Grand Canyon Rafting
  • Reservations: 800-253-7328 or 801-261-1789
  • Telefax: 801-268-1193
  • E-Mail:
  • Post Office Box 57575
  • Salt Lake City, Utah
  • 84157-0575

Desolation Canyon Rafting

Green River Rafting in Desolation Canyon Wilderness

Green River rafting through Desolation Canyon is the "perfect" river trip. There is plenty of action for those who want it, and absolute relaxation for those who don't! The class II and III rapids are exciting in a small paddle raft or an inflatable kayak, but fairly tame if you ride aboard an 18-foot rowing rig. The off-river hikes are awesome..but if you would rather not participate, you can stay behind on the beach and take a swim, play in the sand, or enjoy a siesta in the shade of a friendly cottonwood tree. Highlights of the trip include beautiful rock art panels left by ancient canyon residents, turn-of-the-century pioneer homesteads, and even a whiskey still from the prohibition era. Campsites are comfortable and inviting, with big white sand beaches and groves of cottonwood trees for shade. We often see mule deer and big horn sheep along the river bank. There are also many varieties of birds, including great blue herons, Canada geese, peregrine falcons, and bald eagles. Children as young as 8 years of age will have a great time in Desolation Canyon. But don't let that fool you! Adults and teenagers love this trip, too!

Green River rafting through Desolation Canyon is a totally delightful outdoor adventure. With deep canyons, colorful scenery, interesting off-river attractions, and more than 60 class II-III rapids, it's obvious that this is a premier river journey. The rapids are fun and exciting, but not overly difficult. This makes it a good trip for younger children, first-time rafters, and for people who want an outdoor vacation that offers a balance of excitement and relaxation. We generally use our 18-foot row rafts on this expeditions, but individuals who prefer a greater challenge can help paddle a small 6-person raft or take a turn their own individual inflatable kayak.

These Green River rafting expeditions begin in the town of Green River, Utah, with a scenic charter flight up the Green River to Sand Wash where the rafts are launched. This 30-minute flight in a small single-engine plane provides a bird's eye view of the canyon and gives you some perspective on the size and dimensions of the Green River Wilderness Area.(Drive in options are available for those who do not wish to fly)

Each day we spend some of our time hiking and exploring off river. In many places along the Green River there are prehistoric ruins and rock art panels dating back to 900 A.D. We also see evidence of a more recent human activity, including whiskey stills from the Prohibition Era and prospectors dilapidated old cabins. Butch Cassidy and the Wild Bunch used to trade horses at the now-abandoned McPherson Ranch on the way to the Wyoming frontier. And then there's the old Rock Creek homestead, which was still a working ranch into the 1940's. The stone house, tools, and implements conjure up a picture of self-sufficient living far away from the nearest town.

Because of its rich Western heritage and its unique natural wonders, Desolation Canyon along the Green River has been designated a Registered National Historic Landmark. All that and a great river trip, too.


Multi-Generational, No Child Left Inside, Earthway Education and Gluten Free River Trip

Multi-Generational Rafting Trips

Rafting Desolation Canyon on the Green River is a great choice for a mult-generational vacation. It is hard these days to find a vacation for grandparents, parents, and kids all to enjoy, but our rafting trip down Desolation Canyon is the ticket. Here is why: First off, this trip offers something for everyone. You can paddle all-day, play in the sand, float in the river, hike, or relax and read a book while the guides do the work. Secondly, this is a vacation that your family will talk about forever. Your family will have the undivided attention of each other and all of your meals and activities will be planned out. Thirdly, it will develop an appreciation of the natural world and importance of protecting wild places and open spaces. Lastly it is affordable, CRATE offers great youth rates and group discounts. So don't wait. Get the whole family together and lets go rafting!

No Child Left Inside

Research has now shown that getting young people outdoors is a great help in easing attention deficit disorders. "Nature-Deficit Disorder" was a term used by author Richard Louv to describe what is happening to young people who are disconnected from the natural world in his book "Last Child in the Woods." Louv linked this lack of nature to some of the most disturbing childhood trends, such as ADD, rising rates of obesity, and depression. At Colorado River & Trail Expeditions we feel that it is very important to get kids outside and away from the computer screens. It is important for our youth to experience the natural world so they will appreciate it and protect it. Our Green River rafting trips through Desolation Canyon are a great place to develop this trait and we offer vastly discounted rates for kids.

