Posts tagged with "river"

illustration by Mina Tocalini for use by 360 Magazine

Rafting Adventure With Western River Expeditions

With record heat covering the West you need a strategy if you want to enjoy the outdoors. The master of rafting vacations, Western River Expeditions, offers seven out-of-the-box tips for how to stay cool on a summer vacation.

“Hot and dry means people want to get onto and into the water,” said Kam Wixom, Marketing Director and veteran guide. “Our staff and clients have come up some great tips over the years that help keep us all comfortable when the temperatures get extreme.”

Wixom recalls the summer of 1997 when temperatures in the Grand Canyon reached 123 degrees Fahrenheit. Already playing out this summer were higher-than-usual temperatures in the West. “We bought the newspaper just to prove to others back home that we (easily) survived some of the hottest temperatures we’d ever experienced. The thing is, we really did survive it easily.” Here’s how:

  • Full Body Immersion – Get yourself soaked in the cold Colorado River. Linger in the water to reduce your core body temperature.
  • Wear Only Cotton – We often think of quick-drying fabrics when we’re near the water, but to stay cool when you’re near water and temperatures are soaring, think cotton. This fabric, unlike synthetics, retains water, keeping you wet and cool. Choose cotton when it comes to bandanas, hats, neck scarves and sarongs.
  • Drink Lots of Water – Stay properly hydrated by drinking two ounces of water for every ounce of alcohol or caffeine. And even before you’re thirsty – drink water. Sodas are diuretics that can cancel out hydration, so don’t think you’re only drinking soda to stay hydrated.
  • Electrolytes Matter — You can drink all the water you want, but if you are not coupling it with electrolytes (vitamins and minerals), you still run a risk of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Yes, munch on salty potato chips and sugary cookies at lunch or take along some electrolyte tablets. They come in a variety of brands and flavors.
  • Wear a Hat – Instead of putting earth-friendly sunscreen on your forehead (which often ends up in your eyes), wear a hat to keep the sun from pounding on your head. A hat can help protect from heatstroke and it protects your eyes.
  • Indulge in a Sarong – Western River Expeditions stocks sarongs in its company store, Red Rock Outfitters. Sarongs are loved by both women and men as they can be easily dipped in the water and draped wet across your whole body.
  • Start a Water Fight! – Not that we are endorsing rowdy behavior, but a couple of water cannons and bail buckets are good items to bring along and use on a surprise attack on an unsuspecting neighboring raft. The goal is to drench your opponents, a welcome outcome on a hot day!

It is still not too late to secure a spot on a raft trip this year. Contact Western River Expeditions today for a full list of available trips and dates.

About Western River Expeditions
Western River Expeditions is an adventure travel company headquartered in Salt Lake City, with operations and offices in Moab, Utah and Fredonia, Arizona. Annually from March through October it escorts more people down rivers on professionally guided rafting trips in Utah, Idaho, and Arizona than any other company. It is the largest licensed outfitter in the Grand Canyon and the largest single tour provider in Moab, UT, through its division Moab Adventure Center.

Western River Expeditions, providing Grand Canyon rafting, Utah and Idaho rafting, and international multi-sport trips, was founded in 1961 by Colorado River rafting pioneer Jack Currey. It has been named one of the “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth” by the editors of National Geographic Adventure magazine. The company is the proud recipient of the “Best of State” award through Utah’s Premier Recognition and Awards Program for the past sixteen years.

Mad River illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Mad River Boat Trips

MAD RIVER BOAT TRIPS OPENS FOR THE 2021 SEASON ON JUNE 15, WILL OFFER PRIVATE BOOKING OPTIONS

Top-rated river outfitter Mad River Boat Trips opens for the 2021 season on June 15. Offering first class scenic float trips and whitewater rafting excursions on the Wild and Scenic Snake River, Mad River Boat Trips will offer private bookings this season to accommodate COVID restrictions and ensure the health and safety of guests and team members.

On Mad River’s scenic float trips, everyone—including family members as young as four years old—can enjoy a leisurely rafting excursion on a 13-mile-long, smooth-water section of the Snake River. Perfect for shutterbugs looking to capture photos of wildlife and the majestic scenery, these float trips are relaxing and spectacular for capturing wildlife—especially the numerous bird species that call the area home.

