Large cataract canyon   rafting 1

White Water Rafting Holiday in Utah

An action packed 2 week holiday in Utah, exploring Zion and Bryce Canyons, followed by a 5 day white water rafting trip on the Colorado River through the stunning Canyonlands National Park. An adventure that the whole family will remember for ever!

Tailor-made 15 days

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Itinerary

Overview

  • Independent exploration of Zion & Bryce Canyon National Parks
  • Five day white water rafting trip through Canyonlands National Park
  • Hike to see Native American ruins
  • Scenic flight
Your holiday begins in the original Sin City, Las Vegas. Staying in a boutique level hotel, you will have a chance to recover from your jet lag and see the bright lights before heading out to the antithesis of hedonistic Vegas and enjoy the beauty of Mother Nature. Your first port of call is Zion National Park, home to stunning canyons and gorges with some fabulous walking opportunities. You can opt to do one of the hikes, or you may choose to relax and float down the Virgin River in inflatable tubes, both offer fantastic views. You then move on to Bryce Canyon, famed for it's bright orange hoodoo rock formations set amongst pine forest. Hiking is, again, the best way to experience the canyon and to find some solitude away from the crowds. From Bryce, it is a long drive along one of the most scenic roads in the USA to get to Moab. Driving through mountains and through Capitol Reef National Park, the scenery just keeps getting better and better. Once you reach Moab, you will have a day free to relax. You may decide to relax around the pool, or explore Arches National Park, famed for its sandstone arches.

Then, you reach the highlight of your holiday; a 5 day rafting trip down the Colorado River, passing through Canyonlands National Park. Over the course of the five days, you will pass through some breath-taking scenery including canyons with 2000ft red rock walls and Lockhart Canyon, where Butch Cassidy and the Sundance kid used to hide their stolen cattle. There will be plenty of opportunities to stop and swim, as well as some magnificent hiking, reaching some truly isolated spots. Your guide will also be able to take you to see Indian ruins. Each night, you will set up camp on the shores of the river where there will be time to relax, swim and star gaze and enjoy delicious food prepared by your guide. The rafting itself is gentle over the first few days, it is not until the 4th day when you encounter the rapids. These are level III - V depending on water levels. Your trip ends in Lake Powell, where you will have a scenic flight back to Moab. The following day, you will drive to Salt Lake City for some last minute shopping before heading back home.

Day-by-day

Itinerary in Brief


DAY 1: Arrive Las Vegas
DAY 2: Las Vegas
DAY 3 - 4: Zion National Park
DAY 5: Bryce Canyon National Park
DAY 6: Drive to Moab
DAY 7: Moab
DAY 8 - 12: White water rafting Cataract Canyon
DAY 13: Moab
DAY 14: Drive to Salt Lake City
DAY 15: Fly Home


Extended Itinerary

DAY 1: ARRIVE LAS VEGAS
After arriving in Las Vegas, you will pick up your hire car and drive to your hotel where we suggest you take it easy and recover from your flight.
Meals Included: n/a
Accommodation: Platinum
Driving Time (where relevant): 15 minutes

DAY 2: LAS VEGAS
Las Vegas is full of sights and given the right attitude, is a fun place to explore. Children are allowed to walk through casinos, but are not permitted to gamble, or stop and watch gambling. Activities families may enjoy include visiting a water park, watching the circus acts at Circus Circus and visiting the Adventure Dome theme park.
Meals Included: n/a
Accommodation: Platinum
Driving Time (where relevant): n/a

DAY 3: ZION NATIONAL PARK
This morning you may as well take advantage of the early mornings that the jet lag is giving you and get an early start. Your destination is Springdale, the gateway village for Zion National Park. You may want to head into the park in the afternoon for a hike, there are plenty to choose from, or you could choose a more relaxing float trip down the river, watching the turkey vultures soaring high above you as you meander down-stream.
Meals Included: n/a
Accommodation: Majestic View
Driving Time (where relevant): 2 1/2 hours

