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.

 

All Signs Point to Epic Year for Whitewater Rafting in the West

Lake February Snow Pack Reports 150% of Seasonal Average

SALT LAKE CITY, Mar 2, 2017 – The extraordinary creates epics. That’s what Western River Expeditions hopes to see this season when it comes to whitewater rafting.

Why?

Prospects are excellent for a robust whitewater runoff season for major rafting rivers in the West. A lineup that includes the Colorado River and Columbia River Basins. This is thanks to near-record snow pack in the mountains. As of late February, the snow pack measured 151 percent of the historic average. 

“If spring temperatures are normal or cooler than average, the mountains will preserve a lot of this massive snow pack moisture until normal run-off time in May through mid-June. If the spring is wet, then it will be an epic high water year. If it’s dry, I'm confident that it will at least be average and average is awesome!” said Brian Merrill, CEO of Western River Expeditions (http://www.westernriver.com/).

This news is music to the ears of avid rafters who love high water rafting thrills but who also appreciate a river’s speed that translates to more time for side canyon explorations and social activities in camp.

The snow pack news is also a call to action at Western River Expeditions that is gearing up with equipment and guide training for a high water year.

“As always, what happens between now and the first of May will make all the difference. However, if you look at all the years that were at 130 percent of normal or better at this point in the year, they all turned out to be good water years. There was only one other year, 1997, that showed a higher water content at this point, and it was an epic high water year,” Merrill added. That year the snowpack was at 175 percent of average. Peak runoff on 6/10/97 was 70,800 cfs (average is 49,753 cfs-cubic feet per second).

The data Merrill’s team works with for the Colorado River Basin impacts the company’s Cataract and Westwater canyons and Green River trips. Based on similar snow pack reports, predictions are also favorable for Idaho’s popular rafting rivers, the Salmon and the Snake.

The high water gives Western River Expeditions greater flexibility to match up rafting experience with the level of white water. And it can switch out the craft it uses depending on the water’s intensity. For the beginning of this season Merrill expects that the J Rig, the largest craft in their fleet (offering greater stability than smaller oar and paddle rafts), would be the vessel of choice for Cataract Canyon.

Just south of Moab, UT, where the Green and Colorado Rivers meet in a majestic setting called "The Confluence," Cataract Canyon begins. Bolstered by the Green River, the Colorado River doubles its force, and carves a deep 100-mile-long chasm through the heart of Canyonlands National Park. Here guests experience the thrill of class III-V whitewater.

Cataract Canyon 4-day trip mixes running the rapids with off-river hikes to ancient Native American ruins and pictographs. Guests conclude this adventure with a stunning flight over Canyonlands National Park on the return to Moab. The trip covers 100 river miles with the pleasures of camping under the stars and dining on chef-prepared meals adding extra splashes for the memory bank. The 2017 per person rate is Adult (16+) $1475 / Youth (10-15) $1095. The minimum age is 12 during high water (May and June) dropping to 10 (July and August).

Other rafting trips on the Colorado and neighboring Green Rivers in Utah are also expected to have higher than average water levels this spring and summer. They include Desolation Canyon on the Green River and Westwater Canyon on the Colorado River just upriver from Cataract Canyon. Trips on Idaho rivers include

Western River Expeditions’ flagship river trip is the Grand Canyon.  Because the flow is controlled by the Glen Canyon Dam, spring and summer fluctuations based on snow pack upriver aren’t usually a factor. This means that rafters experience steadier, predictable water levels all season-long. While the 2017 season is nearly sold out, the company is now accepting reservations for 2018 on its Grand Canyon trips. These are

For a copy of Western River Expeditions’ 2017 catalog, questions, availability and reservations call toll-free: 866.904.1160 (Local: 801.942.6669), or visit the newly 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 twelve consecutive years.

# # #

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 Offers Seven Reasons Why Gift of Family Rafting Trip Promises to be Gift That Keeps on Giving

SALT LAKE CITY, Dec. 14, 2016 – Here’s a holiday gift that just keeps on streaming. First comes the planning and anticipation; second comes the enjoyment of an outdoor experience that most always exceeds expectations; and third come the memories and reminiscing that can last a lifetime.

The gift? A family rafting trip.

Veteran outfitter Western River Expeditions (http://www.westernriver.com/) shares seven reasons why a rafting vacation is ideal as a one-size-fits-all gift this year.

1.  A family consisting of assorted ages can all enjoy a rafting adventure on the Green River in Desolation Canyon in Utah or on the Lower Salmon River in Idaho, both featuring the most playful of rapids, boasting huge, sandy beaches for sunning and playing once the splashing is over for the day.

2.  Shared group challenges and memories come with the fun because everyone is involved in the on-and off-water action together.

3.  This is the best example of a gift just keeps on giving. The fun begins when the gift of a trip is announced; as the adventure looms, the anticipation mounts. When everyone is sharing moments on the river, the memories are growing minute by minute to be recounted at family get-togethers well into the future.

4.  This gift gives of yourself as you share meaningful time with loved ones. And it’s a gift to one’s self as well.

5.  This trip wraps up nicely in an envelope with a colorful catalog and pre-trip information. And ideas for themed giving follow suit: rain gear, dufflebags, fleece pullovers and tees with logo imprints (all available for purchase through the outfitter’s online store.

