National Geographic Adventure - November 2008


  Print This Page Print


25 BEST NEW TRIPS in the world

The Best of Canyon Country

Grand Staircase: Wind & Water on the Colorado Plateau

The Colorado Plateau is a geologic anomaly—a tectonic block that has remained intact for 600 million years while the Earth’s crust surrounding it has lifted (forming the Rocky Mountains to the east) and stretched (creating the Great Basin to the west). The result is perhaps the world’s premier showcase of sedimentary rock: a massive complex of hoodoos, sandstone windows, arches, cliffs and canyons carved by the Colorado River. In 2009 California-based O.A.R.S. launches a first ever guided traverse of the plateau—an itinerary that’s equal parts whitewater rafting adventure, road trip, and hiking expedition. As travelers head south from Salt Lake City to Moab—with pit stops to hike 500-foot-deep Buckskin Gulch (the deepest slot canyon in the Southwest), raft Cataract Canyon and the Grand Canyon, or practice yoga on their own—they journey farther and farther back in time. Guides, trained in geology, discuss the finer points of plate tectonics and shed light on the region’s latest pressures. “The Colorado River system is overdrafted—there just isn’t enough water anymore,” explains George Wendt. “If people can see the source of the river and travel down through the plateau in a different way, they’ll have a new perspective on it.” Instead of sticking to the river or hitting just a handful of parks, O.A.R.S. highlights the entire region. Guests experience six national parks (Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Grand Canyon, and Zion), plus little-known Dead Horse Point State Park and Grand Staircase–Escalante National Monument.

Length: 12-days
Departs: May–September

Sign up for ENews

Get news, special offers and fascinating articles with the Watermark enewsletter

First Name

Last Name

E-mail Address

Note: All fields are required




Gift Cards


Sister Sites

Join us

Company Info

O.A.R.S. is an author ized concessioner of Arches, Canyonlands, Grand Canyon and Grand Te ton National Parks and Dinosaur National Monument.
Outside Travel Awards 'Best Outfitter' Runner Up National Geographic Adventure Magazine - Best River & Sea Outfitter on Earth As Featured On 50 Tours of a Lifetime - National Geographic Traveler Mindy Gleason, O.A.R.S. Reservations Manager Condé Nast Traveler Top Travel Specialist 2007-2013 (River Rafting) Best of the Bay Area Winner

For consecutive years, O.A.R.S. has been named the "Best River & Sea Outfitter on Earth" by National Geographic Adventure and one of the top two outfitters in the world by Outside Magazine in its annual Active Travel Awards recognition program. In multiple years, O.A.R.S.trips have been honored as "50 Tours of a Lifetime" by National Geographic Traveler and since 2007, Condé Nast Traveler has recognized Mindy Gleason, O.A.R.S. Reservation Manager and International Adventure Travel Consultant, as Condé Nast Traveler's standalone Top Travel Specialist in the River Rafting category.

Questions about trips or making reservations? Contact or call 800-346-6277 in the USA or Canada or 1-209-736-4677 if outside the USA or Canada.
O.A.R.S. Companies Inc.,
PO Box 67, Angels Camp, CA 95222