Category Archives: rafting trips

Western River Expeditions Advises Booking Well Ahead for Epic Canyon Rafting Trips

SALT LAKE CITY, UT – If an epic river rafting adventure is in your future, Western River Expeditions says don’t delay making reservations for trips down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon and in Utah’s Cataract Canyon.
 
Here are a few good reasons why to act now:
 
Tight controls on inventory through commercial permits make these areas available only to a limited few every year. While Western River Expeditions escorts more people down the Colorado River on professionally guided rafting trips in Utah and Arizona than any other rafting operator in the country, Western River, as well as other commercial tour operators, has to abide by the limits set by government-issued permits. These coveted seats are being snapped up quicker than ever before by an unprecedented surge of demand following months of COVID lockdown, record-breaking heat waves that beg for water-based recreation, and an exploding demand to visit America’s national parks.

As a result, Western River Expeditions has filled all Grand Canyon slots for 2021. Many departures for 2022 are sold out and others are very close to selling out. If you’re looking to raft the Grand Canyon in 2022, Western recommends checking availability online now for the Grand Canyon 3 & 4-Day Expeditions at https://www.westernriver.com. The company also suggests looking at Cataract Canyon, just upstream from Grand Canyon.

“While Cataract Canyon doesn’t carry the same name recognition as Grand Canyon, the scenery and whitewater along this section of the Colorado River through Canyonlands National Park are absolutely stunning,” says Brandon Lake, CMO for Western River Expeditions. “Guests can often find some availability on a Cataract Canyon expedition when Grand Canyon may be sold out.”

If a 2022 trip is not in the cards, mark your calendar for 2023! Western River Expeditions’ Grand Canyon trips for 2023 go on sale (tentatively) on Nov. 30, 2021. Cataract Canyon itineraries, which are more impacted by spring runoff than the dam-controlled flow through the Grand Canyon, are in demand for the high-water trips of May and June 2022. See dates and availability at https://www.westernriver.com/cataract-canyon-rafting.

For 2023 in the Grand Canyon, these options exist:

Even though hearts may be set on the longer 6 and 7-day options, itineraries of 3 and 4 days are easier to come by. These shorter trips are more popular with families with young teens and first-time canyon rafters. Space is still available for these trips for April-September 2022.

For a copy of Western River Expeditions’ 2021/2022 catalog, questions, availability and reservations call toll-free: 866.904.1160 (Local: 801.942.6669) or visit the website at: http://www.westernriver.com/.
 
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 the operator 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 (http://www.moabadventurecenter.com/).
 
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 seventeen consecutive years (2004-2020).

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Western River Expeditions Offers Families Respite from Lockdown Whitewater Rafting in Utah’s Desolation Canyon

Western River Expeditions’ Desolation Canyon 5-Day rafting trip, ideal for families seeking respite from COVID lockdown, is offered June through August.

SALT LAKE CITY – For over 60 years, Western River Expeditions has specialized as Nature’s partner, offering guests the specialized expertise, matched with a pristine river environment to enable transformations in body and spirit that are so needed as families emerge from COVID isolation.

“Reservations are up 37 percent over the same period last year for our premier family rafting trip,” reports Brandon Lake, co-owner of Western River Expeditions. “Families are clamoring to reinvent themselves in one of the most remote (no roads, no towns and no cell service) destinations in the continental United States. They are counting on us to deliver their first great trip back after hibernation for so long.”
 
This is Utah’s Desolation Canyon, carved over millennia by the 730-mile Green River that is spawned by glacial melts on the Continental Divide in the wilds of northern Wyoming.
 
The company’s proven and lauded health protocols are in place for this trip that welcomes families with children ages five and up. Fully 100 percent of this vacation takes place outside together. Transportation to the put-in is by small plane on a 40-minute flight over the desert plateau from Moab, Utah. Passengers are appropriately distanced on the aircraft and are required to wear masks on the airplane and in shuttle vehicles.
 
“Being able to travel and vacation in confidence will also assist the healing process – especially for parents,” Lake said. He explained that the rafting journey through Desolation Canyon is much more than rafting. The environment offers large beaches, swimming holes, outlaw cabins to explore, Native American sites, wildlife, fishing and great hikes. “It’s absolutely one of the best family vacations in the world.”
 
The Green is less strident than the Grand Canyon’s rollicking Colorado River. Whitewater on the Green is playful, marked by over 60 warm-water Class I-III rapids, packed with more than enough splash to excite all ages.
 
Western River Expeditions’ Desolation Canyon 5-Day Trip is offered June through August. Rates are $1,845 for ages 16 and up and $1,145 for ages 5-15 including airport transfer and flight from Moab, Utah, to the river, cots, tents, sleeping bags, chairs and water-resistant bags, all meals from between departure to return, guides, staff and equipment.
 