6.  The gift of a rafting trip addresses bucket lists – yours included -- and Holiday gift lists at the same time.

7.  Holiday lights pale against star-lit nights along the river, stars that provide food for thought when it comes to the meaning of rivers and rapids and water and family and well, the universe.

For the ultimate gift of a river trip the outfitter recommends considering an adventure through the Grand Canyon. Western River Expeditions is the largest licensed outfitter operating in the Grand Canyon, introducing more people to its wonders than any other rafting company. However, space books up a year in advance for this highly coveted trip. The good news is that the 2018 season has just opened up for bookings and if the family can wait, they will have more than a year to look forward to North America’s premier river rafting vacation.  See: http://www.westernriver.com/grand-canyon-vacation

For a copy of Western River Expeditions’ 2017 catalog, questions, availability and reservations call toll-free: 866.904.1160 (Local: 801.942.6669), or visit the newly 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 twelve consecutive years.

# # #

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/

Clients Enjoy Flexibility and Customization On Western River Expeditions’ New 9-Day Multi-Sport Costa Rica Adventure

SALT LAKE CITY, Nov. 10, 2016 –One company understands how important it is for their clients to be able to customize a suggested itinerary.

That’s why veteran outfitter Western River Expeditions invites guests to tweak the company’s recently launched 9-day multi-sport Costa Rica adventure to create their own personalized experience. http://www.westernriver.com/costa-rica-vacation-package. This trip is offered year-round with ultimate flexibility in scheduling for a minimum of two participants who choose their own date of trip departure based on availability. The per person (double) rate is from $3,295 (minimum age 12).

For starters, guests may decide to shorten or lengthen their core trip with final price adjusted accordingly. They can add activities and regions of specific interest to them or skip some parts of the suggested itinerary. For example, if they’re escaping a stateside winter, they may want to add beach time or sport fishing and surf lessons while on the Pacific Coast in Manuel Antonio National Park that like most of Costa Rica enjoys a warm and dry climate in the winter months. Or while rafting the Pacuare River they may want to visit to the Cabecar Indian village enroute for an immersion into native culture. Other add-on options might include biking and hiking around Arenal Volcano or a trip to Tortuguero National Park on the Caribbean coast to get up close and personal with Green, leatherback, and Hawksbill sea turtles that nest on the beaches here.

Western River Expeditions (http://www.westernriver.com/) for over 50 years has helped people overcome fears when it comes to rafting on rivers. It introduced its Costa Rica program earlier in 2016 to deliver the most highly curated experience possible and at the same time to help alleviate the stress and anxiety of planning foreign travel.

Why Costa Rica?

“Costa Rica is a natural, with the added excitement of volcanoes, hot springs and beaches,” said Brandon Lake, CMO of Western River Expeditions. “This customizable itinerary is perfect for first-time visitors or anyone new to foreign travel. We offer as much ‘hand holding’ as needed at the front end of the trip while adopting a more on-your-own approach as participants become more comfortable with their surroundings.”

Western’s nine-day/eight-night Costa Rica Vacation Package includes conquering the rapids of the legendary Pacuare River, rated one of the most beautiful in the world. This river slices from Costa Rica’s interior to the Caribbean, enroute creating some of Costa Rica’s most exciting rapids flanked by pristine rainforest. Guests stay for two nights at Pacuare Lodge, rated one of the top jungle eco lodges anywhere. An off-river day explores waterfalls and a zip line adventure above a tropical rainforest canopy. The rafting continues downriver to the takeout where a minibus awaits for the trip to Arenal Volcano and a buffet dinner on the open air terrace at Tabacón Grand Spa Thermal Resort.

Between time spent splashing in thermally heated pools at the base of the towering volcano, Arenal participants enjoy a rainforest adventure focused on monkeys, iguanas, sloths and birds from the perspective of 15 hanging suspension bridges over which guests experience the forest from the ground (like a Jaguar), from the middle (like a Monkey) and from the treetops (like an Eagle). Later comes a scenic drive that ends at Manuel Antonio, a village on the Pacific Ocean.

Spread over a forested ridge overlooking the Pacific with unforgettable coastal views, the area’s postcard-perfect beaches include Playa Manuel Antonio, a crescent of ivory sand between the rainforest and calm waters, perfect for swimming and snorkeling. Nearby Playa Espadilla is a long beach lined with coconut palms and Indian almond trees. While here guests enjoy a 2.5-hour nature walk and sunning on the beach in Manuel Antonio National Park, named one of the world's most beautiful national parks by Forbes.

The rate includes eight nights and breakfasts at four stellar properties; three lunches and three dinners; transfers to and from San Jose airport, hotels and activity sites; rafting; zip lining; soaking in the thermal waterfalls and pools of Tabacón; guided walks and a tour of Manuel Antonio National Park to see sloths and numerous species of monkeys.

For a copy of Western River Expeditions’ 2017 catalog, questions, availability and reservations call toll-free: 866.904.1160 (Local: 801.942.6669), or visit the newly 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 twelve consecutive years.

# # #

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 Prepared for 30-Foot Standing Waves While Rafting Cataract Canyon in Early Summer

SALT LAKE CITY, UT, June 13, 2016– Move over, roller coaster. You’ve got competition in the thrills category this spring on Utah’s Cataract Canyon where river rafters stand a chance of taking on massive wave trains of 30 feet or higher.

