Western River Expeditions

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

 

Western River Expeditions 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.

# # #

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/

Western River Expeditions Rafting Guru Shares 10 Curious Grand Canyon Factoids

SALT LAKE CITY, UT, July 1, 2014 – The lure of a Grand Canyon raft vacation on the Colorado River has lots to do with the lore. 

One Grand Canyon guru guided on the river for some 700 days before leaving the rapids to join Western River Expeditions (http://www.westernriver.com/) as website and online marketing director.

But Kamron Wixom can’t leave the lore alone. Here are 10 of his favorite facts and trivia about the world’s grandest canyon:

1.    The first known exploration of the Grand Canyon by boat was in 1869, the John Wesley Powell Expedition. He was the first to use the name “Grand Canyon”. By 1969, fewer than 100 people had his followed by boat through the remote gorge.

2.    Outside of the occasional dust storms and forest fires, the Grand Canyon is home of the some of the cleanest air in the United States.

3.    The Kaibab Tree Squirrel, a unique species that lives only on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, was separated from its South Rim cousins millennia ago.

4.    An estimated five million people view the Grand Canyon annually from the North and South rims. Only 20,000 see it by river raft or dory. (Western River Expeditions is the leading outfitter, putting some 4,000 guests through the Canyon each year.)

5.    Grand Canyon was named America’s 17th National Park in 1919, following in the footsteps of, among others, Yellowstone, Yosemite, Crater Lake, Glacier and Denali.

6.    The Kennedys took a highly publicized Grand Canyon rafting trip in 1972 and the popularity of rafting in the Grand Canyon suddenly skyrocketed.

7.    Grand Canyon still uses a scale of rapids from 1-10, a system that was grandfathered in before an international system scaled rapids from 1 to 6. A 10 is like a 5 on the international scale; a 6 on international scale cannot be navigated.

8.    Because they couldn't afford a boat, two swimmers in 1955 swam the entire length of the Grand Canyon, a distance of 288 miles.  (see: http://www.amazon.com/We-Swam-Grand-Canyon-Vacation/dp/0963405594)

9.    The Grand Canyon National Park has recorded more than 4,800 archeological sites and has surveyed just 5 percent of the park’s 1.2 million acres.

10.  On June 30, 1956, two planes flying from Los Angeles to Chicago, a United Airlines DC-7 and a TWA Constellation, had a mid-air collision over the Canyon and all on board perished. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) was created in 1958 as a result of this accident.

“There’s a synergy between a human being and a canyon. We get possessive of it; it’s our canyon. It’s so huge on one scale but so intimate on the other scale that it becomes our own. When people talk about their experiences in the canyon you have an instant bond with each other but at the same time you’re possessive of it. This contrast is indicative of nearly every experience you have in the Grand Canyon,” says Wixom.

After some 700 days in the Grand Canyon, what was his most satisfying moment?

“As a guide, it was the last night of the trip. I walked down the beach and saw a guest staring at the sunset with the canyon walls and river flowing through the foreground. I asked how she was doing. She turned and it took a few seconds for her to say something. Her Zen moment was happening. I was privileged to be the guide who helped her get to that moment,” he says.

Western River Expeditionshas 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.

Annually, by the start of spring, Grand Canyon river trips for the upcoming summer season are usually sold out, notes Lake.  However this year the company has openings on a few departure dates on their signature six-day journey: July 22, 23, 24, 29, and August 13, 21, 26, 27, 30, 31.

For a copy of the 2014 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 (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. 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/

Western River Expeditions to Host Up to 25 Wounded Service Women On All-Female Rafting Trip in May

SALT LAKE CITY, UT,Western River Expeditions is hosting a four-day Colorado River rafting trip through Utah’s Cataract Canyon in Canyonlands National Park for up to 25 service women who have experienced emotional or physical trauma from their recent overseas tours of duty. The women-only May 12-15 river rafting trip is sponsored by www.warriorsoncataract.org.

Accompanying the trip will be a crew of women including female Western River Expeditions guides and female support crew who have volunteered to serve on this adventure.

“Many of these women suffer deep psychological trauma and PTSD from rape and assault in the military, and having male soldiers in camp would have a chilling effect.” said Fredrick Solheim who coordinates www.warriorsoncataract.org out of Boulder, CO. Some of the soldiers on past trips have been on suicide watch lists.

“Working with outpatient facilities at medical centers,” Solheim said, “I take the most disabled first. I don’t care about status of discharge. This trip is all about healing. The more disabled they are, the more they gain. If you can come off of suicide watch list, that’s a pretty big jump.”