Highlights:

  • exploring 88 river miles
  • the option to paddle two-person inflatable kayaks or, relax in a guide-powered oar boat
  • witnessing 40 million years of geologic history
  • maneuvering 60+ fun-filled Class I-III rapids. One of the greatest features of this expedition is that the rapids are spread fairly evenly throughout the length of the trip so the action keeps it exciting all journey long.
  • visiting famous Wild West outlaw hideouts. Butch Cassidy and the Wild Bunch found that the rugged terrain here offered a perfect hideaway.
  • wondering about the past at now-derelict homesteads built of native materials
  • getting to know an ancient culture that both foraged and planted corn from the 7th to the 13th centuries, leaving behind Fremont Native American petroglyphs
  • hiking off-river with a seasoned guide well-versed in the region’s history and geology
  • deluxe camping on broad, sandy beaches along the river bank
  • enjoying host-prepared meals for both adults and children, with ingredients sourced from local farmers and producers
  • sunbathing on and off the water shaded by ancient cottonwoods
  • watching a Trip Jester entertain the children so parents have some down time 

For more details on this trip see https://www.westernriver.com/desolation-canyon
 
For a copy of Western River Expeditions’ 2021 catalog, questions, availability and reservations call toll-free: 866.904.1160 (Local: 801.942.6669) or visit the recently enhanced website at: http://www.westernriver.com/.
 
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 (http://www.moabadventurecenter.com/).
 
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 consecutive years (2004-2019).

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REI Focuses on Domestic Outdoor Experiences With Aim to Help 3 Million Get Outdoors Annually; Discontinues International Adventure Trips

Camping in Letchworth State Park, New York. REI Co-op is revising plans for the future of its experiences business with a goal of getting 3 million people outdoors each year through its experiences programs, which will focus exclusively on U.S. domestic adventures. © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

SEATTLE – REI Co-op is revising plans for the future of its experiences business with a goal of getting 3 million people outdoors each year through its experiences programs, which will focus exclusively on U.S. domestic adventures.

The co-op is investing in an expanded network of experiences close to iconic U.S. outdoor destinations, building on its expertise of small group active travel and local programming currently offered across the nation. REI expects to launch at least 12 new experience centers in the next two years where customers can tap into REI’s guided tours, gear rental and instruction. As part of the announcement, the co-op will discontinue its international adventure travel trips effective May 2021 in order to invest in its domestic travel growth strategy and expand offerings in hiking and camping, backpacking, cycling, women’s only, under-35, family and weekend adventures.

With more than 100 itineraries across the United States, REI adventure travel offers one of the broadest activity assortments of any U.S.-based tour operator. Sales of REI domestic adventure trips have gotten off to a fast start in 2021. As of March, domestic trips were up by 28 percent compared to 2019, making it one the strongest years in adventure travel sales.

“REI is a leader at getting people outside. We’re the only national organization with a wide range of experiences that provide life-changing outdoor moments, whatever someone’s skill level may be,” said Curtis Kopf, who was recently named REI’s chief experience officer. “The co-op’s bold investment in our U.S. experiences will help us welcome more people into the outdoors by making nature more accessible and attainable for everyone.”

A leader with REI since 2018, Kopf’s new role is an evolution of his previous oversight over REI’s experiences and digital divisions. As chief experience officer, he will oversee REI’s acceleration of efforts to design and build differentiated customer experiences that are interconnected across the company in physical locations, digital platforms and hosted experiences.

In recent years, REI annually has helped over 310,000 individuals across the country progress their outdoor interests and explore iconic outdoor destinations like national parks. Beyond multiday adventures, REI also offers fun and educational local experiences in major markets across the country through beginner-to advanced-level classes and guided day tours for hiking, cycling, paddling, climbing and more. REI is a top provider of how to ride a bike classes and wilderness training through its long partnership with the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS). The co-op also operates a destination adventure center based in Scottsdale, Arizona with gear rentals, day tours and education for residents and tourists visiting the region.

As REI focuses exclusively on U.S. domestic adventure travel and experiences, the co-op will provide full refunds to any guest who was booked on an international adventure. The co-op’s final international trip will depart in early May. All camping and hiking gear provided by REI to its international vendor network will remain in country for the continued use by individual operators.

REI Co-op

REI is a specialty outdoor retailer, headquartered near Seattle. One of the nation’s largest consumer co-ops, REI is a growing community of more than 19 million members. REI has 168 locations in 39 states and the District of Columbia. If you can’t visit a store, you can shop at REI.comREI Outlet or the REI shopping app. REI isn’t just about gear. Adventurers can take the trip of a lifetime with REI’s active adventure travel company that runs more than 100 itineraries across the country. In many communities where REI has a presence, professionally trained instructors share their expertise by hosting beginner-to advanced-level classes and workshops about a wide range of activities. To build on the infrastructure that makes life outside possible, REI invests millions annually in hundreds of local and national nonprofits that create access to—and steward—the outdoor places that inspire us all.

