Western River Expeditions

Founded in 1961 by Colorado River rafting pioneer Jack Currey, Western River Expeditions is the largest licensed outfitter in the Grand Canyon with 13,000 user-days, and the largest single tour provider in Moab, UT. Western River offers trips through the natural wonders of Utah, Idaho and Colorado for adventurers of all ages and levels.
 
Moab Adventure Center
At Western's Moab Adventure Center, you can create your own experience with as many half to full-day activities as you wish, plus stay in a comfortable hotel each night. The center is your place for all the gear and souvenirs for your trip too.
 
Office Locations
Western River Expeditions is a nationally recognized outfitter headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah with operations and offices in Moab, Utah and Fredonia, Arizona.
 
Annual Guests
Western services over 30,000 guests on trips each year through river vacations and the Moab Adventure Center.
 
Points of Departure
Western River currently has seven points of departure for its trips, depending on which adventure you choose. They include:
Salt Lake City, Utah
Moab, Utah
Las Vegas, Nevada
Marble Canyon, Arizona
Stanley, Idaho
Boise, Idaho
Grand Junction, Colorado
 
Waters to Raft
  • Western River provides professionally guided rafting trips on:
  • Colorado River in Utah and Arizona
  • Grand Canyon (188 or 100 miles)
  • Cataract Canyon (100 miles)
  • Westwater Canyon (16 miles)
  • Moab Day Trip (14 miles)
  • Green River in Utah
  • Green River, Desolation Canyon (84 miles)
  • Idaho Rafting Trips
  • Main Salmon River (89 miles)
  • Middle Fork Salmon River (100 miles)
  • Snake River through Hells Canyon
Vacation Variety
Everything from day trips to week-long escapes, from everyday adventurer to first-time fun-seekers, from extreme thrills to tame chills, from roughing it in the elements to pampering at four-star resorts and spas.
 
Price Range and Duration
Fully-equipped, multiple-day expeditions are all inclusive in their prices. Some trips will have optional add-ons (such as flights and shuttles). All multi-day trips include transportation to the river, food (meals and snacks), drinks camping equipment, safety equipment and professional guide service. For a complete list of trips and prices, see our printable summary sheet: http://www.westernriver.com/comparisons/
 
Western’s Guides
Western’s staff includes over 60 licensed and professionally trained guides, all with their own stories and experiences to share. Each Western guide experiences nearly 300 hours of training before escorting his or her first guest down the river. This training includes swift water rescue certification, CPR and First Aid Certification, a state licensing test, food handler's education, on-river cooking courses, geology and interpretation classes, and Western's renowned custom guide-training program.
 
Western’s Fleet of Vessels
Western uses 4 different types of vessels to navigate the waters, including:
  • 20 J-Rigs
  • 25 Row Rafts
  • 20 Paddle Boats
  • 30 Inflatable kayaks
Western’s Special Hummers®
Western’s professional guides operate custom Hummer® vehicles with raised seating in the rear for optimum passenger viewing. With 16 inches of ground clearance and an extremely low center of gravity, the Hummer® can navigate virtually any terrain imaginable.
 
Season
Western River offers trips March through October on selected waterways.
 
Other activities
In addition to the best rafting vacations in the West, Western River offers tours via Hummer, horseback, jet boat, 4x4, airplane and mountain bike.
 
Specialty Trips
Western offers trips for everyone and every group, including:
  • Women’s Adventure
  • Corporate Retreats
  • Group and Family Reunion Trips
 
Western’s Culinary Arts
Western’s guides are not only trained in the outdoors and geography of the area, they are also talented campfire cooks. Expect anything but your normal camping food on trips with Western River. Look forward to plates of steaming flapjacks, fresh fruit and scrambled eggs every morning and tasty chicken and veggie wraps or perhaps chicken salad pitas as part of Western's mid-day buffet. Dinner every night is different including grilled chicken breasts, tender steaks, pasta, or fresh fish.
 
Guiding Green Philosophy
Western River is committed to not only providing the best rafting trips in the world, but also to protecting those valuable resources in the environment we operate in and giving back to our community. See: http://www.westernriver.com/whywestern/environment.php
 
Awards
Western River Expeditions Recent Awards and Recognitions:
  • National Geographic Adventure Magazine “Best Adventure Travel Company”
  • Utah Best of State
  • The Official Best of Utah
 
Reservations
Western River Expedition’s helpful reservations specialists are available Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. MST at (801) 942-6669 or toll free at (866) 904-1160. You can also book your trip online at: http://secure.westernriver.com/express/reservation/
 
Contact Information
 
-Brandon Lake, Vice President
Phone: 801-942-6669 x101
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
-Widness & Wiggins PR
Sara Widness / 802-234-6704 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or
Dave Wiggins / 303-554-8821/ This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Western River Expeditions Keeping Rafting Vacations Exciting With Varying Water Levels

SALT LAKE CITY, UT, Oct. 12, 2021 – Western River Expeditions, the experts in whitewater river rafting for more than half a century, explain that there’s more than just one way to run a river.

“We pair our guests with one of four different kinds of craft, depending on how adventurous they choose to be, the trip they choose and current water levels,” says co-owner Brandon Lake. In general, each raft type offers a different kind of ride through the waves, holds different amounts of cargo for multi-day expeditions and offers different modes of propulsion. By having a large inventory of raft types, Western can customize the experience for each trip.

Options include Western River Expeditions’ custom-patented J-Rig raft, a comfortable oar rig, a paddle raft, or an inflatable kayak.

Called “The Cadillac of the Colorado”, a motorized J-Rig for up to 18 thrill-seeking passengers is the only craft used by Western River on trips in the Grand Canyon. J-Rigs were built by Western River’s founder Jack Currey. This raft is designed specifically for guests to experience the adventure and thrill of riding the exceptionally large waves on the Colorado River’s whitewater on long expeditions through the Grand Canyon and Cataract Canyon.

