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CovID19 and Rafting

by Kristl 2. March 2020 13:44
As we all prepare for the inevitable spread of CoVid19, we are doing our part to prepare to keep our guests as healthy as possible while on the river.

We will be using established practices in handwashing and sanitation that have proven to be the most effective way to prevent the spread of disease.  We have handwash stations set up on every rafting trip (2 stations on multi-day trips), and use the proper amounts of sanitizing agents in our wash bins.

We are also working with the local medical providers to update our protocals for dealing with illness while in the backcountry. 

If you have questions about any of our safety practices, we encourage you to call our office at 800-332-2439.


Spring! (Almost!)

by Kristl 18. February 2020 08:19
It is almost springlike in Moab right now!  The air temps have been in the upper 40s and low 50s for the last few days, and we are LOVING it! 

We are doing some spring cleaning: dusting off shelves, cleaning out the old and getting ready for the new season that is almost upon us!

We are excited for a great rafting season this year! The snowpack looks good for some exciting whitewater in Cataract Canyon, and we have new permits for our Dinosaur National Monuments trips!

We look forward to seeing old friends and to meeting new ones this year. 

See you on the river!


John Wesley Powell

by Kristl 17. July 2019 08:03
150 years ago, Major John Wesley Powell set out on a grand adventure that was full of excitement, heartache and wonder as he traversed the Green and Grand (Colorado) Rivers.

This fall we are offering a special Extended Journey that will trace his route from the Gates of Lodore on the Green River through Desolation Canyon, Labyrinth Canyon, Stillwater Canyon and Cataract Canyon, ending at Lake Powell.  This trip will offer 21 days of rafting with some special stops along the way to explore and learn about Major Powell's epic journey.

If you don't have time for a full 21 day trip, but you would like to join this special adventure, there are options to join each stretch individually:

Gates of Lodore            4 Days/3 Nights       August 28-31
Desolation Canyon        6 Days/5 Nights       September 1-6
Labyrinth Canyon          5 Days/4 Nights       September 7-11
Stillwater/Cataract Canyon    7 Days/6 Nights  September 11-17

Call us for more information!


Campfire Moments

by Kristl 15. April 2019 13:49

I Find that the best evenings I have with my family are the ones where we gather around our fire pit and just talk and play outside-No TV no work, just quiet (OK, with my family, not so quiet) time around a campfire.  Those nights allow me to really connect with my kids, which is even more important as they are growing up on me!  My oldest will be 21 this year!  I wish that I could turn back time, just a little, and take time for more campfire moments.
Sadly, I can't move time any easier than I can get my kids to stop growing up, so I will just have to take more time to make more campfire moments with my family.

Something I can do, though, is help others experience their own campfire moments by making it a little easier to get to that campfire (not everyone has a firepit in their front yard).  Most of our rafting trips include the campfire, and even if we are on fireban, we still have time to visit and play on beautiful beaches surrounded by the peaceful sounds of nature's orchestra. 

Right now we are offering a great deal on our Green River Family Trips in Desolation Canyon and in the Gates of Lodore: We have extended our youth rates to children up to age 21, and we are offering a special group discount that will give 1 free youth for every 4 guests on a reservation (yep, buy 3, get 1 free!).  To get this special group discount, you can use the promo code TurnBack19 on our website or just ask for the TurnBack discount when you reserve by phone.


Famiily River trips | Family River trips | Gates of Lodore | Green River Rafting

Employment Options

by Kristl 22. January 2019 09:05
Do you LOVE rafting???

Are you interested in working as a rafting guide during the 2019 rafting season?

Check out our Employment Options page for more information and to download our application.  Brenda will be back in the office soon, and will start accepting Guide Applications on February 1, 2019.

You can also download the application using this link.



by Kristl 22. October 2018 13:23
The cold weather is coming, and though some of  us here at Sheri Griffith Expeditions are ready for some snow, I most definitely AM NOT!  I am that person who wears my sandals all year if I can get away with it!  I know, we need the snow, and the land needs the water, and diversity in weather can be beautiful. All are true, but as soon as it cools off around here, I start wishing for warmer weather! 

