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
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Dave Wiggins / 303-554-8821/ This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Western River Expeditions and Moab Adventure Center Receive Coveted Best of Utah Travel Award For 9th Consecutive Year

 

Salt Lake City, UT, May 9, 2012 – Utah whitewater rafting pioneer Western River Expeditions http://www.westernriver.com/ and its sister company, the one-stop multi-activity Moab Adventure Center http://www.moabadventurecenter.com/ are recent recipients of the Best of State Award for Adventure Travel from the state of Utah, announced Brian Merrill, CEO and spokesperson for both companies.

The Best of State award is Utah's premier recognition and awards program created to recognize outstanding individuals, organizations and businesses in Utah.

This is the 9th consecutive year that both of these Utah-based companies have won medals in the Travel & Tourism category and more specifically "Adventure Travel".

An Awards Gala to be held May 22, 2012 at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City will feature dinner, live entertainment, and celebrity presenters. Merrill will be present to accept the Best of State Gold Medal for Western River Expeditions and the Moab Adventure Center. 

Moab’s Red Cliffs Lodge, with which both companies partner on many of their multi-day active itineraries, also won in the Hospitality category for best “Vacation Resort.” 

Western River Expeditions has been operating whitewater rafting expeditions on the Colorado and Green rivers since 1961 and celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2011. It holds concession contracts with the National Park Service for Canyonlands. Arches and Grand Canyon national parks and has Special Recreation Permits with the Bureau of Land Management allowing it to guide trips in Westwater Canyon, Desolation Canyon, on the Colorado River above Moab, and on 4x4 trails in the Canyonlands area.

Each year, contract and permit holders are rigorously evaluated on everything from safety, to trip quality, to customer service, to compliance with regulations.  Western River Expeditions has never received anything less than a perfect score on any evaluation in the history of the company. 

Annually, from March through October, Western River Expeditions escorts more people down rivers on professionally guided rafting trips in Utah, Idaho and Arizona than any other company. It is the single largest licensed outfitter  in the Grand Canyon. 

In 2003 the company launched Moab Adventure Center when they recognized that travelers needed a truly convenient location and website to plan the myriad of adventures available in the Moab/Arches/Canyonlands region.  This included day trips, multi-day trips and Moab, Utah vacation packages that combine lodging and activities. Travelers responded and since 2003, the Moab Adventure Center has experienced growth in every single year, including through the recent economic downturn.  Advanced bookings for 2012 reflect a 25% increase over 2011. Growing from just under 3,000 guests per year to over 36,000 guests in 2011, more people are choosing to experience Moab through Moab Adventure Center than any other single company.  

This customer-centered concept provides a "one stop" location that also allows Moab Adventure Center to represent other local outfitters by selling into their trips showcased at a high-profile, downtown walk-in booking location.  From the Moab Adventure Center, visitors can sign up for whitewater rafting in Moab, Hummer tours, Jeep rentals, guided hiking in Arches National Park, horseback riding, mountain biking, scenic flights, rock climbing and  canyoneering, jet boat tours, hot air ballooning, stand up paddleboarding and more.  The center also has a 2,000-square-foot retail space selling adventure related gear and clothing as well as souvenirs. 

Contact Information:

Western River Expeditions / 866.904.1160 / http://www.westernriver.com/

Moab Adventure Center / 866.904.1163 / http://www.moabadventurecenter.com/ 

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

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Western River Announces Available Dates For Fast Selling Four / Five-Day Family River Programs With Bookings Up 53 Percent on Some Trips

SALT LAKE CITY, UT, April 2, 2012– They who hesitate may miss the boat. That’s the word from Brian Merrill, CEO of rafting pioneer Western River Expeditions (http://www.westernriver.com/). 

Why the rush? 

Bookings on one rafting adventure, the Green River through Desolation Canyon, are up 53 percent over the same time last year. This means the door is closing on the possibility of shoppers getting the reservation dates they want on high-energy rivers in Utah and Idaho. 

