Before You Go

J.W. Powell Retrace – Flaming Gorge to Hite Crossing


Trip Snapshot

We pride ourselves in running a relaxed and flexible schedule. Every trip is different depending upon the group, other trips on the water, and sometimes the weather. Please refer to your confirmation letter for the exact dates of your trip.

MEETING PLACE:OARS Warehouse – 221 North 400 East, Vernal, Utah
MEETING TIME:5 PM, the evening before your trip
RETURN TIME:Approximately 4:00-6:00 PM
RIVER RATING:Class III-IV  (Class V possible during peak flows on the lower section)
RIVER MILES:354 miles total, 133 miles of whitewater
PUT-IN:Spillway Boat Ramp (below Flaming Gorge Dam)
TAKE-OUT:Hite Crossing on Lake Powell
TRIP LENGTH:24 days/23 nights
BOAT OPTIONS:Oar raft (at times assisted with an outboard motor), inflatable kayak, stand-up paddleboard, dory (dependent on water level and other factors)

Itinerary at a Glance

The Day Before Your Trip

We’ll meet at 5 PM at the OARS Warehouse in Vernal, Utah, for a pre-trip meeting. This is an opportunity to meet your fellow travelers and trip leader and ask any last-minute questions. Your trip leader will give you a thorough trip orientation, and pass out your waterproof river bags so that you can pack your belongings that evening.

Day 1

We begin our trip with a scenic drive from Vernal to our put-in below the Flaming Gorge Dam, where the boats and the rest of the OARS crew await. After a detailed safety talk, our journey begins.

Days 2 – 23 

Travel downriver. Refer to the trip page for a more detailed sample itinerary.

Reminder: On Day 7, you will be shuttled back to Vernal and overnight at the Dinosaur Inn & Suites. Lodging for this evening is included, but dinner is on your own. 

We will reconvene the morning of Day 8 for a shuttle ride to the Sand Wash put-in and the beginning of the second half of the adventure.

Day 24

After lunch on the last day, we’ll reach our take-out at Hite Crossing. From here, you’ll say goodbye to the guides and take a five-minute van shuttle to the airstrip for a scenic flight back to Vernal, typically arriving between 4 – 6 PM.

If you do not wish to fly back to Vernal, please speak with your Adventure Consultant to discuss possible options for procuring alternative transportation at the end of the trip.

Included in Your Trip Cost

  • Skilled professional guide service
  • Sleep kit: Sleep kits consist of a sleeping bag with sheet liner, deluxe 3-inch thick air-filled sleeping pad, pillow, and pillowcase
  • 2-person tents on a shared basis (there is an optional supplement for a private tent)
  • Catered camping: All meals from lunch on day 1 through lunch on the last day (Does not include dinner in Vernal on night 7)
  • 1 night lodging at Dinosaur Inn & Suites, with breakfast
  • 2 waterproof bags to hold your gear for the trip (approximate sealed size: 13” diameter x 25” tall; 3318 cu in; 54.4 L; not to exceed 25 lbs. packed). Your sleeping bag and pad will come already packed in 1 of the 2 waterproof bags. Your remaining gear, therefore, must fit in 1 bag.
  • 1 small waterproof bag for a camera and other small items you’ll want during the day (approximate sealed size: 17” tall x 9” diameter; 1081 cu in; 17.7 L)
  • Personal flotation device (PFD), Personal flotation device (PFD), which must be worn at all times on the river in compliance with safety regulations
  • 12-ounce insulated Klean Kanteen with Café Lid to use for drinks in camp
  • A lightweight sarong to help keep you cool, warm, or protected from the sun
  • Camp chairs
  • Eating utensils and plates
  • Scrubba laundry bags & biodegradable soap to allow for on-river laundry
  • Highest-quality inflatable rafts and related equipment
  • All transportation from day 1 through the last day, including a per person scenic flight from the take-out at Hite Crossing to Vernal at the end of the trip
  • Wetsuit–weather dependent (does not include wetsuit booties or footwear of any kind)

Not Included in Your Trip Cost

  • Transportation to and from Vernal
  • Pre- and post-trip accommodations and meals
  • Dinner in Vernal on night 7
  • BLM Fee
  • Dinosaur National Monument Entrance Fee*
  • Insurance of any kind, including a travel protection plan
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Items of a personal nature (see suggested packing list below)
  • Gratuities

*You must purchase a Dinosaur National Monument Entry Pass or an America the Beautiful Pass prior to your departure (required for the Upper section). If you already have a pass, please bring it with a photo ID.

Getting Ready

Pre-Trip Checklist

Consider Purchasing Travel Protection: Learn more about the plan we highly recommend and get a quote.

Trip Forms: Each participant will need to complete the required trip forms within two weeks of making a booking. Refer to your confirmation email for the link to the online forms. If you prefer to fill out paper forms, please let us know right away. If you are reserving within 60 days of departure, your forms must be completed immediately to ensure we can properly plan for your trip.

Reserve flights, shuttles, and lodging: Verify with your adventure consultant that your trip has met minimum numbers prior to booking flights and/or reserving overnight lodging for the night before and after your trip, if applicable. It is important to make reservations early as rooms may be limited during peak travel periods.

Whitewater Orientation: To increase your safety, we expect everyone to watch our Whitewater Orientation video before joining us. 

