Colorado River Rafting in Canyonlands National Park

Ancient Rock art in Canyonlands National park

Rock Art in Canyonlands National Park seen on a Cataract Canyon Rafting Trip

Before the Colorado River enters Lake Powell and above the Grand Canyon is Cataract Canyon.  Cataract Canyon is located in southeastern Utah and is a part of Canyonlands National Park.  This section of Colorado River rafting is famous for its incredible rapids and stunning scenery.  The area is a landscape full of sandstone canyons, grabens, buttes, and mesas.  Cataract Canyon starts at the confluence of the Green and Colorado Rivers, with the rivers dividing Canyonlands National Park into three distinct and unique sections.  Between the two rivers is the Island in the Sky District, here one can find incredible views, arches, and slickrock.  On the west side of the Green River is the Maze district.  This area is full of winding canyons and ancient rock art.  On the East side of the Colorado River is the Needles District full of spires, grabens, and even more ancient rock art.  One could spend a lifetime in Canyonlands and just scratch the surface of the place.

Rafting Cataract Canyon is a great way to explore Canyonlands National Park.  Most trips start on the Colorado River south of Moab at the Potash Boat Ramp and are 3-5 days in length.   After hearing a safety talk and being fitted with life jackets rafters board the rafts and head down river.  After a short ride on the rafts boaters enter Canyonlands National Park.  After lunch the first day there is a great spot to explore a petrified forest.  There are numerous huge trees that have been preserved by being knocked over and covered by mud before oxygen could decompose them.  The next popular stop is Lathrop Canyon.  This is a great spot to see some Native American pictographs that were painted on the sandstone hundreds of years ago.  Most trips camp in this area the first night.

The second day of the trip rafters will get the opportunity to see multiple Native American Granaries which were built to store food in.  The next hike ones comes to on the river is Indian Creek, which in the spring offers a great opportunity to hike to a beautiful waterfall in a narrow canyon.   After a few more miles on the river there is an opportunity to hike over the Loop.  The Loop is a place where the river has made a sharp turn and almost come completely back upon itself.  This allows those who feel like hiking to hike over a saddle of sandstone and meet the boats on the other side.  After a hike over the Loop it is time to relax and enjoy the scenery.  Next the Green River joins the Colorado River and Cataract Canyon officially starts.  Trips usually camp just below the first rapid in Cataract Canyon which is called Brown Betty.   Here there is one of the most beautiful sand beaches on the entire Colorado River system.  This marks the turning point of the calm water to raging whitewater of Cataract Canyon.  This section of rapids during flows above 50,000 cfs has rapids that make the famous rapids of the Grand Canyon seem small.

The next morning offers a great opportunity to hike into the “Doll’s House” of Canyonlands National Park.  This is a very strenuous hike, but if one has the time and the weather is not too hot it is a great place to see.  The best way to describe it would be a palace made of  red stone with secret passages and rooms.  It would be something Martian royalty might have.  Besides the “Doll’s House,” the scenery is amazing and one can get a view of the skyline in all directions and see all the great geology of the area caused by salt, wind, water, and long periods of time.

After returning from the Doll’s House it is time for Colorado River rafting through Cataract Canyon.  The rapids start small, but grow quickly, and before you know it you are in Mile Long, Ben Hurt, The Big Drops, and Waterhole.  At low water these rapids require great skill to maneuver through the huge sandstone boulders, at high water the waves routinely reach 10-15 feet high trough to crest.  After Waterhole Rapid the effects of Lake Powell start to rear their head.  The rapids below this point are covered in silt.  Huge sand banks full of dead trees on each side of the river block ones view of the sandstone.  This is another place where geology is happening.  This time rapidly.  Lake Powell has only been around for about 50 years.  In this short amount of time, sand has been deposited as the current slowed, and the river entered the lake.  Currently the lake is less than 50% capacity and the outlook for filling the lake is not good.  The Western United states is in a drought and an increasing population is demanding more and more water that the Colorado River can not supply.

