Bike Raft 3day

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Let Holiday River Expeditions take you on an exciting 3 day Cataract Canyon river rafting trip where you’ll see some of the most amazing white water in North America. This three day white water rafting trip includes navigating the thrilling Big Drop Rapids with Little Niagara and Satan’s Gut…an unforgettable experience.


Our three day and two night whitewater rafting vacation gives you the fun and exhilaration of the longer 5 and 6 Day Cataract Canyon River Rafting tour. This is a great way to experience white water rafting at its best in a short time frame. We take a morning jet boat ride down the upper section of the Colorado River, then transfer to oar rafts for the remainder of the day. Next we journey deep into Red Sandstone Cliff territory in Canyonlands National Park as we make our way to the confluence of the Green and Colorado Rivers.



The White Water Rapids of Cataract Canyon rank right up there with those of the Grand Canyon in intensity and difficulty rating.  In May and June, the river becomes a monster because of the Spring rain run-off.

The beauty of Cataract Canyon is legendary, containing miles and miles of white water rapids that take your breath away. Cataract Canyon is also gorgeous with its deep multicolored canyons that wind through Canyonlands National Park.  You will explore the side canyons as we hike to ancient ruins and petroglyphs.

Once we reach the Confluence of the Colorado and the Green Rivers, we experience the thrill of the Colorado River’s behemoth rapids.  Rapids 15 through 23 comprise Mile Long and The Big Drops, a fall of 80 feet in less than four miles and one of the Colorado River’s steepest descents. This is one very exhilarating ride!



One of the best things about our river rafting adventure is that our daily schedule usually allows us some flexibility concerning the daily itinerary.  With each river rafting trip, the schedule can vary a great deal depending upon group desires, Mother Nature, and courtesy for other groups on the river.  Below is a typical itinerary that illustrates a typical three-day white water rafting trip through Cataract Canyon.  Occasionally, we lengthen the Cataract Canyon white water rafting trip by one day and follow this general itinerary.


Day 1:  Group will meet at headquarters in Green River, Utah.  Following a one-hour drive to the Colorado River, we transfer to jet boats that will take us to the starting point of the river rafting vacation.  The river peacefully meanders into the heart of Canyonlands National Park.  We discover quiet beaches, hidden canyons, and colorful rock formations. This area was once home to ancestral Puebloans.


Day 2:  On Day 2 we will reach the confluence of the Colorado and Green Rivers.  This incredibly beautiful area is surrounded by colorful sculpted rock and here where the rivers meet, we enjoy a view of Doll House, a collection of freestanding, sandstone columns.   Ute Indians believed the confluence of the rivers to be the center of the universe. Theriver ascends steeply to the canyon rim in the Maze District and then we reach the white water rapids of Cataract Canyon.  As an amazing finale, we traversethe Big Drop Rapids, along with Little Niagara and Satan’s Gut.


Day 3:  Day 3 consists of a leisurely lunch at Rock Canyon with a trip across Lake Powell in the motorboat “Hayduke” completing our river rafting journey at Hite Marina.  It’s a two-hour drive back to Green River.



Our group will meet at Holiday River Expeditions headquarters in Green River, Utah on the first morning of the 3 day Cataract Canyon white water rafting tour. Departure time can vary from 6:00 and 9:00 a.m. (Mountain Time).  Our headquarters is located 1/4 mile east of the Green River Bridge, across the highway from the Motel 6 and behind the Comfort Inn.  If you arrive in Green River by shuttle, bus, Amtrak, or plane, call our headquarters (435-564-3273) upon your arrival to make arrangements to have you and your gear transported to our headquarters.  If you are driving, your car can be left at our headquarters.


When you arrive in Green River the day before your river rafting trip, there will be a pre-trip orientation meeting at 8:00 p.m. (Mountain Time).  A Holiday River representative will give you a short orientation on all aspects of river travel.  At this time we will issue your waterproof bags and answer any questions you may have.  If you need to purchase any last minute items from our accessory store, you may do so at this time (see check list of what to bring for a list of items you can find at our store).


Beginning of the trip: On the morning of your white water river rafting trip, plan to arrive promptly at the pre-determined time established at the orientation meeting the night before.  We will then travel to the Colorado River near Moab where we take a two-hour jet boat ride to the oar boats arriving around lunchtime that day.


After the trip: We will disembark at Hite, Utah.  From Hite we drive you back to our headquarters in Green River (2 hour van ride).  Our expected time of arrival at Holiday River Expeditions headquarters is 5:00 to 6:00 p.m.


Medical emergencies: Our river guides are trained in first aid and carry first aid supplies only. REMEMBER to bring your own prescription medicines.  ALERT our guides to any medical problem you may have such as diabetes or allergic reactions.  Once on the river, our location is remote and a long way from any hospitals, doctors, or pain-relieving medicines.  Evacuations to modern medical facilities can be long and expensive. In case of evacuation and/or medical treatment beyond first aid, expenses incurred are the responsibility of the participant.