Family trips http://www.westernriver.com/trips/familyadventures/ are in especially high demand this year, says Western River Expeditions. This is partly due to the fact that through social media and word-of-mouth the company is becoming well known for kid-friendly adventures offering a special menu for children and a dedicated River Jester who leads game, nature exploration and other activities. A selection of boats, paddle boats and kayaks provides hands-on action for all ages.  All programs include all equipment needed, meals, expert guides and river access shuttles from gateway city. 

Suggested family trips for ages five to 15 include:  

Utah Rafting: Green River through Desolation Canyon. Four and five-day trips over 84 river miles begin and end in Moab, UT. The per person rate (including charter flight) for four days for adults is $1295, for ages 5-15 $850; for five days for adults is $1450, for ages 5-15 $950.  Four-day departures are May 24, 30, June 2, 4, 8, 16, 22, 24; and five day departures July 1, 7, 10, 18, 26. Winding through a remarkable wilderness of twisted mountains, dramatic cliffs and towering plateaus carved by an ancient inland sea, this is one of America’s favorite rafting trips.  Guests fly roundtrip from Moab to a desert plateau where white water over 60 fun-filled rapids beckons. http://www.westernriver.com/trips/green/  

Utah Rafting: Colorado River Rafting. The rate for a four-day sampler, per person, for adults is $615 and for ages 5-15 $515. This trip begins and ends in Moab, UT. Departure dates are May 29, June 5, 12, 19, 26, July 3, 10, 17, 24, 31, Aug 3, 7, 14, 21, 28. Surrounded by the immense red rock playground known as Moab, this Southwest sampler provides just the right amount of adventure for multi-generational families. Two nights are spent at the Gonzo Inn, just a block from Moab Adventure Center where mix-and-match challenges adventures include an off-road Hummer Safari in Arches National Park. A two-day raft trip on the Colorado River concludes the fun with night three spent in an all-inclusive beach camp under the stars. http://www.westernriver.com/trips/southwest/  

Idaho Rafting: Lower Salmon River Canyons Family Magic. Especially suited to younger families, the trip floats through four canyons (Green, Cougar, Snowhole and Blue), exploring the last 53 miles of the Salmon River before its waters join the mighty Snake River for 21 miles  on its way to the Columbia. Children will enjoy sandy camping beaches, playful inflatable kayaks, lots of swimming and crafts and games. This five-day trip per person for adults is $1475 and for ages 5-16 $1285. Departure dates are July 11, 18, 25, Aug. 1, 8. 15, 22, 29. This trip begins and ends in Lewiston Idaho.  http://www.westernriver.com/trips/salmon-river-canyons/  

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. 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  

The company was honored as the 2011 recipient of "Best of State" through Utah’s Premier Recognition and Awards Program. This is the eighth consecutive year Western River Expeditions has earned this distinction. In 2009, Western River Expeditions was named one of the “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth” by the editors of National Geographic Adventure magazine.  

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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.

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Float Momma Down the Grand Canyon This Mother’s Day: Western River Expeditions Will Pamper with VIP Attention

SALT LAKE CITY, UT, Feb. 2, 2012– A grand way to gift a favorite mom this Mother’s Day is to put her on a raft and float her down the Grand Canyon. 

Rafting pioneer Western River Expeditions http://www.westernriver.com/ has such an experience up its sleeve on two six day / five night departures May 8 and 9, said Brian Merrill, CEO. 

“Beyond the gift of gazing up at surreal scenery from the comfort of Western's custom J-Rig raft, exploring hidden waterfalls, delighting in delicious riverside meals and sleeping under endless stars, each mom will be treated like royalty with a number of special surprises and a complimentary "Canyon Gift"on both Mother's Day launches. The entire trip promises to be a gift she'll never forget and one that will bring the whole family together in an amazing way,” said Merrill. 

