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

Green River Self-Guided Canoe & Guided Colorado River Cataract Canyon Rafting Combination – (SC3)

Adventure Description

The Green River is known for its remote back country solitude through Stillwater Canyon. Cataract Canyon below the confluence of the Green and Colorado Rivers is known for its high adrenaline adventure. Combine the two and you are following in the paddle strokes of Major John Wesley Powell through Canyonlands National Park.

Adventure Level

Canoe / Kayak:The first part is a Self-Guided trip and requires some canoe and camping skills. The river current is a help but paddling is required. Excellent guide maps are available.

  • Backcountry – Flat water (no rapids)
  • Knowledge of packing and camping
  • Excellent hiking opportunities

Guided Cataract Canyon:The Colorado river is a wild and natural river above Cataract Canyon. Snow melt greatly impacts the level, speed, and temperature of the water. Cataract Canyon can be the ultimate whitewater rafting adventure or it can be a great family expedition depending on the time of year you choose.

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

Your personalized canoeing and white water rafting adventure will begin at the Tag-A-Long office in Moab where boats and gear will be loaded into our shuttle vehicles for the drive to the launch site of your choice. Your private canoeing expedition can last anywhere from three days to longer depending on the launch site you choose.

At the end of your self-guided canoe camping trip, your equipment will be picked up by a Tag-A-Long jet boat between the Confluence of the Green River and Colorado River and Spanish Bottom. The rendezvous with the guided raft trip occurs the same day. You’ll experience rapids as intense as those found in the Grand Canyon while your guide does all the work. After spending a night in the canyon, we’ll travel across Lake Powell to Hite Marina. Depending on what return option you choose, you will fly back over Cataract Canyon to Moab and we pick you up at the airport, or you’ll be shuttled back to Tag-A-Long by land, where your gear is waiting for you.

The Rules (National Park Service)

Permits

Paddling through Stillwater Canyon on the Green River or Meander Canyon on the Colorado in Canyonlands National Park requires a permit from Canyonlands National Park. Follow this link to the NPS site to make your permit reservation. Permits are $20/person plus $30 reservation fee for the trip. Permits have not yet been denied.

Backcountry Rules

Leave No Trace ethic practiced.

No pets are allowed in the Park. Fire pans and toilets are mandatory. Tag-A-Long Expeditions has these for rent. Use only driftwood or down and dead tamarisk for firewood. The ashes can be cooled with a sprinkle of water and all ashes should be carried out in your trash.

Equipment

Please see the “Rentals Available” section on the right side for details on all rental equipment we have available.

Vessels

If you require a canoe, Tag-A-Long Expeditions rents several brands of canoes. Rentals include paddles and life jackets. You will need to bring your own lines, ropes, or straps for tying your gear into the canoe. State requires a whistle on board each craft 16′ or longer. Bring one for each rental of Mad River or Old Town canoe(s) or for your own vessel 16′ or longer. Bring a big car wash sponge to mop any mud that might build up in the bilge. Below the Confluence, life jackets must be worn regardless of the type of craft. Children 12 years of age and younger must, by law, always wear a life jacket on all Utah State waters. TAG-A-LONG EXPEDITIONS HIGHLY RECOMMENDS EVERYONE WEAR THEIR LIFE JACKET AT ALL TIMES WHEN CANOEING OR KAYAKING. We encourage every participant to have a whistle attached to your lifejacket, too.

Toilet Systems

Your toilet system should be designed to empty into a sewer system in the same way that recreational vehicles discard refuse. Pack your toilet so it is readily available for day use as well as campsite use. Soiled feminine hygiene products should be stored in a zip-lock bag and carried out in your garbage. We have toilet systems available for rent if you do not have one.

Fire Pans

A fire pan is required in Canyonlands National Park and the surrounding BLM lands reguardless of whether or not you plan on having a fire while camping on the river. Fire pans must be at least 12″ in diameter with a 2″ lip. You may bring your own, or rent one from us.