Cancellation Policy: If cancellations are made prior to 90 days before the rafting trip, monies will be refunded less a $50.00 service charge per person.  If cancellations are made within 90 days and outside of 45 days of the river rafting trip date monies will be refunded less a $100.00 service charge per person.  Cancellations made within 45 days of the river rafting tour date are non refundable.  Prior to 45 days to the rafting trip date we will transfer reservations to another trip in the same year with a $25.00 service charge per person.  All policies will be enforced and we strongly recommend trip cancellation insurance.  Cancellation of a trip is very unlikely, but we reserve the right to cancel any trip due to river or weather conditions or the lack of sufficient reservations.  A full refund will be made if such is the case.


Insurance: Medical and cancellation insurance on a vacation plan can be obtained from numerous insurance companies.  We offer plans underwritten by TRAVEL GUARD that cover accident, baggage and cancellation claims.  An application should be enclosed with this information package.  We encourage all to take advantage of this coverage.  It is available to American and Canadian citizens, as well as citizens of another country as long as you have a U.S. address.  If you have questions give us a call.  Also, if you are bringing expensive cameras, binoculars, or other items we suggest you have insurance coverage for them (commonly available through Homeowners Policies).  In the event of a loss, our insurance will not cover those items.


Tipping the guides: Guests often want to know if tipping is appropriate after the trip.  If you feel the river guides have enhanced the enjoyment of yourriver rafting trip, you may choose to direct a gratuity to the rafting trip leader in the form of cash or check.  He/She will then distribute it evenly to the other crewmembers.  The average contribution amount ranges between $15.00 and $25.00 per guest per day. The decision to tip is left completely to your discretion.


Beverages: Holiday River Expeditions will provide ice water, lemonade, two sodas per day per person and ample cooler space.  If you would like to bring any specialty sodas and/or alcoholic beverages, we are happy to accommodate within reason.  Please DO NOT bring beer, wine coolers or sodas in glass containers.  Wine packaged in a box is ideal.  Mark beverages that you bring so they will be packed on your boat.  The liquor store in Green River, Utah is located in the back of the West Winds restaurant.  In Utah, wine or liquor is not sold after 7:00 p.m., before 11:00 a.m., or on Sundays and holidays.


If you have any questions prior to leaving for your white water river rafting vacation, we ask that you call our Salt Lake City office, Monday through Friday at 800-624-6323 (outside Utah) or 801-266-2087 (inside Utah).   We’re happy to take the time to answer any questions.  You may also contact us by email at





Canyonlands Weather: In the early and late seasons (May to mid-June and late August to September) the daytime temperatures are 70 to 90 degrees, with nighttime temperatures 50 to 60 degrees. It seldom rains in Canyonlands, but when it does, the weather can cool down considerably in May and September.  From mid-June to mid-August the days are hot, and temperatures average 80 to 100 degrees during the day and 60 to 75 degrees at night.  You’ll enjoy swimming in the Colorado River during this time of year.  Though these temperatures may seem warm, the humidity is very low.  There will be an abundance of sunshine on the Colorado River, so be sure to bring a hat and plenty of suntan lotion or sunscreens.


Bugs, snakes, and other pests are generally no problem.  In fact, the lack of pesky insects is one of the reasons wilderness camping on the beautiful Colorado and Green Rivers is so pleasant. Any river rafting trip, however, is subject to an occasional localized insect hatch.  During these hatches (most common in June to mid-July) mosquitos can be bothersome.  Be sure to bring long sleeve clothing and a generous supply of repellent. Insect repellents that contain Adeet@ are by far the most effective during heavy hatches, but are also suspected of causing various health problems.  Citronella-based products (skin-so-soft) work only in light hatches.  We rarely see any snakes, but if the thought of them bothers you, try sleeping on the beaches or in a tent instead of rocky or bushy areas.


Hiking is a highlight of the rafting trip, however, it is strictly an optional activity.  Please be aware that some of the hikes on this trip can be more strenuous due to heat and our elevation.  There are many interesting short hikes available.  Hiking can be done in durable sneakers or lightweight hiking boots.  Remember that our ability to go hiking, swimming, and exploring will vary widely depending upon our time, and what other plans are ahead for our day on the river.


The best place to eat in Green River is Ray’s Tavern. Ray’s is a true small western town bar rich in atmosphere and good food.  They serve incredible hamburgers, pork chops, small salads and steaks. The Tamarisk Restaurant offers family dining with riverside seating.


Things to see in the area: John Wesley Powell Museum in Green River, Utah.  Arches National Park, Dead Horse Point State Park, Canyonlands National Park, Fisher Towers, Colorado National Monument, Goblin Valley State Park, San Rafael Swell, Capital Reef National Park, Natural Bridges National Monument, and the La Sal and Henry Mountains.