Meanwhile, Mad River’s whitewater raft trips take place on the portion of the Snake River surrounded by steep granite canyon walls, tall trees and picturesque alpine meadows abounding with wildlife. Professional, experienced river trip guides navigate rafters through the twists and turns of Snake River Canyon while pointing out all the distinctive flora, fauna, geology and aspects of the region’s history that make the area unique. Mad River Boat Trips offer runs through class II and III rapids, making them appropriate for guests ages six and older. Guests will grab their paddle and shoot the rapids with Mad River’s experienced and professional guides.

Back at the boat house, guests who opt for the early river run still have time to rent one of sister company Scenic Safaris’ street-legal, four-seater side-by-sides. These vehicles may be booked in advance or reserved on the spot, based on availability. Side-by-sides are perfect for exploring the trail heads that begin just minutes away from the boat house.  Guests can take a scenic drive through Grand Teton National Park or explore the back roads in Gros Ventre Mountains or Greys River Range. Rentals are available for two hours, four hours, eight hours and multi-day.

Private tours available from Mad River Boat Trips include:

Classic Boat 8-Mile Whitewater Rafting on Snake River
Audience: Great for families, first-time rafters or guests traveling with small children, ages 6+.
Departure Time: 8:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 2:45 p.m.
Highlights: The Snake River has been classified as a Class I-III river with exciting whitewater rapids.
WOW! Moment: Incredible views, wildlife including otters, osprey and bald eagles and guides point out features that make the canyon unique.
Duration: 3.5 hours
Price: $92 per person, adults and children; $700 private boat, up to 16 passengers
Private tours: Available for up to eight guests. Additional passengers are $92 per person.

Small Boat Snake River Whitewater Rafting
Audience: Great for families with children aged 6+, adventure enthusiasts and small to medium-sized groups.
Departure Time: 8:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 2:45 p.m.
Highlights: Eight sets of rapids including Station Creek, Double Draw, Blind Canyon, Big Kahuna, Lunchcounter, Ropes, Champagne and Cottonwoods.
WOW! Moment: Catch a glimpse of a mountain goat, a mule deer, an elk, or even a grizzly or black bear.
Duration: 3.5 hours
Price: $105 per person, adults and children; $700 private boat, up to eight passengers

Jackson Hole Snake River Float Trip
Audience: Great for families with children aged 4+, mature travelers, wildlife enthusiasts or birders, large groups and multi-generational travelers.
Departure Time: 8:00 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
Highlights: The magnificent Teton Range sets the stage for the 13-mile Jackson Hole float trip.
WOW! Moment: Spotting wildlife including beaver, cutthroat trout, cliff swallows, pelicans, osprey and bald eagles.
Menu: Lunch is included.
Duration: 3.5 hours
Price: $92 per person, adults and children; $700 private boat, up to ten passengers, $92 per person for additional passengers

To find out more about Mad River Boat Trips white water and scenic float trips on the Wild and Scenic Snake River, go to Mad River or call (800) 458-7238.For more information about Scenic Safaris, visit Scenic Safaris or call (888) 734-8898.

ABOUT MAD RIVER BOAT TRIPS
Mad River Boat Trips is a river outfitter in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and consistent recipient of TripAdvisor’s “Excellent” rating by its customers. Offering whitewater trips and scenic floats daily during summer since 1977, Mad River offers guests extraordinary recreation on the recently designated Wild and Scenic Snake River. The Snake River begins its journey in the rugged backcountry of Yellowstone National Park and gathers water as it heads south toward Jackson Hole through Grand Teton National Park. The river exits the south end of Jackson Hole through the winding Snake River Canyon, lined with trees and steep granite walls, small alpine meadows and abundant wildlife. It’s on this section of the Snake River where guests travel down a wild and scenic river, which is a rarity in the Rocky Mountains—it’s an experience not to be missed. For more information, visit Mad River or Facebook. Mad River is a permittee of the Bridger-Teton National Forest/Equal Opportunity Provider.

ABOUT FOREVER RESORTS
Forever Resorts is an exceptional collection of destinations providing hospitality services throughout the world.  The company focuses on properties with access to nature and one-of-a-kind surroundings for vacations. For more information, go to Forever Resorts or Facebook, and follow us on Twitter.

Cherry Blossom illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Cherry Blossoms Celebrated

FROM HUMAN CHESS TO PADDLEBOARDING:
UNIQUE WAYS CHERRY BLOSSOMS ARE CELEBRATED THROUGHOUT JAPAN

With the much-anticipated arrival of their delicate pink flowers, the cherry trees blossoming in Japan is a yearly spectacle. According to the Japan Meteorological Agency, cherry blossoms in Tokyo are expected to bloom on March 15th this year. Associated with renewal and the coming spring, the cherry blossoms (or sakura) spur a variety of unique celebrations and experiences throughout the country, with many cities and towns forming their own yearly traditions and unique ways to see the cherry blossoms.