For more information about Colorado River rafting contact Colorado River & Trail Expeditions(www.crateinc.com).  In addition to running Cataract Canyon they also operate commercial rafting trips

Cataract Canyon Photography River Trip Hosted by Tom Till

tomTillSpecial Photography River Trip Hosted by Tom Till, July 29-August 4, 2013

Colorado River Cataract Canyon, Canyonlands National Park

We are excited to announce this special on-river photography workshop with Tom Till.  Tom has lived in Moab, Utah, and has been exploring and photographing the surrounding red rock canyon country for 40 years.  Sharing Tom’s enthusiasm and expertise in his “own backyard,” is a rare opportunity.  The trip is limited to 12 participants to ensure that Tom is able to provide some one-on-one instruction to each person.  Don’t wait too long to make your reservation if you want to photograph Utah’s beautiful Canyonlands with one of the best and nicest photo pros in the business, reserve your place today.

If you have any questions or would like more details about the 2013 Photography Rafting Expeditions hosted by Tom Till, please contact our office at 1-800-253-7328 or crate@crateinc.com.  Additionally, our current brochure includes descriptive information about Cataract Canyon rafting.

About Tom Tom has a degree in education from Iowa State University and was a professional teacher for eight years.  His forty years of exploring the Canyon Country and the world with his camera, and his 32 years as a professional photographer make him uniquely qualified as a workshop instructor and tour leader.  Tom is also an experienced river runner.  He is approachable, eager to share his knowledge, and patient and encouraging with his fellow photographers.  He believes everyone has a unique vision of the world that better photography can reveal.  Proficient with 4×5 medium format, and 35mm cameras, Tom is up-to-date with the latest technology and film and digital cameras.  Visit Tom’s website at www.tomtillphotography.com

Tom’s traveling exhibit of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, sponsored by the UN and U.S. State Department is in its third year of crisscrossing the world.  Tom recently received an award for his work with the Nature Conservancy, the second from that organization he has earned.

RAFTING PHOTO CONTEST NOW OPEN

New for 2013 – Photo Sharing/Photo Contest Instructions

Colorado River & Trail Expeditions has designed and developed a section on our website where our rafting guests can share photos from their river trip with each other.   Additionally, CRATE has instituted a 2013 Photo Contest with some incredible prizes.  Here is how it all works:

1.             CRATE customers create a login for themselves.  This can be done through your social media accounts or just through your e-mail address.

 

2.              After creating a user file and agreeing to CRATE’s privacy policies, participants can upload their 10 best photos from their river trip onto CRATE’s photo sharing webpage.  This can be done by a drag and drop method on more modern browsers(Chrome, Firefox, Opera), or by selecting the photos on your computer and clicking the “upload” button.

 

3.              When the upload is complete, participants will be asked to tell more about each photo.  Who took the photo? What was happening when the photo was taken? Where was the photo taken? When was the photo taken – time of day, how far into the trip? How did you take it – type of camera, special camera settings, unique physical location or requirements, etc.  Why – what prompted you to take this picture? The more that is written in the description section, the more interesting it will be for others to look at.

 

4.              After you have set up your account, you will be able to download photos posted by other participants from your trip onto your own computer for your personal use.  We think this will be a great feature for our guests, because up to 250 of the best pictures from your trip will be available for sharing.

 

5.              Participants will also be able to browse photos from other CRATE trips, although the download feature will only be available for guests on the same trip.

 

6.              In addition to Photo Sharing, CRATE will also be running a Photo Contest in
2013.  After agreeing to our rules and procedures a participant can enter a maximum of six photos split among three categories.  The categories are “Landscape,” “People,” and “River. “ For the Landscape category we are looking for beautiful scenery.  For the People category we are looking for photos with people having a good time hiking, relaxing, getting splashed with a wall of water, or just having a good time on a river trip.  For the river section of the contest we are looking for great shots of boats and rapids.

7.              Now the EXCITING PART —The Photo Contest will run until midnight on November 30, 2013.

 

The winners will be decided based on fan votes and popularity.  Every time a photo is downloaded by a fellow trip-mate, shared on social media, or liked by someone it will receive points through CRATE’s photo contest algorithim.  The photograph having the most points will be deemed the Grand Prize winner.  The Grand Prize winner will receive a space on the 2014 Tom Till Grand Canyon Photography Workshop Trip May 3-14.  The winner from each category will receive 1 free Utah rafting vacation through Desolation, Cataract, or Westwater Canyon.  GET YOUR PHOTOS UPLOADED EARLY SO YOU CAN START ACQUIRING VOTES!!!