Earthway Education Expeditions

Our Earthway Education Expeditions expand the length, focus, and participatory elements of the Desolation Canyon river trip to offer a more in-depth learning experience. Although each expeditions has a particular focus, the basic intent of the Earthway program is to teach participants about ecology through information they collect in the field. This program promotes questioning and enhancement of personal environmental ethics and philosophies, and encourages self-discovery and appreciation through active participation in all aspects of the river trip, such as paddling the raft down the river and helping with camp chores. For more information about these expeditions call our office or send us an e-mail. We love to work with groups, summer camps, schools, church groups, boy scouts, girl scouts, families, and individuals.

Gluten Free River Trip

Many of our rafting guests have allergies to wheat products and/or celiac disease, and request "gluten free" meals. Rather than deprive our gluten free guests of the type of foods that contain wheat, we have been preparing separate meals for them with gluten free products. During the 2013 rafting season, we are going to operate a totally gluten free river trip down the Green River through Desolation Canyon. The dates of the trip are June 25-29, 2013. Anyone can sign up. It's not limited to folks with celiac disease. We will use our regular outstanding menu, but in place of any product that is made from or contains wheat, we will be using an alternative product. Bread, cakes, noodles, rice, sauces, and so forth, will all be gluten free. If you or anyone you know has been reluctant to go camping or take a river tour because of a gluten intolerance, tell them about this wonderful river trip! Not only will they not have to worry about their food, they will experience one of the best river adventures in the west! Please call our office for more information.

Green River Rafting Dates and Prices

2014 • 20152016

Desolation Canyon - Green River Wilderness

Meet in Green River, Utah
The standard transportation package for Desolation Canyon expeditions includes an amazing scenic charter flight from Green River to Sandwash to begin the river trip. The cost of the flight ($135) will be added to your account balance when we confirm your reservation. Other transportation arrangements are possible. Please contact us for more information.
5-Day Rowing

6-Day Rowing

9-Day Total
6-Days Rafting


Multi-Generation Family Celebration
Celebrate your family ties on this 5-day rafting trip in Desolation Canyon. Fun learning activities and games for all ages. Comfortable camping for elders (cots and camp chairs). A great outdoor adventure to share with your loved ones.

Adult Rate:
Ages 8-20:

Desolation Canyon River Map

Green River Rafting Trip Options in Desolation Canyon

Enjoying the Green River from a raft

5-Day All-Inclusive rafting with Inflatable Kayak Option

This is our most popular Green River rafting expedition. The trip starts with a scenic flight up the Green River to Sandwash, where the river trip begins. The trip ends at the bottom of Swasey's rapid. During the 84 mile trip participants have the option to challenge the rapids in their own inflatable kayak, or sit back and relax while the guides do the work. In addition to the river portion guests have the option see ancient petroglyphs, hike through historic ranches, and play on sandy beaches. This is a great trip for families because of the great diversity in activities.

5-Day Women's Solstice Retreat - June 19-23, 2012

Sun salutations, river-side yoga, good hikes, and exciting rapids! A great get-away for active women of all ages. Rev up your spirit in honor of the new solar year. Call our office for more information.

Click on an Item to Learn More About Rafting Desolation Canyon on the Green River

Rafts stopped to see artifacts on Green River
Rowing the Green River

Our 18-foot row rafts accomodate 4-5 passengers plus the guide who rows the boat.

Inflatable Kayak in Desolation Canyon

Inflatable Kayaks turn a mild rapid into a wild one. Our fleet of inflatable kayaks make Desolation Canyon trip a top pick for multi-generational trips. There is plenty of fun and excitement or relaxation for all ages.

Paddle Raft Desolation Canyon

Our Paddle Rafts hold 6-8 passengers plus a guide who steers the raft.

Hiking on rafting trip

To many people the off-river hiking is as spectacular as the river corridor itself. We specialize in off-river hiking on all of our river expeditions. We are certain you will see places on our expeditions most river travelers miss.

Demaree Bags

Upon arrival, each participant will be given a large water-proof bag for clothing and personal items. Another water-proof bag will contain your provided sleeping bag, foam Paco Pad, and a large plastic ground tarp. Our water-proof bags are 30 inches high and have a diameter of 14 inches.