The program began some four years ago when Solheim, by profession a scientist on contract to the U.S. Navy to build atmospheric sensors, heard a young and disabled Marine interviewed on National Public Radio about his learning-to-ski experiences.

“I’ve been down the river and have seen transformations happen. I knew that combat soldiers are adrenalin junkies and would like big rapids,” said Solheim. “And the support groups spontaneously formed with other combat soldiers goes beyond what the VA can accomplish with their therapy and pharmaceuticals.”  This is his fourth year and he has planned four rafting adventures. He hopes that the river’s healing powers and the adventure and camaraderie on a trip will decrease the number of soldiers on the suicide watch list, and help them to heal and reintegrate into civil society.

“One of the hazards confronting these vets is the feeling of isolation and abandonment, further contributing to depression. We are losing over 8,000 vets each year, dying by their own hand - more than we have lost in the decade-plus of conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan,” he added. “One therapist told me that she had had nine veterans on their High Suicide Risk Watch List, and after the raft trips and some other activities, they graduated all of them off of the list.”

A soldier who sustained six gunshot wounds, 27 surgeries and who was an  Eagle Scout at 14 wrote after a 2013 rafting trip, “On behalf of my Platoon D 3rd Ranger Battalion, I thank you for this unimaginable experience. All of you have helped us in ways I can’t explain. From tracking down lost baggage, to cooking to some of your dietary needs. I personally will never forget this trip, nor my fellow Rangers. This is Paradise outdoors.”

About 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. 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 ten consecutive years.  For 2014 season reservations call toll-free: 866.904.1160 or 801.942.6669.

# # #

For media inquiries, interviews and photos 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/

Wounded Warriors Contact:

Fredrick Solheim / 303. 818.7600 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

www.warriorsoncataract.org

Western River Expeditions Predicts Solid Rafting Season on Colorado and Green Rivers That Are Unaffected by West Coast Drought

SALT LAKE CITY, April 14, 2014Western River Expeditions reports that spring runoff from the Rocky Mountains into the Colorado and Green Rivers bodes well for an average to above average rafting season. 

“We want to get this upbeat report out to rafting enthusiasts who may be concerned that the drought menacing California waters has spread into Utah’s river system,” says Brian Merrill, CEO of Western River Expeditions. “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.”

As of April 1, runoff was 112 percent of normal, compared to the same date a year ago when it was at 73 percent of normal and in 2012 at 60 percent of normal.

“In years when the snowpack was nearly identical to where we are at this point, the water year ended up being average. Average is actually really good. It's not the intense, high water that garners attention, but it is still a lot of water and a lot of fun,” Merrill underscores.

His predictions come from monitoring historic snow pack levels in the Upper Colorado River Basin that covers the northern half of Colorado, part of the Wind River Mountains of Wyoming and the eastern portion of the Uinta Mountains. The basin is the source of water in the Green and Colorado rivers. He then compares snow pack levels with historic peak flows (measured in cubic feet per second or cfs) in Cataract Canyon.

“If it stays wet and cool over the next two months, we'll be in great shape. To give you some historical perspective, here are figures from comparable years on this date:

  • 1995 = 117% of normal; peak Cataract flow = 80,700 cfs
  • 1989 = 116% of normal; peak Cataract flow = 16,310 cfs

“These are the two extremes, but my money is on a decent water year. In most years when the snow pack is over 100% at this point, we end up peaking with at least 50,000 cfs in Cataract. Our reservations staff is optimistically advising clients that Colorado is doing better than just about everywhere else in the West,” he adds.

While Grand Canyon has the name recognition when it comes to river rafting, Utah’s Cataract Canyon is often overlooked.  Cataract Canyon splits through the heart of Canyonlands National Park inviting boaters to experience both whitewater thrills and eye-popping off-river jaunts.

Other river trips on the Colorado and Green rivers that are expected to have average to above average water levels this spring and summer include:

About 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. 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.  For 2014 season 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: 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 Suggests Rafting As Best Way to See Canyonlands National Park: Names Top Five Off-River Hikes

SALT LAKE CITY, UT, March 17, 2014– He who hesitates may miss the boat for a 2014 Grand Canyon raft vacation on the Colorado River as there are only a few remaining spots this summer on a handful of departures in July and August.

Western River Expeditions 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.  “But, what many people don’t know is that there is another incredibly amazing canyon hidden just above the Grand Canyon on the Colorado River.”