That’s it! You’re entered.

Best of all, by using Crate’s Photo Sharing Web Page, all CRATE customers can see your photos and be inspired by the fun, excitement, beauty and adventure experienced on a river expedition.

 

Photo Sharing Rules and Licensing Agreement

Legal Details // Your Rights

You will retain all rights to any photograph you submit other than those rights licensed in the following paragraph.

By submitting your photo(s) for inclusion on Colorado River and Trail Expeditions’ Photo Sharing Web Page and/or Photo Contest:  (1) you hereby grant to Colorado River & Trail Expeditions, Inc., a nonexclusive, royalty-free license to reproduce, distribute, publicly display and publicly perform the photograph(s) you submit, and the right to use your name, state and country of residence in promotions and other publications; and  (2) you hereby grant to other Photo Sharing Participants on your same river trip the right to reproduce, distribute, and publicly display your photographs for their personal use only.

Please Note:  When you place your photos on the CRATE photo sharing sight, you retain the copyright and ownership of the photos, but you are permitting other people on your trip to download them and use them for personal purposes that may include showing them in a public slide show and/or sharing them on social media sites like YouTube, Facebook  and Pinterest, or other media sites. This is great exposure for your art, but we urge you not to post any photo that you do not want to share with the world at large.

 

If any person appearing in any photograph is under the age of 18, a parent or legal guardian is must give all necessary releases and consents to the photographer.

 

Colorado River & Trail Expeditions, Inc. will review all submitted photographs and retains the right to reject or remove those that in our opinion are inappropriate, obscene, provocative, defamatory, sexually explicit, or otherwise objectionable.

 

Photo Contest Rules and Licensing Agreement

 

*The photograph, in its entirety, must be a single work of original material taken by the Contest entrant. By entering the Contest, entrant represents, acknowledges and warrants that the submitted photograph is an original work created solely by the entrant, that the photograph does not infringe on the copyrights, trademarks, moral rights, rights of privacy/publicity or intellectual property rights of any person or entity, and that no other party has any right, title, claim or interest in the photograph.

 

*If the photograph contains any material or elements that are not owned by the entrant and/or which are subject to the rights of third parties, and/or if any persons appear in the photograph, the entrant is responsible for obtaining, prior to submission of the photograph, any and all releases and consents necessary to permit the exhibition and use of the photograph in the manner set forth in these Official Rules.

 

*Upon Colorado River & Trail Expedition’s request, each entrant must be prepared to provide a signed release from all persons who appear in the photograph submitted. Failure to provide such releases upon request may result in disqualification at any time during the Contest and selection of an alternate winner.

 

Legal Details // Your Rights

You will retain all rights to any photograph you submit other than those rights licensed in the following paragraph.

By submitting your photo(s) for inclusion on Colorado River and Trail Expeditions’ Photo Sharing Web Page and/or Photo Contest:  (1) you hereby grant to Colorado River & Trail Expeditions, Inc., a nonexclusive, royalty-free license to reproduce, distribute, publicly display and publicly perform the photograph(s) you submit, and the right to use your name, state and country of residence in promotions and other publications; and  (2) you hereby grant to other Photo Sharing Participants on your same river trip the right to reproduce, distribute, and publicly display your photographs for their personal use only.

Please Note:  When you place your photos on the CRATE photo sharing sight, you retain the copyright and ownership of the photos, but you are permitting other people on your trip to download them and use them for personal purposes that may include showing them in a public slide show and/or sharing them on social media sites like YouTube, Facebook  and Pinterest, or other media sites. This is great exposure for your art, but we urge you not to post any photo that you do not want to share with the world at large.

 

If any person appearing in any photograph is under the age of 18, a parent or legal guardian is must give all necessary releases and consents to the photographer.

 

Colorado River & Trail Expeditions, Inc. will review all submitted photographs and retains the right to reject or remove those that in our opinion are inappropriate, obscene, provocative, defamatory, sexually explicit, or otherwise objectionable.

 

 

 

 

Colorado River

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.