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.

 

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.

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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/

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 Non-Campers Lodge-Based Vacations Along with Whitewater Rafting Thrills

SALTLAKE CITY, July 27, 2015 – Whitewater rafting pioneer Western River Expeditions (http://www.westernriver.com/) combines some of the West’s wildest rivers with lodge accommodations – instead of camping – for those preferring to forego the stars overhead for a comfy bed and roof.

“We get that camping isn’t everyone’s cup of tea,” says Brandon Lake, Vice President and CMO of Western River Expeditions. “Some prefer to enjoy the pristine wildness of the river and canyons during the day then tuck into a real bed, instead of sleeping under the stars at night.”

Following are rivers in Oregon, Utah and Arizona where the comforts of home combine with the thrills of world-class whitewater:

Oregon’s Rogue River near Medford remains so remote that boats deliver the mail in some regions where the river is the only road. Wildlife sightings may include otter, deer and black bear. Whitewater on this legendary waterway is classified Class II-IV. Rogue River 3 & 4 Day rafting trips start at $955 per adult, double. Youth age 5-17 start at $795 for a three day trip. On Day 1 guests witness the gently flowing Rogue breaking from its slumber at a rapid called Grave Creek that marks the congressionally designated Wild & Scenic section for rafting the Rogue River. Guests walk around a Class V rapid named Ranie Falls. Regional crafted beers and wines are enjoyed late afternoons at the riverside lodges, followed by family-style dinners. The chatter is about the great swimming holes and of course the rapids and what’s next. The rate includes rafting, hiking, lodging and all meals from departure to the end of the trip.

Utah’s Westwater Canyon on the Colorado River is the location for Western’s active 4 Day Westwater Multisport Adventure.  Guests enjoy a variety of activities based from Red Cliffs Lodge, a secluded riverside hideaway 14 miles upstream from Moab, Utah. This adventure program combines an exploration of National Parks through Moab Adventure Center with a day of rafting Westwater Canyon on the Colorado River, a trip labeled “The West’s Best Short Whitewater Trip” by National Geographic.  The rate from $685 per person, double (youth 12-15 are $635), includes three nights at Red Cliffs Lodge, a Hummer safari, rafting on the Colorado, hiking, optional horseback riding, daily breakfast and one lunch and dinner, plus transfers from Moab.

In Arizona, Western River’s Grand Canyon Rafting - 4 Day River & Ranch is sold out for 2015, but reservations are now being taken for 2016. This trip explores regions of Grand Canyon National Park accessible only from the river. Guests enjoy, among other accommodations, an overnight at Bar 10 Ranch on the Grand Canyon rim. Horseback riding and cowboys are part of the land-based scene. This adventure begins in early May and continues through mid-September. The per person double rate is from $1,731. Youth ages 9 and up are accommodated. The whitewater in this section of the canyon is more moderate than on Western’s Upper Canyon 6 Day trips.

For a copy of Western River Expeditions’ catalog, questions, availability and reservations call toll-free: 866.904.1160 (Local: 801.942.6669), or visit: http://www.westernriver.com/. For more information on Moab Adventure Center please call (435) 259-7019 or (866) 904-1163 or visit http://www.moabadventurecenter.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.

Western River Expeditions, providing Grand Canyon rafting, Utah rafting, Oregon, 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 RiverExpeditions:

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 Anticipates Solid Rafting Season on Colorado River System Thanks to Late Spring Snowpack

Colorado River Drainage Snowpack Goes from 41% of Normal on May 5 to 141% of Normal on June 2 

SALT LAKE CITY, June 4, 2015– Late spring snow pack and rains bode well for river rafting vacations this season on the Colorado River System, reports Western River Expeditions.

This river system, built by flows from numerous western rivers, is providing as of now, positive impact on the company’s roster of trips on the Green and Colorado Rivers in Utah and Arizona. On the Green River these are adventures through Desolation Canyon, and on the Colorado River, trips through Westwater and Cataract Canyons. Trips in the Grand Canyon are also impacted because hydrologists anticipate increased releases from dams that affect river flows.

