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Utah River and Wilderness Expeditions since 1964... come Tag-A-Long with us!

Colorado River Rapids, Rapids, Rapids; Westwater Canyon and Cataract Canyon Rafting Combination – (WC4)

Adventure Description

This combination of Westwater and Cataract Canyons on the Colorado River is the absolute best whitewater and back country experience in Moab Utah. Spend 2 days and one night in Westwater floating through the black rocks of the Vishnu Schist, one night in a hotel room, then 4 days, 3 nights on Cataract Canyon. This is intense Utah whitewater rafting.

Adventure Level

The Colorado is a wild and natural river above Lake Powell. There are no dams to artificially influence river flow. Snow melt greatly impacts the level, speed and temperature of a white water rafting trip. These things make a big difference in the character of your Utah whitewater rafting adventure. Westwater Canyon’s crashing rapids and the 28-world class rapids of Cataract Canyon make this the ultimate whitewater rafting tour. Four nights of camping, one night in a motel, optional hiking, 5 days of remote wilderness covering over 150 miles of river.

April to mid-May Rapids III-IV Chilly water. Rapids are good.
Mid-May to Mid June Rapids III-V Whoa Nelly! Leave small kids at home!
July to October Rapids III-IV Warm waters, everybody come! Rapids are good.

This full-tilt rapids expedition is our ultimate whitewater package. Two canyons deliver BIG adventure. The narrow, winding canyon known as Westwater gives you a fast-paced whitewater experience. For two days you are as close to the action as you can be as you negotiate Funnel Falls, Skull Rapid, and Sock It To Me. Just see if you can escape the Room of Doom and miss the Magnetic Wall! In Westwater, you are one with the water. On flatwater stretches, you’ll get in tune with the river’s speed as it courses beneath you. When you’re not negotiating through high-speed rapids, you’re waiting for surprises that lie just around the bend. Your guides will show you an outlaw caves used in the old West, old mining claims and petroglyphs from ancient American Indians. Brief hikes up hidden canyons reveal pools and waterfalls where you can play during certain times of the year.

After an overnight in Moab, where you’ll have time to watch the sun set at Arches National Park or do a little downtown shopping, you’ll depart the next morning for legendary Cataract Canyon. Cataract is the grand adventure of American whitewater. These rapids are as intense and powerful as those found in the inner gorge of the Grand Canyon. You move through a vein in the earth for 100 miles, sometimes at a heart-thumping pace, sometimes lazy as the sun moving across the sky. You’ll encounter the 28 named rapids of Cataract Canyon, legendary names like Capsize, Powell’s Pocket Watch and the three immense rapids making the world-famous Big Drops! This canyon is where the Colorado River gets in a wild brawl with itself as it drops more steeply than anywhere else on the Colorado River. Over five days you’ll encounter 40 rapids and explore two very different canyons. Hiking, swimming, camping, and competition winning delicious shore-side meals are also part of this ultimate whitewater expedition.

For more excitement; add a paddle boat to your adventure in Westwater or Inflatible Kayaks in Cataract Canyon! Ask us for more details.

Itinerary

Day 1 – Lunch & Dinner
Your exciting expedition begins at the Tag-A-Long Expeditions office in Moab, Utah, at 7:00 a.m. We’ll drive you to the river “put in” where your rafts and guides are waiting. After a thorough safety orientation, we launch! This is a good day to scout the skies and shorelines for birds. It’s also a good day to marvel at the unique geology. Your journey takes you through black, Pre-Cambrian rock, some of the oldest found anywhere on earth! Today you hike side canyons and see ancient Indian writings. Another stop will take us to historic Miner’s Cabin, an abandoned gold mining camp. After a delicious meal served with a view of the Colorado River, you’ll camp tonight under astonishing starry skies!

Day 2 – Breakfast & Lunch
After a good breakfast, we launch and descend toward the upper section of the wild rapids of Westwater Canyon. Your guide shares folklore and stories about Cowboy Cave and other wild west legends. We stop at the confluence of the Little Dolores River for a short walk and lunch. Afterwards, your guide prepares you and the boats for the next stretch of the river, then hang onto your hats! The rapids come fast and furious with names like Funnel Falls, Skull Rapid, Sock It To Me, and Bowling Alley. You’ll pass by the Room of Doom and the Magnetic Wall and hear how they got their names. Happy and invigorated, your day on the river ends about 5:00 p.m. After a ride back to Moab via bus, you’ll have time for a hot shower and a nice meal in one of Moab’s many restaurants. You might want to go out and paint the town red, but beware, you have three more BIG days ahead of you! Sleep tight!