Colorado River Trips with J-Rig

●       Grand Canyon 6 or 7-Day Rafting Vacations

●       Grand Canyon 4 Day-River & Ranch Tour

●       Grand Canyon 3 Day-River Trip

●       Cataract Canyon 4-Day River Expedition

Western’s other river rafts come into play when rafting other destinations.

●       Oar-Rig River Raft: A guide wields long oars for strategic maneuvers through calm and whitewater in this 5-passenger craft.

●       Paddle Raft: Up to 8 passengers and a guide, all with paddles, work together to keep the raft afloat through challenging waters. They are great for Class II-III rapids and even Class IV with a skilled guide.

●       Western’s “Duckie” or Inflatable Kayak: Every rapid feels big in an inflatable kayak that’s both buoyant and very maneuverable. Guides point you in the right direction, but the paddling and steering are all up to you.

Utah Rafting Trips with a Variety of Craft

J-Rig, Oar, Paddle and Inflatable Kayak (depending on water levels)

●       2 Day Cataract Canyon Express Trip: Western’s Snout Rig (variation of J-Rig)

●       5 Day Desolation Canyon: Oar and Inflatable Kayak

●       4 Day Southwest Sampler Vacation: Oar, Paddle, Inflatable Kayak

●       4 Day Westwater Multisport Vacation: Oar and Paddle

Idaho, Oregon, and Costa Rica Rafting Trips with Variety of Craft

●       Idaho Rafting (Main Salmon, Middle Fork Salmon, and Lower Salmon Rivers): Oar, Paddle, Inflatable Kayak

●       Oregon Rafting (Rogue River): Oar, Paddle, Inflatable Kayak

●       Costa Rica Rafting (Pacuare River): Paddle

For a copy of Western River Expeditions’ 2022 catalog, questions, availability and reservations call toll-free: 866.904.1160 (Local: 801.942.6669) or visit the website at: http://www.westernriver.com/.

About Western River Expeditions

Western River Expeditions is an adventure travel company headquartered in Salt Lake City, with operations and offices in Moab, Utah and Fredonia, Arizona. Annually from March through October it escorts more people down rivers on professionally guided rafting trips in Utah, Idaho and Arizona than any other company. It is the largest licensed outfitter in the Grand Canyon and the largest single tour provider in Moab, UT, through its division Moab Adventure Center (http://www.moabadventurecenter.com/).

Western River Expeditions, providing Grand Canyon rafting, Utah and Idaho rafting, and international multi-sport trips, was founded in 1961 by Colorado River rafting pioneer Jack Currey. It has been named one of the “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth” by the editors of National Geographic Adventure magazine. The company is the proud recipient of the "Best of State" award through Utah’s Premier Recognition and Awards Program for the past seventeen consecutive years (2004-2020).

# # #

Media Contact:

For inquiries, interviews and photos please contact Widness & Wiggins PR:

Sara Widness: 802.234.6704 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Dave Wiggins: 720.301.3822 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Follow Western River Expeditions:

On Facebook:     http://www.facebook.com/WesternRiverExpeditions

On Twitter:          https://twitter.com/WesternRiver

On You Tube:     http://www.youtube.com/user/bestraftingvacations?

On Pinterest:       http://pinterest.com/westernriver/

Western River Expeditions Encourages Advance Planning for Seats on Coveted Rafting Adventures

SALT LAKE CITY, UT, Aug 25, 2021 – If an epic river rafting adventure is in your future, Western River Expeditions says don’t delay making reservations for trips down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon and in Utah’s Cataract Canyon.

Here are a few good reasons why to act now.

Tight controls on inventory through commercial permits make these areas available only to a limited few every year. While Western River Expeditions escorts more people down the Colorado River on professionally guided rafting trips in Utah and Arizona than any other rafting operator in the country, Western River, as well as other commercial tour operators, has to abide by the limits set by government-issued permits. These coveted seats are being snapped up quicker than ever before by an unprecedented surge of demand following months of COVID lockdown, record-breaking heat waves that beg for water-based recreation, and an exploding demand to visit America’s national parks.

As a result, Western River Expeditions has filled all Grand Canyon slots for 2021. Many departures for 2022 are sold out and others are very close to selling out. If you’re looking to raft the Grand Canyon in 2022, Western recommends checking availability online now for the Grand Canyon 3 & 4-Day Expeditions at https://www.westernriver.com. The company also suggests looking at Cataract Canyon, just upstream from Grand Canyon.

“While Cataract Canyon doesn’t carry the same name recognition as Grand Canyon, the scenery and whitewater along this section of the Colorado River through Canyonlands National Park are absolutely stunning,” says Brandon Lake, CMO for Western River Expeditions. “Guests can often find some availability on a Cataract Canyon expedition when Grand Canyon may be sold out.”

If a 2022 trip is not in the cards, mark your calendar for 2023! Western River Expeditions’ Grand Canyon trips for 2023 go on sale (tentatively) on Nov. 30, 2021.

Cataract Canyon itineraries, which are more impacted by spring runoff than the dam-controlled flow through the Grand Canyon, are in demand for the high-water trips of May and June 2022. See dates and availability at https://www.westernriver.com/cataract-canyon-rafting.

For 2023 in the Grand Canyon, these options exist:

Even though hearts may be set on the longer 6 and 7-day options, itineraries of 3 and 4 days are easier to come by. These shorter trips are more popular with families with young teens and first-time canyon rafters. Space is still available for these trips for April-September 2022.

For a copy of Western River Expeditions’ 2021/2022 catalog, questions, availability and reservations call toll-free: 866.904.1160 (Local: 801.942.6669) or visit the website at: http://www.westernriver.com/.

About Western River Expeditions

Western River Expeditions is an adventure travel company headquartered in Salt Lake City, with operations and offices in Moab, Utah and Fredonia, Arizona. Annually from March through October it escorts more people down rivers on professionally guided rafting trips in Utah, Idaho and Arizona than any other company. It is the largest licensed outfitter in the Grand Canyon and the largest single tour provider in Moab, UT, through its division Moab Adventure Center (http://www.moabadventurecenter.com/).