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Holiday River Expeditions Invites Adventurers Back to the River In Their Own Private Travel Pod

To take any lingering fears away from being out and about in Nature with family and friends together, Holiday River Expeditions has retooled its offerings by encouraging “pod” travel, or teaming up with a small group of friends and family who share pandemic protocol wave lengths.

SALT LAKE CITY, UT – “Take me to the river” takes on whole new meaning this season as the lock-down weary seek Houdini-like strategies to free themselves from the shackles of the pandemic’s captivity.
 
Holiday River Expeditions for over 50 years has been freeing people’s souls on river rafting adventures and they hope that in 2021 the same opportunities abound.
 
To take any lingering fears away from being out and about in Nature with family and friends together, this trail-blazing company has retooled its offerings. Primarily, they have made it easier to travel in confidence by encouraging “pod” travel, or teaming up with a small group of friends and family who share pandemic protocol wave lengths.
 
When Holiday River Expeditions began running its 2020 trips it was quickly evident that adjustments needed to be made for guests to feel more secure joining a trip. One of those adjustments was allowing for and encouraging smaller, private trips. On most trips the company has lowered its required minimums in order to schedule an exclusive group trip. The smaller group minimums have allowed guests to travel with just their family members, or close friends with whom they’ve already created a pod or travel bubble.
 
The new 12-person minimum for private rafting charters in 2021 apply to:

Holiday River Expeditions has also changed minimum requirements for its mountain biking itineraries to just 8 people for a small group, private charter backcountry trip. This applies to: 

Considered by enthusiasts to be Utah’s ultimate multi-day mountain bike trip, The Maze, deep inside Canyonlands National Park, is naturally a small group trip with a maximum capacity of just 7 guests.  Private charters can be arranged on two available dates; May 18-21 and September 7-10, 2021.
 
For more details, please see https://www.bikeraft.com/what-your-2021-trip-will-look-like-2/ and https://www.bikeraft.com/custom-charter-trips/.
 
Other Covid related adjustments and protocols the company has adopted and will carry into 2021 include: 

  • a 4 to 1 guest to guide ratio (to increase social distancing while in a raft),
  • decreased capacity in vehicle transportation with masks required,
  • a mandatory “Statement of Good Health” a week before departure,
  • temperatures taken at meeting point,
  • meal service change from buffet to served, with guides wearing masks and gloves during preparation and service,
  • always-available sanitizer,
  • additional PSA’s to create a “culture of care” that addresses comfort zones. 

For more information, availability, reservations or a copy of the 2021 catalog call 800-624-6323, Email: Holiday@BikeRaft.com or log onto: http://www.bikeraft.com/.
 
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, so uses oar-powered and paddle rafts exclusively.

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Western River Expeditions Re-Opens with Limited Availability on Previously Sold-Out 2020 Grand Canyon Rafting Trips

Western River Expeditions is offering limited availability on previously sold-out
2020 Grand Canyon rafting trips.

SALT LAKE CITY, UT – With the official announcement from Grand Canyon authorities that river operations will again resume on June 14, many are looking to get a spot on an epic outdoor adventure this summer.
 
Snagging seats on 2020 Grand Canyon rafting trips was impossible just a few months ago. However, pandemic-driven cancellations by international travelers has opened up seats for some of Western River Expeditions’ 2020 departures.
 
“Select departures June through September of 2020 now have limited availability,” said Brandon Lake, company CMO. “Normally last-minute inquiries would be directed to 2021 or even 2022 selections. This is an incredible opportunity for those who are making last-minute plans and feel like an outdoor adventure may be the best choice for a summer adventure this year.”
 
Vacations that embrace fresh air and the healing powers of nature can work wonders on pandemic-driven nerves. “On these iconic expeditions our guests immerse themselves in a remote world that provides a much-needed escape from civilization,” explains Lake. “A trip through the Grand Canyon becomes not only a celebration of the river and its untamed surroundings, but of life, providing a way to reconnect and refresh.”
 
This is Western River Expeditions’ promise for a true trip-of-a-lifetime far removed from the stress and challenges of today’s world. The more time spent on the river, the more the canyon reveals its sublime mysteries.
 
Western River Expeditions’ 6 or 7 Day Grand Canyon Rafting Vacation carries guests 188 river miles in custom-designed J-Rig rafts, maneuvering Class III-V rapids and each day descending deeper into geologic time, before a helicopter transports them back to the rim.
 
