Utah Rafting Adventures

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Utah Whitewater Rafting
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Why O.A.R.S. Utah

O.A.R.S.’ Utah rafting, hiking and multi-sport adventures take you deep into the heart of scenic desert southwest river canyons. We explore the quiet mystery found within steep canyon walls: narrow side canyons, silent eddys, waterfalls, caves, Native American ruins, pictographs, petroglyphs and side hikes.

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George Wendt’s infatuation with desert southwest river canyons is what led him to establish O.A.R.S. four decades ago. His early journeys on the Colorado River through Glen Canyon and Grand Canyon and on the Yampa River in Dinosaur National Monument captured his imagination, fed his inquisitive nature and instilled in him a desire to further explore, share, preserve and protect these picturesque canyons.

In more than 40 years of leading adventures through canyon country, O.A.R.S. has successfully navigated the many details necessary for an unforgettable journey. We prepare soul-satisfying meals, apply band-aids on owies, offer a hand to help hikers over the next boulder, row flat-water against the wind while keeping up a conversation and share a scotch while watching a brilliant night sky.

We offer the best guide to guest ratio (1:4) in the industry: we understand relationships are just as important as whitewater. Our guides are reliable, responsible and experienced. They’re friendly, open and approachable, and they are there because they thrive on sharing their understanding of the natural world with you and your loved ones. They keep you calm and safe as you may be taken way beyond your comfort levels. They get you through your adventure while making sure you don’t miss the magic. They want to you to have the best vacation of your life.

O.A.R.S. offers Utah whitewater adventures in rafts, inflatable kayaks and sleek, elegant dories. Dories are descendents of Portuguese fishing boats, crafts used for centuries by the ocean-going seamen of Europe. These unusually adaptable craft were first used commercially in the Grand Canyon by writer/conservationist Martin Litton in the late 60s. Hard-hulled but ultra-buoyant, dories buck through rapid after rapid, landing large drops with ease (and lots of splash!). These boats have room for four guests and are the envy of everyone in the canyon.

Want to feel good about who you travel with? National Geographic Adventure, Outside and Sunset magazines have proclaimed O.A.R.S. adventures as some of the "Best Trips on the Planet." We were the first, and only, North American rafting outfitter to be 100% carbon neutral through the support of domestic carbon offset projects that are inspected, verified and or certified by independent third parties including Green-e, the Gold Standard, CDM, and the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Alliance.  Our offices in California and Grand Canyon are also 100% solar powered.


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O.A.R.S. Utah rafting and multisport adventures are all about "BIG." Big rapids (but with some small ones for first timers), big scenery and big smiles.

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Utah white water rafting on the Colorado River and San Juan River rafting rival whitewater destinations like the Grand Canyon in Arizona and Colorado rafting trips in the western U.S. Buried deep in Utah's canyons and backcountry are some of the most storied whitewater paddling experiences you can imagine and we've designed an exciting set of 3 to 6 day Utah rafting vacations so you can experience this first hand for yourself.

For a few precious weeks every year, rafting Cataract Canyon on the Colorado River offers some of the biggest whitewater in North America. Once full to its rocky rims with high country run off, the Colorado River rips through southeastern Utah as it heads toward Lake Powell. Rafting on the Colorado River is at its most exciting once you reach the start of Cataract Canyon's twenty-six rapids. The largest rapids in the canyon are found at the end. The Big Dropsa threesome of precipitous pitsstand up to three stories tall and will give you many stories to take home to your friends and families. Rafting Cataract Canyon at high water easily stacks up with Grand Canyon’s Lava Falls – it’s whitewater as big as it gets.

We've included in our Utah rafting and multi-sport trips some special adventures including our Archeology Tour on the San Juan and our unique lodge-based trips in Cataract Canyon. Package some horseback riding, hiking and swimming with Colorado River rafting on our 6-day Ranch & Raft adventure or Ultimate Southwest Vacation. Overnight options include bedding down under the big sky–just you, the river, a tent and the rest of the galaxy above–or more luxurious layovers in one of Utah's immaculate guest ranch lodges.

What's also great about our O.A.R.S. rafting trips in Utah and our multi-sport options is the timing. The state's arid climate is ideal for shoulder season trips as early as March and as late as October. Whatever your taste for adventure, you'll take home a little western warmth and lifelong memories on an O.A.R.S. rafting, hiking or multi-sport trip in Utah.

Utah in a day? Experience Class II-III rapids on a classic Utah river rafting trip–the Green River through Split Mountain. This trip runs daily from May through September and includes approximately nine river miles and an ideal blend of interesting geologic scenery, as well as playful, splashy water. It’s an ideal adventure in Utah for just about everyone. Split Mountain rafting trips are offered through our sister company, Don Hatch River Expeditions.

Looking for a little insight into Utah hiking? Join O.A.R.S. for guided day hikes on the Colorado and Green rivers. Experience 14 days of rafting, guided hiking in Canyonlands National Park, delicious riverside meals and camping on beautiful beaches. Guided hikes include side creeks, geologic oddities, historic sites and epic views.    

You may want to consider showing up early or staying a few days after your O.A.R.S. Utah vacation for some legendary mountain biking in Moab. This charming community is considered the "Mecca" for mountain bike enthusiasts. Bike until you are breathless and enjoy some suds at the Moab Brewery. If your tastes are more refined, try the Desert Bistro, approximately 1½ miles north of Moab’s town center.

O.A.R.S. offers a multitude of Utah adventures. Whether by raft or dory, on foot, horseback or mountain bike (or all of the above)–your Utah vacation awaits.

O.A.R.S. Canyonlands, Inc. is an authorized concessioner of Canyonlands National Park & Dinosaur National Monument



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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 info@oars.com or call 800-346-6277 in the USA or Canada or 1-209-736-4677 if outside the USA or Canada.
©2014
O.A.R.S. Companies Inc.,
PO Box 67, Angels Camp, CA 95222