“A few weeks ago, we were looking at a very low water year. We were planning for it, we had prepared the guides and the gear for it, then it started to rain down low and snow up high.  On May 5 the snowpack in the Upper Colorado River Basin was sitting at 41% of normal making it one of the driest years ever. Two weeks later, it had increased to 75% on average with some areas exceeding 100%.  This is an unprecedented gain of snowpack so late in the water season,” said Brian Merrill, CEO of Western River Expeditions.

More snow in the mountains means more water in the rivers, and this company is now anticipating what Merrill called “a fantastic year.” After the snow began falling, “we quickly made adjustments in what style of rafts we will be using and the river guides are happy as clams.  Judging from the reviews we are getting from our guests, they are also ecstatic about the predicted water levels.”

He added that the snowpack also represents an unexpected boost for the reservoirs on the Colorado River.  Water managers are revising upwards predictions about lake levels that feed into this system including Lakes Powell and Mead, a boost for water-based recreation all along the Colorado River system.

As of the start of June, snowpack on the entire Colorado River System stood at 141.52% of the June 2 historic average. Only a few weeks ago the figures were discouraging as snowpack in the Colorado River basin stood at just a fraction of that.  For up-to-the-minute snowpack reports see: http://snowpack.water-data.com/uppercolorado/index.php

“We want to get this upbeat report out to rafting enthusiasts who may be concerned that the drought menacing California waters has spread into other river systems in the western United States,” added Merrill. “An above-average snowpack in the Northern and Central Rockies means we’ll have the best season in years for rafting on the Green and Colorado River systems in Utah.”

For a copy of the 2015 Western River Expeditions catalog, questions, availability and reservations call toll-free: 866.904.1160 (Local: 801.942.6669), or visit: http://www.westernriver.com/. For more information on Moab Adventure Center please call (435) 259-7019 or (866) 904-1163 or send an email from http://www.moabadventurecenter.com/contact/.

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 Moab Adventure Center:

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

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

On You Tube:           http://www.youtube.com/user/moabadventurecenter

On Pinterest:             http://pinterest.com/search/pins/?q=moab+adventure+center

Website:                     http://www.moabadventurecenter.com/

Follow Western RiverExpeditions:

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 Announces First Ever 360º Interactive Video of a Grand Canyon Rafting Trip

New Video Technology Produces Groundbreaking Virtual-Reality Experience 

SALT LAKE CITY, April 6, 2015– After a decade of development, planning and collaboration, a groundbreaking 360º interactive video of a Western River Expeditions J-Rig adventure through the Grand Canyon is now available for viewing.

When this video http://www.westernriver.com/360/ is viewed on a desktop or laptop computer (not yet available on iPhone and iPad), viewers can see around the entire "sphere of view" surrounding the 360º camera. If running Chrome on a newer Android phone, the experience is even more stunning. One can actually move the phone around to look up and down the river, up at the cliffs, or down at the boat and water. Regardless of the device used, viewers are advised to watch the video in its highest resolution and in full screen mode.

The filming took place last August, but the idea came 10 years ago when a former river rafting guide on the Colorado River stood on the rim of the Grand Canyon. 360 Labs cofounder Thomas Hayden was on a road trip across North America for a project that would later become Google StreetView. When confronted with the abyss below, he knew that the shots he really wanted in this new 360º medium were going to be down in the center of it all, on the river itself. It took nearly 10 years for the technology to become compact and rugged enough to bring on a whitewater river trip. Today 360 Labs uses the ubiquitous GoPro cameras, with a few modifications, on specially designed, 3D printed mounts to capture the 360º field of view around the camera. The viewer can either click and drag on their desktops or simply move their mobile device (Android) to look around the sphere of video content.

"What we do, photographers have been doing for over 100 years. Taking multiple images, side by side, with a bit of overlap and matching them together to get a wider field of view. With today's digital technology in both hardware and software, we are now able to stitch all possible angles together and do it with up to 60 frames per second video." said Hayden.