Without the name recognition, of “Grand Canyon,” Utah’s Cataract Canyon is often overlooked.  “This hidden gem is unbelievable,” says Lake. Cataract Canyon splits through the heart of Canyonlands National Park inviting boaters to experience both whitewater thrills and eye-popping off-river jaunts.

Those choosing to raft this stretch of the Colorado River experience signature runs of world-class rapids that rival Grand Canyon counterparts. As for hiking? Canyonlands National Park offers some of the most incredible hikes in the world.  However, due to the rugged terrain and inaccessibility of much of the park’s 257,000 acres, one of the best ways to explore Canyonlands National Park is by river.

“Many people think a rafting trip involves sitting on a raft for long periods of time,” says Lake. “I like to compare it to a cruise, but with even more stops for shore excursions.  Between breakfast on the beach, possible morning and afternoon hikes, a stop for a buffet lunch and all-inclusive beach camping each night, it’s the perfect adventure. And the hikes in Cataract Canyon are fantastic!”

Instead of traversing overland mile after mile by jeep, foot or mountain bike to get to desired trails deep inside the park, departing from the river on hiking excursions minimizes the time and effort to reach preferred objectives, notes Lake. Below are his and his guides’ favored trails and off-river destinations:

Lathrop Granaries is ashort hike revealing petroglyphs (images etched into the sandstone) and pictographs (images painted on the sandstone). A wide delta at the mouth of a side canyon provided an open area where early inhabitants planted grains, beans and squash. Adobe structures known as “granaries,” that stored grains for later consumption and spring planting, are visited on this hike.

Indian Creek originates in the Abajo Mountains, flows through the Park and eventually into the Colorado River. On early season trips, this is a popular stop for a hike up the creek to a beautiful waterfall and a refreshing swim. More granaries are found where Indian Creek joins the Colorado.

The Loop Hike is short but strenuous with a world-class view as the pay off. At this point, the Colorado River bends in a giant, three-mile-long loop. The River circles back on itself and at the point where the river channel flowing one direction is exactly parallel with the channel flowing back the other direction, there is a notch or saddle in the sandstone cliffs. A trail leads to the top of the saddle and back down the other side to the river where boats that have circled around the loop pick up hikers on the other side.

The Doll House, or The Sentinels, is a garden of rock pinnacles towering along the top of the cliff wall just a few miles downriver from the confluence of the Colorado and Green rivers. It is common to camp near the Doll House on the second night of a four-day Cataract Canyon trip. This allows plenty of time to complete what is the most strenuous hike of the trip. The trail is steep, climbing over 1,000 feet from the river to the top of the canyon, but certainly beats the 7.5 hour drive from Moab to get to this location.

Dark Canyon features a creek that flows through the canyon and into the Colorado. Guides lead hikers about a mile through the bottom of a side canyon to an area of deep pools and small waterfalls. This can be a real oasis in the warm summer months.

For the past 5 decades, whitewater rafting experts, Western River Expeditions (http://www.westernriver.com/), have navigated the West’s wildest rivers, enroute recognizing that guests enjoy varying the pace between the rapids and terra firma. On the Colorado River through Cataract Canyon the company offers two and four-day rafting programs inclusive of catered camping and guided hiking explorations.

Just south of Moab where the Colorado River and Green River 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 is where four and two-day rafting trips are staged.

Both two and four-day expeditions include rafting, optional hiking, catered camping (cots, tents, sleeping bags, chairs and water-resistant bag), all meals between departure and return, transfers from Moab to the river and return transportation (four-day expedition by Cessna and two-day expedition by shuttle). Guests may hike to, among others, ancient Indian ruins, pictographs and a magnificent outlook high above the mighty Colorado.  On river, is a thrilling 100-mile ride through stunning scenery, over 30 class III-V whitewater rapids including the notorious “Big Drops,” where a raft plunges 30 feet in a matter of minutes, matching the whitewater of the Grand Canyon in power and difficulty.

Expeditions depart weekly from late may through late August for Cataract Canyon 4 Day - http://www.westernriver.com/trips/cataract/  programs. Open to ages 10 and up, the per person price is $1,365 for adults and $1,025 for youth 10-15. Guests camp for three nights along the river.

The price for the Cataract Canyon 2-Day Express is $674 for ages 12 and up. Expeditions depart weekly from early May through the July 4 weekend. The trip begins and ends in Moab, with the return transfer by ground shuttle. Guests camp for one night along the river. See: http://www.westernriver.com/trips/canyonlands/

WesternRiverExpeditions

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. 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.  For 2014 season 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: 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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