Their Grand Canyon 4 Day River & Ranch Tour and Grand Canyon 3 Day Lower Canyon Trip brings visitors down 100 river miles over Class II and III rapids. But first there’s a scenic helicopter ride to access the put-in. Guests on the 4-Day tour enjoy a pre-excursion overnight at Bar 10 Ranch on the North Rim of the Canyon, complete with horseback riding and optional ATV adventures.
 
Western River Expeditions for nearly 60 years has operated five-star-quality river rafting vacations. This year they are also applying their decades of professionalism to pandemic-related challenges. (For more details on Western River Expeditions’ protocols see https://www.westernriver.com/covid-19.)
 
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 one of the largest licensed outfitters in the Grand Canyon and the largest single tour provider in Moab, UT, through its division Moab Adventure Center (http://www.moabadventurecenter.com/).
 
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 consecutive years (2004-2019). 

For a copy of Western River Expeditions’ 2020/2021 catalog, questions, availability and reservations call toll-free: 866-904-1160 (Local: 801-942-6669) or visit http://www.westernriver.com/.

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Western River Expeditions Draws on 60 Years Experience to Devise Protocols to Keep Families Adventuring this Summer

Western River Expeditions is applying decades of professionalism to pandemic-related challenges. Here are some of many steps this company is taking to counter COVID-19 fears so families can continue to experience outdoor adventures this summer. 

SALT LAKE CITY, UT – Where in the world – and how – will families vacation this summer?
 
Given months of pandemic-driven lock-down orders, stay-at-home summer vacation won’t be high on many lists. What will be attractive will be vacations that embrace fresh air and the healing powers of nature that can work wonders on family spirits and recovery.
 
Western River Expeditions (https://www.westernriver.com/ for nearly 60 years has operated top-quality river rafting vacations for individuals, families and friends. This year they are also applying their decades of professionalism to pandemic-related challenges. Here are some of many steps this company is taking to counter COVID-19 fears. 

  • Screening Employees: Every day before work, each employee must pass both a temperature and pulse oximeter screen, and then answer a detailed questionnaire.
  • Screening Guests at Check-in: Guests exhibiting temperatures of 100.4 or higher will not be allowed to travel with Western River Expeditions at the time they planned; instead, they will receive an “Adventure Credit” which allows the guest and any members of the group who were currently living at the same physical address during any of the 7 days prior to the trip to use the full paid value of their trip as a credit for a future trip at a later date.
  • Screening while on Multi-Day Trips: All trip participants and guides will have a daily temperature and pulse oximeter checks and fill out a daily review of symptoms questionnaire. 

In addition, there are new protocols in place should someone experience COVID-19 symptoms during a trip. In such case, steps will be taken to protect other guests from exposure during the remainder of that trip. There also will be protocols for toilet facilities, hand washing stations and social distancing (when feasible) as well as reduced number of guests per raft.
 
The company will also implement specific guidelines that address everything from life-jacket use and sanitation, to meal prep and service, use of shuttle vans, number of people per shuttle vehicle, sanitation of rafts, dry bags, cots, sleeping bags and all associated equipment. For more details on Western River Expeditions’ specific protocols please see https://www.westernriver.com/covid-19
 
Western River Expeditions hopes to still operate late spring and summer 2020 trips, subject to the easing of government-mandated closures. Three suggested trips ideal for families are: 

  • Desolation Canyona five-day trip through breathtaking Desolation Canyon and Gray Canyon on the Green River in central Utah. Trips are scheduled to depart June 7 through Aug. 12 with a minimum age of five years old. For details see https://www.westernriver.com/desolation-canyon
  • Southwest Samplera four-day adventure that includes an off-road Hummer Safari, Arches National Park tour and overnight rafting trip as well as a stay at Moab’s Marriott SpringHill Suites. Departures are scheduled May 26 through Aug. 26. If National Park closures affect the operation of the Arches National Park tour, guests will explore another stunning location in Moab. For details see  https://www.westernriver.com/moab-utah-vacation-sampler
  • Grand Canyon, the three-day option still has some limited space on certain dates from June 21st through September. Conveniently departing and returning to Las Vegas, NV, this 100-mile journey is suitable for families with kids as young as nine. For details see: https://www.westernriver.com/grand-canyon-river-trip 

Other adventures from Western River Expeditions include:

Utah’s Cataract Canyon Classic 4 Day: Unless otherwise advised, we are currently planning to operate all scheduled departures for our 4-Day Cataract Canyon Expeditions June 2 through August 25. We are accepting reservations now for any of these dates. This spectacular 4-Day Colorado River trip runs 100 miles from Moab to Lake Powell through Canyonlands National Park. A flight returns guests to Moab over Canyonlands.

