Summer Fun is Synonymous with Swimming - Western River Expeditions Offers Its Top Picks for Swimming Holes, Pools and Hot Springs on Rivers in the West

SALT LAKE CITY, UT, May 11, 2017 – Getting wet under the hot summer sun and thoroughly enjoying it is an experience that participants of a whitewater rafting trip anticipate with youthful exuberance. It might be a giant wave from a rapid, a friendly water fight between rafts or a swim in a side stream or river eddy. The aim is to get drenched. However, knowing where to soak in a fun and safe environment is important.

For the benefit of river runners everywhere, the veteran guides of Western River Expeditions have recommended six places to swim, dive or soak on four legendary rafting rivers in the West. Following are the expert’s picks where spending time cavorting like seals enhances the inner child.

Colorado River - Cataract Canyon, Utah / Indian Creek at river mile 30.5

From spring through early summer, a waterfall and pool are wedged into a narrow side canyon paradise with 2,000-foot canyon walls and displays of Native American ruins.  Guests leave their rafts to hike to this secluded slice of Indian Creek that starts miles away in the Abajo Mountains. This is a 4-day rafting trip for ages 10 and up with rates from $1,475. Guests thrill to Class III and IV rapids over the 100-mile journey. See: http://www.westernriver.com/cataract-canyon-rafting

Colorado River – Upper Grand Canyon, Arizona / Havasu Creek at mile 157

Hike a mile up from the Colorado River along the turquoise waters of Havasu Creek and you come to Ruby Pools. Here, every 20 feet or so is another 5 to 10-foot waterfall. Ruby Pools is the best spot for small jumps off the rocks into deep waters. Beyond Ruby, accessed by a long hike in from the rim, are 10 miles of Havasu Creek from Supai Village to the Colorado River, regarded as one of the most stunning Gardens of Eden on Earth. It takes another private visit to access this section of Havasu. Western’s iconic raft trip is a 6- or 7-day vacation for ages 12 and up, from $2,699 per person. Class III to V rapids abound on the 188-mile river course. See: http://www.westernriver.com/grand-canyon-vacation

Colorado River – Lower Grand Canyon, Arizona / Pumpkin Spring at mile 212.9

The rock formation, colored orange with streaks down the sides looks just like a giant pumpkin. Here is the best cliff jumping spot in the canyon. The water is warmer than the upper canyon, but inside the pumpkin itself, it’s recommended for foot-soaking only, not for swimming. The water contains high levels of arsenic as well as concentrations of lead, zinc, copper and other metals. Under the direction of a guide, jumping off the pumpkin into the river is a ton of fun. This gentler section of the Colorado River can accommodate ages 9 and up on Class II and III rapids. This is a 3-day program with rates from $1,299. See: http://www.westernriver.com/grand-canyon-river-trip

Green River – Desolation Canyon, Utah / Rock Creek at river mile 41

A side canyon, spring-fed stream, Rock Creek is usually clear and tempting for a nice long dip. Brook trout thrive here in the shadows ofRock Creek Canyon that sports a former homestead built of hand-carved sandstone. Hikers will see Fremont petroglyphs on the hike in. Butch Cassidy and the Wild Bunch found that the rugged terrain here offered a perfect hideaway. Floating down the Green River, guests know they have arrived at Rock Creek because of the natural oasis, with old ranch outbuildings shaded by apple trees. Legendary American author and environmental crusader Edward Abbey on a 1980 Desolation float wrote, "This is one of the sweetest, brightest, grandest, loneliest of primitive regions still remaining." This is a 5-day adventure for ages 5 and up. Over its 99 miles, guests encounter Class II and III rapids. See: http://www.westernriver.com/desolation-canyon

Main Salmon River, Idaho / Barth Hot Springs at river mile 22.5

Sore muscles need attention! This is an easy hike off the river to a hot springs pool with a beautiful view of the river canyon. The large springs can accommodate up to a dozen soakers. This 5-day vacation through Class III and IV rapids over 82 river miles is for ages 6 and up with rates from $1,590. See: http://www.westernriver.com/main-salmon-river

Middle Fork of the Salmon River, Idaho / Sunflower Hot Springs at mile 32.6

This free-flowing river drops 3,000 feet over the 100-mile course through the River of No Return Wilderness, the largest wilderness in the Lower 48. Enroute guests enjoy Sunflower Hot Springs seeping from a bedrock outcrop 30 feet above the river. An improvised wooden spout sends a stream of hot water cascading off the edge into a relaxing riverside shower. Water reaches 100 degrees, providing a hot-water massage for tired muscles. Here, the Sheepeater Indians would soak the horns of Bighorn sheep so they could create their bows. This 5- or 6-day journey welcomes ages 7 and up, with Class III and IV rapids over 100 river miles. See: http://www.westernriver.com/middle-fork-salmon-river

River and Canyon Swimming Safety Tips from the Experts

  • Always wear your lifejacket or PFD (personal flotation device). A PFD is required whileswimming with a guide’s permission off the bank or in the main river channel.  Ask your guides whether it should be worn off-river while swimming in side canyon creeks and hot springs.  It should be fastened and adjusted to a snug fit. It must always be worn while in the raft. Wearing a pair of floatable footwear (Teva sandals for example) is also a good idea when swimming.
  • Swim only when and where your guides instruct.
  • Always be sure to let your guides or another adult know where you are, especially when you plan to enter the water.
  • Neverjump into the river or pool unless your guide says it’s ok to do so. Always jump feet first.
  • Watch for signs of chill or the onset of hyperthermia. The water in the river can be cold, especially on early season trips or on rivers that are dam controlled.
  • Never swim alone!  Use the Buddy System.
  • Try not to swallow the water.  It may look clear and clean but you never know what has gotten into it upstream.
  • Get out before you are tired. Exhaustion comes on quick and can lead to slips and accidents.
  • Protect yourself from the sun.  Exposure can be intense. Be sure to wear a waterproof, broad spectrum SPF 40+ applied at minimum 30 minutes before entering the water. Be sure to reapply immediately after you dry off.
  • Know where the kids are at all times!  Kids love water but they can easily get in over their head.

For a copy of Western River Expeditions’ 2017 catalog, questions, availability and reservations call toll-free: 866.904.1160 (Local: 801.942.6669), or visit the newly enhanced website at: 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 and Idaho rafting, and international multi-sport 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 fourteen consecutive years.

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