DAY 4: ZION NATIONAL PARK
Today is spent exploring Zion, we suggest going for one of the many self-guided hikes on offer. The visitor centre has plenty of information about the various walks on offer. Cars are not permitted on most of the roads within the park, so you will need to catch a shuttle bus which will drop you off at the various trailheads. Popular choices include the Angels Landing Hike (not recommended for younger children) Emerald Pools or the Narrows hike, which is up a river. (You can hire water-proof shoes for this or wear sturdy water-proof sandals) In the height of summer, these are popular walks and it will be hot, so we recommend an early start and taking plenty of water and food with you.
Meals Included: n/a
Accommodation: Majestic View
Driving Time (where relevant): n/a

DAY 5: BRYCE CANYON NATIONAL PARK
This morning you will drive to Bryce Canyon National Park. The stunning colours and unique ‘hoodoo’ rock formations are truly impressive. As ever with the popular national parks, an early start is highly recommended to beat the crowds. Most people explore by car and then go on one of the many hikes on offer. With a higher altitude than Zion and consequently slightly lower temperatures, this is a more comfortable place to hike. You may want to take a picnic and find a solitary spot from where you can take in the magnificent views. In the evening, you might want to go to watch a rodeo at the entrance to the park. This is run mainly for tourists, but is still a fun activity for all the family.
Meals Included: n/a
Accommodation: BW Bryce Canyon Grand
Driving Time (where relevant): 2 hours

DAY 6: DRIVE TO MOAB
Today you will drive along one of the area’s most scenic roads to reach the highway that will connect you to Moab. Driving through the mountains and then Capitol Reef National Park, the views are amazing. You might choose to stop off in Capitol Reef Park for a hike, or just detour to one of the many viewpoints along the way. There are some interesting petroglyphs to see which makes for a useful stop to stretch your legs. If you are not stopping off to hike, there is a great burger stop (try the chocolate milkshakes) in Hanksville. The drive from here to Moab becomes less interesting, but is fairly swift thanks to the highway that you will be joining. Once you reach Moab, you can have a swim at your hotel and then go for a meal in one of the many restaurants in the town.
Meals Included: Breakfast
Accommodation: BW Canyonlands
Driving Time (where relevant): 4 - 5 hours

DAY 7: MOAB
Today is a day at leisure in Moab. We suggest a leisurely morning before going to Arches National Park (10 minutes drive) Here, you can go for a short hike and explore some of the amazing scenery and naturally formed sandstone arches. In the late afternoon, you will have a pre-trip briefing for your rafting trip.
Meals Included: Breakfast
Accommodation: BW Canyonlands
Driving Time (where relevant): n/a

DAY 8: WHITE WATER RAFTING
This morning you will be driven to the Colorado River for the start of your rafting adventure. Heading into Canyonlands National Park through deep red canyon walls, you will catch a glimpse of Pyramid Butte, a 1,500 mountain peak near to Moab. Lunch will be served outdoors. Afterwards, you’ll board the boat and head down stream past Tex’s Grotto and Dead Horse Point – where Mission Impossible II and Thelma and Louise were filmed. There’ll be hiking opportunities at Little Bridges and Petrified Wood. Later on, your guides will set up camp and prepare dinner for you. You’ll have the chance to have a wander through the canyons or enjoy a bit of swimming.
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation: Camping
Driving Time (where relevant): 3 1/2 hours

DAY 9: WHITE WATER RAFTING
After breakfast you and your guides will strike camp before setting off on the river again. In the morning you’ll pass Lockhart Canyon – where Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid hid their stolen cattle. You’ll also see Indian Ruins at Lathrup Canyon. After lunch you’ll see Airport Tower, Coffee Pot Ruin and the Racing Stripe – a bright white strip of Gypsum suspended amidst the deep red sandstone of the canyon. There’ll be hiking opportunities at Lathrup Canyon and India Creek Canyon. In the evening there’s the chance to explore sandy beaches before enjoying dinner as the sun sets.
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation: Camping
Driving Time (where relevant): 15 minutes