Western River Expeditions, providing Grand Canyon rafting, Utah and Idaho rafting, and international multi-sport trips, was founded in 1961 by Colorado River rafting pioneer Jack Currey. It has been named one of the “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth” by the editors of National Geographic Adventure magazine. The company is the proud recipient of the "Best of State" award through Utah’s Premier Recognition and Awards Program for the past seventeen consecutive years (2004-2020).

# # #

Media Contact:

For inquiries, interviews and photos please contact Widness & Wiggins PR:

Sara Widness: 802.234.6704 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Dave Wiggins: 720.301.3822 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Follow Western River Expeditions:

On Facebook:     http://www.facebook.com/WesternRiverExpeditions

On Twitter:          https://twitter.com/WesternRiver

On You Tube:     http://www.youtube.com/user/bestraftingvacations?

On Pinterest:       http://pinterest.com/westernriver/

 

Seven Tips to Beat the Heat on a Rafting Adventure with Western River Expeditions

SALT LAKE CITY, July 6, 2021– With record heat covering the West you need a strategy if you want to enjoy the outdoors. The master of rafting vacations, Western River Expeditions, offers seven out-of-the-box tips for how to stay cool on a summer vacation.

“Hot and dry means people want to get onto and into the water,” said Kam Wixom, Marketing Director and veteran guide. “Our staff and clients have come up some great tips over the years that help keep us all comfortable when the temperatures get extreme.”

Wixom recalls the summer of 1997 when temperatures in the Grand Canyon reached 123 degrees Fahrenheit. Already playing out this summer were higher-than-usual temperatures in the West.

“We bought the newspaper just to prove to others back home that we (easily) survived some of the hottest temperatures we’d ever experienced. The thing is, we really did survive it easily. Here’s how.”

  1. Full Body Immersion– Get yourself soaked in the cold Colorado River. Linger in the water to reduce your core body temperature.
  2. Wear Only Cotton– We often think of quick-drying fabrics when we’re near the water, but to stay cool when you’re near water and temperatures are soaring, think cotton. This fabric, unlike synthetics, retains water, keeping you wet and cool. Choose cotton when it comes to bandanas, hats, neck scarves and sarongs.
  3. Drink Lots of Water– Stay properly hydrated by drinking two ounces of water for every ounce of alcohol or caffeine. And even before you’re thirsty – drink water. Sodas are diuretics that can cancel out hydration, so don’t think you’re only drinking soda to stay hydrated.
  4. Electrolytes Matter-- You can drink all the water you want, but if you are not coupling it with electrolytes (vitamins and minerals), you still run a risk of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Yes, munch on salty potato chips and sugary cookies at lunch or take along some electrolyte tablets. They come in a variety of brands and flavors.
  5. Wear a Hat– Instead of putting earth-friendly sunscreen on your forehead (which often ends up in your eyes), wear a hat to keep the sun from pounding on your head. A hat can help protect from heatstroke and it protects your eyes.
  6. Indulge in a Sarong– Western River Expeditions stocks sarongs in its company store, Red Rock Outfitters. Sarongs are actually loved by both women and men as they can be easily dipped in the water and draped wet across your whole body.
  7. Start a Water Fight!– Not that we are endorsing rowdy behavior, but a couple of water cannons and bail buckets are good items to bring along and use on a surprise attack on an unsuspecting neighboring raft. The goal is to drench your opponents, a welcome outcome on a hot day!

It is still not too late to secure a spot on a raft trip this year. Contact Western River Expeditions today for a full list of available trips and dates at 801-942-6669 or visit www.westernriver.comto check availability online.

For a copy of Western River Expeditions’ 2021 catalog, questions, videos, maps, availability, and reservations visit http://www.westernriver.com/. Or call: 866.904.1160 (Local: 801.942.6669).

About Western River Expeditions

Western River Expeditions is an adventure travel company headquartered in Salt Lake City, with operations and offices in Moab, Utah and Fredonia, Arizona. Annually from March through October it escorts more people down rivers on professionally guided rafting trips in Utah, Idaho and Arizona than any other company. It is the largest licensed outfitter in the Grand Canyon and the largest single tour provider in Moab, UT, through its division Moab Adventure Center (http://www.moabadventurecenter.com/).

Western River Expeditions, providing Grand Canyon rafting, Utah and Idaho rafting, and international multi-sport trips, was founded in 1961 by Colorado River rafting pioneer Jack Currey. It has been named one of the “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth” by the editors of National Geographic Adventure magazine. The company is the proud recipient of the "Best of State" award through Utah’s Premier Recognition and Awards Program for the past sixteen consecutive years (2004-2019).

# # #

Media Contact:

For inquiries, interviews and photos please contact Widness & Wiggins PR:

Sara Widness: 802.234.6704 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Dave Wiggins: 720.301.3822 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Follow Western River Expeditions:

On Facebook:     http://www.facebook.com/WesternRiverExpeditions

On Twitter:          https://twitter.com/WesternRiver

On You Tube:     http://www.youtube.com/user/bestraftingvacations?

On Pinterest:       http://pinterest.com/westernriver/

Western River Expeditions Says Come for the Whitewater Thrills, Be Amazed by the Off-River Hikes

SALT LAKE CITY, June 2, 2021 – Western River Expeditions, over its 60 years of commercial river running, has mastered the art of combining the elements – water, land, air and sky– into some of the world’s most sought-after adventure vacations.

This company’s particular alchemy mixes up whitewater thrills and opportunities for some exceptional hiking in the fresh air. “Folks love to run the rapids with us, but truth is, some people come rafting just to go hiking and see sites that are only accessible by river,” explains Brandon Lake, co-owner of Western River Expeditions.

Following are four whitewater destinations that provide unique access to hiking trails so remote they are generally only reached via the river through the conveyance of a raft.