This phenomenon is thanks to a snowpack feeding into the Upper Colorado River Basin that was at press time, 143% of the June 13 average. See: http://snowpack.water-data.com/uppercolorado/index.php

Brian Merrill, CEO of Western River Expeditions (http://www.westernriver.com/) says these high-density kicks can be expected on parts of the river through June. Then as the snow-pack melt dissipates, things quiet down – somewhat.

Well used to the ebbs and flows of the iconic Colorado River, Merrill notes that a few years ago his team geared up for slower, lower water. This year the story is the exact opposite, with these weeks ahead in 2016 perhaps the “it” weeks of this decade for serious rafting thrills.

The good news is that Western River Expeditions can match up rafting experience with the level of white water. And it can switch out the craft it uses depending on the water’s intensity. For the beginning of this season Merrill expected that the J Rig, the largest craft in their arsenal (offering greater stability than smaller oar and paddle rafts), would be the vessel of choice for Cataract Canyon.

Just south of Moab, UT, where the Green and Colorado Rivers meet in a majestic setting called "The Confluence," Cataract Canyon begins. Bolstered by the Green River, the Colorado River doubles its force, and carves a deep 100-mile-long chasm through the heart of Canyonlands National Park. Here guests experience the thrill of class III-V whitewater.

Cataract Canyon 4-day trip mixes the rapids up with off-river hikes to ancient Native American ruins and fascinating pictographs. Guests conclude this adventure with a stunning flight over Canyonlands National Park on the return to Moab. The trip covers 100 river miles with the pleasures of camping under the stars and dining on chef-prepared meals adding extra splashes for the memory bank. The per person rate is Adult (16+) $1425 / Youth (10-15) $1065. The minimum age is 12 during high water (May & June) dropping to 10 (July & August).

Other rafting trips on the Colorado and neighboring Green Rivers in Utah are also expected to have average to above average water levels this spring and summer. They include Desolation Canyon on the Green River and Westwater Canyon on the Colorado River just upriver from Cataract Canyon.

Western River Expeditions

Western River Expeditions (http://www.westernriver.com/) 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 rafting, and Idaho rafting trips, was founded in 1961 by Colorado River rafting pioneer Jack Currey. Today it pursues a “guiding green” philosophy and belongs to some of the top environmentally conscious organizations in the world: Grand Canyon River Outfitters Association, American Rivers, Leave No Trace Outdoor Ethics, Utah Rivers Council, America Outdoors, and National River Cleanup Week. See: http://www.westernriver.com/environmental-sustainability

In 2009, Western River Expeditions was named one of the “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth” by the editors of National Geographic Adventure magazine. The company was recently honored as the recipient of "Best of State" through Utah’s Premier Recognition and Awards Program. This is the twelfth consecutive year Western River Expeditions has earned this distinction.  For Reservations call: Toll-Free: 866.904.1160 or 801.942.6669.

# # #

Media Contact:

For media 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/

Veteran Outfitter Western River Expeditions Takes Guest Work Out of International Travel With New Multi-Sport Costa Rica Adventure

SALT LAKE CITY, May 4, 2016 –Tempted by the idea of traveling to another country but hesitant to set foot off of US soil?

One company for over 50 years has helped people overcome fears when it comes to rafting on rivers. Now Western River Expeditions (http://www.westernriver.com/) introduces a trip to Costa Rica designed to alleviate the stress and anxiety of planning foreign travel while delivering the most complete curated experience possible.

Why Costa Rica?

“We’re used to helping our guests feel comfortable on rivers and in the mountains of North America,” said Brandon Lake, CMO of Western River Expeditions. “Costa Rica is a natural, with the added excitement of volcanoes, hot springs and beaches.” He also pointed out that this trip has been in the works for several years. “We wanted to first build the in-country partnerships needed to offer a truly exclusive insider’s experience.

Western’s nine-day/eight-night Costa Rica Vacation Package includes finessing class III-IV rapids by paddle raft on the legendary Pacuare River, with two nights of candlelight dinners and sumptuous accommodation at Pacuare Lodge, one of the world’s top jungle eco lodges. Guests here enjoy a day off-river to explore waterfalls and accompanied by a resident naturalist guide, zip line above a tropical rainforest canopy. The rafting continues downriver to the takeout where a minibus awaits for the trip to Arenal Volcano and a buffet dinner on the open air Terrace at Tabacón Grand Spa Thermal Resort.

Between time spent splashing in thermally heated pools at the base of the towering volcano, Arenal participants enjoy a rainforest adventure focused on monkeys, iguanas, sloths and birds from the perspective of 15 hanging suspension bridges. Later, a scenic drive descending curvy mountain roads delivers the group to Manuel Antonio. Spread over a forested ridge overlooking the Pacific with unforgettable coastal views, the area’s postcard-perfect beaches include Playa Manuel Antonio, a crescent of ivory sand between the rainforest and calm waters, perfect for swimming and snorkeling. The adventure concludes with a 2.5-hour nature walk and sunning on the beach in Manuel Antonio National Park, named one of the world's most beautiful national parks by Forbes. Here guests enjoy villa accommodations before returning to San Jose’s Juan Santamaría International Airport.

