Nestled deep in the sandstone cliffs on the border between Utah and Colorado, the Colorado River plunges through Westwater Canyon. In the heart of its black depths, you’ll shout with adrenaline-fueled joy as you ride through rapids with exotic names like Funnel Falls, Sock-It-To-Me, Last Chance, Skull Rapid and the Room-of-Doom. But here, you’ll find more than just thrilling whitewater. Thanks to a geologic unconformity, the red sandstone familiar to the Colorado River here finds itself resting on smooth black walls of much older Precambrian rock. Only two other places on earth allow a glimpse this deep into Earth’s geologic past. You might also see a bald eagle perched in a sandstone hollow high above the river’s surface. An old miner’s cabin will prompt you to wonder what life would have been like in this remote, harsh landscape way back then. A delicious lunch buffet will satisfy even the hungriest appetite, and you’ll be able to spend plenty of time soaking in the famous Canyon Country sun. You’ll quickly learn why National Geographic named this section “The West’s Best Short Whitewater Trip.” We offer two different trip lengths to suit your needs:
- One-Day Westwater Canyon Expedition (1 day)
- Two-Day Westwater Canyon Overnight Expedition (2 days, 1 night)
Longer trips are available for groups of 8 or more by request.
Frequently Asked Questions
The rapids in Westwater Canyon are rated class III-IV (depending on water levels), providing a lively introduction to the excitement of intermediate whitewater rafting. This trip is perfect for first-time rafters with an adventurous spirit and for experienced boaters seeking a wet and wild one-day experience.
During the high water of early-season trips, guests get a front-row seat as our guides steer 16-18’ row rafts through the boisterous waves. After the spring runoff has subsided, we bring out 16’ paddle rafts for those who want more active participation. (Paddle raft availability depends on water level and the interest of the group). Inflatable kayaks add excitement to the Fisher Towers portion of two-day trips.
Moab’s Canyon Country is known for its fantastic weather. In the spring and fall, daytime temperatures range from 60-80 degrees F, dropping to 30-50 degrees at night. Expect summer temperatures between 85 and 105 degrees during the day and 55-75 degrees at night. Rainstorms tend to be rare and short-lived in this area, but a light rain jacket may be handy for cool mornings or late afternoon showers. We recommend that you check the local weather before departing to see what is forecast during your trip. Always be prepared for the sun; wear sunscreen and a hat to protect your skin.
We encourage you to bring a camera to record your river adventure. Before your trip, stash it in two zip-lock bags and then put it in a small dry bag borrowed from our office. We can’t guarantee it will be water-tight in every situation, but this has proved a good option for easy access and storage.
Water and lemonade are provided on the boats and at camp; however, a water bottle is nice to have during the day. Coffee, tea or hot chocolate may be available in camp upon request. You may also choose to bring up to two six-pack cans of soda or other beverages to store in the on-board ice chest. Drinks will be placed in a drink cooler as space becomes available. Any wine or liquor will need to be packed in your dry bag. PLEASE DO NOT BRING GLASS.
NOTE: Alcohol consumed in excess can compromise a person’s judgment, putting his or her own safety at risk and disturbing the wilderness experience of others. If you view excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages as an essential element in rafting or camping, we suggest that you charter a private trip.