Reading material, you may enjoy:

Exploration of the Colorado River, Powell $12.95

Canyonlands River Guide, Belknap (waterproof) $19.95
National Geographic, “Exploring Canyonlands Nat’l. Park” (7/71) N/A
Canyonlands Country, Donald L. Baars $15.95
Life in Stone, Christa Sadler $11.95
The Educated Outlaw, Harvey Lay Murdock (grandson) $10.95


These books can be ordered on line at our e-store, or by sending the appropriate amount listed above plus $4.95 shipping and handling for the first book, and an additional $2.00 for each book thereafter to Holiday River Expeditions, 544 East 3900 South, SLC, UT 84107.  This is available within the U.S. only.  If outside the U.S. additional shipping and handling charges will be added.  You can call 801-266-2087 for rates.  These books can also be purchased at our headquarters in Green River.





You can fly to Salt Lake City located 180 miles northwest of Green River, Utah (all major airlines), or fly to Moab from Denver (Great Lakes Aviation) 52 miles south of Green River, Utah.  From both destinations you can rent a car or take a shuttle with Moab Luxury Coach (call 435-940-4212 to Green River.  If you need assistance with your travel arrangements, please ask your Holiday River Expedition reservation agent.



Lodging before and after your trip can be booked at one of six locations:

River Terrace Inn 435-564-3401 (locally owned, pool, hot tub, full breakfast, riverside rooms available)

Comfort Inn 435-564-3300 (inside pool, hot tub, continental breakfast – in front of our headquarters) *10% discount for H.E. guests – must have a rafting trip invoice at check

Holiday Inn Express 435-564-4439 (inside pool, hot tub, continental breakfast – west of our headquarters)

Super 8 435-564-8888 (inside pool, hot tub, refrigerator, microwave)

Motel 6 435-564-3436 (pool, kids free, lower rates)

Sleepy Hollow 435-564-8189 (clean with lower rates)

*When making advance reservations at the Comfort Inn, mention that you are on a Holiday River Expedition trip and you will be extended a discounted rate on your room (see above).




There are two campgrounds in Green River: the Green River State Park (no pool, lower rates and may have mosquitos – call 435-564-3633 to make reservations), and the KOA Campground (435-564-8195 – across from our headquarters).

Holiday River Expedition’s Travel Agent – Mary Griggs is happy to assist you with your travel plans. Mary has been planning travel for Holiday’s guests for more than 18 years and has 24 years of experience in the travel industry! Contact Mary to take the work out of “Getting Here”.

Direct line – 801-466-1447
Toll Free – 800-264-0557 (You must ask for Mary Griggs)
Email Her:

Or, do it yourself, we can help…



Air Service to Salt Lake City (SLC) or Denver (DEN)


Rental Cars

Once in Salt Lake City most of our guests rent a car and drive to our meeting points.

All rental cars are located in both terminals of the Salt Lake City Airport.


Salt Lake City to Green River 180 miles
Salt Lake City to Blanding 300 miles
Salt Lake City to Vernal 180 miles


Shuttle Service to Green River or Blanding, Utah from Salt Lake City (Vernal is on a Charter basis only)


TRANSPORTATION OPTIONS FROM DENVER to Green River, Vernal or Blanding, Utah
Air Service to Vernal (VEL), Utah from Denver, Colorado


Air Service to Moab (CNY) (52 miles south of Green River), Utah from Denver, Colorado






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  • FULL COURSE MEALS lunch the first day through lunch the last day
  • DRINKS ice water, lemonade, juices, 2 pops/person/day-mix of reg. & diet
The day bag 8″ diameter x 20″ high is for items you will need access to during the day. For your sleeping gear and clothing, we will furnish you with one bag 16″ diameter x 2 feet high. When properly sealed, bags are usually waterproof. Once in a while, one could develop a problem; so if you have concerns, test your bags. Separate storage is provided for tents and beverages. Please remember to keep your gear light and compact . . . the less you bring, the happier you will be.




You can rent the items listed above in our sleeping rental kit. We offer two varieties, our basic sleeping kit which includes a sleeping bag, sleeping pad, ground cloth, rain gear and cup for $40.00, or the same basic sleeping kit with a two-man tent for $65.00. Rentals must be reserved in advance.





DO NOT BRING glass-bottled beverages, radios, firearms, pets, and non-waterproof wristwatches. Please limit gear and clothing to no more than 15-20 lbs.
Warning: Expensive cameras, binoculars, or other items should not be brought on your trip. In the event of a loss our insurance will not cover these items.




(May and Sept. on all trips and in June on all Idaho, Yampa and Lodore trips.)

There is a greater chance of inclement weather on these trips which otherwise offer many advantages to the well-prepared river traveler. Polypropylene, fleece, pile, bunting, capeline, etc. are a few examples of trade names for a class of synthetic materials that retain their ability to insulate when wet (please note, cotton does not.) Your comfort on the trip starts with finding the right type of synthetic under and outer-wear and quality rain gear. We recommend for your additional river trip needs. offers a wide variety of gear to help you dress for success the for your river trip no matter what the weather decides to do. A prepared traveler is a happy traveler.


ITEMS YOU CAN BUY AT HOLIDAY’S ONLINE STORE: at our accessories stores in Green River and Vernal; the meeting points for our Cataract, Westwater, Ranch, Desolation, Labyrinth, Fisher Towers, Lodore and Yampa river rafting trips.






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