This trip is offered year-round with ultimate flexibility in scheduling. The per person (double) rate is from $3,295 (minimum age 12). All that’s needed is a minimum of two participants who can then choose their own date of trip departure based on availability. Bookings are now being taken for the 2016 and 2017 seasons.

This is Western River Expeditions’ first foray into international territory in some years.

“This is the perfect trip for first time visitors to Costa Rica – or anyone new to foreign travel. We offer as much ‘hand holding’ as needed at the front end of the trip while adopting a more on-your-own approach as participants become more comfortable with their surroundings,” said Lake.

This is an all-inclusive program including guides, lodging and airport transfers (excluding some meals and optional activities) that showcases the diversity of Costa Rica and its people. For more details please see http://www.westernriver.com/costa-rica-vacation-package

For a copy of Western River Expeditions’ 2016 catalog, questions, availability and reservations call toll-free: 866.904.1160 (Local: 801.942.6669), or visit the newly 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 twelve consecutive years.

# # #

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: 303.554.8821 / 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 Launches New, Enhanced Website Featuring 360-Degree Photography and Virtual Reality Video

SALT LAKE CITY, April 1, 2016 –Compelling visitors to stick around and be awed by the content then be inspired to act is the raison d’etre of any travel website.

That’s why veteran whitewater rafting outfitter Western River Expeditions (http://www.westernriver.com/) recently engaged the expertise of Resmark Interactive, to create a new, mobile and tablet-integrated website with 360 degree imagery and VR video capabilities that went live this week.

“Our goal with Western River Expeditions was to provide a rich environment for visitors to plan their next adventure,” says Chad Allen, Co-Founder of Resmark Interactive. For a before and after see: http://www.resmarkinteractive.com/western-river

“The result is the most advanced, ground-breaking website for adventure travel and rafting to date,” adds Brandon Lake, Western River Expeditions’ CMO. He says the site is both user and mobile friendly, fresh and non-cluttered with a graphically pleasing design and “very intuitive navigation”. It features galleries of interactive 360 videos and photography and includes detailed maps, offers in-depth trip preparation advice and guest testimonials. When a visitor to the site has questions, a Western River Expeditions sales consultant is available on an easy link Live Chat.

WRE’s new site will soon be adding mile-by-mile river highlights of the Colorado and Green Rivers, both favorite river rafting destinations for this this company that escorts more people down rivers on professionally guided rafting trips in Utah, Idaho and Arizona’s Grand Canyon than any other outfitter.

By making the new website fully mobile and smartphone compatible visitors will be able to fully utilize the 360 degree virtual reality video capabilities.  Users will need to attach their device to a VR viewer such as Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR or an inexpensive Cardboard VR headset for viewing.  Cardboard headsets are as inexpensive as $5 on Amazon and fairly easy to assemble. Examples of Western’s 360 videos can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLIpdP8IBIjfLb4y9qFhwQ02jJMzYtw8PW

In addition to 360 virtual reality, the site delivers a host of I-want-to-be-here-now photos in an expanded photo gallery. Site visitors can dip in and out of over 3,000 stories and client reviews/testimonials about what it’s like to be on a river, rafting, and sleeping under the stars.

“Since our inception in 1961, Western River Expeditions has taken immense pride in taking clients down rivers safely while providing an exceptional level of customer service. When the time came to revamp our website, we wanted to tell our unique story while continuing to be a leader in the industry by creating a one-of-a-kind online experience that works and displays brilliantly on all devices,”  notes Lake.

Add to that the fact that, Resmark Interactive was able to help Western River Expeditions achieve a blazing-fast page speed score of 85 (which is quite commendable for an image-rich travel website), and the user experience has been greatly enhanced as well.

Trips on this site are arranged by destination, with duration and price front and center. Along with the launch of the new website the company is introducing its very first foray abroad. New for the 2016 season are river and beach adventures in Costa Rica.

Costa Rica 9 Day Adventure Package is from $3,295 per person double for trips that begin and end in San Jose. The season runs from December through April 2017. Guests (minimum age 12) in paddle boats traverse 16 miles through 38 class III-IV rapids on the Pacuare River bound for a luxurious eco-lodge for candlelit dinners, a canopy adventure and hikes to stunning waterfalls before rafting downriver to the next destination, the base of the towering volcano, Arenal. Here thermally heated waterfalls and pools and a rainforest immersion on 15 suspension bridges surrounded by monkeys, iguanas, sloths and birds, whet appetites for the to-come Manuel Antonio National Park, named one of the world’s most beautiful national parks by Forbes. Here guests can frolic in the sand and surf. See: http://westernriver.com/costa-rica-vacation-package.

For a copy of Western River Expeditions’ 2016 catalog, questions, availability and reservations call toll-free: 866.904.1160 (Local: 801.942.6669), or visit the 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 rafting, and Idaho rafting 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 nine consecutive years.

# # #

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: 303.554.8821 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Website and portfolio of past releases: http://www.travelnewssource.com/

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/

Veteran Outfitter Western River Expeditions Suggests Following the Colorado River To Access Three National Parks This Centennial Year

SALT LAKE CITY, Feb. 18, 2016 –Veteran outfitter Western River Expeditions (http://www.westernriver.com/) has in its 50-plus years of operating whitewater expeditions introduced thousands to rafting on the Colorado River and enroute to three of the nation’s most coveted national parks: Arches (UT), Canyonlands (UT) and Grand Canyon (AZ).