Cruise the Matsukawa River, Toyama Prefecture

Travelers can enjoy hanami (the custom of flower viewing in Japan) as well as the beautiful landscapes of Toyama Prefecture on a special cruise along the Matsukawa River. During cherry blossom season, cruises on the river drift along with the relaxing current and make their way through tunnels of cherry blossom trees. Cruises begin and end outside of the Matsukawa Tea House, so travelers can enjoy a nice cup of tea after a peaceful afternoon of hanami.

Horse-Drawn Carriage Ride Through Kitakami Tenshochi Park, Iwate Prefecture

A massive park spanning over 700 acres, the Kitakami Tenshochi Park has been a favorite for hanami among both locals and travelers for decades. 2021 is the 100th anniversary of the park’s opening and there is a myriad of ways for travelers to see the cherry blossoms, such as taking a riverboat cruise, or taking a ride on a horse-drawn carriage underneath the “tunnel of pink.” Cherry blossom branches stretch out from the trees on both sides of the walkway and form a floral tunnel that travelers can traverse

Human Chess Match at Tendo Sakura Matsuri, Yamagata Prefecture

Ninety percent of Japanese chess pieces, or shogi, are produced in the city of Tendo. Every April, as over 2,000 cherry blossoms bloom, locals and travelers gather to watch a human chess match, or shogi battle, in Maizuru Park, where two professional chess players compete with humans dressed as samurai and servants in place of chess pieces. The festival also features taiko (Japanese drum) performances and delicious festival food like yakisoba noodles and takoyaki balls.

Stand-up Paddleboarding in Shiga Prefecture

In Kyoto, travelers who want to partake in hanami can go stand-up paddleboarding on Lake Biwa to see cherry blossoms bloom along the coast. Shirahage SUP at the Shirahige Beach Campsite offers travelers the opportunity to see the cherry blossoms directly from the crystal blue waters of Lake Biwa.

Moka Railway Ride in Tochigi Prefecture

The city of Moka in Tochigi Prefecture is perhaps most known for the Moka Railway, which has been operating for over 100 years. During the spring when cherry blossoms begin to bloom, the railway line becomes a popular attraction since its track is almost completely surrounded by cherry blossoms and rape flowers. Travelers can book a trip on the scenic railway between Mogi station and Shimodate station for an unforgettable hanami ride.

Boating Under Hirosaki Castle, Aomori Prefecture

Hirosaki Castle is well-known as a top destination for hanami. Since local apple farmers prune the cherry trees the same way they do apples, the trees end up with two to three times more flowers than normal. To see the lush, pink flowers, guests often rent a rowboat and sail it out on the river surrounded by cherry blossoms. The sparkling river coupled with the towering castle and the bright petals makes for a fairy tale to come to life.

Noh Plays at Night, Tokyo

Under the lovely cherry blossoms of Yasukuni Shrine, a stage is set and traditional plays called noh are performed. These plays often date back to the 14th century and include kyogen (comedic spoken dramas) and maibayashi (a shorter version of noh with music). Performed, under the yozakura (cherry blossoms at night), the plays are enhanced by the atmosphere of the lit-up blossoms and the bonfire, two integral elements of this experience. Japan’s top actors and actresses are known to take the stage.

Events and experiences above are subject to change due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For updates on travel restrictions to Japan, please visit the website.

 

Miyagi – Japan’s Most Relaxing Vacation

Geothermal wonders that rejuvenate the body and mind, Japan’s onsens (naturally occuring hot springs) are a must for any traveler, and Miyagi Prefecture has no shortage of them. With many dotted throughout Miyagi’s diverse terrain, each onsen provides a unique experience with different water sources producing baths of different temperatures, mineral content, texture and more. As these onsens are often located in the mountains, by the ocean and in forests, they provide a great place for travelers to practice the tradition of toji, extended stays at onsens to recuperate from illness or overexertion. Below is a sample of Miyagi’s best onsens for travelers to dream of relaxing in once travel restrictions are lifted.

