Learn to guide your own raft on the Lower Green River with the company twice named “The Best River & Sea Outfitter On Earth” by National Geographic Adventure.
Learn to guide an oar raft down the remote and rugged lower stretch of the Green River in Utah with one of the most reputable rafting outfitters in the world. As you travel through Desolation and Gray Canyons, our experienced river guides—all with whitewater rescue training and extensive guiding experience—will share a wealth of outdoor and river knowledge with you.
On this 5-day, 4-night beginner whitewater rowing course, you’ll learn and practice essential rafting skills as you make your way downstream, camping at different locations throughout the trip. Instruction and hands-on learning occur both on the river and in camp. No prior outdoor or whitewater rafting experience is required.
This 5-day floating whitewater clinic is appropriate for:
- Anyone interested in working as a professional whitewater rafting guide
- Parties interested in guiding their own private river trips
- Anyone who appreciates experiential learning or an active vacation experience and is interested in whitewater and river safety
Why sign up for the Lower Green River Rowing Clinic with OARS?
- OARS has been a leader in the whitewater industry since 1969
- We use top-notch, well-maintained equipment and set the gold standard in safety
- We keep our trips small (1 guide for every 4 guests) to provide plenty of personal attention to participants
- Our experienced, well-rounded guide instructors are personable, approachable and the best in the business
- We are committed to treading lightly on the environment
- Outside magazine, National Geographic Traveler, MSNBC, Good Morning America, Condé Nast Traveler, and Men’s Journal have all recognized OARS as offering some of the “Best Trips” on the planet
Start Your Career as a River Guide
While OARS’ rowing clinics are ideal for anyone looking to learn something new or develop their whitewater rowing skills, our whitewater guide school programs are better suited for aspiring river guides with no prior experience. If you’re an experienced guide and would like to get your foot in the door with OARS, we encourage you to read our Hiring and Guide School FAQs and fill out an employment application.
What to Expect
Itinerary & Map
Itinerary at a Glance
We pride ourselves in running a relaxed and flexible schedule. Every Lower Green River Rowing Clinic is different depending upon the group, other trips on the water, camp locations, and sometimes the weather. The following is a sample of what your trip might be like:
The Day Before Your Trip
We’ll meet this evening for a pre-trip orientation in Moab, UT. This is an opportunity to meet your fellow travelers and guides and ask any last-minute questions.
We meet early for a scenic flight from Moab to the put-in at Sand Wash where you’ll have the opportunity to get a bird’s eye view of the desert landscape. Wear your hiking shoes today. After a thrilling flight, you’ll hike 1.5 miles down into the canyon to meet the guide crew and boats at the river.
After a thorough safety talk, this beginner rowing clinic launches on a calm stretch of the Green. Most of the first day on the water will entail motoring many of the first (~26 miles) of flatwater, so you’ll learn some tips and techniques on how to run an outboard motor with a raft package. There will also be some opportunities for participants to try their hands at the oars today.
By afternoon, we’ll reach camp and set up our first river kitchen. In addition to proper hygiene in camp, guides will discuss the fine art of how to plan for and cook delicious meals in the wilderness while touching on other important topics like cooler management, dietary considerations, and best practices for safe food service.
As the sun sets behind towering canyon walls, we’ll enjoy formal and informal opportunities to learn more about rafting as we congregate together in camp chairs.
Days 2 – 4
After coffee and breakfast each morning, we pack up our belongings and then practice boat rigging. Back on the water, everyone will have ample opportunities to row in a variety of whitewater levels.
There will be sufficient time for questions and discussions during our lunch stops, as well as in the evenings during classroom instruction sessions when we’ll dive into whitewater topics from A to Z.
You’ll return from the Lower Green River Rowing Clinic with a better understanding of:
- Reading whitewater, route selection, and maneuvering oar rafts in Class II-IV whitewater
- Raft rigging/de-rigging and knot tying
- River signals and how to communicate with your crew
- Camp skills – setting up a safe/comfortable camp, food handling/preparation, and minimum impact strategies, including 7 Principles of Leave No Trace
- Tying up and anchoring boats
- How to handle wildlife encounters & pesky critters
- Multi-day group dynamics and team problem solving
- Basic river rescue & emergency procedures
- Equipment care and maintenance
- Basic outboard motor use & safety
- River etiquette
After lunch on the final day, we’ll reach our take-out point at Swasey’s Beach. Our final lesson of the course is how to de-rig. We’ll pack all of our gear into the vans, trucks, and trailers for the drive back to Moab, arriving between 4:30-5:30 PM.
Meeting Time & Place
7:00 PM, the evening before your trip
Approximately 4:30 – 5:30 PM to Moab
Dates & Prices
20% discount off regular price for active military personnel, emergency first responders and students with a valid university ID!
• $40 BLM fee
• Sleep Kit $40 | Tent included
The Need-to-Know Info
Included in Your Trip Cost
Not Included in Your Trip Cost
- Transportation to and from Moab
- Pre- and post-trip accommodations and meals
- Sleep kit: sleeping bag, pillow & a deluxe 3-inch thick air-filled sleeping pad (available for rent)
- Insurance of any kind, including a travel protection plan
- Alcoholic beverages
The Lower Green River rowing clinic uses oar rafts, as learning/enhancing rowing skills is the focal point of this trip. Please be aware that we will ask you to share boat time and rowing opportunities with your fellow travelers. Learn more about rafts and the rest of the OARS Fleet.