2016 marks the Centennial Anniversary of the National Park System and expectations are for a record year for visitation as throngs participate in a national park activity, www.findyourpark.com.  Western River Expeditions and its sister company, Moab Adventure Center in Moab, UT, offer a variety of programs centered on the mighty Colorado, the fifth longest river in North America, and along park trails and back roads.

From its source in a wooded meadow just north of Grand Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park to the Gulf of California in Baja, Mexico, the Colorado River begins as a stream and gains prominence as it flows through the Colorado Rockies and enters Utah, flowing a total of 1,450 miles touching the southern border of Arches National Park and coursing through the heart of both Canyonlands and Grand Canyon National Parks.

Following are programs accessing this river and the national parks it touches. The company advises, however, that because of high demand (especially in the Grand Canyon), people should plan and book as early as possible or accept the fact that they may not be able to secure a space until the 2017 season.

Off-river in Arches National Park visitors may sign up for Moab’s must-do hike in the maze-like Fiery Furnace, accessible only when accompanied by an experienced guide. Moab Adventure Center naturalist guides lead two-hour hikes in this trackless area, pointing out hidden attractions such as Surprise and Twin Arches as guests marvel at contorted orange-tan fins, towers, spires and arches. A moderately strenuous hike. http://www.moabadventurecenter.com/trips/national-park/archeshike.php.

An Arches guided and narrated Sunset Bus Tour presents the famous Balanced Rock, Courthouse Towers, La Sal Mountains, Petrified Dunes, and Panorama Point plus short guided walks to the North and South Window Arches, Turret Arch, as well as the legendary Delicate Arch Overlook. The views only get better as the setting sun paints the surrounding sandstone monoliths and La Sal Mountains spectacular shades of color. http://www.moabadventurecenter.com/trips/national-park/arches-bus-tour.php

Canyonlands National Park is vast and remote, but two rafting and flightseeing programs provide effortless access. Cataract Canyon Classic – 4 Day Whitewater Rafting Trip begins 30 minutes south of Moab for a Colorado River voyage that winds deep through canyons and past Dead Horse Point State Park where, beyond the confluence of the Colorado and Green rivers, guests experience nature in its most rugged and pristine form, revealing dwellings and carvings from ancient civilizations and coming head to head with world-famous class III-V whitewater. The way out is by air.  http://www.moabadventurecenter.com/trips/rafting/moab-rafting-cataract-canyon-classic/

For time-challenged travelers Cataract Canyon 2 Day Express carries guests on a customized motorized raft. This journey through the series of nearly 30 whitewater rapids that make Cataract Canyon legendary ends on the still waters of Lake Powell. http://www.moabadventurecenter.com/trips/rafting/moab-rafting-cataract-canyon-express/

New this year is a 70-minute flight-seeing adventure out of Moab. Arches and Canyonlands National Parks Flightseeing Tour reveals the best of Canyonlands National Park including Upheaval Dome, Green River Goose Neck, the White Rim, The Maze, the Confluence of the Colorado and Green Rivers. In Arches National Park guests view Devil’s Garden, Landscape Arch, Klondike Bluffs and iconic Fisher Towers. http://www.moabadventurecenter.com/trips/flights/arches-national-park-scenic-flight.php

Grand Canyon National Park was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979. Rated among the top 10 rafting expeditions in the world, Western’s Grand Canyon Rafting – 6 and 7 Days traverses 187 miles in a week’s time, digging deeper daily into geologic time, with side canyon hikes revealing ancient Anasazi ruins and tumbling waterfalls. Scenery here, already astounding, is enhanced by the thrill of over 60 major rapids. Western’s unique motorized J-Rig rafts, designed for maximum excitement and safety, tackle the biggest with ease. http://www.westernriver.com/trips/grand6day/

A shorter option perfect for beginners is Grand Canyon 3 Day that covers the lower 100 miles of the canyon to its end at Lake Mead. Guests have easy access from Las Vegas. http://www.westernriver.com/trips/grand3day/

For a copy of Western River Expeditions’ 2016 catalog, questions, availability and reservations call toll-free: 866.904.1160 (Local: 801.942.6669), or visit: 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 rafting, and Idaho rafting 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 nine consecutive years.

# # #

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: 303.554.8821 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Website and portfolio of past releases: http://www.travelnewssource.com/

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/

Veteran Outfitter Western River Expeditions Shares Colorado and Green River Factoids Plus One to Multiple-Day Ways to Explore Waterways

SALT LAKE CITY, Jan. 5, 2015 – Veteran outfitter Western River Expeditions (http://www.westernriver.com/) has in its 50-plus years of operating whitewater expeditions racked up more guest user days on two iconic rivers in the West than any other business or individual out there.

Their seasoned guides are keepers of fact and lore about the Colorado and Green rivers where seasonally they secure adventure vacations by raft for thousands of thrill-seeking guests annually. Here are some of the more interesting tidbits….