Reflective pond at Tenshukaku Gardens (©Visit Miyagi)

One of the more popular onsen towns due to its proximity to Miyagi Prefecture’s capital Sendai, Akiu Onsen is tucked in the region’s mountains. The town features about a dozen hot spring hotels located along the scenic Natorigawa River with many offering day use of their hot spring baths. Nearby, Tenshukaku Gardens is home to its own onsen, known as Ichitaro no Yu. After strolling through the traditional Edo-style garden, guests can warm up in the hot spring with a view of Mount Osawa. Lucky bathers may even get to catch a glimpse of kamoshika, a rare Japanese goat-antelope often seen roaming on the mountainside. While the onsen’s water will leave skin soft and silky, Akiu Onsen water is also said to improve quality of sleep, circulation and reduce stress levels.

Sakunami Onsen is located deeper into the mountains and the train ride to this town passes through thick pine and maple tree forests with views of the Hirosegawa River below. This onsen town was often visited by weary monks, members of the shogunate and the shogun himself centuries ago as the water was said to treat a variety of illnesses. After cleansing their mind and body at the onsens on the rocky banks of the river, travelers can opt to hike one of the many trails or take a day trip to the Nikka Whiskey Miyagikyo Distillery.

Naruko Onsen’s diverse hot spring water makes for a rich experience (© JNTO)

Known as one of the “Three Most Scenic Spots of Japan,” Matsushima Bay has its own onsens facing towards the bay with views of countless small islands

Several hotels near the bay have their own natural onsen facilities and staying the night is highly recommended. Guests should make their way out to the open-air baths during the night to see thousands of stars light up the bay. For early birds, the baths are also an ideal spot to watch the sunrise. While Naruko Onsen can be a little hard to get to as it’s hidden away in the hills of northwestern Miyagi, the trip is worth it. Naruko Onsen boasts one of the richest onsen experiences anywhere as the town has eight of the ten types of hot spring water found in Japan. Additionally, the town has more than 400 different springs providing an almost endless variety of bathing facilities. Naruko Onsen also has a wide range of ryokans from traditional inns to luxurious private baths.

The Miyagi Onsen Experience: Watch HERE

For more information on Miyagi Prefecture’s onsens, travelers are encouraged to use the website’s Trip Organizer which has plenty of resources and travel tips. Travelers can also watch this short video highlighting experiences at onsen towns in the prefecture.

Cruise illustration done by Mina Tocalini of 360 MAGAZINE.

Take a Trip with CruiseCompete!

River cruise ships offer a more private and intimate ambiance, along with personalized service and the advantage of being able to port almost anywhere. Passengers get a feel for the water and experience destinations in a very up-close and personal way onboard and in the towns and areas visited with CruiseCompete

Overall, cruise ship sizes range from megaships (almost 7,000 passengers) to very small vessels and luxury yachts whose passengers number in mere dozens (as small as 16). Knowing the differences is key to planning your best cruise vacation. 

CruiseCompete has divided today’s ships into categories and provides information on the benefits each provides, from the very small and intimate, to medium and up to the very large, mega ships.

For River Cruise Ship Size, from Extra Small to Small with guest capacity from just 18 to almost 260, and only a couple over that number, see details here.

From Avalon Waterways Treasure of Galapagos with 18 guests, to the American Queen Steamboat Company American Queen river ship that sails USA rivers with 417 guests , there is a ship size for everyone.

CruiseCompete member-agents are the most well-educated, forward-thinking and trusted cruise specialists in the industry. If you’d like more information or assistance planning a future cruise or a cruisetour, please visit CruiseCompete and try the Virtual Cruise Advisor™ or Live Help.

CruiseCompete has been the premier online cruise marketplace since 2003 (see media praises). Consumers come to CruiseCompete to research and book cruise vacations. More than 1.5 million users have generated close to 4 million requests from consumers, and agents have delivered 17.5 million quotes since 2003. They can compare offers from trusted travel agents, see consumer reviews of agents and agencies responding, then contact travel agents directly for more information and to book cruises. CruiseCompete is a member of the Family Travel Association, the leading authority and resource for family travel information and is home to the Sea Tales 2020 Family Cruise Travel Planner at Travel Resources.

CruiseCompete CruiseTrends™ offers monthly stats for an inside look at consumer trends and what consumers want in cruise vacations. CruiseCompete takes top honors in Travel + Leisure’s “Top 60 Best Apps and Websites for Travelers” with an honorable mention. The Wall Street Journal praised CruiseCompete as “Best Cruise Travel Site,” The New York Times says, “… independent travel agents compete to offer you the best deal,” and follows similar praise from Travel + Leisure, Kiplinger and The Washington Post. The Street says, “Score luxury cruises at bargain prices.” 

Follow CruiseCompete: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Canyon Of The Eagles

Looking for an unconventional getaway in the splendor of the Great American Wilderness? The Canyon of The Eagles in Burnet County, Texas, can provide you with that experience, and more.