See: http://www.westernriver.com/trips/grand6day/mothers-day.php  

The pros of rafting in May include mild daytime temps (in the 70s and 80s), blankets of spring flowers, thundering waterfalls and more consistent, drier weather. The J-Rig raft assures dry seating if desired plus pontoon seating for the gung-ho who live in the thrill of getting wet. 

The Grand Canyon is Western River Expeditions’ signature trip conquering over 60 major rapids during a 187-mile run in six or seven days. Per person rates for 2012 begin at $2,495. There is also an option to do a shorter three or four day trip covering 100 river miles starting at $1,145 to $1,560 per person respectively. 

Traditionally Grand Canyon trips book full more than a year in advance. “The year is somewhat of an anomaly,” explained Merrill. “Our Mother’s Day departures still have lots of room while the rest of the season is pretty much booked to capacity.” Western River Expeditions can’t promise that they will have the same special trip offer in 2013. 

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, Oregon, 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 

In 2009, Western River Expeditions was named one of the “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth” by the editors of National Geographic Adventure magazine. The company was recently honored as the 2011 recipient of "Best of State" through Utah’s Premier Recognition and Awards Program. This is the eighth consecutive year Western River Expeditions has earned this distinction. 

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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/

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River Rafting Pioneer Western River Expeditions Responds to Demand: Triples Capacity on Colorado River’s Westwater Canyon

SALT LAKE CITY, UT, Dec. 12, 2011 – The whitewater rafting pioneer with over 50 years of experience, Western River Expeditions (http://www.westernriver.com/), has more than tripled its Colorado River – Westwater Canyon capacity to become the single largest outfitter on this popular stretch of whitewater along the Colorado/Utah border. 

The capacity has gone from 14 to 63 launches in Westwater Canyon and from 350 to 1,350 user days. 

Added capacity means more excursions and date options, says Brian Merrill, CEO. Demand for these trips is up because of a growing trend toward shorter escapes plus the fact that Westwater Canyon was recently named by National Geographic as "the West's best short whitewater rafting trip." 

"This was the one stretch of river where we have needed more capacity to meet the demand from our guests. With a launch leaving almost every other day during the prime summer months, we can now accommodate just about everyone's schedule while visiting and vacationing in Moab,” says Merrill. 

“Last year we took around 350 people; ideally we'll be up to 1,350 this year which now makes us the largest rafting outfitter in Westwater Canyon,” he notes. “We accomplished this by buying out just the Westwater operation of Adventure Bound River Expeditions, based in Grand Junction, Colorado. 

The Westwater Canyon area was recently recommended by Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar for Wilderness designation. This means greater protection, specifically with regard to oil drilling in the region. 

In Westwater, Western River Expeditions offers full day trips that begin and end at the Moab Adventure Center in Moab, Utah. The age minimum is 12. The day of rafting can also be enjoyed as part of a longer multi-sport package. 

A four day/ three night program offers on-river adventures, a Hummer® Safari and optional horseback ride in Utah’s famous Castle Valley, a region rife with settings of movies and commercials. Accommodations are at Red Cliffs Lodge on the banks of the Colorado River. Rates are $635 per adult and $595 per youth. See: http://www.westernriver.com/trips/westwater/  

The one-day program is a spirited oar-powered and paddleboat adventure through Westwater Canyon. Guides expertly row through exciting waves and swirling pools dwarfed by stunningly beautiful and unique black, gold and red canyon walls of Southern Utah. Guests hike to historic cabins, mysterious caves and Indian petroglyphs which punctuate the river's course. Class II-IV rapids such as Funnel Falls, Skull Rapid and Sock-it-to-Me provide plenty of excitement while calmer waters on the last part of the river offer a relaxing end to the perfect day trip. The rate is $165 per person. See: http://www.westernriver.com/trips/westwater1day/  

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, Idaho rafting and now Oregon 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  

In 2009, Western River Expeditions was named one of the “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth” by the editors of National Geographic Adventure magazine. The company was recently honored as the 2011 recipient of "Best of State" through Utah’s Premier Recognition and Awards Program. This is the eighth consecutive year Western River Expeditions has earned this distinction.  