Cataract Canyon Express 2 Day: Unless otherwise advised, we are currently planning to operate all scheduled departures for our 2-Day Cataract Canyon Expeditions June 1 through August 25. We are accepting reservations now for any of these dates. This faster-paced 2-Day Colorado River trip runs 100 miles from Moab to Lake Powell through Canyonlands National Park. Large whitewater rapids are a big part of this adventure!

Upper Grand Canyon 6 or 7 Day: Trips starting June 14 and later are currently scheduled to operate. Select trips June through September have limited availability. If you are unable to find your desired date, please add your name to our 2020 Waitlist for Grand Canyon 6 & 7 Day Expeditions. The upper 188 miles of the Grand Canyon offer some of the largest whitewater rapids in North America and a plethora of side canyon attractions. 

Lower Grand Canyon 4 Day with Bar Ten Ranch: We plan to operate all 4 day departures from June 21st through September. Limited space is available on select departures in 2020. If you are unable to find your desired date, please add your name to our 2020 Waitlist for Grand Canyon 3-4 Day Expeditions. Adding one day and a night at the Bar Ten Ranch before dropping into the 3-day river expedition is a popular way to extend your Grand Canyon experience.

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 one of largest licensed outfitters in the Grand Canyon and the largest single tour provider in Moab, UT, through its division Moab Adventure Center (http://www.moabadventurecenter.com/).
 
Providing Grand Canyon rafting, Utah and Idaho rafting, and international multi-sport trips, Western River Expedition 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 consecutive years (2004-2019).

For a copy of Western River Expeditions’ 2020/2021 catalog, questions, availability and reservations call toll-free: 866.904.1160 (Local: 801.942.6669) or visit the website at: http://www.westernriver.com/.
 

Follow Western River Expeditions:
On Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/WesternRiverExpeditions
On Twitter: https://twitter.com/WesternRiver
On You Tube:  http://www.youtube.com/user/bestraftingvacations?
On Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/westernriver/

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Holiday River Expeditions Introduces Curated Stargazing Adventures by Raft, Mountain Bike

Holiday River Expeditions is introducing new star-gazing adventures by raft and mountain bike, monthly from May through October.

SALT LAKE CITY, UT – Once a month from May through October, Holiday River Expeditions 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. The inexplicable boundlessness you feel staring up at the stars is just a bonus,” said Lauren Wood, Holiday Trip Director.

“Salt Lake City’s Clark Planetarium has been our partner in this popular program for three years. Their expert staff will join us for each stargazing trip to help bring the sky to ‘ground level’ and explore some of humanity’s most timeless questions. And to further our commitment to the natural world, Holiday is now a partner in the International Dark Sky Association, the premier organization fighting for dark skies around the globe,” Wood explained.

Tom Beckett, board chair of Clark Planetarium and part-time guide for Holiday River Expeditions adds, “Each night on these bike and river trips we will attempt to find and identify stars, constellations, planets, galaxies, nebulas, clusters and satellites. More importantly, we’ll use those objects to talk about the structure of our galaxy, the origin and future of the universe, and our place in the cosmos.”

“Much of Earth is losing its dark night skies to light pollution and many Americans never have a chance to see the Milky Way,” shares Beckett. “However, the rivers we run, and the trails we bike are all remote and far from cities. They have some of the darkest night skies on the planet.”

Departures ranging from three to eight days are filled with Holiday River’s signature activities: whitewater rafting, hiking and mountain biking. A participation fee covers stargazing interpretation and equipment, guide fees, meals and more. The 2018 Stargazing Trips are:

May 12-15, 2018 4-day White Rim Trail and Oct 3-5, 2018 3-day White Rim Trail —  Guests on these adventures will have access to binoculars and a telescope at night to view the heavens. This legendary mountain biking trip leads through Canyonlands National Park in Moab, UT, recently certified as a “Dark Sky Park” by the International Dark Sky Association. Bikers summit 1,000 feet above the confluence of the Colorado and Green rivers. The per person three-day rate is $795; $900 for four days.

June 9-13, 2018 5-day Yampa River – In the heart of Dinosaur National Monument the Yampa River runs wild and free, unregulated by dams. Spring runoff in May and June offer exciting rapids by day and piercingly dark sky canopies by night. The focus is on whitewater rafting with exploratory side hikes to rock art, waterfalls and ancient sacred sites. The per person (minimum age 8) rate is $1,075.

July 9-13, 2018 5-day Cataract Canyon — Cataract Canyon, carved by the Colorado River, cuts through the heart of Canyonlands National Park. Days are spent luxuriating in the sunshine, exploring side canyons and facing some of the biggest whitewater rapids the river has to offer. Nights open up to whole new worlds as guests explore the Milky Way, see the Andromeda Galaxy, watch satellites and meteors, and learn constellations. The per person (minimum age 8) rate is $1,150.