Day 3 – Lunch & Dinner
We will meet again at 7:00 a.m. to begin the next exciting chapter of your expedition. A short, scenic drive takes us to the river “put in” where your guides will give you a brief safety orientation before boarding the raft. Today we enjoy the calm waters of the Colorado River in Meander Canyon as we pass beneath Dead Horse Point and Thelma and Louise Point. Towering red rock walls stand in stark contrast to stunning blue skies. Watchful eyes can occasionally spot eagles, bighorn sheep, mule deer or a lone coyote. At lunch time, we’ll stop along shore and take a brief hike. Toward late afternoon, we stop to make camp for the night. Your guide will help you in erecting your ‘pup’ tent if you’re renting from us which makes camp life easy so you can spend your time playing horseshoes or relaxing with your toes in the sand. Then your guide gets to flex their culinary muscles by preparing a delicious and award winning meal, complete with dessert! And you won’t be eating off driftwood logs and rocks. Tables and chairs are normal fare on Tag-A-Long’s Cataract Canyon trips. After your satisfying dinner, relax near the campfire and enjoy the amazing star show overhead.

Day 4 – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
After breakfast we continue down the mighty Colorado River through Canyonlands National Park. Along the way you’ll see prehistoric Indian ruins from the Anasazi culture. Some of you may take the optional hike over “the Loop” where you’ll get a spectacular hawk’s eye view of the Colorado River. After lunch, we approach the confluence, a magical merging of two great western rivers, the Green and the Colorado. Just a few miles more and we enter Cataract Canyon to run the first of 28 rapids. Tonight you’ll camp with the roar of the rapids in your ears! Sweet dreams!

Day 5 – Breakfast & Lunch
Eat that hearty breakfast your guide prepares for you. You’ll need all the energy you can muster! Today you run the rest of the legendary Cataract Canyon rapids. These are among the most intense and respected rapids in North America. You’ll meet Brown Betty, Capsize, Powell’s Pocket Watch and the famous Big Drop series of rapids. Here the Colorado River descends more quickly than anywhere in its United States journey! These are the BIG rapids and the BIG thrills! Today you’ll say goodbye to the river before entering the blue waters of Lake Powell. By mid-afternoon you’ll arrive at Hite Marina. You may choose the scenic flight to return to Moab. The flight follows the river’s corridor over the rapids you’ve just run and gives you a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see Canyonlands National Park from the air. What a way to end your whitewater expedition!

Note: Rapids may be run on different days than those listed depending on water flow and camp availability.

Return Options

1. Return to Moab by land. The ride from Hite Marina to Moab takes about four hours through the high desert country of southeastern Utah. Arrival in Moab will be about 9:00 p.m. The cost is $86.88 / person.

2. We strongly recommend a scenic charter flight. The flight is about 45 minutes making arrival back in Moab about 6 p.m. This once-in-a-lifetime flight is only $140.00 / person.

3. Tag-A-Long will shuttle guest vehicles to Hite Marina on Lake Powell so it will be waiting for you when you arrive at the marina early in the afternoon. The cost of this service is $244.35 per vehicle.

Trip Highlights

  • 40 class III-V rapids
  • Unique geology in two distinctly different canyons
  • Ancient Indian sites
  • Major wilderness immersion
  • Everything that Cataract Canyon offers plus Westwater Canyon

Who Should Go

People looking for lots of action; lots of whitewater.

What To Bring

See our Packing List

Download our FAQ’s PDF

Dates Available

Please inquire with the Tag-A-Long Office for dates

Rentals Available

Wet Suit - $10.86 / trip
Required until June 15th

Sleeping Bag w/Mattress - $30.95 / each

Tent - $35.84 / tent (sleeps 2)

20% deposit due at the time of booking and is non-refundable. Balance due 30 days prior to departure.

Cancellation Policy

Booking Request Form

$1395.00 per Adult
$1270.00 per Youth

Plus Return Option

Camping gear rentals available.

Cancellation Policy

(800) 453-3292

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