Doug Holton, another 360º photographer in the Denver area, and Hayden, at the request of Western River Expeditions, took on the shooting challenge together, arriving at Lee's Ferry with dozens of cameras and specialized rigging for shooting in 360º, wide angle lenses and panoramic tripod mounts as well as their standard photography kits. Holton's mission was to shoot 360º photographs while the party was on land, and Hayden's mission was to shoot 360º video while on the river over a six-day trip. For the 360º video, Hayden had 20 GoPro cameras and 90 batteries for them, knowing that solar recharging on the scale he might need would not be reliable so deep in the Inner Gorge. Various camera mounting positions on board the Western Rivers J-Rig boats were experimented with, but Hayden and the Western guides settled on a center mast position high over the boat for the clearest view of the river features as well as maintaining anonymity for the Western guests onboard.

360 Labs recorded over 100 named rapids through the Grand Canyon in 360º on the 2014 trip and will use the footage for a variety of projects and products. Their first, after delivering this edit to Western and YouTube, will be a virtual reality (VR) documentary about the proposed controversial development at the Little Colorado Confluence.

"We want to show that VR is much, much more than just cool." Hayden said of the documentary project, which 360 Labs will post on Kickstarter soon. "VR 360º video is, right now, the next best thing to actually being there, and anyone who sees this place, as it is, can't help but want to protect this river."  

The 360º "postcard views" from calmer waters of the river trip soon plunge viewers into some of the Colorado Rivers biggest rapids including Hance, Granite and Hermit.

Hang on tight to your desk or mobile device, this is a wild ride!

Western River Expeditions has guided more guests through the famous gorge over the last 54 years than any other outfitter - and the word has gotten out.  “It’s an absolutely inspiring adventure,” says Brandon Lake, CMO of Western River Expeditions.

Of course the new video technology is awesome but Western River reminds us nothing will ever compare to the real experience of running the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. Adventurers may claim one of the few remaining spots for 2015 or book the adventure now for the 2016 season (April-September). For 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 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: 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?feature=mhee

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

Top Ten Suggested Hikes for River Runners On Western River Expeditions’ Grand Canyon Rafting Adventures

SALT LAKE CITY, UT, March 18, 2015 – A Grand Canyon rafting vacation on the Colorado River is, yes, an immersion in world-class rapids and catered camping under the stars. But after three, six or seven days on the Colorado River guests are swimming in mythology, geology and natural history of the Wild West.

Much of the “eddy”fication comes while exploring grottos and escarpments during planned side canyon hikes of 15 minutes to three hours on Western River Expeditions’ May through September three, six and seven-day programs (priced from $1,396 per person for a three-day trip to $2,962 for a seven day journey).

Western River Expeditions asked its veteran guides for a list of their favorite off-river hikes or sites in the Grand Canyon.  Following are 10 explorations marked by river mile while rafting downstream from the put-in at Lees Ferry enroute to Lake Mead.

