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 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

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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?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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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

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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:

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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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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/

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 Sponsors “Share the Love” Photo Contest From Now until Feb. 13, 2014

Winner Based on Total Social Media Shares to Receive $3,000 Trip Credit for 2014 or 2015 

SALT LAKE CITY, UT, Jan. 30, 2014– After a half century of  navigating the West’s wildest rivers, whitewater rafting pioneer Western River Expeditions (http://www.westernriver.com/) invites past guests and future rafters to participate in a “Share the Love” photo contest with the grand prize being a $3,000 trip credit on, among others, Grand Canyon rafting departures. http://www.westernriver.com/photo-contest/

The entry achieving the highest quantity of social media shares by midnight on Feb. 13, 2014, will receive a Valentine's present of a $3,000 credit towards a Grand Canyon 3, 4, 6 or 7 Day Trip (valued from $1,265 to $2,925); Cataract Canyon 4 Day Trip (valued from $1,365/person) or Desolation Canyon 5 Day Trip (valued from $1,495/person). The trip credit must be used for departures in 2014 or 2015. Space is subject to availability.

Winners of the contest that began in mid January will be announced on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, 2014.

To enter, participants are asked to post a photo or video of a past Western River expedition, explaining why they loved their rafting adventure; or people can post a photo or video describing why they want to take a trip with Western River Expeditions.   See: http://www.westernriver.com/photo-contest/entryform.php

Entrants will be notified within 48 hours with a link to a page they can share to gain votes via social media. Outside votes will also be coming from Western River's fans and followers on various social media.

Entrants are encouraged to get friends and family to view and share their entry via social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc). The winner will be determined by the tally of social media shares of that post. Comments made directly on individual’s blog posts will also be added into the tally. The top three contestants will be asked to verify social media accounts before the final tally is made.

To view current entries, see http://www.westernriver.com/blog/photo-contest-2014/.

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 Receives Excellence Award from Small Business Institute

SALT LAKE CITY, UT, Oct. 22, 2013– Celebrating over 50 years of navigating the West’s wildest rivers, whitewater rafting pioneer Western River Expeditions (http://www.westernriver.com/) has been selected for the 2013 United States Excellence Award amongst all its peers and competitors by the Small Business Institute for Excellence in Commerce (SBIEC).

Each year the SBIEC conducts business surveys and industry research to identify companies that have achieved demonstrable success in their local business environment and industry category. They are recognized as having enhanced the commitment and contribution of small businesses through service to their customers and community. Small businesses of this caliber enhance the consumer-driven stature that United States is renowned for. 

Western River Expeditions has consistently demonstrated a high regard for upholding business ethics and company values. This recognition by SBIEC marks a significant achievement as an emerging leader within various competitors and is setting benchmarks that the industry should follow. 

As part of the industry research and business surveys, various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the selected companies in each category. This research is part of an exhaustive process that encapsulates a yearlong immersion in the business climate of the United States. 

About SBIEC

The SBIEC is a leading authority on researching, evaluating and recognizing companies across a wide spectrum of industries that meets its stringent standards of excellence. It has spearheaded the idea of independent enterprise and entrepreneurial growth allowing businesses of all sizes to be recognized locally and encouraged globally. 

Particular emphasis is given to meeting and exceeding industry benchmarks for customer service, product quality and ethical practices. Industry leading standards and practices have been developed and implementation of the same has been pioneered by the dedicated efforts of the business community and commerce leadership. More information on SBIEC can be found at www.sbiec.org 

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 information, trips, departure dates, prices and 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 Invites Guests to Raft Grand Canyon April / May 2014 With Two Renowned Photographers

SALT LAKE CITY, UT, Aug. 5, 2013 – Celebrating over 50 years of navigating the West’s wildest rivers, whitewater rafting pioneerWestern River Expeditions (http://www.westernriver.com/) announces for 2014 two photo workshops to be held in conjunction with multi-day rafting and camping adventures down the Grand Canyon.

Both trips are seven days, all-inclusive, on-river adventures with world-class photographers Willie Holdman on the first trip and Kerrick James on the second.

The Grand Canyon River Run Workshop from April 3-9 with Willie Holdman is for ages 12 and up. The per person (single or double) rate is $2,655 inclusive all camping and rafting equipment, all freshly prepared meals, guided rafting of the Colorado River for nearly 200 miles over 60 rapids, guided hikes, transfers from a designated hotel to the Las Vegas Airport and a helicopter exit from the canyon at trip’s end. Guests can snap on their own cameras waterfalls, turquoise-colored waters, deep-side canyons and grottos filled with ferns and desert wildflowers. Enroute Holdman, who has floated down the Grand Canyon numerous times on photography expeditions, will facilitate an ongoing photography workshop. See: http://www.willieholdman.com/workshop/