Cataract Canyon - Colorado River, Utah www.westernriver.com/cataract-canyon-rafting

Indian Creek Falls

  • River Mile 31
  • 3.5-miles roundtrip
  • Vertical gain of 100 feet

This is the hike to take to view a spectacular seasonal waterfall, towering 2,000-foot canyon walls, and Native American ruins. After an easy streamside walk, guests are treated to The Falls - a thundering 20-foot cascade that’s best in the spring when runoff and seasonal rains create an impressive stream flow. Ancestral Puebloan rock art and well-preserved granaries along the way speak to past lives. Modern adventurers can soak under the falls, dip in the natural pool, or partake in a round of butt slides.

Loop Hike

  • River Mile 36.5
  • 1.3-mile Length
  • Vertical gain of 400 feet

Another must-do hike is the Loop Hike offering anup-and-over adventure through a saddle in the canyon wall that crosses a horseshoe bend in the river which eliminates four miles of river travel. Hikers gain impressive views as they scramble over a large ridge at the base of a massive curve in the river.

Desolation Canyon – Green River, Utah www.westernriver.com/desolation-canyon

Rock Creek Ranch Trail

  • River Mile 41
  • Short hike

An easy trail from the river leads to Rock Creek Ranch, site of a former hideaway on the Outlaw Trail where Butch Cassidy and his gang of desperados were known to have holed-up. Built in 1914 by the Seamont family, this ranch in the deepest part of Desolation Canyon served as homestead, orchard and outpost. Unrestored buildings display century-old homemaking and farming equipment.  Although abandoned in the 1920s, ancient orchards still bear fruit come August. Be sure to visit the outstanding petroglyphs and ancient granaries nearby.

Three Canyon Hikes

  • River Mile 54
  • Various options for length and elevation gain

Here, three secluded canyons come together creating an abundance of exploring opportunities. The Three Canyon Loop hike follows a route around a large butte just behind camp. From camp, a 20-minute walk from the river leads to a natural bridge.  Following a trail for an hour hike from camp leads to the Three Canyon Overlook, one of the most spectacular views in the canyon. From the overlook you can see two miles upriver. Only for the avid, this is a fairly strenuous hike.

Grand Canyon (Upper Section), Colorado River www.westernriver.com/grand-canyon-vacation

Nankoweap Canyon and Granaries

  • River Mile 53
  • Two-mile roundtrip hike
  • Elevation gain of 700 feet

A trail from camp below the mouth of Nankoweap Canyon leads hikers up a steep slope to one of the most sought-after views the canyon has to offer. Above this viewpoint in the limestone walls under an overhang sit four granaries, or storage units built and utilized by Native Americans. These canyon dwellers practiced hunting and gathering in the canyon and grew crops roughly 1,000 years ago on the delta below.  At 700 feet above the river, a flat overlook provides a breathtaking vista down-river encompassing a world of towering red canyon walls, sparkling whitewater, and blue sky.

Deer Creek Falls

  • River Mile 136
  • Trail Options from 200 yards to four-miles roundtrip

Just 200 yards from where the rafts are tied-off, Deer Creek Falls thunders into the Colorado River. The 180-foot falls land into a pool perfect for a swim. Adventurous hikers can journey further down a trail to The Patio with sensational Kaibab Plateau views along the way. Reaching The Patio requires careful footwork and cool-headedness to navigate a short narrow ledge with a precarious drop.

Grand Canyon Lower Section, Colorado River www.westernriver.com/grand-canyon-river-trip

Travertine Falls and Grotto

  • River Mile 229
  • Two-mile roundtrip hike

Just a few miles below Diamond Creek, is one of the most special places in the Grand Canyon’s lower Granite Gorge.  Mineral-rich water drops down a waterfall through a narrow canyon and then cascades over a second falls in a setting often described as an oasis. The clear and refreshing waters of Travertine are always a welcome experience in the heat of the Lower Canyon. Then comes a scramble with a little help from ropes and ladders into a magical grotto sprinkled with spring water and a waterfall.

Pumpkin Springs

  • River Mile 213
  • Adjacent to the river (scrambling, no hiking)

A popular stop for all Lower Canyon river trips, Pumpkin Springs can only be accessed by boat. The Springs, because of mineral-laden water and constant evaporation, has created a travertine dome or bowl resembling a gigantic pumpkin. Water pours into the top of the pumpkin, turns a murky green, and then runs over the sides and into the river below. This is a fantastic spot for cliff jumping into the river.

For a copy of Western River Expeditions’ 2021 catalog, questions, availability and reservations call toll-free: 866.904.1160 (Local: 801.942.6669) or visit the recently enhanced website at: http://www.westernriver.com/.

About Western River Expeditions

Western River Expeditions is an adventure travel company headquartered in Salt Lake City, with operations and offices in Moab, Utah and Fredonia, Arizona. Annually from March through October it escorts more people down rivers on professionally guided rafting trips in Utah, Idaho and Arizona than any other company. It is the largest licensed outfitter in the Grand Canyon and the largest single tour provider in Moab, UT, through its division Moab Adventure Center (http://www.moabadventurecenter.com/).

Western River Expeditions, providing Grand Canyon rafting, Utah and Idaho rafting, and international multi-sport trips, was founded in 1961 by Colorado River rafting pioneer Jack Currey. It has been named one of the “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth” by the editors of National Geographic Adventure magazine. The company is the proud recipient of the "Best of State" award through Utah’s Premier Recognition and Awards Program for the past seventeen consecutive years (2004-2020).

# # #

Media Contact:

For inquiries, interviews and photos please contact Widness & Wiggins PR:

Sara Widness: 802.234.6704 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Dave Wiggins: 720.301.3822 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Follow Western River Expeditions:

On Facebook:           http://www.facebook.com/WesternRiverExpeditions

On Twitter:                https://twitter.com/WesternRiver

On You Tube:           http://www.youtube.com/user/bestraftingvacations?