Aug 4-7, 2018 4-day Lodore Canyon — This Whitewater river trip through Lodore Canyon peeks behind the scenes in Dinosaur National Monument, currently recognized by the National Park Service as a “Sanctuary of Natural Darkness.” This trip connects to ghosts of river runners and canyon dwellers of the past, with escapes into deep-red cliffs and exhilarating whitewater rapids. During the day guests float on the Green River through Whirlpool Canyon and at night peer into the Whirlpool Galaxy. The per person (minimum age 8) rate is $980.

Sept 9-16, 2018 8-day Extended Hiking & Rafting in Cataract Canyon – This extended 8-day float begins on the Green River as it meanders into the confluence with the Colorado River and then through the mighty whitewater rapids of Cataract Canyon in the soul of Canyonlands National Park. Hiking enthusiasts can anticipate hiking into the Maze District and the fanciful Dollhouse, enjoying the depths of Dark Canyon as well as the unforgettable rapid “cataracts” of Cataract Canyon. The per person (minimum age 12) rate is $1,595.

(See http://www.bikeraft.com/dark-sky-stargazing-trip-series/)

New this year is a partnership between Holiday River Expeditions and Road Scholar, the world’s largest and most innovative creator of experiential learning opportunities. In 2018, Road Scholar is offering three multi-generational Stargazing trips with Holiday. The 9- and 10-day trip dates are June 9-17, July 7-16 and August 4-Aug 13.

Clark Planetarium in Salt Lake City (www.clarkplanetarium.org) is one of the world’s leading centers for space and science education.  Clark Planetarium’s mission is to create and present stimulating educational programs that effectively share astronomy and space exploration information with Salt Lake County residents, Utah students, educators and families, and visitors from around the country and the world.

Holiday River Expeditions (http://www.bikeraft.com/) began in 1966, when Dee Holladay and his wife Sue took the plunge to become river outfitters.. 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 uses oar-powered and paddle rafts exclusively.

For more information, availability, reservations or a copy of the 2018 catalog call 800-624-6323, Email: Holiday@BikeRaft.com or log onto: http://www.bikeraft.com/. 

 

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Austin Adventures Adds Wilderness Glamping in Costa Rica To Growing Lineup of Upscale Multisport Tours

Costa Rica: Chiquita Glamping & Pacuare River Raft vacation is the latest of over 30 “online-only” trips featured on Austin Adventures’ award-winning website.

BILLINGS, MT –The best of all worlds, including creature comforts while glamping in the wilderness, come seamlessly together on Austin Adventures’ new 8 day/7 night Costa Rica: Chiquita Glamping & Pacuare River Raft vacation. This is the latest of over 30 “online-only” trips featured on its award-winning website: https://www.austinadventures.com/.
With its newest Costa Rica program, year-round departures are flexible and may be arranged when it best fits participant’s own schedule, on a space-available basis. The per person double rate (based on a party of four or more) is from $3,998 for the core experience. Options exist to customize the itinerary to the guests’ wishes.

This luxury trip, without a lofty price tag, brings curious travelers to a country on the forefront of land and wildlife conservation. Over 25 percent of the country has been protected by the establishment of preserves, sanctuaries, refuges, and national parks. Costa Rica also offers one of the most biodiverse places in the world, Carara National Park located in the transition zone between Costa Rica’s wet southeast and hotter, drier northwest. The adventure begins here as guests explore the river basin of the River Tárcoles, which hosts one of the largest remaining populations of wild scarlet macaws in the country.

Guests then journey by boat to Isla Chiquita Glamping Resort, far off the usual tourist track. Home for three pampered nights, each large platform tent accommodation is equipped with a king bed, day bed lounger, private shower and bathroom with double sinks, and spacious lounging deck with stunning ocean views.  From this isolated island, guests visit Curú National Wildlife Refuge with pristine beaches and abundant wildlife while gliding through the still waters of a protected bay in a kayak or on a stand-up paddleboard, watching tropical birds soar overhead. One morning guests transfer to Tortuga Island where white sands contrast with brilliant Caribbean blue waters. Snorkeling is popular here, as guests marvel at surprisingly colorful crabs and lobsters as well as vibrant tropical fish.

A local flight back to mainland beckons guests to engage in the premier whitewater rafting adventure in Costa Rica – on the Pacuare River (rated by National Geographic as one of the Top 10 river trips in the world).  Here they visit the Cabecar Indian village and meet with the largest indigenous tribe in Costa Rica. A family of the community shares traditions they have used for centuries.  After zip lining comes more rafting, leading to the deluxe, eco-sensitive Pacuare Lodge, accessible only by whitewater raft. Located at the center of a series of over 1.2 million acres of wildlife reserves, the lodge is both secluded and beautiful. Guests may opt to dine 60 feet above the forest floor in a platform built on the branches of a century-old Kapok tree. This lodge enjoys National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World status.