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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 Widness & Wiggins PR on Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/BoulderDave

River Rafting Pioneer Western River Expeditions Announces Lodge-to-Lodge Rafting on Oregon’s Rogue River

SALT LAKE CITY, UT, Nov. 17, 2011 – Celebrating over 50 years of navigating the West’s wildest rivers, whitewater rafting pioneer Western River Expeditions (http://www.westernriver.com/) inaugurates lodge-to-lodge rafting trips on Oregon’s Rogue River this summer, with three and four day trips scheduled weekly June 3 through Aug. 26, 2012. See: http://www.westernriver.com/trips/rogue-river-rafting  

“Our lodge-to-lodge itinerary removes the camping equation, leaving guests to play like an otter on the river by day and hibernate like a bear in a private lodge room come twilight,” said Brandon Lake, vice president. He noted that most other Western River Expeditions are all-inclusive camping adventures.  

With legendary Pacific Northwest appeal stemming from deep roots in river rafting lore, the Rogue River rafting trip blends wildlife (think deer and black bear) wilderness with cabin comforts and family-style meals in the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest, a region so remote that mail boats still deliver letters to isolated residents on waters running over 200 miles from the Cascade Mountains near Crater Lake to the Pacific.  

The all-inclusive rate for three days per adult is $939, $879 for ages 5-16; for four days the rate is $1,245 adult, $1,165 ages 5-16 (plus tax). Trips begin and end at Morrison’s Lodge near Merlin, 43 miles from Rogue Valley International-Medford Airport in Medford, OR.  

On Day One a rapid named Grave Creek marks the congressionally designated (National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 1968) Wild & Scenic section of the Rogue River. Later guests walk around Ranie Falls, a notorious Class V rapid.  Afternoons are spent splashing through Class II and Class III rapids before retiring to off-the-grid Black Bar Lodge that shuts down its generators after dinner.  

Hikes to historic cabins are interspersed with river adventures on Day Two that ends at Marial Lodge. There’s an optional evening hike through dense conifers to a nearby waterfall. Day Three brings rafters to Mule Creek Canyon, Blossom Bar and Devils Staircase, all Class IV rapids with an end in sight at Galice Resort. Those who embark on a four-day adventure spend a night at Paradise Lodge and more time exploring the Oregon canopy.  

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, Idaho rafting and now Oregon 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 

In 2009, Western River Expeditions was named one of the “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth” by the editors of National Geographic Adventure magazine. The company was recently honored as the 2011 recipient of "Best of State" through Utah’s Premier Recognition and Awards Program. This is the eighth consecutive year Western River Expeditions has earned this distinction. 

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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.

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Western River Expeditions Reports Record Bookings in Record-High Water Year: Advises Book Now for 2012 Grand Canyon Trips to Secure Space

Company Reports 85 Percent Increase in 2-Day Cataract Canyon Trips;  26 Percent on 4-Day Cataract Classic Trips  

SALT LAKE CITY, UT, Aug. 31, 2011– High, adrenaline-inducing waters thrilled rafters on Utah and Arizona’s Colorado River in record numbers this season. One tour operator who experienced an 85 percent increase in bookings in a sector of his business reports that 2012 reservations already in place are set to eclipse 2011. 

“Anyone who wants to book a Grand Canyon raft trip is advised to do it as soon as possible,” said Brian Merrill, CEO of rafting pioneer Western River Expeditions (http://www.westernriver.com/) celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2011. “We’re already experiencing the highest pre-booking rates in several years for next year’s season.” 

For the 2012 season, six- and seven-day Grand Canyon raft trips as of late summer are, according to Merrill, “one third booked and requests are 43 percent ahead of last year at this same time. Those who wish to ride the river with us next year should grab a space soon.”