On Pinterest:             http://pinterest.com/westernriver/

 

Western River Expeditions Seeing Record Travelers in 2021: New Video Campaign Expresses Why

SALT LAKE CITY, UT, April 20, 2021 – The 2021 river rafting season clock is ticking. Western River Expeditions reports that it is seeing a record number of travelers selecting overnight rafting trips as the vacation of choice this summer.

This company is in the enviable position of drawing people to wilderness destinations where experiences are authentic and meaningful.

“Due to the events of the past year, people are looking for more meaningful travel. More than ever before, our customers are seeking vacation experiences that provide a deeper way to connect with loved ones and share new experiences. They want to be in remote places that truly inspire and provide a complete escape from daily life,” said Brandon Lake,co-owner of Western River Expeditions.

As so many people in the world share this need, Western River Expeditions crafted a new video campaign featuring several videos that express the feelings that so many are seeking right now.

“Our new video series relays the sense of excitement, of awe, of tranquility, of discovering life-changing experiences and more meaningful vacations. You can’t come on the river and remain unchanged,” underscored Lake.

Those still in search of the perfect adventure this summer can check out the rush, awe, tranquility, and connection that await on some trips that are still available.

“As everyone seeks to find the most meaningful vacation, we also know our guests need to feel confident and comfortable traveling right now. We are continuing to communicate and follow all of our COVID-19 protocols and procedures until they are no longer necessary. Our guests appreciate that and find additional comfort in spending the majority of their vacation in the great outdoors as we make our way down the river through a pristine natural environment,” said Lake.

Trips that still have available space for the 2021 season are:

4 Day Cataract Canyon Rafting Adventure

5 Day Desolation Canyon Rafting Adventure

3 Day Grand Canyon Adventure

4 Day Westwater Canyon Rafting & Multisport Trip

For a copy of Western River Expeditions’ 2021-2022 catalog, questions, availability and reservations call toll-free: 866.904.1160 (Local: 801.942.6669) or visit the website at: http://www.westernriver.com/.

About Western River Expeditions

Western River Expeditions is an adventure travel company headquartered in Salt Lake City, with operations and offices in Moab, Utah and Fredonia, Arizona. Annually from March through October it escorts more people down rivers on professionally guided rafting trips in Utah, Idaho and Arizona than any other company. It is the largest licensed outfitter in the Grand Canyon and the largest single tour provider in Moab, UT, through its division Moab Adventure Center (http://www.moabadventurecenter.com/).

Western River Expeditions, providing Grand Canyon rafting, Utah and Idaho rafting, and international multi-sport trips, was founded in 1961 by Colorado River rafting pioneer Jack Currey. It has been named one of the “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth” by the editors of National Geographic Adventure magazine. The company is the proud recipient of the "Best of State" award through Utah’s Premier Recognition and Awards Program for the past sixteen consecutive years (2004-2019).

# # #

Media Contact:

For inquiries, interviews and photos please contact Widness & Wiggins PR:

Sara Widness: 802.234.6704 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Dave Wiggins: 720.301.3822 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Follow Western River Expeditions:

On Facebook:           http://www.facebook.com/WesternRiverExpeditions

On Twitter:                https://twitter.com/WesternRiver

On You Tube:           http://www.youtube.com/user/bestraftingvacations?

On Pinterest:             http://pinterest.com/westernriver/

 

Best Pandemic Fatigue Antidote? Nature and Whitewater In Utah’s Desolation Canyon

SALT LAKE CITY, April 14, 2021 – Uncertainty has stalked us for a year now. Among its victims, say the pundits, are our children.

The experts also say that healing benefits are at our fingertips, if we only look outdoors.

Nowhere are Nature’s healing powers felt more profoundly than on water, the kind of water that eddies and ripples, wandering in an eternal dance downstream. For over 60 years, Western River Expeditions has specialized as Nature’s partner, offering guests the specialized expertise, matched with a pristine river environment to enable transformations in body and spirit.

“Reservations are up 37 percent over the same period last year for our premier family rafting trip,” reports Brandon Lake, co-owner of Western River Expeditions. “Families are clamoring to reinvent themselves in one of the most remote (no roads, no towns and no cell service) destinations in the continental United States. They are counting on us to deliver their first great trip back after hibernation for so long.”

This is Utah’s Desolation Canyon, carved over millennia by the 730-mile Green River that is spawned by glacial melts on the Continental Divide in the wilds of northern Wyoming.

The company’s proven and lauded health protocols are in place for this trip that welcomes families with children ages five and up. Fully 100 percent of this vacation takes place outside together. Transportation to the put-in is by small plane on a 40-minute flight over the desert plateau from Moab, Utah. Passengers are appropriately distanced on the aircraft and are required to wear masks on the airplane and in shuttle vehicles.

“Being able to travel and vacation in confidence will also assist the healing process – especially for parents,” Lake said. He explained that the rafting journey through Desolation Canyon is much more than rafting. The environment offers large beaches, swimming holes, outlaw cabins to explore, Native American sites, wildlife, fishing and great hikes. “It’s absolutely one of the best family vacations in the world.”

The Green is less strident than the Grand Canyon’s rollicking Colorado River. Whitewater on the Green is playful, marked by over 60 warm-water Class I-III rapids, packed with more than enough splash to excite all ages.

Western River Expeditions’ Desolation Canyon 5-Day Trip is offered June through August.Rates are $1,845 for ages 16 and up and $1,145 for ages 5-15 including airport transfer and flight from Moab, Utah, to the river, cots, tents, sleeping bags, chairs and water-resistant bags, all meals from between departure to return, guides, staff and equipment.