  1. Mile 33: Redwall Cavern carved in a towering limestone wall hosts volleyball and touch football games and explorations of fossils, cephalopods, brachiopods, crinoids and corals. In the summer of 1868, Major John Wesley Powell camped here, claiming later that 50,000 people could seat themselves comfortably in the cavern all at the same time! The only “non-hike” in the list.
  2. Mile 41.5: Bert Loper’s Boat and Bert’s Canyon came into legend when Loper capsized his boat, “Grand Canyon” while running 24.5 mile rapids during high water in July 1949. At age 79 he probably had a heart attack. A hiker discovered his jawbone in a driftwood pile some 50 miles downstream. The remains of Bert’s boat are located here.
  3. Mile 47: Saddle Canyon and Saddle Mountain (at 8,424 feet forming the headwaters of Saddle Canyon) tempts river runners up a steep talus slope before reaching a reasonably level surface in the canyon floor. Cardinal monkey flowers bedeck the limestone walls as the canyon begins to constrict. A choke stone in the middle of the creek requires hikers to climb around and over this obstacle before reaching the final destination.
  4. Mile 53: Nankoweap Canyon and Granaries (a Southern Paiute word meaning echo) are accessed from a trail leading to most-sought views and where under limestone walls are four granaries (storage sites) built and used by Native Americans from the ancestral Pueblo culture. These canyon dwellers practiced hunting and gathering in the canyon, in addition to agriculture on the Nankoweap delta roughly 1,000 years ago.
  5. Mile 72.5: Unkar Delta (a Paiute word meaning red creek or red stone) was home to Native Americans 1,000 years ago. Numerous archaeological sites and pottery shards remain as do desert vistas of Furnace Flats.
  6. Mile 116.5: Elves Chasm yields cardinal monkey flowers, columbine and orchids, plus a cool waterfall to jump from into a soaking pool.
  7. Mile 136: Deer Creek Falls and Patio is a must for cooling off. The falls lands into a pool from a creek 100 feet above; a trail leads hikers several hundred feet above to a point overlooking the river. Views over to the north rim are phenomenal from this vantage. Those comfortable with heights can continue upstream to the Patio, requiring careful footwork and cool-headedness to navigate a short span of narrow ledges with a precarious drop below. The narrow slot canyon downstream from the patio is of particular significance to the Southern Paiute people’s spiritual world view, as it serves as a conduit for spirits passing from this life to the next.
  8. Mile 148: Matkatimiba Canyon is named for a Havasupai family. There are two hiking options here: the "goat trail" is a straightforward path to an open and relaxing grotto area; the "up the gut" option leads through the middle of the drainage where participants must use balance and determination to navigate themselves to the same grotto area.
  9. Mile 156: Havasu Canyon is home to the Havasupai tribe. Havasu Creek flows through Supai village and cascades through numerous cataracts and waterfalls (the highest is Mooney at 190’) before reaching the river. Swimming in the turquoise pools is a cool-off must; but stay away in a rain storm. A 20-foot wall of water swept through the village in 1910; in 1990 a flash flood studied by the USGS recorded flows as high as 22,800 cubic feet per second.
  10. Mile 215.5: Three Springs Canyon sports a collection of desert plants representing three of the four Great American Deserts: the Great Basin, the Sonoran and the Mojave. Native American pictographs (paintings) embellish rock walls. Manos and metates, tools for processing corn and other plant matter, are also nearby, suggesting that canyon dwellers from the past used Three Springs as a gathering place.

Follow this link to Western’s Photo Gallery to see images of these off-river wonders and others: http://www.westernriver.com/trips/grand6day/photos.php.

Western River Expeditions (http://www.westernriver.com/) has guided more guests through the famous gorge over the last 53 years than any other outfitter - and the word has gotten out.  “It’s an absolutely inspiring adventure,” says Brandon Lake, CMO of Western River Expeditions. Grand Canyon river trips usually sell out by early spring for the upcoming summer season. There are just a few seats left for this season and 2016 is already booking strong.

For a copy of the 2015 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. 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 RiverExpeditions:

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

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

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

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

Western River Expeditions Suggests Questions Families Need to Ask when Considering River Rafting Vacation with Youngsters, Elders

Salt Lake City, Feb. 13, 2015– Take heed river rafters. Go not blindly onto that river with children and seniors in tow. Do your homework and make inquiries. Rafting pioneer Western River Expeditions (http://www.westernriver.com/) outlines important questions families should ask before embarking on a river rafting vacation.

“In our 50-plus years of operation, Western River Expeditions has created heirloom memories for literally thousands of families,” said Brian Merrill, CEO. “We’re always learning new things about how to engage parents and children both ashore and on the river.  And we love it when families take the time to ask us questions before they make reservations for a rafting adventure.”

Merrill and his staff have heard it all from first time river runners, from “will there be flush toilets and room service?” to “I can’t swim, but can I still go?” To them no question is too silly or inappropriate. Following are a few of the more sensible ones they have heard, questions they suggest anyone considering a raft trip should ask:  

First, “Is a raft trip right for me and the family?” If you’ve been eager to get the kids away from an over-civilized world and all its technology and overload, river rafting is a great place to start (hint – no Internet or cell service!).

