, our guides will show your family easy camp techniques and how to enjoying the great outdoors comfortably. The guides will also prepare a delicious kid friendly dinner in a charming riverside beach camp.

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.

Potential Hiking Opportunities: Sandwash,  Jacks Creek

Day 2: Starting the Whitewater

After a hearty Breakfast of French toast and sausages or Pancakes and Bacon we pack up and start the whitewater! We will practice our inflatable kayak skills in fun, smaller rapids.

We'll stop at Flat Canyon to see 1,000-year-old Fremont Native American petroglyphs. We will lunch on a sandy beach and build sandcastles. The afternoon will be spent improving your kayaking skills as we run up to 15 rapids today. Towards the end of the day we will run big whitewater rapids such as Steer Ridge and Surprise.

Be sure to watch for wildlife. This part of the canyon has many animals including deer, elk, and beaver. We will pull over to camp by late afternoon. While dinner is being prepared there will be time for nature programs, building sandcastles and playing along the riverbank.

The "Kids Guide" takes children on structured, educational and fun outings where everyone can interact with nature, and each other. Parents can join in the excursions or take this time to enjoy a leisure walk, relaxing next to the river, or the camaraderie of other guests.

Potential Hiking Opportunities: Flat Canyon

Day 3: Deepest Part of the Green River

For the second morning in a row you'll wake to fresh brewed coffee and hot cocoa. Shortly after leaving camp we coming to one of the many highlights of the trip; Rock Creek. The group will play in the swimming hole at Rock Creek and explore the Rock Creek Ranch where Butch Cassidy and his Wild Bunch hung out. This is also the deepest part of the canyon (deeper than the Grand Canyon!). The cliff walls rise above 5,000 feet.

Today is another fun day of whitewater. Some of the rapids we will challenge today are Snap Canyon, Belknap Falls, Chandler Falls, and Cow Swim.

Our Family-Only guides have special family and educational training. They've developed great outdoor educational and environmentally sensitive activities and games. These activities and games incorporate camping, history, geology, wildlife, plant life, and of course FUN.

Potential Hiking Opportunities: Rock Creek Ranch, Chandler Falls, Three Canyon, Belknap

Day 4: Biggest Whitewater and a New Canyon

Today you get to perfect your new kayaking skills with the two biggest rapids-Wire Fence and Three Fords. We will see the McPherson Ranch, another hideout of Butch Cassidy and his Wild Bunch.

Today the trip will leave Desolation Canyon and enter Gray Canyon. Gray Canyon has less rapids but bigger ones. It is also famous for housing many dinosaur bones.

Traditionally, the last night of the river trip is "dress-up" night. Anything goes if you would like to participate. It is up to your imagination! This is a great way to celebrate the trip and near completion of your Green River adventure. The guides might set up a skit for the kids or a river Olympics.

Potential Hiking Opportunities:  Wire Fence, Range Creek, Rabbit Valley

Day 5: More Fun Rapids

Today is more of everyone's favorite activities: swimming, playing in the rapids, & having water fights. We will pass the Coal Creek Dam site . We will pass Nefertiti Rock name by the 1869 John Wesley Powell Expedition. Just before lunch we might stop at another panel of Native American Writing at the Price River.

The trip ends just below Swasey's Rapid and across from spectacular Gunnison Butte. Then we'll drive to the Moab Canyonlands Airport where we arrive around 5:30 pm.

Potential Hiking Opportunities: Coal Creek, Rattlesnake Canyon, Price River


Green River Family River Map

View Green River Family Trip Map in a larger map

The Majestic Canyons of the Green River lie between the towns of Duchesne and Green River in, east central Utah. These canyons are intertwined with history of the Fremont Indians, John Wesley Powell, ranchers and outlaws and are a registered National Historic site. In 1869, after traveling through "a region of wildest desolation", John Wesley Powell named Desolation Canyon. Gray Canyon also received its name from Major Powell after considering the names Lignite and Coal Canyons.

Majestic Canyons Information:

River: The Green River

Rapid Rating: Class III-III

Put in: Sand Wash, Utah.

Take-out location:Swaseys boat ramp.

River Miles: 84 miles

Number of rapids 50+

First to run Gates of Lodore: John Wesley Powell in 1869.

Colorado Plateau

Map of the Rivers we run

Majestic Canyons Map

See larger map

Map of Majestic Canyons of the Green River

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Featured Files:



River Trip Resources

Required Forms:

Please print, sign and return the required forms (for each person in your party) to our office by email, fax or mail at least 45 days prior to your trip.

Trip Risk Forms

Guest Registration


Trip Document in PDF's

Moab Trip Planner

Packing List

Trip Itinerary

Travel Insurance:

Transportation to Moab

Preferred Lodging Guide

Tips for Women in the Outdors

Beverage Request Form

Faxed Reservation Form

Helpful Links

Canyonlands National Park: Canyonlands National Park preserves a colorful landscape of sedimentary sandstones eroded into countless canyons, mesas and buttes by the Colorado River and its tributaries.