Campsites

There are no designated campsites along the Green and Colorado Rivers. In order to minimize environmental impacts, we strongly recommend sandbar camping when water level permits. Set your kitchen, fire pan, and toilet system up as close to the river as possible so spring high water will erase traces of your occupancy.

Garbage

PACK IT IN/PACK IT OUT!

Drinking Water

We recommend a gallon of water per person per day. If your original supply of drinking water runs out, you may collect water from the center of the main channel of the river and allow it to settle overnight. Two teaspoons of Aluminum Sulfate Powder or “alum”, in five gallons of water, may expedite settling river water. You should find it at a pharmacy or spice rack. Treatment for killing or removing disease-causing organisms: boil river water for ten minutes, plus one minute for every 1,000 ft elevation (Green River is at 4300′ or so) or utilize mechanical filtration plus chemical disinfectant. You might want to use settled river water for cooking, coffee, or other hot beverages. Bring powdered drink mix or juice concentrates to mask the taste of chemically treated water. Reserve your containers of fresh water for hiking.

Cold Weather Hints

Jet boat services begin in early March and we run the jet boat until late October. Temperatures March to early April and late September and October average 35 – 42 degree fahrenheit lows. When the sun is out it is glorious. Keep feet and hands dry. Tents add warmth to sleeping arrangements. Insulated footwear for in camp will add to your comfort, but may be too warm to hike in. Tall rubber boots (ditch boots) help with muddy banks and keeping feet dry while doing camp chores. Expect frost. You may have to sleep with your personal water bottle, it may freeze if left out.

Emergencies

Hospitals are not immediately available to you in this wilderness area. In an emergency, you may signal aircraft with a small signal mirror or lay out a large “X” pattern with your PFD’s on a surface which is visible to the sky. Cell phone service is generally unavailable and satellite phones are unpredictable. Assess your situation carefully. The cost for evacuation from wilderness areas is expensive!

Itinerary

Mileage Schedule for the Self-guided portion

Green River – Confluence 120 miles   / 7-10 days
Ruby Ranch – Confluence 97 miles   / 5-8 days
Green River – Mineral Bottom 68 miles   / 3-6 days
Mineral Bottom – Confluence 52 miles   / 3-6 days
Moab Dock – Confluence 64 miles   / 3-6 days
Potash – Confluence 47 miles   / 3-6 days

Green River State Park
Launch on the Green River. The road is paved to this put-in and there is an entrance fee of $4.00 per vehicle for day use. If you camp overnight, fees are $12.00 for one site and $4.00 for each additional vehicle. Warning: Reports of ill-passage have come back to our office involving lower water levels 1700 cfs – 2000 cfs at the Hwy bridge crossing of the Green River.

Ruby Ranch
Launch at Ruby Ranch on the Green River. Ruby Ranch is located 23 miles downstream from Green River, Utah and is a remote put-in site located some distance across dirt roads. Ruby Ranch is private property and the owners charge $10.00 per boat and $5.00 a person. You must bring exact change and cash.

Mineral Bottom
Launch at Mineral Bottom on the Green River. Mineral Bottom is a remote location 68 miles below Green River, Utah. Access is by dirt road only. The road becomes impassable during rain.

Moab Dock
Launch at the Moab launch ramp on the Colorado River. The Moab Dock is located just off Highway 191 at the intersection of Highway 128. Roads to the put-in are paved.

Potash Dock
Launch at the Potash launch ramp on the Colorado River. The Potash Dock is located 17 miles downstream from Moab, Utah.

In planning your trip, consider that an average of 15 – 20 miles per day in a canoe is an excellent day on the river.

The Jet boat Pick-Up

The Tag-A-Long jet boat will locate you on a beach between the confluence and Spanish Bottom. Be prepared to pass your bundled equipment onto the jet boat at the designated pick up time. Remove all gear from your vessel. Vessels will be loaded onto the jet boat top rack for transport back to Moab.