Waterproof Dry Box

Each participant will also receive an ammo can. It is always readily accesible during the day and is the best place to keep sunscreen, cameras, notebooks, etc.

River Kitchen

Our Kitchen includes everything we need to make delicious food. Dutch Ovens, Fire Pans, Propane Stove, Tables, and Drink Coolers. Our boats carry everything we need for the entire trip.

paco Pad

Wiggy's Sleeping Bags

Our sleep kit includes a fresly laundered sleeping bag. Our sleeping bags are made in the USA by Wiggy Inc. Wiggy also makes sleeping bags for the US Airforce.

Tent Photo

We supply tents from Kelty & ALPS, but generally the night sky is so spectacular that most people want to sleep out under the stars.

Camp Chairs

We supply camp chairs on all of our rafting expeditions.

Handwash set-up

A handwash device is set-up at lunch and in camp. It is mandatory for guests to wash hands before meals and after using the bathroom.

Bathroom facility on rafting trip

One of our toilets is always enclosed by a roomy yellow tent. It allows privacy as well as a place to change your clothes.

Toilet Photo

Our specially designed toilet makes the fear of using camp toilets go away. It is the most sanitary and clean toilet ever to be used on an outdoor expedition. It has a fly proof lid and utilizes a special chemical along with specially designed plastic bags that allow it to be set-up clean everyday. It has the ability to hold solid waste as well as urine. Along with the toilet, Lysol and toilet paper are always located inside the tent.

Outlaw hideout in Desolation Canyon

Speak To A Desolation Canyon Expert

We've done our best to design a website that is informative and easy to use, but we realize you may still have some questions. If that's the case, please call our office and get the information you need right away. Our staff is friendly and knowledgeable. They have been on all of the river trips offered by our company and can speak to you from experience. You won't have to press a sequence of buttons, and there's even a good chance one of our owners will answer the phone directly and assist you.

Our office hours are Monday to Friday 9:00 am to 5:30 pm. We also check for messages over the weekend. Call us at (800) 253-7328

We try to respond to email in a timely fashion, and so if it's more convenient for you to send us a note, just use this link:

Desolation Canyon River Trip Photos

Green River Rafting

  • Riding the Flow of the RiverAll Smiles on the Green River
  • Petroglyphs in Desolation CanyonPetroglyphs abound in Desolation Canyon
  • Wild Horses Along the Banks of the Green in UtahWild Horses are a Common Site in Desolation Canyon
  • Wing shelter on a utah rafting tripSpending an afternoon on the Beach
  • Lighthouse Rock on Green RiverLooking Towards the Same Lighthouse Rock JW Powell saw in 1869
  • Green River Trip in Desolation CanyonHike to an old Outlaw Hideout
  • vThe Best Multi-Generational Vacation Ever
  • Cottonwoods make great shade in Desolation CanyonCottonwood Trees Abound in the Canyons of Desolation and Grey
  • aView from the Plane of the Green River in Grey Canyon
  • Utah RaftingUtah's Green River Leaving Desolation Canyon
  • aEnjoying an Early Camp at Rabbit Valley
  • Planes at SandwashPlanes on the Airstrip at Sand Wash
  • Playing games on the Beach while rafting the Green RiverPlaying Games before Dinner
  • Utah River StoriesTelling River Stories After a Big Day of Rapids
  • Looking back Toward Desolation Canyon on a Utah Rafting TripSunset on the Green River
  • Utah River ToursRiver Trips Bring Everyone Together
  • view above RattlesnakeSee Breathtaking Scenery
  • Inflatable Kayaks on the Green RiverOptions for Everyone
  • aWhy Relax on the Beach When you Can Play in the Water?
  • qHiking Up Chandler Canyon
  • Utah River RaftingCollared Lizard Seen During a Hike
  • Whitewater Rafting in UtahChallenge the Rapids in one of our Inflatable Kayaks
  • Utah RiversGo Barefoot in the Sand
  • Utah River Tour Side HikeLearn About the History of the Area
  • Green River ToursExplore the Same Paths the Fremont Indian Culture Used
  • River Rafting in UtahOar Powered Raft