SALT LAKE CITY, UT, June 13, 2016– Move over, roller coaster. You’ve got competition in the thrills category this spring on Utah’s Cataract Canyon where river rafters stand a chance of taking on massive wave trains of 30 feet or higher.
This phenomenon is thanks to a snowpack feeding into the Upper Colorado River Basin that was at press time, 143% of the June 13 average. See: http://snowpack.water-data.com/uppercolorado/index.php
Brian Merrill, CEO of Western River Expeditions (http://www.westernriver.com/) says these high-density kicks can be expected on parts of the river through June. Then as the snow-pack melt dissipates, things quiet down – somewhat.
Well used to the ebbs and flows of the iconic Colorado River, Merrill notes that a few years ago his team geared up for slower, lower water. This year the story is the exact opposite, with these weeks ahead in 2016 perhaps the “it” weeks of this decade for serious rafting thrills.
The good news is that Western River Expeditions can match up rafting experience with the level of white water. And it can switch out the craft it uses depending on the water’s intensity. For the beginning of this season Merrill expected that the J Rig, the largest craft in their arsenal (offering greater stability than smaller oar and paddle rafts), would be the vessel of choice for Cataract Canyon.
Just south of Moab, UT, where the Green and Colorado Rivers meet in a majestic setting called "The Confluence," Cataract Canyon begins. Bolstered by the Green River, the Colorado River doubles its force, and carves a deep 100-mile-long chasm through the heart of Canyonlands National Park. Here guests experience the thrill of class III-V whitewater.
Cataract Canyon 4-day trip mixes the rapids up with off-river hikes to ancient Native American ruins and fascinating pictographs. Guests conclude this adventure with a stunning flight over Canyonlands National Park on the return to Moab. The trip covers 100 river miles with the pleasures of camping under the stars and dining on chef-prepared meals adding extra splashes for the memory bank. The per person rate is Adult (16+) $1425 / Youth (10-15) $1065. The minimum age is 12 during high water (May & June) dropping to 10 (July & August).
Other rafting trips on the Colorado and neighboring Green Rivers in Utah are also expected to have average to above average water levels this spring and summer. They include Desolation Canyon on the Green River and Westwater Canyon on the Colorado River just upriver from Cataract Canyon.
Western River Expeditions
Western River Expeditions (http://www.westernriver.com/) is an adventure travel company headquartered in Salt Lake City, with operations and offices in Moab, Utah and Fredonia, Arizona. Annually from March through October it escorts more people down rivers on professionally guided rafting trips in Utah, Idaho and Arizona than any other company. It is the largest licensed outfitter in the Grand Canyon and the largest single tour provider in Moab, UT, through its division Moab Adventure Center (http://www.moabadventurecenter.com/).
Western River Expeditions, providing Grand Canyon rafting, Utah rafting, and Idaho rafting trips, was founded in 1961 by Colorado River rafting pioneer Jack Currey. Today it pursues a “guiding green” philosophy and belongs to some of the top environmentally conscious organizations in the world: Grand Canyon River Outfitters Association, American Rivers, Leave No Trace Outdoor Ethics, Utah Rivers Council, America Outdoors, and National River Cleanup Week. See: http://www.westernriver.com/environmental-sustainability
In 2009, Western River Expeditions was named one of the “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth” by the editors of National Geographic Adventure magazine. The company was recently honored as the recipient of "Best of State" through Utah’s Premier Recognition and Awards Program. This is the twelfth consecutive year Western River Expeditions has earned this distinction. For Reservations call: Toll-Free: 866.904.1160 or 801.942.6669.
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