The Confluence and Spanish Bottom
Below the confluence of the Green and Colorado rivers, the Colorado River rapidly changes personality! There are eddies during various water levels throughout the four miles beyond the Confluence. Also be prepared for a more powerful current in this area. Four miles beyond the Confluence the rapids of Cataract Canyon begin. DO NOT ENTER THE RAPIDS WITH YOUR CANOE. Remain in the jet boat pick up zone for the rendezvous with the raft trip.

Guided Cataract Canyon:

Day 1 – Lunch & Dinner
A Cataract Canyon whitewater adventure begins at around 12pm with the jet boat picking up your canoe’s and all unnecessary equipment and the boatmen pulling up in their rafts to prepare a delicious lunch. Before hitting the whitewater rapids, your guide will give you a thorough whitewater orientation and let you know what to expect. Then off you go! Late afternoon, stop to set up a picturesque campsite amid the rapids for the night. Guides provide instruction to ‘pup’ tents, if you have rented from Tag-A-Long. Making it quick and easy so you can spend your time relaxing and having fun with your companions. After sunset, enjoy the clear southwestern skies and see glittering stars!

Day 2 – Breakfast & Lunch
After breakfast we continue our raft journey down the Colorado River around 9:00 a.m. The steepest descent of the Colorado River is encountered with these rapids in Canyonlands. The raft hits some of its most well known and respected rapids like Capsize, the Button Hole, and the famous Big Drops, where the Colorado River makes it’s steepest descent of anywhere on it’s journey. The raft trip ends with a relaxing cruise across Lake Powell, a stunning red rock and blue green water wonderland. At the marina, (with advance reservations) choose to board the scenic air flight back to Moab. The flight is piloted up the Colorado River above the rapids just run and over Canyonlands National Park before landing at the Canyonlands Airfield in Moab.

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

  • Self-designed trip
  • Flexible length 3+ days
  • Privacy & solitude on up to 120 miles of Canyonlands flat waters
  • Trade your canoe for a guided raft trip through Cataract Canyon rafting trip
  • Colorado River white water rafting

Who Should Go

Almost anyone from experienced paddlers to novice paddlers. This is an excellent trip for school groups, too!

What To Bring

See our Packing List

Download our FAQ’s PDF

Dates Available

Runs weekly from mid-March to mid-October.
Our Cataract Canyon rafts will be at the Confluence of the Green and Colorado Rivers on Mondays or Tuesdays. Please plan your canoe/kayak trip to meet with the rafts on this day depending on your reservation. Contact us for other dates.

Rentals Available

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

Sleeping Bag w/Mattress - $30.95 per each

Tent - $35.84 per tent (sleeps 2)

Canoe Rentals: (click on the name for dimensions)

Mad River Explorer - $27.15 per day

Old Town Discovery - $32.58 per day

Canoe Seat Backs – $10.86 per trip (Only fits Old Town and Mad River canoes)

Fire Pan – $5.43 per trip (max 10 days)

Toilet System – $32.58 per trip (max 10 days)

Dimensions:

  • Large: 18″ x 16″ x 16″ high – 64 uses
  • Small: 12″ x 12″ x 12″ – 26 uses
  • Kayak: 13.5″ x 10″ x 8″ – 14 uses

 

Booking Request Form

$1087.00 per person

Cost includes:

Transfer from Moab to river start and jet boat pick up of boat and gear between the confluence of the Green and Colorado Rivers and Spanish Bottom.

Guided 2 day raft trip through Cataract Canyon.

Does not include:

$20 per person + $30 processing fee Canyonlands National Park permit required. We will request to see it at check in. Go to the National Parks Service site to download a permit application.

Return Option (see below)

(Pick up of a 14′ raft is $270 extra.)
(Pick up of a raft longer than 14′ is $320 extra.)

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

Cancellation Policy

(800) 453-3292

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