Posts tagged with "Canyon"

Holiday River Expeditions

Holiday River Expeditions Notes Positive Outlook For a Stellar River Rafting Season Thanks to an Exemplary Snow Pack

 Forget crystal balls. The snow says it all.

For over half a century Holiday River Expeditions has looked to the mountains to forecast upcoming rafting seasons. Winter snows turn into spring runoff. Thus far, a stormy and snow-packed winter in the Rockies predicts a robust 2019 rafting season in the mountain and desert southwest.

“We’re expecting to have a lot of fun in 2019, thanks to Mother Nature and year-to-date bookings that are up 10 percent over the same time last year,” said Holiday River Expeditions’ longtime sales manager and spokeswoman Karen Johnson.

Higher river flows mean that guests on all of Holiday’s rafting trips will have more off-river time to hike, enjoy the beach, relax or explore the side canyons from camp and enroute between camps.

“Plus high water gives our guests an Adrenaline-rush and thrill in a carefully secured, calculated manner,” Johnson added.

As of today, snow pack affecting the Colorado River Basin is running 116 percent of the February 27th average, a good sign for the upcoming rafting season on the Colorado, Yampa and Green rivers. Among Holiday River Expeditions’ whitewater rafting trips most affected by high runoff are those on the Yampa River in the heart of Dinosaur National Monument. This undammed, free-flowing river benefits greatly from unfettered spring runoff that also makes its way to Desolation Canyon (on the Green River) and Cataract Canyon (after confluence with the Colorado River).

Other rafting trips influenced by abundant snow pack are those on the Colorado River in both Westwater Canyon and further along in Cataract Canyon cutting through the heart of Canyonlands National Park.

For the best high-water trips see:

One fact, worthy of note, helps set Holiday apart from most other operators on the river. They are the only rafting outfitter that literally goes with the flow exclusively on all trips by running these rivers by oar-power only, without motorized rafts or motorized support.

“Oar-power is the most natural way to experience the river and the absence of motors makes high water trips as exciting as it gets. Rafters experience the rush of wind, a chatty raven or a churning rapid absent the drone and smell of a motorized raft,” said Tim Gaylord, Director of Operations and Holiday guide since 1978.

Even in high water, when other companies call on motorized boats to stay the course, Holiday instead employs triple rigs, usually from late May to early July in Cataract Canyon when water levels get above 25-30,000 CFS and higher. The rigs are three 18-foot rafts lashed side by side to form one larger raft. It is maneuvered by two guides, sweep-style, each using one oar.

“These rafts are incredibly stable and the rigging allows them to flex in many ways. They allow us to continue to use only oar-powered rafts in even the highest water,” noted Gaylord.

See this short video that will help illustrate this technique.

A few other companies continue to use row/paddle rafts and dories in high water; but they support their use with larger motorized rafts for, among others, assistance in moving non-motor rafts downstream in the flatwater sections. Holiday is the only one that does not use a motor at all (except when exiting the Lake Powell section on the last day of the Cataract trip and then it is only introduced by using a tow-boat that motors up from the downstream takeout at Hite Marina.)

For more information, availability, reservations or a copy of the 2019 catalog please call 800-624-6323, Email: Holiday@BikeRaft.com or log onto http://www.bikeraft.com/.

About Holiday River Expeditions

Holiday River Expeditions began in 1966, when Dee Holladay and his wife Sue took the plunge to become river outfitters. Due to its respect for the lands, rivers, guests and employees, the family-owned-and-operated company has grown exponentially. Each of its guides is professionally trained in first aid and river safety, and with 50+ years of experience, the company provides guests the opportunity to explore the nation’s wild lands safely and securely. Holiday River Expeditions has a commitment to protect the environment through education and conservation, and as such, uses oar-powered and paddle rafts exclusively.

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HOLIDAY RIVER EXPEDITIONS

Soldier, geologist and explorer John Wesley Powell is an American legend. One-hundred-fifty years ago this year, he and a brave band of men set out from Green River, WY, with a mission to map and log the canyons, tributaries and features of the unexplored Green and Colorado rivers. History tells the amazing tale of adventure, hardship and ultimate success.