Colorado River Facts

  • Famous for whitewater rapids and world-class landscapes, the Colorado is the 46th longest river in the world running 1,450 miles from a meadow just north of Grand Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park to Baja Mexico’s Gulf of California.
  • The upper section of the Colorado River was once "Grand River." In 1921 Congress renamed the entire length "Colorado River."
  • Along its course the Colorado River drops 10,184 feet.
  • Annually the river carries away an estimated 45 million tons of sediment. Think 4 million commercial dump trucks doing this work.
  • Two canyons through which the Colorado flows, Cataract Canyon and Grand Canyon, are home to the some of the largest whitewater rapids in North America; with some forceful enough to stand a 37-foot raft on end.
  • No other river touches more (five) National Parks and combined (six) National Monuments, Conservation & Recreation Areas and State Parks.

Rafting vacations range from half-day to week-long options on the Colorado River. National Geographic calls a Westwater Canyon trip on the Colorado-Utah border “The West’s Best Short Whitewater Trip. This day program for ages 12 and up is priced at $180 per person on a choice of spirited oar-powered or paddle boats. Guides expertly row through exciting waves and swirling pools dwarfed by stunningly beautiful and unique black, gold and red canyon walls of Westwater Canyon in southern Utah. Available April-October. http://www.westernriver.com/trips/westwater1day/

Another short adventure is on a choice of paddle rafts or inflatable kayaks on the Upper Colorado out of Moab. Ages 5 and up can participate, with prices at $89 per adult and $69 per child. Available March-October. http://www.moabadventurecenter.com/trips/rafting/full.php

A three-hour jet boat option explores the calm water sections down river from Moab. Guests witness remote canyons of exquisite beauty, a petrified forest, fossil beds, spectacular rock cliffs, Indian ruins, arches, petroglyphs, Thelma and Louise Point and Dead Horse Point. Ages 4 and up are welcomed. Prices are $89 adults and $79 youth. Available March-October. http://www.moabadventurecenter.com/trips/jetboat/jetboat.php

A four-day program offers Class III-V rapids in Cataract Canyon in Canyonlands National Park, south of Moab. Included is a majestic setting called “The Confluence” where the Colorado and Green Rives meet. At trip’s end, a flight over Canyonlands National Park returns guests to Moab. Prices are $1,425 adults; $1065 youth. Available May-August. http://www.westernriver.com/trips/cataract/

Over six or seven days guests can raft 187 miles through Grand Canyon National Park on motorized J-Rig rafts. This canyon ride, spliced with daily hikes through Anasazi territory, showcases dark and narrow passages followed by thundering waterfalls in luminous free fall. Rates vary by season but begin at $2,699. Available April-September. http://www.westernriver.com/trips/grand6day/

Green River Facts

  • Seventeen rivers are named “Green” but only one features a Desolation Canyon.
  • Utah’s Green River is the birthplace of the modern day rafting vacation.
  • Desolation Canyon through which it courses was one of several escape routes for Butch Cassidy’s “Hole-in-the-Wall Gang.” This canyon, over 5,000 feet deep, is deeper than the Grand Canyon at Bright Angel Trail.
  • The river runs for 730 miles and is the Colorado River’s major tributary.
  • In 1869 John Wesley Powell explored the Green River from Wyoming to the confluence of the Green and Colorado rivers in 53 days.
  • While the Green River is Utah's major waterway, it births from the slopes of the Wind River Mountains in Wyoming and while enroute, loops 40 miles through northwestern Colorado.

Green River rafting adventures include four days in Lodore Canyon, a sanctuary for bighorn sheep, deer and birds of prey. Guests explore Dinosaur National Monument along with the whitewater. Rates are from $935. Available May-September. http://www.bikeraft.com/colorado-river-rafting/lodore-canyon/

A five-day adventure in Desolation Canyon begins with a scenic flight from Moab, UT. This rafting trip utilizes two-person inflatable kayaks and guided oar boats to explore 60 fun-filled rapids, outlaw hideouts, dinosaur habitats and Fremont Native American petroglyphs. The rate is from $1,555 adult; $995 minimum age 5. Available May-August. http://www.westernriver.com/trips/green/

For a copy of Western River Expeditions’ 2015-2016 catalog, questions, availability and reservations call toll-free: 866.904.1160 (Local: 801.942.6669), or visit: 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 rafting, and Idaho rafting 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 nine consecutive years.

# # #

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: 303.554.8821 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Website and portfolio of past releases: http://www.travelnewssource.com/

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/

Veteran Rafting Outfitter Western River Expeditions Says Don’t Let Fear Interfere with Lifetime Adventure on a River

SALT LAKE CITY, Oct. 21, 2015– With another successful season now in the books, Western River Expeditions (http://www.westernriver.com/) has turned its attention to 2016 and the on-going challenge of attracting first timers to the sport of river rafting. What they have discovered over their 50+ years of outfitting is that simple fear of the unknown often hinders enjoyment of one of the best experiences in life – like river rafting. Over decades of dealing with client concerns and misconceptions, the nation’s leading river company has compiled common questions while offering suggestions to assuage doubts and fears.

Here are some of the top questions asked by first-time river rafters:

If camping is part of a rafting vacation, how rough will it be? It’s really deluxe catered camping on the river. For example, on a Grand Canyon rafting adventure guests sleep on comfortable cots in freshly laundered sleeping bags and sheets in roomy tents. A portable toilet and hand wash system are set up each day in camp in a secluded location that assures privacy.