In association with Arizona Highways magazine and photographer Kerrick James, the second workshop is May 6-12. Rafting the Grand Canyon Photography Workshop with Kerrick James is for ages 12 and up as well. The per person (single or double) rate includes pre and post-trip workshops and on-location instruction, roundtrip transportation from Las Vegas, outfitter fees and complete camping set-ups, all chef-prepared meals, park and other fees, and one night lodging (May 6) at La Quinta Inn & Suites in Las Vegas. See: http://www.ahpw.org/workshops/2014/Grand-Canyon-Rafting-Colorado-River-Photo-Workshop-2014-05-07/

About Willie Holdman

Landscape photographer Holdman is a native Utahn. He started experiencing the wonders of nature photography at an early age by assisting his father, Floyd, on photography assignments throughout the country for National Geographic .His Utah landscape photography experiences began when he managed to slip out and photograph the rural areas of Utah while at Brigham Young University where he received his BFA degree with an emphasis in photography. A popular Utah landscape photographer, Willie lives at the base of majestic Mt. Timpanogos in Orem, Utah. Although he has photographed nature all over the world, it can't compare with the versatility and beauty of his home state, Utah. Whether he is high in an alpine meadow experiencing Mountain photography, or low in the red rock desert, concentrating on National Park photography, this is home. http://www.willieholdman.com/

About Kerrick James

Kerrick James took a BFA degree in photography from Arizona State University in 1982. Since then he has photographed the lands and cities of the American West, Mexico, and the Pacific Rim, with increasing emphasis on Alaska, Hawaii and Baja California. His work has appeared in more than 200 book and magazine covers and numerous feature stories in travel and inflight magazines like Arizona Highways, Alaska, Voyageur, Virtuoso Life, Outdoor Photographer, National Geographic Adventure, Sky, Sunset and Conde Nast Traveler UK. In addition to providing covers for two books by National Geographic, he has also shot guidebooks of the Southwest, Arizona, New Mexico, Las Vegas, and San Francisco for Compass American Guides. For Insight Guides, he has shot travel guides of Arizona, Utah, California and San Francisco. He is an active member of the Society of American Travel Writers, Through Each Other’s Eyes and is president of the Travel Journalist’s Guild. He lives in Mesa, AZ, with sons Shane, Royce and Keanu. kerrickjames.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.  For 2013 and 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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Follow Western River Expeditions:

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Western River Expeditions Announces Rare Late Season Grand Canyon Space Availability On the Raft Trip of a Lifetime

Offers Fun Reasons to Consider a River Cruise over a Typical Ocean Cruise

SALT LAKE CITY, UT, June 4, 2013 – Celebrating over 50 years of navigating the West’s wildest rivers, whitewater rafting pioneerWestern River Expeditions (http://www.westernriver.com/) announces that rare late season space has just opened up for this summer’s 6-day flagship rafting adventure through the Grand Canyonhttp://www.westernriver.com/trips/grand6day/

Available departure dates as of early June are July 31-Aug. 5, Aug. 13-18, Aug. 21-26, Aug. 22-27, Aug. 28-Sept.2 and Sept. 11-17 for a 7-day program. Trips begin and end in Las Vegas, NV, or Marble Canyon, AZ. All-inclusive per person rates are $2,585 for rafting nearly 200 miles through 60 world-class rapids and surreal scenery. The rate includes a helicopter lift out of the canyon at trip’s end, equipment (cots, tents, sleeping bags, chairs and water-resistant bag), all meals and return flight to Marble Canyon, AZ or Las Vegas.

“This trip combines the epic thrill of seeing the Grand Canyon from the river perspective with side canyon hikes to waterfalls, our deluxe-style of all-inclusive catered camping and sumptuous campfire cuisine,” says Brian Merrill, CEO of Western River Expeditions. “Plus you’ll be surprised by how much more personal service, value and diversity you’ll experience compared to another popular summer escape - the big ship cruise vacation.”

Merrill likes to point out that, unlike cruise ships that charge for shore excursions, there are no hidden fees on a rafting holiday that includes hiking to Native American ruins with mind-numbing views and splashing through a100-foot waterfall cascading right to the river's edge. Instead of a dining room seating 2,000 in staggered seatings for dinner, guests mingle for cocktails and games or relax on the sandy beach, perhaps taking an 11th hour dip, as the camp chef prepares meals Dutch-oven style, with all the flavor and flair you’d expect from a fancy restaurant.

“We don’t want to go overboard pointing out the differences between rafting and cruising on a mega-ton ship. Just suffice it to say that time and again our guests tell us they’ve had the best vacation of their lives with us in the Grand Canyon,” adds Merrill.

Western River Expeditions

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

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

Western River Expeditions has been named one of the “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth” by the editors of National Geographic Adventure magazine. The company was honored last spring as the 2012 recipient of "Best of State" through Utah’s Premier Recognition and Awards Program. This is the ninth consecutive year Western River Expeditions has earned this distinction.  For 2013 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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