After two nights at the lodge and a final morning on the river, guests are transferred back to San José for a last overnight at Hotel Grano de Oro, a “Tropical Victorian” house which features a world-class restaurant. Airport transfers are offered the next morning.

For more information please see https://www.austinadventures.com/packages/costa-rica-isla-chiquita-pacuare-lodge/.

This is one of multiple programs Austin Adventures offers in Costa Rica where it has enjoyed relationships with top tourism purveyors for over 15 years.

“Costa Rica has always been our top selling international destination,” says Dan Austin, Founder and President of Austin Adventures. “We’re always on the lookout and open to what our well-established in-country contacts have to share when it comes to new, unusual and cutting-edge adventure opportunities. Together, we look for experiences away from the usual tourist track and crowds. The key is developing tour itineraries that appeal and captivate our brand of intrepid travelers.”

In the print version of its catalog, Austin Adventures features 65 separate destinations representing over 100 published tour options with over 40 also offered as a Family-Focused version. The website also showcases over 30 additional trips and destinations (not included in the catalog) outlining core itineraries that can be customized upon customer request. These online-only programs include, in addition to the Costa Rica vacation:
https://www.austinadventures.com/packages/arizona-havasupai/
https://www.austinadventures.com/packages/ireland-kerry-county/
https://www.austinadventures.com/packages/ireland-family-kerry-county/
https://www.austinadventures.com/packages/scotland-family-scottish-highlands/
https://www.austinadventures.com/packages/scotland-scottish-highlands/

To help plan, Austin Adventures’ 2018 catalog is available upon request. Order ONLINE or call 800-575-1540 or email info@austinadventures.com. For a full roster of 2018 trips that is frequently updated visit http://www.austinadventures.com.

 

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Western River Expeditions’ New 9-Day Multi-Sport Costa Rica Adventure Allows for Customization

Western’s nine-day/eight-night Costa Rica Vacation Package includes conquering the rapids of the legendary Pacuare River, rated one of the most beautiful in the world.
Western’s nine-day/eight-night Costa Rica Vacation Package includes conquering the rapids of the legendary Pacuare River, rated one of the most beautiful in the world.

SALT LAKE CITY – Veteran outfitter Western River Expeditions is inviting travelers to tweak the company’s recently launched 9-day multi-sport Costa Rica adventure to create their own personalized experience. This trip is offered year-round with ultimate flexibility in scheduling for a minimum of two participants who choose their own date of trip departure based on availability. The per person (double) rate is from $3,295 (minimum age 12). See: www.westernriver.com/costa-rica-vacation-package.

For starters, guests may choose to shorten or lengthen their core trip with final price adjusted accordingly. They can add activities and regions of specific interest to them or skip some parts of the suggested itinerary. For example, if they’re escaping a stateside winter, they may want to add beach time or sport fishing and surf lessons while on the Pacific Coast in Manuel Antonio National Park that like most of Costa Rica enjoys a warm and dry climate in the winter months. Or while rafting the Pacuare River they may want to visit to the Cabecar Indian village enroute for an immersion into native culture. Other add-on options might include biking and hiking around Arenal Volcano or a trip to Tortuguero National Park on the Caribbean coast to get up close and personal with Green, leatherback, and Hawksbill sea turtles that nest on the beaches here.

Western River Expeditions (http://www.westernriver.com/) for over 50 years has helped people overcome fears when it comes to rafting on rivers. It introduced its Costa Rica program earlier in 2016 to deliver the most highly curated experience possible and at the same time to help alleviate the stress and anxiety of planning foreign travel.

Why Costa Rica?

“Costa Rica is a natural, with the added excitement of volcanoes, hot springs and beaches,” said Brandon Lake, CMO of Western River Expeditions. “This customizable itinerary is perfect for first-time visitors or anyone new to foreign travel. We offer as much ‘hand holding’ as needed at the front end of the trip while adopting a more on-your-own approach as participants become more comfortable with their surroundings.”

Western’s nine-day/eight-night Costa Rica Vacation Package includes conquering the rapids of the legendary Pacuare River, rated one of the most beautiful in the world. This river slices from Costa Rica’s interior to the Caribbean, enroute creating some of Costa Rica’s most exciting rapids flanked by pristine rainforest. Guests stay for two nights at Pacuare Lodge, rated one of the top jungle eco lodges anywhere. An off-river day explores waterfalls and a zip line adventure above a tropical rainforest canopy. The rafting continues downriver to the takeout where a minibus awaits for the trip to Arenal Volcano and a buffet dinner on the open air terrace at Tabacón Grand Spa Thermal Resort.