Going through the whitewater rapids will I fall out of the boat? Whitewater can range from a ripple to a huge splash. The 5 Day Green River – Desolation Canyon trip in Utah is more about playful rapids, petroglyphs and outlaw hideouts than challenges. Here guests (wearing certified PFD, i.e. lifejacket) can paddle a two-person inflatable kayak or relax in an oar boat while Western’s guides take guests down river. Class I to III fun-filled rapids make this Green River rafting trip the ideal getaway for a first time river adventure. The minimum age is just five.

Where and how do I take care of nature’s business? As stated earlier, camp bathrooms are open air, sanitary, private and scenic. However, one adventure in Oregon, 3 or 4 Day Rogue River Lodge to Lodge, delivers a perfect blend of wildlife and wilderness with the cozy charm of cabin comforts like private rooms and bathrooms. The minimum age is five. No camping required.

I’m not a really great swimmer. How do I deal with that? You are in good company as many rafters aren’t great swimmers. The life jacket and ample hand and foot holds provide security and support on the water; however it is important that you’re at least able to propel yourself through the water with your arms and legs while wearing a life jacket. Another option is to do a package that offers mild rafting as just one of the experiences. Western River’s sister company Moab Adventure Center offers the Southwest Sampler – Colorado River, Utah, a multi-sport vacation package for guests to raft (2 day trip on very easy stretch of the Colorado River), hike and tour Arches National Park with a sunset Hummer 4x4 adventure to boot.

Am I fit enough for a raft vacation? What’s too young? What’s too old? The wilderness around may be rugged, but that doesn’t mean guests have to be. A trip popular for ages six to 86 is the 5 Day Main Salmon River, Idaho. More moderate whitewater on this stretch of a mile-deep canyon makes this river trip a perfect introduction to rafting and camping without sacrificing any of the grandeur. Oar boats allow guests to just ride along letting the guide do the muscle work while enjoying the passing scenery.

Do I need to plan an entire week for a rafting get-away? Day trips can be ideal for a first-time river rafter. The Utah: Colorado Full Day comes with a riverside BBQ lunch at Red Cliffs Ranch and a choice of boats: a spot in a paddle raft or a two-person inflatable kayak.California: South Fork of the American River satisfies thrill-seekers and families alike. Up in Montana there’s the Flathead River which offers half, full and multi-day trips bordering Glacier National Park. In West Virginia, a half- or full-day trip on the New River can be either challenging or calm, depending on the stretch of river selected.

“The important thing is to not be bullied by your fear of rafting,” says Brandon Lake, CMO of Western River Expeditions. “Rafting can be a life-changing experience for many first-timers willing to set their anxieties aside.” The next important thing may be to book your trip now for the 2016 season. Lake reports limited space already in the Grand Canyon with other destinations looking very popular as well.

For a copy of Western River Expeditions’ 2016 catalog, questions, availability and reservations call toll-free: 866.904.1160 (Local: 801.942.6669), or visit: 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 rafting, and Idaho rafting 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 nine consecutive years.

# # #

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: 303.554.8821 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Website and portfolio of past releases:http://www.travelnewssource.com/

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/

Veteran Outfitter Western River Expeditions Names Top Favorite Whitewater Runs on Colorado River

Reservations Now Open for 2016 - a Year That May Experience Record Spring Runoff Due to Predicted Effects of an Unusually Strong El Niño

SALT LAKE CITY, Sept. 8, 2015 – Where’s the wild water on the mighty Colorado River?

The legendary Colorado River is just another float trip until it crashes into Westwater Canyon just over the Utah/Colorado border and upstream from Moab, UT, says whitewater rafting pioneer Western River Expeditions (http://www.westernriver.com/). After this introductory splash, named by National Geographic as “The West’s best short whitewater run,” the Colorado River gains momentum and a well-earned reputation for some real kick-in-the-butt, whitewater rapids that live deep down in the Canyonlands of Utah (Cataract Canyon) and farther down in the Grand Canyon of Arizona.

While every commercial boatman has his or her own favorite, the team at Western River Expeditions got together and agreed upon their top eight most beloved rapids along the course of the Colorado River. While there’s still time to enjoy a trip this season, reservations are already open for 2016, a year that may experience the best spring runoff on record thanks to the predicted effects of an unusually strong El Niño, adds Brandon Lake, CMO of Western River Expeditions.

8. House Rock Rapid, mile 17, Grand Canyon (rated 8/10 on the Grand Canyon’s 1-10 scale): House Rock is a fun left side run along a sheer canyon wall, with a great hole at the bottom. Rafters can grab as much or as little of the hole as they want. This rapid is a good indicator of what is to come in the way of hits further down river.

7. Skull Rapid, Westwater Canyon (rated Class IV+): Tight canyon walls and a big rock in the middle create a big hole and wave, both obstacles difficult to avoid. Rock of Shock is a canyon wall that splits the current immediately below the initial hole. Billow to the left and you’re done. Billow to right and you enter the “Room of Doom” carved out of the right side wall by the vortex created by the split current from the Rock of Shock.