One good thing about the seasonal slow-down around here is that I get a little more time to take my family on adventures! Last weekend was the first clear and warm weekend of October, so I gathered (almost) all my kiddos (we had 4 out of 5), and a friend for my youngest, and we went exploring in our back-yard. As we were getting ready to go, my daughter, who was in the shower getting ready to go to work that night, was yelling at us that we better not leave with-out her.  She is almost 19 now, and on her way to adulting, so the chances to take her with us on our adventures are fewer and fewer.  Of course, we waited, and she hurried. 

We loaded up in my dad's old pick-up and headed for the hills, in search of peanut rocks.  The funny thing is, we didn't even gather any peanut rocks! We just hiked and played and had fun in one of our favorite little canyons.  We saw plenty of peanut rocks, we just didn't end up gathering any this time around. (If you want to know what a peanut rock is, email me and I'll send a picture!)

We had an adventure. A little one, but a fun one.

Because Adventures must be had.



by Kristl 20. June 2018 13:38
How do we keep things dry on the river? With Drybags of course!  We get a lot of questions about the size of our dry bags and about how to pack them.

Here is a quick run-down on our drybags:

Blue Drybags-
These bags are like "Checked" luggage.  You have access to them in the evenings and mornings, but during the day they are packed away on the boats and inaccessable.
 Your sleeping bag will already come packed inside of your dry bag.  The space you have available to you is about the size of a medium sized duffle bag, or 21"x21"x14".  We suggest packing your personal items in a duffle bag for ease of packing/unpacking your bag each day.  
Ditty Bags
These are your "Carry-On" bags.  These bags should hold your day-use items such as sunscreen, bugspray, raingear and other personal items.
These bags are about 12" diameter and 18" tall.


What I Love About Rafting--Jesse's Version

by Kristl 21. December 2017 06:57
I asked our guides to send me a quick note about what they like most about rafting.  I'll be sharing their notes over the next few posts. --Kristl

Jesse R. Rock Loving River Guide

From Jesse:

It’s easy to say I’m drawn to rafting because I’m addicted. I’m addicted to the solitude, to the exploration, to the perfect cup of coffee in the morning, the perfect oar stroke, the adrenaline buildup of a rapid scout, to the challenge. I’m addicted to the release of being below the big stuff, to laughing and joking with guides and guest alike. I still pinch myself when I wake up in the middle of the night, blinded by the moon and stars so bright that I have to put up my umbrella to get a good night’s sleep. I’m addicted to being out amongst it. But if I had to pick one reason, my one true love, I’d say I love rafting because I love rocks. Rocks, rocks, rocks!

The short story is that I came to rafting during graduate school. Rafts were the chosen vehicles to study rocks, specifically landslides and how they’ve affected the carving of the Grand Canyon. My fellow researchers and I could load our rafts with tools and camping supplies that could support geologizing for weeks on end. Now that I’m a guide, in between casual rowing and conversations with folks on my boat, I daydream about the processes that form the canyons through which we float. From our conversations, I’ve come to realize my guests wonder about similar things. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions, the typical tongue-in-cheek guide answer, and an abridged, nerdy answer that yours truly would provide.

Question: “How deep is the river right here?”

Guide answer: “17 units, with a unit equal to 1/17th of the depth of the river.”

Guide Jesse’s nerdy geology answer: “Actually, it’s always changing – sand bars are moving. The river gets shallower in rapids and deeper in the pools between them. Jetboats change the ”

Question: “Have you ever seen the rocks fall?”


Guide answer: “Once, in Deso on the Green River, but that’s it.”

Guide Jesse’s nerdy geology answer: “It was a spot of a previous rockfall and the rocks were still settling. Major rockfalls tends to happen during the winter, when water freezes and wedges open cracks in the rocks above. I’m usually skiing powder that time of year.”