DAY 10: WHITE WATER RAFTING
After breakfast you’ll board your boat and head down river. In the morning there’s the possibility of participating in the Loop Hike – a route that takes you round the top of the ridge on a four-mile bend back on to itself. From here, you’ll be able to see both sides of the ridge from nearly 1,000 feet above the river. In the afternoon you’ll reach the Confluence of the Green and Colorado Rivers. If it’s rained recently, the mixing of the rivers will be defined in brilliant swirls of red and green. After the Confluence, you’ll experience the first of the Cataract Canyon rapids - numbers one to ten. By now the river has doubled in size and force, and while the rapids aren’t huge, they’re big enough to get everyone good and wet before disembarking for the night. Hiking opportunities are possible either at the Loop Hike or at The Dolls House. In the evening, you can swim, hike or just relax as the crew set up camp and cook dinner.
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation: Camping
Driving Time (where relevant): n/a

DAY 11: WHITE WATER RAFTING
Today’s a day of white water. After breakfast, you’ll board the boats and start out on some of the biggest whitewater in the Western United States. (Summer trips have smaller rapids). By lunch, everyone will be soaking wet after having tackled whitewater rapids called ‘Big Drop Two’, ‘North Seas’ and ‘Capsize’. But that’s just the beginning. After lunch, you’ll be back on the boats and heading into even bigger white water. You’ll navigate through more intimidating rapids like ‘Big Drop Three’, ‘Satan’s Gut’ and ‘Little Niagara’. In the evening it’s time to relax. Your guides will set up camp and prepare your evening meal. Traditionally, this night is ‘Dress Up Night’ – but anything goes. Formal wear or floppy hats – you decide. Likewise, if you don’t fancy it, it’s fine to sit this one out and spend time on your own.
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation: Camping
Driving Time (where relevant): n/a

DAY 12: WHITE WATER RAFTING
Your final day of rafting begins with a tasty breakfast and hot drinks so you’re ready to go for the day ahead. You’ll head through the final rapids, and there may be time to hike some of the canyons like Clearwater Canyon and Dark Canyon. After lunch, you’ll climb back on-board and follow the Colorado River as it pushes its way into the calm waters of Lake Powell. Here you’ll be in the deepest part of the canyon, surrounded by nearly 2,000 foot cliffs. You’ll see the Dirty Devil River and Piano Leg Arch. Later on, you’ll be escorted to the landing strip for your return flight to Moab. As you take this scenic flight, watch for the Henry Mountains, the White Rim, the Abajo Mountains, the La Sal Mountains and nearly the entire Colorado Plateau. You’ll be met at the Moab airport and transferred back to Moab where your journey ends.
Meals Included: Breakfast & Lunch
Accommodation: Camping
Driving Time (where relevant): n/a

DAY 13: MOAB
Today is a day at leisure in Moab. You may want to relax around the pool in your hotel, or take the time to explore downtown Moab. Later on, you could drive to Dead Horse Point to see the Colorado River, where you have just been rafting, from above.
Meals Included: Breakfast
Accommodation: BW Canyonlands
Driving Time (where relevant): n/a

DAY 14: DRIVE TO SALT LAKE CITY
This morning sees you checking out of of your Moab hotel and driving to Salt Lake City. Once you have arrived, you can either relax around the pool or take advantage of the cheaper prices and head to the shops. For those wanting to do some sight-seeing, then a visit to the Temple Square is recommended.
Meals Included: Breakfast
Accommodation: Little America
Driving Time (where relevant): 3 1/2 hours

DAY 15: DEPART
Today is your departure day. You will need to drop your car off at the airport before catching your flight home
Meals Included: n/a
Accommodation:
Driving Time (where relevant):

Accommodation


Guide price is based on recommended accommodations. Alternative accommodations and upgrades are available. Please get in touch or click on 'alternatives' below for alternatives and upgrade options.