The Canyon Of The Eagles property is located on the scenic shores of Lake Buchanan, the largest body of water in Texas’s Highland Lakes Region. It is also conveniently accessible by car, just 90 minutes outside of Austin, Texas, and 25 minutes from the town of Burnet.

The big draw to this location? Its breathtaking natural beauty and the chance to escape the everyday and immerse yourself in a peaceful and recharging environment. Guests will enjoy quiet accommodations in cozy cabins on the property, styled with a rustic Texas Southwestern charm. While the cabins are equipped with modern amenities, including wi-fi, the only television access exists at the Eagles Nest Lounge, it’s Hospitality Suite. This encourages conversation and quality time with loved ones and at the same time, inspires communal engagement in ways often lost to the digital age.

On the property, guests can also start the morning off with a rejuvenating Yoga session, or a relaxing lake pontoon ride. If you’re looking to add some more adventure to your stay, there are many opportunities to get out of your room and explore the scenery. You might find yourself mountain biking on Burnet County Trails. Catch breathtaking views on one of the hiking trails. Rent a kayak, and go on a Guided Tour or a solo paddle out on the beautiful Lake Buchanan. Book a spot on one of the Canyon Cruises, a 2 hour sightseeing and wildlife watching journey with the chance to see intricate naturally-weathered rock formations and waterfalls.

Some of the most incredible parts of Canyon of the Eagles comes out when the sun goes down and the night comes alive. The remote location of the resort and lack of light pollution opens up the night sky in ways one could never imagine. Stargazing is a popular nighttime activity, and the activity can be elevated by attending the Eagle Eye Observatory, where an on-site scientist and astronomer can explain to you the constellations. Fireside chats are another evening activity, covering topics such as local snakes and other wildlife to watch out for.

Food and drink options are also plentiful on the property and nearby. Experience authentic barbeque delights from Opie’s BBQ such as mesquite smoked brisket and pork chops or make your way to the best breakfast you’ll find at Bluebonnet Café where you can enjoy 14 varieties of fresh baked pies — including lemon, coconut, fudge and more. The walking tour of downtown Marble Falls features a snack at Choccolatte’s, where you can enjoy premium gelato or if you would like to get a drink and relax, you could head over to Bear King Brewery. Whatever your tastes are, you can be satisfied in the Highland Lakes Region.

Canyon of the Eagles is a family-friendly resort and vacation option for anyone looking to change up the fast-paced routine of modern life and sink into a simpler time. This location allows for great opportunities for families to get back together and enjoy each others company. The resort also offers options for corporate events and retreats, and would provide an excellent backdrop for a wedding or any other celebration. Whatever you make out of your stay, you won’t forget it when staying at the Canyon of the Eagles in the magnificent Texas Highland Lakes. For more information on what Canyon of Eagle’s could provide at your luxury stay, please check out their amenities and book your stay here.

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CLASSIC JOURNEYS × LUXURY TOURS

CLASSIC JOURNEYS LAUNCHES

“LUXURY PRIVATE TOURS WITHIN A CRUISE”

ON EUROPE’S GREAT RIVERS

Luxury tour operator Classic Journeys is introducing a unique slant on European river cruises, providing a limited admission “private tour within a cruise” aboard some of the most elegant vessels journeying to Europe’s most magnificent cities and landscapes.

The river-based adventures combine a relaxing luxury five-star river cruise experience with a wide array of exclusively handcrafted cultural and walking activities. Classic Journeys’ “tours within a cruise” are capped at 18 participants, making them among the most intimate cruise experiences available. River travel is becoming increasingly popular – enabling travelers to see substantial and glorious sections of Europe “from the inside,” without the bother of packing and unpacking.

A local expert Classic Journeys tour guide and escort will travel with the guests and be their on-board host providing unique insights into the each area’s history, customs and sights. He or she will guide private shore excursions available uniquely to Classic Journeys travelers, including exclusive wine tastings and dining experiences unavailable to other passengers.

Classic Journeys has selected ships providing the finest amenities, including gourmet dining, concierge service, fitness facilities and spas. Each ship offers panoramic lounges as well as an open-air sun deck where travelers can watch European shores drift by outside. Once ashore, guests have the opportunity to experience Europe like never before – with everything from countryside hiking trails, to visits to olive oil plantations and even home visits to Michelin-starred chefs. Perfect for reunions, multi-generational travel, girls’ getaways and more, the river cruise option allows travelers with different interests and activity levels to pick and choose their individual tours each day.

