Well-Above-Average Snow Pack Feeding Colorado River System Bodes Well for the 2023 Rafting Season

SALT LAKE CITY, Feb. 14, 2023 – One whitewater rafting company is giving a big shout-out to Mother Nature.

January 2023 was a wet and snowy month over the Colorado River Watershed. As a result, the snowpack in the Upper Colorado River Basin is 122.81% of the Feb. 13 average. This represents the second-highest recorded snowfall in the past 10 years.

Late January weather in Grand Canyon National Park produced 2-3 feet of snow on the South Rim and 6-9 feet on the North Rim.

“While we still have a few months to go, this initial snowfall bodes well for a robust rafting season ahead on Utah rivers,” underscores Brandon Lake, co-owner and CMO of Western River Expeditions.

It’s been nearly a decade since a snowpack shed such an exuberant glow this early in the year. The twofold benefits of the snowpack are high water for river rafters and possible drought mitigation.

“Those who are booking our Cataract Canyon rafting trips for 2023 look like they may be in for an exciting whitewater adventure!” says Lake.

This news is music to the ears of avid rafters who love the thrills of high-water rafting. High water not only makes some rapids even more exciting, but it also gives rafters more time for side canyon hikes and exploring the terrain around their river camps because they get to the camps faster.

The river system of the Upper Colorado River Basin is built by flows from numerous western rivers. The early season snowfalls and anticipated spring snow accumulations impact Utah’s Cataract Canyon on the Colorado River, as well as Desolation Canyon on the Green River.

The potential high water gives Western River Expeditions greater flexibility to match up the craft it uses depending on the water’s intensity. For the beginning of this season the J Rig, the largest craft in their fleet (offering greater stability than smaller oar and paddle rafts), could be the vessel of choice for rafting on the Colorado River through Cataract Canyon.

Cataract Canyon near Moab, UT, begins where the Green and Colorado Rivers meet. 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.

Western’s Cataract Canyon4-day trip mixes running the rapids with off-river hikes to ancient Native American ruins and pictographs. Guests conclude this adventure with a stunning flight over Canyonlands National Park on their return to Moab. The trip covers 100 river miles with the pleasures of camping under the stars and dining on chef-prepared meals. The 2023 per-person rate is $1,825. For details see https://www.westernriver.com/cataract-canyon-rafting

Western’s Desolation Canyon 5-day rafting trip on the neighboring Green River in Utah is also expected to have higher-than-average water levels this spring and summer. This is Western River’s top-recommended trip for families with younger children and teens due to its playful rapids, easy side hikes and options to relax in a larger raft rowed by a professional guide or paddle your own 2-person inflatable kayak.

To see the latest snowpack report see: http://snowpack.water-data.com/uppercolorado/index.php

For a copy of Western River Expeditions’ 2023 catalog and to ask questions about the trips, 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 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 the past nineteen consecutive years (2004-2022).

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