6. Hance Rapid, mile 76.5, Grand Canyon (rated 10/10): Just before the Colorado River descends into the ‘inner gorge’ of the Grand Canyon, it is strained through a wide rock garden known as Hance Rapid. Smaller boats can sneak a line through the left side between medium sized pour-overs and car sized boulders. The typical run enters from the right then quickly darts toward the ‘Duck Pond’ in the center to avoid the main pull of current that cascades over a mess of house-sized boulders just right of center. Below the duck pond is a wedge run between two pour-overs. Anything outside of that pinball line in the center of the froth leads to holding on tight while possibly banging through sideways or even backwards. From a passenger’s perspective it’s a fun ride like most other rapids, but the guide really sweats it out in Hance!

5. Big Drop 3, Cataract Canyon (rated Class IV): After Big Drop 2 comes Big Drop 3. In high water, Big Drop 2 and 3 basically merge into just one enormous drop. Left of center in Big Drop 3 is a place to avoid called Satan’s Gut. Often the National Park Service will have in high water levels a rescue boat hanging around the Big Drops -- for good reason.

4. Big Drop 2, Cataract Canyon (rated Class IV): In the spring, with flows of over 50,000 cubic feet per second, it is perhaps the largest of the largest whitewater in North America -- even surpassing that of the Grand Canyon. When a high water year does happen once a decade or so, it is not an overstatement to say the waves in Big Drop 2 and 3 are nearly three stories high. In regular to low water flows the rapids of Cataract Canyon calm down but are exciting none-the-less with difficult rock mazes, punctuated with hard-hitting whitewater. When John Wesley Powell and his men first encountered these gnarly rapids back in late summer of 1869, they lacked the skill and equipment to joyfully navigate them. They lined their boats around all of them, and spoke only of the toil and labor. But today it’s more fun to run them! As rafters set up for Big Drop 2 the river drops out of view. Little Niagara appears on river right; this is a pour over to avoid without dodging too far to the left. The risk is being swallowed by Satan’s Gut where Big Drop 2 flows immediately into Big Drop 3.

3. Hermit Rapid, mile 95, Grand Canyon (rated 8/10): What Hermit Rapid lacks in appellation, it makes up for in pure ride. Roughly eight massive roller-coaster-like waves line up with a ‘sky-is-falling’ crescendo on the last one. Adventurers emerge (soaked) with an adrenaline surge they’ve likely never experienced before. Some smaller boats are compelled to avoid the largest of these rolling compression waves but a good oarsman or kayaker who can match the momentum of the wave may get a smaller craft through without getting flipped. Western’s J-Rig rafts were designed with large water rapids in mind, and the J-Rig really shines in Hermit. The way it flexes over the waves with its two-part frame system enhances the ride like no other raft.

2. Lava Falls Rapid, mile 179, Grand Canyon (rated 10/10): Lava Falls has a big reputation. Before Crystal came along this was the premier drama-maker. This rapid, sometimes called “Vulcan”, is what is left from dinosaur days of a 500-foot-high lava dam across the river. Today the 15-foot-high and 30-foot-wide ledge hole is enough to strip boats of all their inhabitants, gear, frames, straps and inflation. Although some YouTube fame-seekers have tried (and failed) to prove otherwise, there is no middle run through Lava Falls. It is a big run on the right side of the ledge hole through the boat-swallowing V-wave and then through unpredictably rolling seas that build and crash against the house-sized chunk of lava at the bottom right known as “Big Bertha.” There’s a lot of water, a lot of drop and a very dangerous ledge hole at the top. Knowing where to be and where not to be, and knowing where you are in relation to either of those is the key to any rapid. This one can be very deceiving from above. Whether upside-down or right-side up, don’t underestimate “Son of Lava” just downstream of the tail waves. The left-side run is a narrow Vulcan “trick” with some unpleasant consequences if you don’t get the line just right.

1. Crystal Rapid, mile 99, Grand Canyon (rated a 10/10): All Grand Canyon rafting trips are informally measured in two parts, above Crystal and below Crystal. Many “ABC Parties” (Alive Below Crystal) have been celebrated on any one of the beaches below this rapid. Rated a pure 10 (comparable to a class V+ in the international scale) it begins with a long glossy v-shaped tongue that pours directly into one of the biggest waves in the Grand Canyon.

In the catastrophic flood year of 1983 this hole was said to be roughly three stories high from trough to crest. Though considerably smaller today, it is still a factor. The sinewy lateral wave on river right is tough to break through, and many boats prefer to take their chances squaring up to the big wave anyway. Beyond that, much of the current careens for the Slate Creek wall that interrupts the current from the left side, throwing a lateral wave that pitches rafters either squarely into the “Maytag Hole” (so named because it likes to tumble small boats, non-stop, like a washing machine) or spitting them out directly atop Crystal’s acre-sized rock garden. The garden is marked by a large boulder named “Big Red” (a.k.a Shelob) that lies in wait like a giant red-bellied black widow spider for any neophytes unlucky enough to get trapped in her web.

For a copy of Western River Expeditions’ 2015-2016 catalog, questions, availability and reservations call toll-free: 866.904.1160 (Local: 801.942.6669), or visit: 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 rafting, and Idaho rafting 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 nine consecutive years.

# # #

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: 303.554.8821 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Website and portfolio of past releases: http://www.travelnewssource.com/

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