The Grand Canyon is Western River Expeditions’ signature trip conquering over 60 major rapids during a 187 mile run in six or seven days. Per person rates for 2012 begin at $2,495. There is also an option to do a shorter three or four day trip covering 100 river miles starting at $1,145 to $1,560 per person respectively.  

In 2011 the sales of Cataract Canyon river trips covering a scenic section of the Colorado River directly above the Grand Canyon http://www.westernriver.com/trips/cataract/ reached an all-time record high, with 2-Day Cataract Express trips reporting an 85 percent increase above last year and the Cataract Classic 4-Day trips 26 percent higher. 

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. 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 

In 2009, Western River Expeditions was named one of the “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth” by the editors of National Geographic Adventure magazine. The company was recently honored as the 2011 recipient of "Best of State" through Utah’s Premier Recognition and Awards Program. This is the eighth consecutive year Western River Expeditions has earned this distinction. 

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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 Widness & Wiggins PR on Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/BoulderDave

Western River Expeditions Extends Season into August For Colorado River Cataract Canyon 2-Day Express Trip

Record High Water Creates Ideal Conditions for the Best Rafting Season in Decades 

SALT LAKE CITY, UT, July 18, 2011– River rafting pioneer Western River Expeditions (http://www.westernriver.com/) will extend its Colorado River Cataract Canyon 2-Day Express trip into August for the first time in their 50-year history. This is over a month longer than usual. 

Record runoff and high water flows have created what Brian Merrill, CEO, calls “ideal conditions. ” 

The 2-day/1-night program begins and ends in Moab, Utah, traveling 100 river miles through Canyonlands National Park. Departure dates are July 18, 22, 25, 29, August 2 and 5. The per person rate is $575 (adult and youth ages 12 and up). After the exhilaration of a ride through 30 whitewater rapids where the canyon deepens to over 2,000 feet, dinner and overnight camping follow before greeting the water again the next morning. At the take-out, guests are returned overland to Moab. 

"Water years like 2011 only come along once each decade, and there is still a lot of water left in the mountains --  623% of normal to be precise,” Merrill said. 

Excellent rafting is also anticipated through the summer on both 4-Day, Cataract Classic trips http://www.westernriver.com/trips/cataract/ (scheduled through the end of August) and 5-day Green River trips http://www.westernriver.com/trips/green/ exploring Desolation Canyon in Utah. 

“People should take advantage and sign up.  We'll keep running further into August if the water holds out,” Merrill said, adding that “2011 now ranks as the second highest year on record for water content in the mountains of the Colorado River Basin.”   

About 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. 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 

In 2009, Western River Expeditions was named one of the “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth” by the editors of National Geographic Adventure magazine. The company was recently honored as the 2011 recipient of "Best of State" through Utah’s Premier Recognition and Awards Program. This is the eighth consecutive year Western River Expeditions has earned this distinction. 

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Western River Expeditions Gears Up For Record Rapid Descents Due to High and Fast Moving Snow-Melt Waters

Rafting from Camp to Camp Predicted to be 40% Faster Allowing More Time for Side Canyon Hiking 

SALT LAKE CITY, UT, June 13, 2011– As of early June, skiers were still enjoying fresh snow on many slopes of the Rockies. What this means for the Colorado and Green River drainages is record snowpack which has begun to flow downstream making river rafting pioneer Western River Expeditions (http://www.westernriver.com/) and their guests ecstatic. 

This comes as Western River Expeditions celebrates its 50thanniversary of running rivers in the West. They’re predicting 2011 to be one of the top three years in the past half century for high water and big rapids in Utah/Arizona on the Colorado River (Westwater, Cataract Canyon, Grand Canyon) and the best year ever on Utah’s Green River through Desolation Canyon. High, fast waters are predicted through July and into August. 

“Our guides report excellent runs (40 percent faster than normal) and very excited guests, with river levels you may not see again in your lifetime,” says Brian Merrill, CEO. “High water brings both the thrill and fun of a more exciting ride plus more time for off-river side canyon exploring. It also creates the need to be extra cautious. In pre- and post-trip team meetings we discuss how things are going, insights we’ve learned from our expert guides and how to best handle the ever-changing water conditions.” 