After each active day on the river, we pull ashore to camp for the night. Our first task is to unload the boats using a fire-line of crew and guests to expedite the process. Individuals then collect their waterproof bags and locate an area on the beach to camp for the night.
While you put up your tent, the guides will set up the kitchen and central dining/seating area with camp chairs. They will also locate a secluded area away from camp to set up the portable toilet, where privacy is assured.
As guides prepare dinner, hors d’oeuvres are served. This is an opportunity to relax, enjoy a drink if you wish, and reflect on the day with your fellow traveling companions.
In the morning, the first wake-up call lets you know that coffee, hot water for tea or cocoa, juice, fresh fruit, and cold cereal are ready. You can fill your mug and grab a bite, then begin to pack up your personal belongings and sleep gear as the guides prepare breakfast. After breakfast, the entire camp is broken down and packed up. Once the guides have all of the gear loaded back onto the boats, we’ll head downstream to see what new adventures await us.
More info about Meals & Dietary Restrictions can be found on our Trip Resources page.
Average Air & Water Temperatures
|Air (Day) °F||Air (Night) °F||Water °F|
Water Levels & Temperature
The Green River’s headwaters lie in the Wind River Range of Wyoming, and its stream is repeatedly blocked and diverted, most significantly by the Flaming Gorge Reservoir, not far upstream from Dinosaur National Monument. Thus, its flow is determined primarily by reservoir releases, although the Yampa River’s natural flows in the spring impact the Green River greatly, as well. Peak run-off through Desolation Canyon usually occurs between mid-May and mid-June but can vary widely from early May and into July. High-water trips equate to a more intense whitewater experience and a high level of physical fitness is recommended. Water temperatures are coldest during the high water period and rain gear and warm synthetic clothing will be required.
This scenic stretch of the Green is ideal for a beginner whitewater rowing course, but not short on excitement. This section of the Green River offers more than 50 splashy Class II-III rapids, along with calm stretches that inspire watching wildlife or just gazing at the breathtaking canyon scenery.
Before booking your trip with OARS, there are a few important considerations we’d like you to know about.
Reservations and Deposits
A $400/person deposit is required at the time of booking. Deposits may be made by check, money order, or Visa/Mastercard (American Express and Discover incur a 3% processing fee). Prices are in US Dollars, and all payments must be made in US Dollars. Payment of the deposit establishes your acceptance of our complete Terms and Conditions. Individual departures and trip capacity are strictly limited by the managing agency.
Canceling your trip after your deposit is processed will incur cancellation fees because OARS has absorbed costs on your behalf and will turn others away who would like to book the spaces we’re holding for you. Final payment is due 60 days before departure. Accounts on which final payment has not been received 50 days before the departure date will be canceled without exception.
Cancellations and Refunds
Your deposit is fully refundable, less a 3% processing fee, for 7 days after you book when you submit a deposit 7 days or more before the final payment due date.
If you must cancel your reservation after the rescission period described above, your cancellation fee will be determined according to the schedule below. We regret we cannot make exceptions to the cancellation policy for any reason, including foul weather, poor air quality, wildfire activity, acts of terrorism, civil unrest, or personal emergencies. There is no refund for arriving late or leaving a trip early. For these reasons, we strongly urge you to consider purchasing a travel protection plan.
|Date of Cancellation||Cancellation Fee|
|180 or more days before your trip||$50/person|
|179 – 90 days before your trip||$100/person|
|89 – 60 days before your trip||$200/person|
|59 days or less before your trip||Full Fare|
Please note that different deposit/cancellation policies may apply for charter groups. Refer to the group organizer’s confirmation email for details.
OARS reserves the right to cancel any trip due to insufficient registration or other factors that make the trip impractical to operate. In such instances, we will inform you at least 45 days before departure. Do not make nonrefundable travel arrangements unless you have spoken to your Adventure Consultant regarding the status of your trip.
If a trip must be canceled or postponed due to force majeure (factors outside the control of OARS), OARS will provide full credit for payments made toward future travel, or a refund less a 5% service fee plus any nonrefundable payments made on your behalf to 3rd-party suppliers. OARS will make good faith efforts to recover deposits made on your behalf to 3rd-party suppliers, however, we can’t guarantee recovery of any or all of the advance payments made. OARS is not responsible for expenses incurred by participants in preparation for a canceled trip.
If you need to move your reservation to a different trip during the same season, or to a credit account for the following year, there is a $25/person fee up until 90 days before departure for a one-time transfer of your payment. Transfer requests made 89 days or less before departure will be treated like a cancellation according to the schedule above.
O.A.R.S. Canyonlands, Inc. operates on the Green River as a permitted outfitter of the Bureau of Land Management
Ancestral Lands Acknowledgement
We respect and recognize that many of the river canyons on state and federal lands where we operate are the ancestral homes of indigenous communities. Where we operate on the Green River between Sand Wash and Swasey’s Boat Ramp, we acknowledge the territories of the Ute.
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