In 2019, to honor and celebrate the spirit of that epic journey, Holiday River Expeditions will re-create a portion of Powell’s trip on an 18-day, oar-powered rafting adventure from July 5 to 22. The John Wesley Powell 150th Celebration Trip will retrace Powell’s route through Lodore, Desolation, Gray, Labyrinth, Stillwater and Cataract Canyons in Utah. The 308 miles can be done as a whole, spanning the entire state of Utah, or as one or more of four stand-alone segments.

“This kind of epic, multi-week rafting adventure is rarely offered in this day and age of quick escape vacations. For this season only, it’s our honor to offer guests this voyage back in time offering a true slice of American history through stories and expert insights,“ explains Lauren Wood, Trip Director and granddaughter of company founder, the late Dee Holladay. “While this journey is lengthy, modern equipment and services guarantee it’s nowhere near as arduous and challenging as Powell’s expedition was.”

On each leg of the trip, Holiday River Expeditions has invited a renowned river historian along to help recreate what Powell encountered on his journey via captivating stories and readings.

The full July 5-22 18-day adventure is $3,850 per person (plus Land Use Fee). Included in all four legs of the trip are delicious campfire meals, snacks and beverages, all required equipment, expert guides and shuttle transportation.

4-day Gates of Lodore – Guests begin with Lodore Canyon in Dinosaur National Monument, arriving by van from Vernal, UT. The put-in is in Brown’s Park National Wildlife Refuge where almost immediately some of Powell’s more infamous rapids — Disaster Falls and Hell’s Half Mile — challenge rafters (the Powell party named most all of the rapids and features found here and downstream). Tranquil waters prevail up to the confluence of the Yampa River in Echo Park, named for its incredible acoustics and scenery. Then come the swirling, unpredictable currents Powell dubbed Whirlpool Canyon. The last day in Dinosaur National Monument carries guests into what Powell described as a place where the river stretched out shallow and as wide as the Missouri River.The per person rate for Leg 1 is $1,005 (youth, senior and group rate $885). River historian Roy Webb joins this segment. He has spent his life running the rivers of the western United States and has authored four books and many articles and book reviews, virtually all on the history of river running in Utah. He is a charter member of the Colorado Plateau River Guides Association. 5-day Desolation Canyon includes a 30-minute scenic flight from Green River, UT, to the embarkation point for Desolation Canyon at Sand Wash. Much of Desolation Canyon is a National Historic Landmark established in 1969, the centennial of the Powell expedition. It was selected because it is relatively unchanged from the time of Powell and the place where the most authentic experience can still be had today. As the cliffs’ colors shift dramatically, it is easy to see why Powell named Gray Canyon. Even more eccentric rock towers lead to sporty rapids like Wire Fence, Three Fords and Coal Creek. Mystical seeps in the rock layer bring verdant life to the canyon walls.The per person rate for Leg 2 is $1,180 (youth $980, senior, group $1,085). Dennis Willis, a noted river historian, joins this sector. For 30 years Dennis worked for the BLM’s Price Field Office as the caretaker of Desolation Canyon. He supported and nurtured scientific research in fisheries and hydrology, geology, botany and archaeology. With over 120 Desolation trips logged, it is still his magical, special place.

5-day Labyrinth Canyon brings guests through a rarely visited section of the Green River and into the upper stretches of Labyrinth Canyon that slowly rises up and closes in, moving from alien flat lands of the upper section to breathtaking red-canyon walls with exquisite side stops like Trin Alcove, 10-mile Canyon and Bowknot Bend.The per person rate for Leg 3 is $950. Joining this section is John Weisheit, an active member of the Conservation of Living Rivers and Colorado Riverkeeper of the Waterkeeper Alliance. 5-day Cataract Canyon begins with tranquility on the flat water and in the secret tiered grottoes of Stillwater Canyon. Here signs of Ancestral Puebloan peoples abound. The confluence of the Green and Colorado rivers marks the beginning of Cataract Canyon and the heart of Canyonlands National Park. After few short miles of flat water, from downstream comes an ominous thunder of Powell’s Cataracts – 30-plus rapids. With full chapters written about them, these massive wave-trains and churning holes are an epic crescendo for this extended and historic excursion.

The per person rate for Leg 4 is $1,180 (youth, senior, group $1,040).Weisheit will also provide insight and interpretation along this final leg of the journey.

