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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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Holiday River Expeditions Celebrates 50 Years by Honoring Late Founder’s Legacy

Holiday River Expeditions is marking its 50th anniversary by honoring the legacy of founder Dee Holladay.
Holiday River Expeditions is marking its 50th anniversary by honoring the legacy of founder Dee Holladay.

SALT LAKE CITY, UT– The late Dee Holladay was an adventurer, entrepreneur, family man and rafting visionary. The company he founded in 1966 with his wife Sue, Holiday River Expeditions, has stood the test of time and in 2016 will celebrate its 50th anniversary.

Observances surrounding this milestone year will include reunion weekends and commemorative t-shirts but the main focus will be to honor Dee Holladay’s legacy as a rafting pioneer and staunch environmentalist who helped shape today’s river rafting industry.

Holladay died of natural causes on Father’s Day, June 21, 2015, surrounded by family at the age 78. Today his children and grandchildren remain committed to his vision and principles and look to guide the company into the future.

Holladay-SueMember of the River Runners Hall of Fame, Holladay was a fourth-generation Utahn whose ancestor John Daniel Holladay was the founder of the city (southeast of Salt Lake City) that still bears the family name. A visionary for western river preservation and resource education, Dee was also an inspirational river guide for scores of people, young and old. “His pulpit was an inflatable raft and his voice was quiet and smooth, yet his stories commanded the attention of tens of thousands of people from every walk of life, whether it was on one of his trips for Holiday River Expeditions, or in his relaxing backyard,” shared Utah Rivers Council.

“Dee and his guides formed a magneto of positive energy that if you loved being outside and had any appreciation at all for wild and free things you just couldn’t resist being near it. By his presence and aura, Dee quite simply changed more lives than anyone I have ever known,” said son-in-law John Wood, Co-Owner and President of Holiday River Expeditions.

Wood believes, as did Holladay, that “to effect change, find a release and experience renewal, you must choose to do things differently. Holiday River Expeditions is different.”  When other river outfitters found that adding motors to rafts would increase guest capacity and enable more trips, shorter in duration, Holiday River Expeditions has remained committed to only using muscle-powered oar boats, paddle rafts and inflatable kayaks.

Holladay believed that without the speed and noise of motors, the smaller human-powered rafts bring guests close enough to the experience to become a part of it. He also made sure his rafts and gear were custom-designed, made with comfort and safety in mind.

Maintaining the family connection that includes long-term staff, and the selection and training of exceptional guides who enhance the guest’s understanding but don’t get in the way of nature and the raw experience are top priorities for the future according to John Wood.  To sustain this integrity, Holiday plans not to expand, but rather focus inwards, investing in the quality of their operations.

“Dee went beyond just conservation and preservation. He got to the heart of the interconnection of all things and rivers,” said Lauren Wood, Holladay’s granddaughter. This is the legacy that Holiday River Expeditions hopes to honor and continue. Holladay’s concerns were always twofold: People should be safe while having fun on the river; and their presence in the natural world would not be a deterrent if they understood how special wilderness is.

River Runners Hall of Fame director Tim Glenn said Holladay earned the honor for pioneering “many whitewater safety techniques, camping techniques (he introduced fire pans and portable toilets to his programs) and wilderness ethics adopted in management plans by the National Park Service and the Bureau of Land Management.” As an innovator, many of his raft designs are still used today.

As the company enters its 50th year a number of observances are being planned. One activity is a River Guides Rendezvous that will bring past and present Holiday boatmen and guides onto the Green River for a weekend reunion that includes fun competitions and storytelling. Also, repeat guests who travel with the company in 2016 will receive a custom-designed anniversary T-shirt. Items will also be available for purchase through Holiday’s online store.

For more information, availability, reservations or a copy of the 2016 catalog call 800-624-6323, Email: Holiday@BikeRaft.com or log on www.bikeraft.com.

 

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