Between time spent splashing in thermally heated pools at the base of the towering volcano, Arenal participants enjoy a rainforest adventure focused on monkeys, iguanas, sloths and birds from the perspective of 15 hanging suspension bridges over which guests experience the forest from the ground (like a Jaguar), from the middle (like a Monkey) and from the treetops (like an Eagle). Later comes a scenic drive that ends at Manuel Antonio, a village on the Pacific Ocean.

Spread over a forested ridge overlooking the Pacific with unforgettable coastal views, the area’s postcard-perfect beaches include Playa Manuel Antonio, a crescent of ivory sand between the rainforest and calm waters, perfect for swimming and snorkeling. Nearby Playa Espadilla is a long beach lined with coconut palms and Indian almond trees. While here guests enjoy a 2.5-hour nature walk and sunning on the beach in Manuel Antonio National Park, named one of the world’s most beautiful national parks by Forbes.

The rate includes eight nights and breakfasts at four stellar properties; three lunches and three dinners; transfers to and from San Jose airport, hotels and activity sites; rafting; zip lining; soaking in the thermal waterfalls and pools of T Tabacón; guided walks and a tour of Manuel Antonio National Park to see sloths and numerous species of monkeys.

For a copy of Western River Expeditions’ 2017 catalog, questions, availability and reservations call toll-free: 866.904.1160 (Local: 801.942.6669), or visit the newly enhanced website at www.westernriver.com.

 

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OARS 2016 California Whitewater Forecast: Best in Five Years

Thanks to a good snowpack, California whitewater forecast is looking like an outstanding season—the best in five years.
Thanks to a good snowpack, California whitewater forecast is looking like an outstanding season—the best in five years.

Angels Camp, Calif. — It’s been five years since river guides have seen a solid snowpack in California and there has been any kind of buzz about whitewater rafting. But based on the most recent snow survey, and just one year after the driest winter ever recorded in California history, O.A.R.S. is excited to release the best California whitewater forecast in five years.

“There’s no doubt that this will be the best season we’ve seen since 2010 and 2011,” O.A.R.S.’ California Manager and longtime river guide, Chris Moore, said. “We’re especially excited about the opportunity to run the North Fork of the Stanislaus and the North Fork of the American rivers this year, as well as high-water on the Tuolumne. It’s going to be the experience of a lifetime.”

The April 1 surveys reported near normal snowpack totals in the Northern and Central Sierra, a remarkable improvement from the last four years. Statewide, the Department of Water Resources reported that water content of the mountain snowpack is at 87 percent of the historical average—and anything above 85 percent snowpack in the Sierra amounts to outstanding whitewater rafting. To put that in perspective, last year’s statewide snowpack water content was only 5 percent of the historical April 1 average.

WHAT TO EXPECT THIS YEAR ON CALIFORNIA’S SIGNATURE WHITEWATER RIVERS:

  • In early April, whitewater enthusiasts will be watching the flow gauges, hoping for a rare opportunity to raft the coveted North Fork of the Stanislaus River into Calaveras Big Trees State Park. This Class IV+ river is one of the most exciting rafting trips in the state, but it’s only available while the low-elevation snow is melting in early spring. Press ready photos here.
  • The emerald-green Class IV North Fork of the American River near Auburn—one of the classic free-flowing Sierra runs—is expected to have good flows through April and possibly into May. Press ready photos here.
  • Another free-flowing spring run, the Merced River outside of Yosemite offers Class III-IV roller coaster thrills and is expected to run through mid-June this year. At high water, the Merced serves up 10-foot waves, rivaling the Grand Canyon, and boatloads of fun.
  • Expect elevated flows on the Tuolumne River near Yosemite at least through the end of May with reliable water all summer long on this iconic Class IV river. With 18 miles of nearly continuous whitewater running through a pristine wilderness canyon and 1-, 2-, and 3-day options available, “The T” is a must-do California rafting trip. Press ready photos here.
  • On the South Fork of the American near Sacramento, California’s most popular whitewater rafting river, upstream reservoirs are at capacity and forecasters anticipate good flows at least 6 days per week through Labor Day with up to 4 days per week in September. A great river for families with kids as young as 7-years-old, but expect higher flows and increased minimum age requirements on the South Fork through Memorial Day, as this is a completely different river at higher flows and a guaranteed thrill ride. Press ready photos here.
  • The dam-released Class IV Middle Fork of the American River near Auburn should be in play 6 or 7 days per week from Memorial Day through Labor Day with a more limited schedule through the end of September. The Middle Fork’s notorious Tunnel Chute Rapid, is a must-do this year.

 

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