Question: How old is the river?

Guide answer: “It was here when John Wesley Powell boated it in 1869, so at least that old.” 

Guide Jesse’s nerdy geology answer: “Well, it depends. If you wanted to know how long a river flowing from the Rockies through Canyonlands, the Grand Canyon, and out to the Pacific has been around in this area, you’d be talking about the age of preserved river gravels. Geologists motivated to place the age of the Grand Canyon downstream into a regional context discovered such river gravels beneath lava flows at 10,000’ atop Grand Mesa in Colorado. This location is near where the modern Colorado (used to be called the Grand River) and Gunnison Rivers join, hence the name of the nearest town – Grand Junction. The lava flows are easily dated using radiometric dating and their age can approximate the age of the gravels they cover. If the lavas are 10 million years old, the gravels are 10 million years old. Over that time, the Colorado River has carved down ~5000 feet through the rock strata in Western Colorado to its present elevation. 

The river water itself can be a few days to more than 10,000 years old. The age mostly depends on its source. During springtime runoff, daily snowmelt causes minor fluctuations in water levels each day as temperatures in the mountain rise during the day and fall at night. During all other times of the year, river water is mainly sourced by springs, themselves sourced by groundwater in the mountains and canyonlands that has been around since the end of the last ice age.”

Question: What forms the rapids?

Guide answer: “There’s a rapid machine that gets turned on each morning and off each night. Also, there’s a track that each raft is connected to! As guides, we get to choose which track we’re going to run that week. I most prefer track A.”

Guide Jesse’s nerdy geology answer: “Rapids are made by 4 things: gradient, constriction, discharge, and obstruction.

Gradient is the steepness of the river. While not impossible, it’s difficult to imagine a rapid forming in a flat water section of the river.

A notable exception to rapids forming in flat water is the Slide in Meander Canyon because of constriction. More like a riffle, the Slide can cause trouble for canoeists, where picks up speed and can get pretty swirly. This is where John Wesley Powell’s group gave up trying to row upstream from the Colorado-Green confluence during their river expedition in 1869. Bigger rapids in Cataract and throughout the Colorado River drainage basin are formed by constriction of the river channel by materials brought to the river from tributary canyons, mainly during flash flood events.  

Discharge is a big player in forming rapids. Some rapids are affected very little by changes in discharge, while others are completely changed. For example, at lower water levels Rapid 7 in Cataract Canyon is non-consequential while at higher water, the wave train becomes a maelstrom affectionately referred to as the North Seas. If you’ve been there, you know why.

Obstructions account for the last aspect of rapid formation. If it weren’t for the presence of things that water doesn’t pass through, like huge boulders, all rapids would be easy peasy. It’s the rocks in rapids like Capsize (aka Hell to Pay) and Big Drops 2 and 3 that really create their largest, boat flipping and munching features. Most obstructions have been given names because they habitually like to cause trouble for boatmun, like the Claw (RIP), or Little Niagara, or Big Mossy. It’s the obstructions that transform straightforward, read-and-run wave trains and into more technical Class 4 and 5 whitewater.

Question: “Where are all of the plants?

Guide answer: “Umm, really? Do you see all that green?!”

Jesse’s nerdy geology answer: “Deserts are some of the most diverse ecosystems in the world. This is mainly because plants have to be creative when it comes to survival. The rock types vary widely and therefore so do the soils. There aren’t too many trees along Utah river ways, except Fremont cottonwoods and hackberries. The cottonwoods show you were the river might’ve reached in the past few years during high water because their seeds need to be wet to germinate and thrive. Hackberries, on the other hand, don’t require so much water and therefore mark historic high water. They provide a marker to visualize how much water levels can change in undammed river sections. 

Question: “Why did you pass up that huge beach?”

Guide answer: “Some groups that came before us did a horrible job picking up food crumbs from lunch. Then along came the ants, then the anteaters, and then the bears. And bears eat river guides. So we pass up that beach.”