Highlights:

  • exploring 88 river miles
  • the option to paddle two-person inflatable kayaks
  • or, relax in a guide-powered oar boat
  • witnessing 40 million years of geologic history
  • maneuvering 60+ fun-filled Class I-III rapids. One of the greatest features of this expedition is that the rapids are spread fairly evenly throughout the length of the trip so the action keeps it exciting all journey long.
  • visiting famous Wild West outlaw hideouts. Butch Cassidy and the Wild Bunch found that the rugged terrain here offered a perfect hideaway.
  • wondering about the past at now-derelict homesteads built of native materials
  • getting to know an ancient culture that both foraged and planted corn from the 7th to the 13th centuries, leaving behind Fremont Native American petroglyphs
  • hiking off-river with a seasoned guide well-versed in the region’s history and geology
  • deluxe camping on broad, sandy beaches along the river bank
  • enjoying host-prepared meals for both adults and children, with ingredients sourced from local farmers and producers
  • sunbathing on and off the water shaded by ancient cottonwoods
  • watching a Trip Jester entertain the children so parents have some down time

For more details on this trip please see https://www.westernriver.com/desolation-canyon

For a copy of Western River Expeditions’ 2021 catalog, questions, availability and reservations call toll-free: 866.904.1160 (Local: 801.942.6669) or visit the recently enhanced website at: http://www.westernriver.com/.

About Western River Expeditions

Western River Expeditions is an adventure travel company headquartered in Salt Lake City, with operations and offices in Moab, Utah and Fredonia, Arizona. Annually from March through October it escorts more people down rivers on professionally guided rafting trips in Utah, Idaho and Arizona than any other company. It is the largest licensed outfitter in the Grand Canyon and the largest single tour provider in Moab, UT, through its division Moab Adventure Center (http://www.moabadventurecenter.com/).

Western River Expeditions, providing Grand Canyon rafting, Utah and Idaho rafting, and international multi-sport trips, was founded in 1961 by Colorado River rafting pioneer Jack Currey. It has been named one of the “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth” by the editors of National Geographic Adventure magazine. The company is the proud recipient of the "Best of State" award through Utah’s Premier Recognition and Awards Program for the past sixteen consecutive years (2004-2019).

# # #

Media Contact:

For inquiries, interviews and photos please contact Widness & Wiggins PR:

Sara Widness: 802.234.6704 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Dave Wiggins: 720.301.3822 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Follow Western River Expeditions:

On Facebook:           http://www.facebook.com/WesternRiverExpeditions

On Twitter:                https://twitter.com/WesternRiver

On You Tube:           http://www.youtube.com/user/bestraftingvacations?

On Pinterest:             http://pinterest.com/westernriver/

Pent-up Demand Driving Record Reservations for Grand Canyon Rafting Vacations

SALT LAKE CITY, UT, Feb. 23, 2021 – Western River Expeditions reports that despite pandemic-related closures for nearly half of its 2020 operating season, the company experienced surprisingly high demand for the Grand Canyon rafting trips it was able to operate.

“We feel very fortunate to have had many sold-out departures this past year,” said Brandon Lake, co-owner of Western River Expeditions. “And already in 2021 there are significantly more people booked than at the same time last year. Bookings are coming in at unprecedented rates, not just for Grand Canyon expeditions, but for Utah trips as well.”

However, Lake underscored the need to book as soon as possible for 2021 and for 2022. He advised checking online to determine the availability of a remaining handful of 2021 Grand Canyon departures, joining a waitlist for sold out departures, or checking back frequently for any cancellations.

2021 availability:

3-day Grand Canyon: 4/13, 4/27, 5/4, 5/10, 8/30

4-day Grand Canyon: sold out

6-day Grand Canyon: sold out

7-day Grand Canyon: 4/1, 4/5, 4/15

Still available in 2022:

3-Day Grand Canyon: Good availability April - September

4 -Day Grand Canyon: Good availability May – September

6 -Day Grand Canyon: 5/11, 8/23, 8/24, 8/27, 8/31, 9/14

7-Day Grand Canyon: 4/5, 4/11, 4/12, 4/20, 6/8, 9/7

For more details on Grand Canyon rafting please see https://www.westernriver.com/grand-canyon-rafting

The three and four-day trips in the lower canyon are suggested for first-timers who often return later to do the longer 6- or 7-day trips which take place in the upper section of Grand Canyon.

Lake and his team have surmised that these are the forces driving this surge:

  • Pent-up desire
  • People wanting to travel again but doing it right by signing on for the top multi-day raft trip in the United States
  • Counting on the healing forces of Nature blot out stress
  • Going with trusted company that has shown protocols have been effective in safeguarding guests during the pandemic
  • Checking off another life-list adventure
  • Being able to travel domestically when most international travel options just aren’t available

If you are finding your desired dates sold out, Western River recommends two incredible, but lesser-known options to Grand Canyon. These include a four-day trip through Cataract Canyon, often referred to as the The Grand Canyon’s Younger Sister or a five-day family-oriented journey down Desolation Canyon on the Green River.

“Utah’s Cataract Canyon, deep within Canyonlands National Park, is near enough in scale, appearance and proximity to Grand Canyon that it works the same kind of magic one will find in the Grand herself. Just one canyon upstream on the Colorado River in Utah’s Canyonlands National Park is hands down the best alternative to a Grand Canyon rafting vacation,” advised Lake.

If traveling with children (as young as age 5), an option that families often enjoy even more than Grand Canyon is Desolation Canyon on the Green River, a mellower but equally breathtaking rafting experience. Like Cataract, it also departs from Moab, Utah and has good availability for 2021 and 2022.

For a copy of Western River Expeditions’ 2021/2022 catalog, questions, availability and reservations call toll-free: 866.904.1160 (Local: 801.942.6669) or visit the website at: http://www.westernriver.com/.

About Western River Expeditions

Western River Expeditions is an adventure travel company headquartered in Salt Lake City, with operations and offices in Moab, Utah and Fredonia, Arizona. Annually from March through October it escorts more people down rivers on professionally guided rafting trips in Utah, Idaho and Arizona than any other company. It is the largest licensed outfitter in the Grand Canyon and the largest single tour provider in Moab, UT, through its division Moab Adventure Center (http://www.moabadventurecenter.com/).

Western River Expeditions, providing Grand Canyon rafting, Utah and Idaho rafting, and international multi-sport trips, was founded in 1961 by Colorado River rafting pioneer Jack Currey. It has been named one of the “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth” by the editors of National Geographic Adventure magazine. The company is the proud recipient of the "Best of State" award through Utah’s Premier Recognition and Awards Program for the past sixteen consecutive years (2004-2019).

