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Colorado River Dory and Music Trip–July 5-16, 2015

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Colorado River & Trail Expeditions will be running a Dory and Music trip July 5-16, 2015 through Utah’s Canyonlands.  The trip will start at Loma, Colorado near the Utah/Colorado stateline.  The trip will follow the Colorado River through Ruby, Horsethief, Westwater, and Cataract Canyons before ending at the headwaters of Lake Powell.  The trip will be hosted by boat builder and musician Andy Hutchinson; and famous historian, author, and boat builder Brad Dimock.  This should be the perfect trip for those who have always wanted to experience the Colorado River above the Grand Canyon in the sleek style and feel of a Dory.  In addition to the rapids and river scenery, the schedule should allow for plenty of time for off-river hiking and exploration.  Camp time will be filled with stories, history, music, and campfires.  The trip is priced at $2995.00/person with round trip transportation provided from Green River, UT.  Below is a rough itinerary for the trip.  As of today there are 8 spaces available.

A Land of Rock

A Land of Rock

Day 1:

We will get an early start and drive from Green River, Utah to Loma, Colorado where we will be fitted with life jackets, given a safety orientation, and introduced to the guides. Shortly after we will push off on the mighty Colorado River.  Right away we will be in Horsethief Canyon.  Camp will be set up at Mee Corner.

Day 2:

We will leave Horsethief Canyon and then enter Ruby Canyon.  Camp will be set-up in the Black Rocks section.

Day 3:

Around lunchtime we will say our goodbyes to our Adventure Bound guide and support raft.  The first few miles after lunch will be spent floating through big cottonwood groves and sandstone outcroppings teaming with an array of birds including Bald Eagles.  Then suddenly the Wingate sandstone walls become high and the black rock of the metamorphic complex starts to reach its fingers out of the river.  Westwater Canyon is one of the most beautiful sections of the Colorado River.  After a short hike to the abandoned Miner’s Cabin, and running a few small rapids, camp will be set up near the Little Dolores River.

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Scouting the Big Drops

Day 4:

Today will be one of the most exciting whitewater days of the river trip.  The fun and exciting class III-IV rapids of Westwater Canyon will come one after another.  Some of the bigger rapids include: Funnel Falls, Skull Rapid, and Sock-It-To-Me.  After the river exits Westwater Canyon it will mellow out again and the river banks once again will be filled with large cottonwood groves and sandstone outcroppings.  Camp will be set up near Fish Ford and we will hopefully do a nice hike to a big view.

Day 5:

Today brings us into the upper section of the Moab Daily and past the Cutler Sandstone Fisher Towers.  Views of sandstone spires, pinnacles, and buttes will be framed by the laccolithic La Sal mountains from our camp along the rapids of Onion Creek.

Day 6:

After a nice early start, we will maneuver our way through the last few rapids of the Moab Daily section of the Colorado River.  Sometime before lunchtime a motorized raft will meet up with us and motor us through 30 miles of flat water.  Garbage and recycling will be exchanged for new food and drink.  We will float past the Salt Valley known as Moab, through the Portal, and into Canyonlands National Park.

Dory in Rapids

Dory in Rapids

Day 7:

In the morning we will take a short hike amongst the ruins and pictographs of the Ancestral Puebloan site at Lathrop Canyon.  Then we will get back on the boats and float toward Indian Creek.  Indian Creek offers more opportunities for hiking and ruins as well as a nice camping opportunity.

Day 8:

The river makes a large gooseneck, and at the narrowest part, a short steep hike affords some spectacular views and the opportunity to meet the boats on the other side. Along the hike are ancient petroglyphs.  In the afternoon the Colorado River will meet the Green River.  The confluence of these two rivers is often referred to as the “Center of the Universe” amongst rafters.

Day 9:

A Layover Day!!  Relax and Read, or Hike up to the Dolls House of the Maze District of Canyonlands National Park.  Pack a lunch.  Great Geology!  Great Views!  Great Hike!

Dories lined up at camp

Dories lined up at camp

Day 10:

Rapids! Today we will run the first 20 rapids of Cataract Canyon.  The rapids will start small and gradually increase in size.  Camp will be set up at the top of the famous Big Drop Rapids.

Day 11:

The Biggest Rapids of the Trip!  Today we will run the series of rapids known as the Big Drops.  The Big Drops in Cataract Canyon are always very technical and at high water are the biggest rapids in North America.  In July they should be a little more tame, but still very exciting.  After the Big Drops, we will see the effects of a 15-year prolonged drought, as some rapids that have been buried under the water of Lake Powell for the last 30 years have re-emerged recently.  These include a long rocky rapid at the head of Waterhole Canyon.  In the afternoon we may have time to hike into Dark Canyon.

Day 12:

After an early start, we will reflect on our incredible journey over the past 12 days.  The trip will end at North Wash and transportation will be provided back to Green River.

Brad Dimock author of "Sunk WIth Out a Sound" and "The Doing of the Thing"

Brad Dimock author of “Sunk With Out a Sound” and “The Doing of the Thing”

Colorado River

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The "Cataract Canyon Coyotes" enjoying the highest water in 25 years on the Colorado River in 2011

2011 Brought the Highest Water in Cataract Canyon since 1984

Colorado River

The Colorado River is probably the most famous river in the world. The river flows 1450 miles starting at the Continental Divide in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado and flowing into the Gulf of California between Baja and mainland Mexico. The Colorado River drains 246,000 square miles in parts of seven U.S. states and two Mexican states.

The most famous sections to raft the Colorado River are through the Grand Canyon, Cataract Canyon, and Westwater Canyon. Colorado River & Trail Expeditions offers rafting trips on these sections as well as on the Fisher Towers 1-day stretch near Moab, Utah. Each trip offers a unique rafting experience full of excitement, beauty, and fun.

Grand Canyon Rafting

The Colorado River whitewater rafting trip through the Grand Canyon is probably the most famous stretch of river in the world. The Colorado River travels 277 miles from Lees Ferry to Pearce Ferry in Arizona. In order to cover all 277 miles of the canyon one needs a minimum of 8 days. Partial trips are available to or from Phantom Ranch and Whitmore Wash. The biggest rapids along the Colorado River in this stretch are Crystal, Lava Falls, Hermit, and Granite.

Cataract Canyon Rafting

Cataract Canyon is located in Canyonlands National Park near Moab, Utah. It is upstream of the Grand Canyon and downstream of Westwater Canyon. The Colorado River joins the Green River right before plunging into Cataract Canyon. Cataract Canyon offers rapids larger than the Grand Canyon at flows above 30,000 cfs and can become awe-inspiring at flows over 60,000 cfs. At lower flows the rapids are much smaller, but still fun. Though exciting, whitewater is just a small part of the experience of rafting the Colorado River in Canyonlands National Park. The sandstone landscape is unlike any other in the world and the mesas, buttes, and graben valleys offers plenty of exploration opportunities. Plan on spending 3-4 days to see this marvelous landscape. The most famous rapids on this stretch are the Big Drops.

Westwater Canyon

Westwater Canyon is located on the Colorado River near the Utah and Colorado border. The trip is short and sweet, covering 17 miles of rapids, sandstone cliffs, and precambrian rocks. Famous rapids along this stretch include Skull, Funnel Falls, and Sock-it-to-Me. This trip can be a destination as an overnight river trip or as part of the Canyon Country experience combining it with hiking, biking, or jeeping in the Moab or Green River, Utah area.

Colorado River Trip Near Moab

This one day stretch is very popular. The Colorado River flows underneath tall sandstone cliffs and over fun rapids. This is great trip for those short on time and is a fun introduction to rafting on the mighty Colorado.

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