  • “How young can children be?” This question is river-dependent. If the river is relatively tranquil in post-spring runoff, with most rapids being Class III or lower, children as young as five can often be accommodated with Coast Guard-approved age-appropriate life jackets. 
  • “How old can Grandma and Grandpa be?” This is truly more a question of physical ability over age. Western River Expeditions has taken 85-year-olds down the river who can get on and off the boat and hike better than a 60-year-old. Discuss your physical level with your outfitter to help you make the best choice. Note that Western River Expeditions does offer an interesting option for the older crowd. On Grand Canyon trips, Western uses a patented boat called the “J-Rig.” This 37-foot motorized craft offers quite a bit more flexibility in seating and comfort than traditional rafts and can be a great way for Grandma and Grandpa to join a trip.
  • “Is it mandatory to know how to swim?” Non-swimmers are welcomed on most all river trips. Coast Guard-approved life vests (PFDs - personal floatation devices) are mandatory as well as a safety talk prior to departure. Non-swimmers, however, should have a heart-to-heart chat with their potential tour company before making a reservation for a rafting trip with larger whitewater. 
  • Bottom line: “Is rafting dangerous?” The element of risk (and thrill) that comes with running the rapids is why river rafting is so popular. But there’s perceived risk and then there’s real risk. That’s where professional river guides come in. They are extensively trained to minimize and manage risks. But there’s not much even your guides can do about your sunburn if you forget to put on sunscreen, or if you’re a klutz getting in and out of the boat!

Once you’ve put the above questions to bed, then ponder:

  • “How many hours will your gang want to spend on the river each day?”  Some itineraries involve less time on water, more time at camp and exploring trails. But please come with a flexible attitude. The speed of the flow, location of campsites and how long lunch and day hikes take influence the amount of time floating, swimming and paddling on the water each day.
  • “What if I’m nervous about whitewater?” Think options. There are rafting trips on calm water and trips with world-class whitewater. The type of boat you’re in also dictates the adventure. You can choose to paddle your own craft (most adventurous), ride in boat with a guide at the oars or with Western, ride atop a patented "J-Rig," a large, motorized boat with seating up front for the more gung-ho or aft for more protection.
  • “In camp, how much ‘roughing it’ is there?” Guests sleep each night in a wilderness setting on the river, in a tent or out in the open under the stars (your choice). Your biggest responsibility will be pitching your tent. The guides take care of setting up the loo, food prep and clean up. Camping is usually deluxe, comfortable and easy. Meals are often better than what you have at home.
  • “What do little ones do at camp?” Think nature-oriented games and special hours for dining for youngsters, supervised by staff trained to work with children. There is truly never enough time for all that both kids and teens want to experience on the river.

When you are ready to make a reservation, let the company know the ages and experience levels of participants.  The company will guide you. For first timers and young families with ages five to 12, Western River Expeditions recommends a five-day trip on Utah’s Green River or Idaho’s Lower Salmon. For families with children ages nine and up, a three-day trip through the Grand Canyon may be the right fit. Those with children 12 and up have the widest range of options to choose from including Utah’s Cataract Canyon and a full six day trip in the Grand Canyon. Chances are other families will be on these trips and the children have fun interacting and making new friends.

For a copy of the 2015 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. 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?feature=mhee

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

Western River Expeditions Debunks Myths Around River Rafting and Unplugged Vacations

SALT LAKE CITY, UT, Aug. 28, 2014 – In Huckleberry Finn the author posits the protagonist on a raft on the Mississippi River as a means of escaping civilization’s wiles.

Decades later Mark Twain’s antidote for “The World Is Too Much with Us” can be a Grand Canyon raft vacation on the Colorado River.

But there are myths that surround the forces of a river and being out in the wilderness under the stars. Western River Expeditions (http://www.westernriver.com/) has distilled some of the myths about river rafting. Here are a few myths that they’ve busted.

“These myths”, says Brandon Lake, CMO of Western River Expeditions, “may be keeping many of us away from the river and from some of life’s most memorable and transformational experiences.”

Myth 1: Rafting is for adrenaline junkies. Don’t toss rafting out of your bucket list just because of all the trepidation around running the rapids on a rafting trip. Not every rafting trip is extreme. Western River’s patented J-Rig boat that matches the size of the waves in Cataract Canyon or Grand Canyon combines maximum ride with maximum security and comfort. You can sit high and dry and never get doused.

Myth 2: I will be sitting on a raft all day. Each day of a multi-day river rafting trip offers something new around the corner. Guests generally spend much more time out of the raft than in it. One day you may hike to a moonshiner’s cabin, or ponder Native American etchings on prehistoric stone or jump into a waterfall hole or climb for an hour to a photographic vista. The raft may begin to feel like home base.