Classic Journeys’ European River Cruises include:

Portugal & SpainDouro: Porto to Salamanca – Glide upriver from coastal Porto to a scenic land of olive groves, vineyards and medieval hilltop villages all the way to Salamanca and the glorious Spanish countryside

Austria, Hungary & Czech RepublicDanube: Cultures of Central Europe – Explore Austrian villages and vineyards, Vienna and Budapest, and perfectly preserved Cesky Krumlov in the Czech Republic

FranceRhone: Burgundy and Provence – Discover the legendary countryside bordering the Rhone river from Lyon to Avignon, meet olive growers, discover culinary thrills with a Michelin-starred chef and discover some of the world’s most glorious and celebrated wines and vineyards

For more information about Classic Journeys’ exclusive European River Cruises and all other Classic Journeys itineraries, visit: www.classicjourneys.com.

ABOUT CLASSIC JOURNEYS

Since its founding in 1995 with one style of travel in a total of three countries, Classic Journeys has expanded to offer five styles of travel (culture + walking, culinary, family, multi-sport, and river cruising) and 100 itineraries in 50 countries across six continents. With its focus on providing every guest a handcrafted trip of a lifetime, Classic Journeys has won awards from a variety of publications including Saveur, National Geographic and Travel + Leisure – the latter having named it a “World’s Best Tour Operator” every year since 2007.

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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Western River Expeditions

One river rafting company anticipates one of its best years in its history is just around the bend, thanks to the unprecedented strength of its early season bookings.
 
Western River Expeditions reports that its 3, 4, 6 and 7-day Grand Canyon trips for 2020 are full on many dates. And 2019 is already completely sold out. Western River is taking a wait list for spots that open up due to cancellations.
 
Opening day to place 2020 reservations was Nov. 15, 2018. “We booked over 1,000 seats on that day alone,” says Brandon Lake, CMO of Western River Expeditions.  “Online bookings are way up, with over 70 percent of some trips being booking online. Compared to the 40 percent average norm, this is a huge increase!”
 
He adds that, “other rivers are also seeing booming interest and bookings.” Bookings for 2019 five-day trips on Desolation Canyon, Green River are up three-fold over 2018. ”We have as many bookings for Desolation Canyon now as we usually end the year with.”
 
Other rivers favored in this booking uptick, comparing same time 2018 and 2019 include 

Lake attributes these record sales in part to:

  • Good overall US economy (to this point),
  • Swell of retiring Baby Boomers,
  • Popularity of the bucket list and desire to experience lifelong dreams like running the Grand Canyon and Cataract Canyon, 
  • Increasing interest in National Parks, particularly Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park which many guests visit while in Moab, Utah, before their trip to Desolation Canyon or Cataract Canyon.
  • Many new, excellent accommodation choices and availability for pre- and post-trip stays on adventures that depart from Moab, Utah (Cataract Canyon and Desolation Canyon). 

For those chomping at the bit to get on a raft in 2019, Western River advises that people call soon to reserve their space. “There are still some spots on some of our most popular expeditions and this is going to be an incredible year to experience the river.”
 
Lake explains that Western River is bound by the permits granted to them. These permits limit the number of guests that can travel with them each year. “This number doesn’t change, but guest demand for what is essentially a limited opportunity does.”
 
Utah’s Cataract Canyon, deep within Canyonlands National Park, is near enough in scale, appearance and proximity to the Grand Canyon that it works the same kind of magic found in the Grand herself. Just one canyon upstream on the Colorado River in Utah’s Canyonlands National Park is hands down the best alternative to a Grand Canyon rafting vacation,” he says.
 
Farther north from the confluence, Utah’s Desolation Canyon was carved by the 730-mile Green River, born from glacial melts on the Continental Divide in the Wyoming Rockies. The Green has created such rare and unique universe that Desolation Canyon has been named to the National Register of Historic Places. The Green’s whitewater promises soft adventure thrills over 60 fun-filled Class II and III rapids.
 

Calling Desolation Canyon “the ultimate, back-country family river trip,” Jason Taylor, an operations manager who oversees all of Western River Expeditions’ trips in Utah, noted that the five-day program is appropriate for children as young as 5. It’s also a great river trip for extended families and first-time rafters.
 
For a copy of Western River Expeditions’ 2019 catalog, questions, availability and reservations call toll-free: 866.904.1160 (Local: 801.942.6669) or visit the website at: http://www.westernriver.com/.

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.