Arches National Park: Arches National Park preserves over two thousand natural sandstone arches, including the world-famous Delicate Arch, in addition to a variety of unique geological resources and formations.

Dinosaur National Monument: Dinosaur National Monument protects a large deposit of fossil dinosaur bones--remains of the so-called "terrible lizards" that lived millions of years ago.

Moab Travel Council: A great resource on Moab area trails, hotels, and other great things to do in Moab.

Links to Area Information

Moab Weather

Water Levels

How to get to Moab

Where to staying Moab

What to do other than rafting

Questions about the trip:

Cancellation Policy and Trip Insurance:

Sheri Griffith Expeditions has a NO REFUND policy. Since you have reserved space for which we have a limited number of seats, our non-refundable policy applies in every instance. There are no exceptions for any reason, so we highly recommend that you purchase Travel Insurance to protect your vacation investment. Please take some time to visit the following website www.travelinsure.com/affiliate/selecthigh.htm?32219, which contains information about Travel Insurance.

How to book a trip

There are several easy ways to make a reservation. Easiest is to click on the “book online” button on your trip or at the top of the screen. You can always give us a call at 800-332-2439. You can also download Reservation PDF and fax it in (435)-259-2226 or mail it to us at Po Box 1324 Moab UT 84532.

Deposits and Reservations

For 1 day trips full payment is required at time of booking. For multiday trips a non-refundable $300/person deposit is required at the time of reservation. The balance is due 45 days prior to departure. After making your reservation you will receive a reservation packet that will include a packing list, helpful travel hints, travel insurance information, a beverage request form, and a guest registration form. Please fill out the guest registration form and send or fax back quickly. If you find you are unable to participate in the trip that you booked, but would like to transfer your trip to the following year, there will be a charge of $300 per participant if the change is made at least 3 weeks prior to your departure date.


We make every effort to follow through on our plans. However, we reserve the right to make changes in the itinerary or possibly cancel a trip if necessary including but not limited to weather conditions, water fluctuations, insufficient reservations, changes in international relations, or other factors beyond our control. If cancellation is necessary, your money will be refunded. Our financial liability shall be limited to the amount actually paid and shall not be extended to cover any other costs incurred by the trip member.


The evening before the trip we meet at our office (2231 South Highway 191) at 5 pm (MDT) in Moab for a trip orientation. Here you will learn what to expect and prepare for, receive your dry bags, sign the Assumption of Risk forms, and get a chance to ask any last questions. If you are not going to be able to make this please let us know ahead of time.


If you would like any personal beverages while on the river, i.e., sodas, beer, wine, etc., you can bring them with you the morning of departure and we will place them in iced coolers. We provide some sodas, water, lemonade and Gatorade mixes and tea, juice and coffee in the mornings.


Guests often ask whether gratuities are appropriate, and in what amount. If you feel your guides have provided a very special trip for you, a gratuity may be left with the trip leader and will be shared among the crew. Entirely discretionary, anything between 15% and 20% of the trip cost is a general tipping guideline. If you plan to tip, remember to bring a personal check or cash—ATM’s are hard to find in the backcountry! PLEASE, do not make out checks to Sheri Griffith Expeditions. If you are writing check please make it out to the Trip Leader.  NOTE: we cannot take credit card gratuities.

Hiking and Physical Requirements:

If you are of an adventurous spirit and in reasonably good health, you should have no problem enjoying any of our trips. It’s not necessary to be an athlete to participate in a river expedition. However, It is several hours to the nearest medical center. If you take medication you should bring a good supply and inform your guide of all medication that you are taking. When you meet your guide, you should discretely explain any medical conditions you may have or be concerned about including allergies to bee stings, etc. Each guide carries a first aid kit and will need to know if specific medicines should be stored. It’s also helpful to know about other health issues when planning activities for the day. Pregnant women and anyone with heart trouble should have their physician’s approval before taking a river trip.

Safety, and Assumption of Risk

We maintain an excellent safety record, since 1971. However, all outdoor experiences involve risk and we all must recognize that accidents or illnesses may occur. We cannot guarantee your safety. We place final responsibility for your safety firmly on your shoulders where it belongs. You have to pay attention to what you are doing. Mother Nature controls the water level, the weather and the elements, so there is a risk involved in rafting and camping. Before your trip departs, you will be asked to sign an Assumption of Risk and Release Form. We assume no responsibility for injury to trip members, their personal belongings or, for time and expense incurred. We strongly recommend Travel Insurance, which covers vacation losses and accidents and provides a refund if you have to cancel your trip.

Parking, luggage and valuables:

We have a gated parking lot at our office for your vehicles while you are on the river. We also have a safe room for luggage and valuables while you a re on the river.

More FAQ's