"Some guests are not looking for white-knuckle whitewater.  For them, the perfect trip is down the Green River through Desolation Canyon. The high water makes this 4 or 5 day trip extra fun, but the rapids are not as large as those in Cataract Canyon, Westwater Canyon, and the Grand Canyon.  If people still want to experience this historic year on the river, we still have a few spots available on the Green River and Cataract Canyon for 2011.” says Merrill. 

Statistically as of early June the Colorado River Basin sat at 263 percent of normal and the Green River portion of the Basin was at 465 percent of normal, making it the highest year on record. Because of a cooler-than-normal spring, water is coming down in a more controlled fashion. This means high water, spread out over a longer period of time, which means more exciting rafting well into July. Peak flow is expected late June. 

Merrill says this year’s training focused on issues associated with high water: adjusting to much faster river speeds, dealing with obstacles that exist now because the high water is flowing over them, and excess driftwood in the water that has been washed off the banks upstream. 

Water being released through the Grand Canyon out of Glen Canyon Dam is 30-40 percent higher than average. Even with excess water being let out of Lake Powell to help fill Lake Mead, Lake Powell is still expected to rise by 30 feet this summer.  This will put it within 50 feet of being completely full.  Just three years ago, Lake Powell was down over 150 feet.

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. 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 

In 2009, Western River Expeditions was named one of the “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth” by the editors of National Geographic Adventure magazine. The company was recently honored as the 2011 recipient of "Best of State" through Utah’s Premier Recognition and Awards Program. This is the eighth consecutive year Western River Expeditions has earned this distinction. 

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River Rafting Pioneer, Western River Expeditions, Predicts High Waters, Stellar Year on West’s White Waters

SALT LAKE CITY, UT, MAY 17, 2011 – This spring / summer promises to be one of the top 10 best high water years on record for the Colorado River System in Utah and Arizona, reports Brian Merrill, CEO of Western River Expeditions http://www.westernriver.com /that 50 years ago helped pioneer the sport of river rafting on white waters of the West. 

“It’s possibly the best water year ever on Utah’s Green River  in our half century of river running,” Merrill said. He noted that for raft enthusiasts and whitewater adrenaline junkies “2011 is THE year to book a river trip through Westwater or Cataract Canyons of the Colorado Riveror Gray and Desolation Canyons on the Green.” Also, the Bureau of Reclamation is releasing extra flow from Glen Canyon Dam which means higher water through the Grand Canyon this year. (The water release strategy is an effort to increase the level of Lake Mead.) 

Merrill anticipated that high water would continue through late July this year; ordinarily it tapers off at the end of June. The public may monitor Colorado and Green River drainages on a daily basis by going to: http://www.cbrfc.noaa.gov/rec/rec.php. 

As of mid May the water content from snowpack in the mountains of the Colorado River Basin is the fifth highest on record, potentially making this year one of the 10 best high water years ever, with 1984 setting records when the flow in Cataract Canyon peaked at 114,000 cubic feet per second (CFS). In 1983 it peaked at 103,000 CFS. The current snowpack is 10 percent behind where it was at this point in 1983 and 20 percent behind where it was in 1984. Anything over 50,000 CFS is considered significant according to Merrill. 

“We will easily exceed that number this year,” said Merrill. “There is no way to accurately predict because there are so many variables such as how quickly will the weather warm up and the amount of spring rainfall. These factors could either cause the water to peak quickly or come down more gradually creating a nice sustained flow that stretches later into the summer. But based on the snowpack and the long-term weather prediction, we could easily see levels around 70,000 - 80,000 CFS on the Colorado River through Cataract Canyon.” 

He explained that two benefits of faster, higher water are bigger and more exciting rapids plus faster journeys down river so there’s more time for side canyon hiking and exploring. 