# # #

Media Contact:

For inquiries, interviews and photos please contact Widness & Wiggins PR:

Sara Widness: 802.234.6704 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Dave Wiggins: 720.301.3822 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Follow Western River Expeditions:

On Facebook:           http://www.facebook.com/WesternRiverExpeditions

On Twitter:                https://twitter.com/WesternRiver

On You Tube:           http://www.youtube.com/user/bestraftingvacations?

On Pinterest:             http://pinterest.com/westernriver/

Western River Expeditions Turns 2020 River Rafting Season Into Financial Success – Despite Pandemic

With 2021 Season Nearly Sold Out, 2022 Grand Canyon Trips Set to Go on Sale Dec.1, 2020 

SALT LAKE CITY, UT, Nov. 17, 2020 – Western River Expeditions was among the few travel businesses to see a fortunate outcome during the summer of 2020 rafting season. The pandemic shut down this river rafting company for 10 weeks during the busiest part of its season. Despite being confined to hosting river rafting guests for only 65 percent of its anticipated user days from June 16 through mid-September, most remaining departures were sold out.

So, who were Western River Expeditions’ guests in 2020?

“Our normal guest count includes over 10 percent non-domestic,” reports Trent Keller, Western River Expeditions’ Manager of Grand Canyon operations. Some of these international travelers deferred their reservations to 2021. Filling in the gaps were guests from North America who may have been on wait lists.

Domestic travelers also account for the bulk of 2021 reservations thus far. As of Fall 2020, Grand Canyon river rafting reservations for 2021 are almost sold out, with some limited availability for three and four-day vacations. Reservations for 2022 Grand Canyon raft trips are set go on sale Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020, at 6 p.m. Mountain Time. As reservations are expected to fill quickly, the public is advised not to delay firming up 2022 plans now.

“Looking back at 2020, this was a phenomenally important year for our guests in that what we provided allows opportunities for them to escape from the world that has become uncertain and distressing,” says Keller. “The experience this year is one of an extraordinary expression of appreciation from our guests at being able to reconnect with families, with friends in a venue that seems to make sense. It’s been all about fresh air and sunlight.”

Throughout the foreshortened season, Western River Expeditions experienced zero positive COVID-19 tests among its 2,529 guests and staff. Keller attributes this to the company’s swift response in creating comprehensive protective protocols that were carried out throughout the season.

“Between Western River Expeditions and our clients at the Moab Adventure Center that offers day trips on the Colorado River, our protocols seem to have worked remarkably well, with recreational opportunities offered to over 26,000 guests,” Keller adds.

“What we’re finding is that our protocols are extremely effective. Visitors have come with an aware and respectful mindset toward others that has paid off in that the experiences we all so much need of leaving the world behind have made sense.” Keller says that for 2021 the company intends to follow the same practices based on evolving CDC guidance and common sense.

“We applied a conservative approach to the protocols affecting guest welfare and safety. Most of the actions we took were very minimal and grew out of our normal hygiene and safety protocols already in place for food-borne and communicable illnesses. As the pandemic evolves and understanding of it evolves, so will our protocols,” he adds.

For questions, availability and reservations call toll-free: 866.904.1160 (Local: 801.942.6669) or visit the website at: http://www.westernriver.com/.

About Western River Expeditions

Western River Expeditions is an adventure travel company headquartered in Salt Lake City, with operations and offices in Moab, Utah and Fredonia, Arizona. Annually from March through October it escorts more people down rivers on professionally guided rafting trips in Utah, Idaho and Arizona than any other company. It is the largest licensed outfitter in the Grand Canyon and the largest single tour provider in Moab, UT, through its division Moab Adventure Center (http://www.moabadventurecenter.com/).

Western River Expeditions, providing Grand Canyon rafting, Utah and Idaho rafting, and international multi-sport trips, was founded in 1961 by Colorado River rafting pioneer Jack Currey. It has been named one of the “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth” by the editors of National Geographic Adventure magazine. The company is the proud recipient of the "Best of State" award through Utah’s Premier Recognition and Awards Program for the past sixteen consecutive years (2004-2019).

# # #

Media Contact:

For inquiries, interviews and photos please contact Widness & Wiggins PR:

Sara Widness: 802.234.6704 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Dave Wiggins: 720.301.3822 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Follow Western River Expeditions:

On Facebook:           http://www.facebook.com/WesternRiverExpeditions

On Twitter:                https://twitter.com/WesternRiver

On You Tube:           http://www.youtube.com/user/bestraftingvacations?

On Pinterest:             http://pinterest.com/westernriver/

Late Summer/Fall Departure Dates Available on Western River Expeditions’ Coveted Grand Canyon Rafting Vacations

SALT LAKE CITY, UT, July 27, 2020 – Art can be prescient. For example, did the musical group Styx know how spot-on their 1979 lyrics would be?

Take me down to my boat on the river

And I won’t cry out anymore

This is precisely what Western River Expeditions advocates as a panacea for the pandemic blues (song yet to be released).

Think: Your pipe dream is to raft the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. For the first time in years you’re free to travel in late summer or fall. This may apply to families who have just learned their children will be remote learning instead of returning to their brick-and-mortar classrooms.

Think: Western River Expeditions’ norm is advance-bookings-only for a year or so out on Grand Canyon trips. But cancellations from overseas clients are offering opportunities for river rafting trips still this season.