Our rating

9/10

Price guide

Price rating 4

- Excellent family choice
- Walking distance from the strip
- Sophisticated, smart and safe
- Roof terrace & pool

Our rating

8/10

Price guide

Price rating 3

- Gorgeous views
- Tasteful decor
- Balcony / Patio for every room
- Pool
- Family friendly

Our rating

7/10

Price guide

Price rating 4

- Convenient location
- Swimming pool & hot tub
- Breakfast included

Our rating

8/10

Price guide

Price rating 4

- Excellent, central location
- Pool & hot tub
- Spacious, quality rooms

Little America

Salt Lake City

Our rating

7/10

Price guide

Price rating 4

- Convenient location close to airport
- Swimming pools

Details

Getting there

This holiday begins in Las Vegas and ends in Salt Lake City. We can book flights for you, please get in touch for more information.

When is best?

This trip is available from May through to September.

Utah enjoys a four season climate, although experience more extremes than in the UK. Winters can be cold with plenty of snow. Summer temperatures can be high (reaching the high 30’s in places) and the humidity means that there can be thunderstorms, especially in July & August.

Is it for me?

The minimum age limit for this trip is 10 years old. If you have younger children, please get in touch so that we can recommend a more suitable trip.

Safety

For the latest travel advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth office check www.gov.uk/travelaware

What customers are saying after travelling with Tourdust

Average Rating

based on 613 reviews

(4.94/5)

  • Everything worked perfectly! We all found our trekking experience to be the best part of our adventures in Morocco. We were particularly pleased with our guide, Hussain; he did a brilliant job. He is thoughtful, knowledgable, and sweet. He represents you well.

    MissingJacob Moffat reviewing Atlas Valleys & Villages Comfort Treks on 09 March 2017

  • Thanks for organising an excellent holiday for us. It's my first time using Tourdust and I've been really impressed and will certainly be recommending you to friends and family. You provided an excellent level of service all the way through, and the bespoke nature of the trip was fantastic whilst being really good value for money.
    Key highlights:
    - Le Kasbah de Toubkal blew us away - one not to miss!
    - The trek was amazing and my kids loved it. The camping was really fun, the food was excellent, and I'd particularly call out our guide Rashid who was fantastic show especially with my kids.
    - Riad Adore was outstanding - far exceeding my expectations - it was beautiful and we were very well looked after
    - Le Doux Tour was luxurious and a nice relaxing way to end the holiday.
    - Logistics were great and our main driver Mustapha was brilliant

    If there was one build / thing I would change, it's a very small one but some candles / lanterns to use in the evening whilst camping would have made it easier to stay outside for a bit longer.

    MissingMark Dilley reviewing Boutique Marrakech & Atlas Mountains on 07 June 2016

  • Truly another world. The sky was enormous and the summits snow covered. Blue irises, wild herbs and fruit trees flowered on the slopes. Even as I toiled up the dry river bed I gazed in admiration.

    Without exception, everyone was courteous and welcoming. Food was good ( and far too plentiful); accommodation clean. Above all-everything worked! A pick-up was promised for 9.00am. At 8.55 the doorbell rang. Impeccable.

    No praise is too high for the organisation and staff. I am definitely going back.

    MissingTerence Humphreys reviewing Classic Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek on 16 May 2016

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Alternative Itineraries

Our itineraries are carefully designed by our experienced travel designers based on years of experience and customer feedback. For a custom itinerary tailored to you, please enquire giving as much detail as possible on your brief.

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Flights are typically an additional $1,298 per person economy class from London

A family road trip taking in some of Western USA's biggest hitters: The Grand Canyon, Death Valley, Yosemite & San Francisco.

Tailor-made Classic 2 weeks

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Cycle the Golden Gate Bridge, raft the Colorado River, see the Grand Canyon & enjoy the bright lights of Las Vegas.

Tailor-made Classic 2 weeks

Families from $1,496 pp plus flights

'From Price' is the average price per person for ground arrangements for a family of four (two adults + two children under 12).

Flights are typically an additional $1,298 per person economy class from London

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