About Holiday River Expeditions

Holiday River Expeditions began in 1966, when Dee Holladay and his wife Sue took the plunge to become river outfitters. Due to its respect for the lands, rivers, guests and employees, the family-owned-and-operated company has grown exponentially. Each of its guides is professionally trained in first aid and river safety, and with 50+ years of experience, the company provides guests the opportunity to explore the nation’s wild lands safely and securely. Holiday River Expeditions has a commitment to protect the environment through education and conservation, and as such, uses oar-powered and paddle rafts exclusively.

Maximize Your Adventures in Moab, Utah

The high-desert, red-rock playground that is Moab, Utah, is a vast wilderness with many a secret to reveal to the curious. But this territory can also prompt frustrations when it comes to such logistics as where to go, park and sleep. Even venturing onto the trails can be tricky for greenhorns. A landscape that may appear as familiar as a Hollywood set is anything but.

Moab Adventure Center (http://www.moabadventurecenter.com/) is the go-to resource when it comes to questions about how to get the most out of a visit here. And the resident experts present will often suggest securing the services of a seasoned guide as the best way to maximize time and opportunities spent enjoying the Moab region.

Here’s why.

Avoid parking hassles. The trailhead parking lots at Arches National Park and Canyon lands National Park and at many other forest service and state park trailheads are often full by 10 a.m. A guide offers and utilizes drop-off/pick-up shuttle services to avoid the disappointment of being turned away due to a full lot.

Pack in more adventure. A guided experience eliminates back-tracking by always moving forward. More complex hikes may have different start and end points that require vehicle shuttles. Moab Adventure Center staff can arrange transfers and guide assistance for such hikes. One example is a six-mile trek from the Moab Rim to Hidden Valley that overlooks the Colorado River and town of Moab. The path drops to a canyon where the magic of prehistory is revealed in rock carvings known as petroglyphs. Different start and end points are solved with assistance of a guide or pre-arranged shuttle.

Fly instead of driveVisitors can save time and hassle by flying to Canyon lands Field Airport (CNY) in Moab from Salt Lake City or Denver (daily air service) where Moab Adventure Center will arrange transfers to in-town accommodations and to all activity sites. Guests don’t need a car as they can walk to shops, restaurants and to the Moab Adventure Center, all centrally located.

Secure sometimes-scarce lodging in Moab. Especially for peak spring and summer weekends, visitors should secure advance lodging reservations in Moab. Moab Adventure Center helps by holding blocks of rooms (Moab lodging options) for clients who book a trip with them a minimum of 30 days out.

Embellish adventures. A guide is a wellspring of information and loves to share interesting factoids and lore that embellish adventures, be it a hike among the red rocks or a full or half-day rafting trip on the Colorado River. A guide can also pick up on client interests and suggest other activities and what to do in Moab, Utah. The free Pocket Guide Moab: Last Minute Itineraries for the Undecided Traveler is also a good resource to the area.

Collect insider tips. Who has the best Happy Hour? Who has free Wi-Fi service in town? What’s the best way to view a red rock sunset? Again, guides dispense insights and suggestions at no extra cost. An Arches Sunset Tour, for example, includes a 50+ mile, four-hour guided, interpretive tour in a comfortable sightseeing vehicle that stops at five sites where easy hikes await.

Safety factors weigh in. A guide is aware of which trails may be closed and of pending weather extremes such as icy conditions or flash floods. A guide also brings along extra water, first aid supplies and a cell/sat phone. Moab Adventure Center guides are trained in how to administer advanced wilderness first aid.

Arrange meet-ups with new friends. Part of the fun of travel and adventure is sharing experiences with people who soon shift from strangers to friends. A professionally trained guide helps break the ice and set the tone for a mutually good time.

Dark Sky Movement

Once monthly from May through October Holiday River Expeditions (http://www.bikeraft.com/) shares the mystery and romance of the Dark Sky with star-struck guests who are participating in one of this veteran travel company’s 2018 Stargazing adventures.

“It’s easy to get excited about this special trip series. Seeing how it has deepened our guests’ understanding and our guides’ awareness of the night sky is reason enough to offer these trips,” said Lauren Wood, Holiday Trip Director. “The inexplicable boundlessness you feel staring up at the stars is just a bonus.”

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