Here is a list of departure dates with openings:

Grand Canyon 6 Day: Aug. 4, 5, 12, 29, 30

Grand Canyon 7 Day: Sept. 2, 8, 9, 11

Grand Canyon 3 Day: Aug. 10, 16, 17, 23 and Sept. 6, 15

Grand Canyon 4 Day: Aug.1, 9, 10, 15, 16, 24 and Sept.3, 6, 7, 14

Moab, Utah - Cataract Canyon 4 Day: Aug. 4, 11, 18, 25

Moab, Utah - Desolation Canyon 5 Day: Aug. 5, 9

Moab, Utah - Southwest Sampler Package 4 Day:  Aug. 4, 11, 18, 25 

Western River Expeditions for nearly 60 years has operated five-star quality river rafting vacations. This year they are also applying their decades of professionalism to the challenges of assuaging concerns about traveling in the time of the pandemic. Strictly adhered to protocols have, to date, allowed thousands engage in river rafting vacations that have left pandemic cares behind. 

For more details on Western River Expeditions’ protocols please see https://www.westernriver.com/downloads/COVID-19-operations-plan.pdf

For a copy of Western River Expeditions’ 2020/2021 catalog, questions, availability and reservations call toll-free: 866.904.1160 (Local: 801.942.6669) or visit the website at: http://www.westernriver.com/.

About Western River Expeditions

Western River Expeditions is an adventure travel company headquartered in Salt Lake City, with operations and offices in Moab, Utah and Fredonia, Arizona. Annually from March through October it escorts more people down rivers on professionally guided rafting trips in Utah, Idaho and Arizona than any other company. It is the largest licensed outfitter in the Grand Canyon and the largest single tour provider in Moab, UT, through its division Moab Adventure Center (http://www.moabadventurecenter.com/).

Western River Expeditions, providing Grand Canyon rafting, Utah and Idaho rafting, and international multi-sport trips, was founded in 1961 by Colorado River rafting pioneer Jack Currey. It has been named one of the “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth” by the editors of National Geographic Adventure magazine and was recognized in 2019 as the Best Rafting Company in the World by the readers of USA Today 10Best. The company is the proud recipient of the "Best of State" award through Utah’s Premier Recognition and Awards Program for the past sixteen consecutive years (2004-2019).

# # #

Media Contact:

For inquiries, interviews and photos please contact Widness & Wiggins PR:

Sara Widness: 802.234.6704 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Dave Wiggins: 720.301.3822 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Follow Western River Expeditions:

On Facebook:     http://www.facebook.com/WesternRiverExpeditions

On Twitter:          https://twitter.com/WesternRiver

On You Tube:     http://www.youtube.com/user/bestraftingvacations?

On Pinterest:       http://pinterest.com/westernriver/

 

Rafting During COVID - What's Changed?

Dear Friends,

Running the river under COVID protocols … what’s changed?

Western River Expeditions (https://www.westernriver.com/is far enough into our 2020 river rafting season to make some observations about how our guests experience being in the canyons and running the rapids in the time of the pandemic.

After each trip, we have a detailed debriefing with our guides who report that the protocols we have in place are very well received. More than ever people are vocally grateful that they’re able to be out on the river, that we’re operating and that they’re getting some relief from the stresses of what life is like back home. There’s something about just being outside and forgetting about the world for a while that is healing.

Social distancing is easily achieved during most stages of an outdoor adventure. Guests notice very little difference between the way we normally operate and what we are doing now. For the staff, it has been a good exercise to scrutinize how we do things and come up with improvements. The result is an overall improvement to our product.

Before beginning operations, every aspect of the operation was reviewed and a comprehensive COVID-19 mitigation plan was created. Copies of the plan were proactively sent to the government agencies that regulate our tours including the National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management and local health department. It was also shared with industry trade associations. The plan was well-received and, as the highest form of compliment, was used as a template or simply copied by many of these organizations.

Western’s management team spent a great deal of time researching and collaborating with many in the outdoor industry. Trent Keller, Vice President of Grand Canyon operations, states that “the goal is to help guests enjoy a trip with few barriers and the ability to live in the moment and enjoy the experience.”

Trent attributes our successful outcome to good research, common sense and a genuine concern for the safety of guests and staff. Following data sources and trend lines as well as getting up to speed on best steps and precautions were paramount. This meant outreach to transportation partners such as the aircraft and buses used to transport guests to and from the river. The foremost questions were: how to effectively sanitize surfaces and how to minimize airborne transmission, primarily during the transportation segments of these trips. 

Fortunately, Mother Nature does her part. Outdoors is the best place to be right now. Wind and heat do an amazing job of dispersing and killing the virus. Because trips also involve being inside vehicles and airplanes, surfaces are sanitized between uses, people are spaced out and everybody wears masks. A few weeks before arrival, guests receive a letter reminding them of the social responsibility that comes with communal group activities and asking that they review and then adhere to a check list designed to protect the common good throughout a shared experience.

The nature of outdoor adventures is that participants have a similar mindset. It is to share an amazing once-in-a-lifetime experience. Trent reminds me that “all of our repeat guests come with a high level of trust in our company.” Now our goal is to earn the trust of those who are new to us.

This leads to conversations about risk assumption, which is inherent in everything we do. Yes, some clients are rescheduling for next year. In fact, we have a large waiting list already for 2022. But the terms and conditions of traveling with us now are being overwhelmingly accepted. People appear to be comfortable taking on this heightened new awareness.

When we get down on the river and into the canyons, we find that people are comforted by this chance to return to their roots, to each other, and to relationships with those with whom they’ve chosen to travel. People find what they seek. They are more open to each other. Those inclined to deeper philosophical connections discover these connections are more available than before.

The challenges of this pandemic are having an interesting effect on us as an organization. Even though we’ve been working from home, frequent online meetings and going through this common experience together have made us better as an organization and more appreciative of each other.

This appreciation also applies to our guests. We’re more conscientious as to guest needs and more grateful than ever for our guests. Gratitude goes both ways. The majority of our guests are happy and kind. We’re all thinking, “OK, we’re going to get through this together.” As challenging as it is, it’s really been quite wonderful.

Healing Together,

Brian Merrill

CEO of Western River Expeditions and the Moab Adventure Center.

 

Note to Media

Questions? Interview Requests? Please contact Brian at:

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

or

Contact Widness & Wiggins PR:

Sara Widness: 802.234.6704 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Dave Wiggins: 720.301.3822 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.