Jesse’s nerdy geology answer: “It’s not the best beach to walk on and I wanna keep my boat clean. As water levels drop, sandy beaches form in slower moving water. If water moves slow enough or is stagnant, the smallest sediment particles like mud and clay in the river will drop out too. The river flashed last week, causing the river to rise and fall fairly quickly. That huge beach isn’t made of sand because the water here doesn’t move fast enough to clean the smaller flash flood mud away. ”

Question: “Are we going to finish where we started?”

Guide answer: “Yes, of course! That’s exactly how rivers work.”

Jesse’s nerdy geology answer: “Yes of course! That’s exactly how rivers work.”

You’d be surprised some of the questions we as guides field on the river; sometimes it’s tough to keep a straight face. Deep down though, beneath some of the most ridiculous ones, there’s a burning desire to learn about some of my favorite topics - the geologic processes that are ongoing deep within the desert canyons we float.

Sometimes, I get so into arm waving, I forget the question that launched me into my rant. What was it again? Oh yeah! What do I love about rafting? Aside from the solitude, the fresh food, the company of great guests and my fellow guides, the feel of a perfect oar stroke, a clean line through a rapid, or a tasty beverage at the end of a hard day, it’s the teaching and learning. For those that will listen, I’m always game to share with my guests what makes these places we float through unique; much of the time for me, it’s the rocks. Rocks, rocks, rocks!



Do you suffer from Stuffocation?

by Kristl 11. December 2017 08:50
This morning I was listening to Radio West on our local NPR station, and the guest was James Wallman, who has written a book about "Why We've had enough of Stuff and Need Experience More than Ever".  His book is called Stuffocation, and is now on my want to read list! 

Maybe it is the business we are in, but I felt like Mr. Wallman was "preaching to the choir" as I listened to him discuss his views on how people are so caught up in STUFF that they are missing out on so much of life.  His opinion is that people are starting to look for experiences to fill their lives with, rather than stuff. 

I've found that this is so true in my own family.  We talk about our family outings a lot more often than we ever talk about the presents we've ever received.  When we choose presents from family, we choose games that we can play together as a family rather than things that will clutter our already cluttered house.  Early this year, we took a CRAZY family journey across the United States: 8 people in 1 car for 8 days, covering 15 states! Was it alwasy fun? NO! Was it always comfortable? Nope! Did we make awesome memories? Yep! Was it worth it? (Jury is still out on this one!) To me, absolutely!  We needed the family time and the get-a-way.    Our only souvenirs were memories because we didn't have any room in our car for stuff.

I love Mr. Wallman's tagline on his website "Memories live longer than things".  On the interview this morning he said that this came from a note he received from his grandfather that simply told him that "memories live longer than dreams".  How appropriate at this time of year to be talking about collecting memories instead of stuff!  Many times we all receive gifts that we would rather not try to find a spot for, or we have to shop for that one person in our lives that seems to have everything!  What better gift than memories created together while on an adventure?  

What memories will you create this year?  Will you gift an experience rather than stuff?

For more information abotu James Wallman and his book, check out his website at

For experience gift ideas, check out our website or call me at 800-332-2439.


What I Love About Rafting--Kristl's Version

by Kristl 28. November 2017 08:32
Relax. Hear nothing more than the gentle plop, swish of the oars and the small shplup, shplup of the tiny waves lapping against the boat. Close your eyes and enjoy the warmth of the sun as its rays reach down and embrace you.  Forget all of those things that just don't seem to matter as much any more.  Renew yourself as worries melt away like a small puddle evaporates after a storm.  Marvel at the incredibly clear blue of the sky, highlighted even more by the small puffs of brilliant white clouds, and the complex reds of the cliffs around and above you.  Enjoy the gentle sway of the boat as it lulls you toward a peaceful bliss.

Sure, the whitewater is fun, but this is what I truly love about rafting.  The river calms my soul and allows me to let things go, even if it is just for a short time.