Colorado River Cataract Canyon Powell’s Rafting Expedition 5 Day

Adventure Description

Discover peace as you float on the flat water sections through Canyonlands National Park. Serenity as you sit on a sandy beach stargazing. Awe as you learn about the primitive cultures that called this fertile desert home. And excitement while crashing through the intense white water Major John Wesley Powell made a first descent through a little over 100 years ago. This is the Cataract Canyon Powell Expedition with time to relax near, play on, and explore around the Colorado River. It’s the rafting adventure of a lifetime.

Adventure Level

The Colorado river is a wild and natural river above Lake Powell. Snow melt greatly impacts the level, speed and temperature of the water. Cataract Canyon can be the ultimate white water rafting adventure or it can be a great family camping vacation 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.

Stretch out your time in the backcountry by selecting Powell’s white water rafting in Canyonlands National Park through Cataract Canyon. This is Utah river rafting taken in the style of John Wesley Powell, in a small row raft that puts you at eye level with the water. Smaller, lighter rafts make the rapids seem bigger and wilder and you roll over them instead of blasting through them. Five days and four nights on this raft trip allow you to really immerse yourself in the backcountry and in the unforgettable beauty that is Canyonlands National Park and southeastern Utah. Hikes along the way enrich your journey. Your experienced guide makes this an informative and educational experience as well as sharing backcountry ethics, cultural history, and natural history of the area. One hundred miles of Utah river running on the Colorado River, hits 28 named rapids, and feels sensational on this leisurely raft trip getaway! This raft trip is limited to only 10 guests. It is an intimate retreat for people who really want to slow down their lives to the pace of the river. Indulge in daydreaming for hours, allocate time to deeply explore and enjoy the wilderness, and share a restorative Moab adventure.


Day 1 – Lunch & Dinner
Your adventure begins at the Adrift Adventures office at 7:30 a.m. After a short, scenic ride to the Potash Boat Ramp downstream of Moab and a brief orientation, we launch! As you drift on the calm waters of the Colorado River, your guide will discuss the natural and human history, geology, and flora and fauna. There are walks at several spots with views of petrified wood, geologic wonders and historical sites from oil prospecting from the 1920 era. For lunch, your guides will show off the culinary skills you will enjoy throughout your expedition. Late afternoon, we stop to set up our first camp in a picturesque spot near the river. Instruction on setting up tents makes it quick and easy, so you can spend your time getting to know your companions, playing horseshoes, or burying your toes in the sand. Dinners on the river consist of an appetiser, main course with a salad, and dessert.

Day 2 – Breakfast, lunch & dinner
After breakfast we continue our Utah river rafting on the Colorado River. Another day of drifting on the river will find you relaxed and completely shed of the pace of everyday life. You’ll have an opportunity to gaze the skies for eagles, hawks, Peregrine falcons and watch the river’s surface as blue heron skim along searching for food. This is a contemplative day with your companions as you notice your body’s slower rhythms. Tonight you can pick your guide’s brain for all the stories it holds about canyon country and Major Powell.

Day 3 – Breakfast, lunch & dinner
As we continue our leisurely journey down the Colorado River, we’ll stop and give you the opportunity to hike over “the Loop”. On this trail you’ll climb up to see memorable views of the Colorado from a bird’s perspective. After your hike, we will run the first of the famous rapids of Cataract Canyon! Tonight you’ll camp with the roar of rapids in your ears and dreams of tomorrow’s wild Cataract raft trip adventure on your minds!

Day 4 – Breakfast, lunch & dinner
Today you’ll have an opportunity to hike up to the strange formations known as the Dolls House in the mysterious Maze region of Canyonlands National Park. The Maze is otherwise only accessible by 4-wheel drive vehicle, so you’re truly in the backcountry of this park. Today is also the day we encounter some of the most intense whitewater rafting in North America. You’ll say hello to “Brown Betty”, “Capsize”, and “Ben Hurt”. As we continue downstream, the rapids become even more intense until we enter the Big Drops, the steepest descent of the Colorado River. Here you’ll encounter “Satan’s Gut” and “Little Niagara” in this breathtaking turbulence. This is the BIG day with BIG water and the BIG adventure! Tonight you’ll camp near Lake Powell where you can enjoy a scrumptious meal and recount the day’s events with your friends in thrill-seeking.

Day 5 – Breakfast & Lunch
Be ready for the conclusion of your Moab Utah river rafting adventure. Today we’ll run the last of the whitewater before beginning our journey across Lake Powell to Hite Marina. You’ll have ample opportunity to swim, sunbathe, and relax with friends as we motor across this final stretch called Lake Powell, named for Major Powell. Choose a return option.

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 (tax included).

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 $155.00 / 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 (tax included).

Trip Highlights

  • Intense Class III-V river rafting adventure
  • Native American ruins, geology, and hiking in Canyonlands National Park
  • Colorado River white water rafting
  • Paddle option available at no extra charge

Who Should Go

People looking for a white water river rafting tour like the Grand Canyon, student & youth groups, Moab Utah visitors set on a Colorado River rafting adventure!

What To Bring

See our Packing List

Download our FAQ’s PDF

Dates Available

April through October!

Booking Request Form

$1,295.00 per Adult

$1,240.00 per Youth (10-17) *In high water, May-June, minimum age is 16

Plus Return Option

Sleeping bag, pad and two-person tents included.

$100 per person deposit due at the time of booking and is non-refundable. Balance due 60 days prior to departure and is non-refundable.

Cancellation Policy

(435) 259-8594

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