“Desolation Canyon on the Green River, again thanks to snowpack, will be spectacular. It's still a more moderate river as compared to the Colorado River, but a great number of the rapids become a solid Class III http://www.westernriver.com/riverscale/, and it is incredibly fun.  It is more rare for the Green River to get big, so this could be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.” 

The larger waves and increased river speed present high water challenges that his staff have been trained to meet. 

“Our philosophy is that we always prepare for the most extreme conditions and if we don't have them, it's ok to be over-prepared,” he said. 

Rafting trips offered by Western River Expeditions range from one to seven days:

-Westwater Canyon, Colorado River http://www.westernriver.com/trips/westwater1day/;

-Cataract Canyon, Colorado River – 2 day http://www.westernriver.com/trips/cataract/ and 4 day http://www.westernriver.com/trips/canyonlands/;

-Desolation & Gray Canyons, Green Riverhttp://www.westernriver.com/trips/green/;

-Grand Canyon, Colorado Riverhttp://www.westernriver.com/trips/grandcanyon/ 

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: See: http://www.westernriver.com/whywestern/environment.php 

In 2009, Western River Expeditions was named one of the “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth” by the editors of National Geographic Adventure magazine. The company was recently honored as the 2010 recipient of "Best of State" through Utah’s Premier Recognition and Awards Program. This is the seventh consecutive year Western River Expeditions has earned this distinction. 

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Western River Expeditions, River Rafting Pioneer, Heralds 50 Years on American Rivers

 Western River Expedition’s 50thAnniversary Season Celebrated with Shared Stories, Discounts, Cake and Complimentary Trip Photos 

SALT LAKE CITY, UT, Mar. 1, 2011 –Fifty years ago Western River Expeditions (http://www.westernriver.com/) helped pioneer the concept of river rafting vacations, targeting wilderness canyons and white water rivers in the American West that five decades later continue to amaze gadget-driven, world-weary clients who may find themselves in raw nature for the first times in their lives. 

From humble beginnings Western River Expeditions (WRE) now offers multi-day rafting itineraries on the Colorado River in Utah and Arizona, Utah’s Green River, the Salmon River in Idaho and the Snake River along the Oregon-Idaho border. WRE has the distinction of being the single largest licensed outfitter offering rafting trips through the Grand Canyon

To celebrate a half century in business and help guests preserve their extraordinary memories, all guests on 2011 adventures will receive a special gift from Western River and trip-partner Shutterfly. On every multi-day trip guests will help celebrate over freshly baked Dutch-oven birthday cake. Plus, for those celebrating a 50thbirthday or anniversary of their own, they will receive a $50 gift certificate from the Moab Adventure Center (a division of the company) for, among others, rafting, hot air ballooning, mountain biking and 4-wheel drive tours. 

Said Brandon Lake, WRE vice president, “In addition to the extraordinary natural settings in which we operate, our commitment to professional guides, trip safety, and integrity have secured a position for Western River Expeditions that’s second to none in the river rafting industry.” 

“Every year, Western River Expeditions escorts more people down the rivers we run than anyone else in the business. In addition to thousands of repeat customers each year, more than half of our new guests come each year as a result of the recommendations of past guests,” said Lake. 

WRE’s rafting season runs from March through October on rivers in Utah, Idaho and Arizona. Aside from its river operations, it is also the largest tour provider in Moab, UT, through its division Moab Adventure Center (http://www.moabadventurecenter.com/). 

To help document its 50 year history and river legacy, all year long the company will be sharing and collecting stories from managers, staff and guides while also encouraging former guests to share and blog about their own tales.  See: http://blog.westernriver.com/blog/western-river-guest-stories 

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. 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 

In 2009, Western River Expeditions was named one of the “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth” by the editors of National Geographic Adventure magazine. The company was recently honored as the 2010 recipient of "Best of State" through Utah’s Premier Recognition and Awards Program. This is the seventh consecutive year Western River Expeditions has earned this distinction. 

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