Myth 3: There’s only canned food on rafting trips. Western River carries 750 pounds of ice per trip down the Grand Canyon. This isn’t for keeping canned foods cold but to protect foods for fresh salads, fruits, grilled meats and ice-cold desserts. Various and sundry food supplies totaling over 1000 pounds per trip include: 24 pounds of bacon,14 bunches of bananas, 360 eggs, 30 kiwi, 70 apples, 65 oranges,100 gallons of lemonade mix and 128 pounds of the finest BBQ charcoal briquettes.

Myth 4: I have to enjoy camping. Many guests experience camping for the first time in their lives. Do they have to enjoy it? Well, they don't have to like witnessing the Milky Way up close under a cloudless night. They don’t have to enjoy having mouth-watering meals prepared for them for up to seven days, dining under golden sunsets as the river rolls by at their feet. They don’t have to enjoy resetting their internal clocks by the rising and setting of the sun, or bathing in a cool river before bedtime. But they do enjoy it. For those still not sure about the camping part of it, you can run the Rogue River in Oregon where you stay each night in a different lodge along the river for three or four nights.

Myth 5: There are no bathroom facilities on rafting trips. Western River sets up bathroom facilities at camp each night in a large enclosed tent in a remote corner of camp. These toilet facilities, except for not having a flush handle, are just like those at home. During the day they issue a self-contained disposal kit for solid waste which can be carried off to a private location. Count on frequent stops during the day as well.

Myth 6: I have to be a good swimmer. Everyone wears a tightly buckled Personal Flotation Device (PFD) at all times on the river, in case you have a “personal flotation experience.” Involuntary personal flotation experiences are not very common. One needn’t be concerned about sinking or floating if you are wearing your PFD properly.

Myth 7: The best rapids are gone after spring runoff. The more water in a river, the bigger the rapids, right? Not always. Every rapid is caused by the surrounding terrain: canyon walls, boulders, gravel bars, and constriction within the channel. Sometimes the boulders that seem high and dry during late summer flows become rapids-forming boulders in the higher water of spring runoff (and vice versa). In other words, it is relative. One absolute, however, is that high flows mean swifter water, while low flow means slower. Lower water can give a guide more time to react between obstacles, but it can also reveal more obstacles! Dams can regulate a river to the point that high or low flows of spring and fall are virtually forgotten. The Snake River through Hell’s Canyon is dam regulated and so is the Colorado River through Grand Canyon and the Rogue River in Oregon.

Myth 8: It doesn't matter who you go with, all guides and outfitters are the same. This is absolutely false. The quality of your experience, sharing of canyon history and all-round “info-tainment” will increase with outfitters who specifically select guides for technical expertise and knowledge. Western River guides know how to tell a joke, tie a knot, cook a meal, dress a certifiable boo-boo, lead a talent night competition, and pontificate on a variety of topics from ancient philosophy to modern day astrophysics. Western River Expeditions has a unique hiring philosophy: Individuals are selected for the extraordinary personalities and then are trained in-house in river navigation, whitewater rescue, geology, culinary arts, wilderness first aid, and more.

Myth 9: I have to be athletic to enjoy rafting. Athletic people may have an advantage when compared to, let’s say, clumsy people. But if you can grip a rope, walk, step over stuff, occasionally do a slow-motion butt slide and carry a bag to your campsite in soft sand, then you’re golden. The only true requirement of a river trip is being able to get in and out of the raft. Yes, there are short hikes. Yes, these hikes lead to majestic waterfalls and slot canyons so pre-conditioning for your “Trip of a Lifetime” is always a good idea. Being self-aware (aware your surroundings and what you’re capable of) is far more important on a rafting trip than athleticism alone. River trips have a way of revealing that we are more capable than we may think we are. We can shatter the comfort zone shackles we never realized were there.

Myth 10: I will miss my electronic devices. Not really. It can be hard to imagine leaving connectivity behind. Ironically, while we seldom forget to recharge our devices, we sometimesforget the importance of recharging our own batteries! Humans need to unplug to recharge. A multi-day rafting trip is one of the last vacations on the planet where you can truly disconnect. You'll be having so much fun you may not even miss those devices.

For a copy of the 2014-2015 catalog, questions, availability and reservations call toll-free: 866.904.1160 (Local: 801.942.6669), or visit: http://www.westernriver.com/.

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.

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