Physical Requirements: Your outdoor adventure will be an active participatory trip. Please inform us of any physical limitations you may have as soon as possible. If you exceed 260 pounds, please give us a call. Make sure you are exercising frequently in the months leading up to your trip and can meet our Essential Eligibility Criteria

Payments: Final payment is due in our office 60 days before your trip (refer to your invoice for final payment date). Please let us know if you would like us to automatically charge your credit card on file when final payment is due.

River Runners’ Responsibility Code

1. Read the pre-trip literature and arrive at the meeting place on time.

2. Understand the risks: your safety is ultimately your responsibility.

3. Treat your fellow guests and guides with respect and courtesy; harassment of any kind will not be tolerated.

4. Wear clothing and personal protective equipment suitable for the current conditions.

5. Listen to and follow the guides’ instructions.

6. Abide by the managing agency’s rules.

7. No drugs or alcohol prior to, or during, your trip.; alcohol is allowed in moderation in camp on overnight trips.

8. Minimize your impact on the environment.

9. Wear the OARS-issued and properly–fitted Personal Flotation Device (PFD) at all times when in the boats or swimming. Wear a helmet when required.

10. Your children are your responsibility!

Travel Arrangements


By Air

Commercial flights are available into Salt Lake City, Utah and Denver or Grand Junction, Colorado. 

Contour Airlines offers flights directly from Phoenix, AZ to Vernal, UT.

Redtail Air offers flights between Salt Lake City and Vernal on Tuesdays and Thursdays. A minimum of two guests is required. Please call Redtail for more information: (800) 842-9251.

If you plan to fly directly to Vernal and do not have a vehicle, there are several local taxi services that can be contacted for your transportation needs while you’re in Vernal.

By Car

It is often most convenient to rent a car from the Salt Lake City or Grand Junction airports and return it after your trip. This allows you the flexibility to visit surrounding areas and sometimes is more economical than renting a vehicle one way.

Parking is available at the OARS Warehouse during your river trip. We provide parking from the morning of the trip until the end of the trip. Overnight parking outside of these hours is not permitted.

RVs & Trailers: There is enough space at our base to park all kinds of vehicles, including RVs and trailers, for the duration of your trip. However, please be aware there is no camping on site. There is very little shade and no water, sewer, or electricity available. 

If you will be bringing a large recreational vehicle, please let us know in advance so we can plan accordingly. You may leave for the trip and see a totally different parking situation on your return, therefore, we ask that on the morning of your trip, you check in at the OARS office upon arrival. Our staff will let you know where to park to prevent your vehicle from being blocked in by cars of guests that are on other trips (cars that potentially won’t be moved for days).

Pre- and Post-Trip Accommodations

We recommend that you make reservations well in advance in order to guarantee lodging. (Pre- and post-trip lodging is not included in the trip cost).

Useful Information


Beyond our standard menu, we can provide options for vegetarian, vegan, and many allergy-restricted diets without applying a fee. However, we cannot always provide the same diversity or sophistication for restricted diets as we do for our regular menu. Similarly, certain allergen-free snack foods are difficult or impossible to source in our locations, so feel free to bring your own favorite snacks to supplement our provisions. Please let your Adventure Consultant know if you intend to do so.


We carry sufficient drinking water along with us to provide for your needs throughout the trip. Water jugs for filling personal water bottles are always accessible. In some cases, we will re-supply water jugs with water filtered through a purification system we provide. (No iodine is used in the purification process.)

We also provide an assortment of soft drinks, including sodas, sparkling water, fruit juices, and lemonade. Commercial outfitters may not provide any type of alcohol for their guests. 

You may bring your own supply of beer, wine, or liquor in non-glass containers. Beer is available at grocery stores and gas stations. Wine and liquor can be purchased at the Utah State Liquor Store. The hours are 11 AM to 7 PM Monday – Saturday. They are closed on Sundays and holidays, including Pioneer Day (June 24). Full-strength beer and some liquor can be purchased at Moab Brewery and Distillery outside of liquor store hours.

If you choose to bring your own drinks (other than what we provide) or alcoholic beverages, please let us know in advance, ideally at the pre-trip meeting. Drinks for the lower section of the trip can be left at the warehouse during the first leg of the trip. For your safety and the safety of others, alcoholic beverages are limited to camp.


Bathing is allowed in the Green and Colorado Rivers but must be done with biodegradable soap. It is not, however, allowed in any of the side streams that feed into the river. If you plan to bring soap, we recommend using a liquid, eco-friendly soap such as Campsuds or Dr. Bronner’s which can be purchased in most stores that have a camping section. Bathing wipes (pre-moistened cleansing towels, preferably biodegradable) are also good alternatives to submersion in the river and are especially convenient during spring and fall trips.


Fire activity can impact the air quality on our trips, and occasionally wildfires may be present in the immediate vicinity of where we’re traveling. In general, we will not cancel a trip on account of smoky conditions, except in cases of clear danger to life or property. 
Learn more about rafting during wildfire season with OARS, including info about some of our protocols and travel protection recommendations.


The opportunity to explore the area will depend on several variables, such as the amount of time spent in the boats (often 4-6 hours per day), the time it may take to break camp in the morning and to reach our next camp in the afternoon, other groups in the area, weather and more. We make every effort to provide guided excursions to nearby points of interest, some of which are brief walks while others are long hikes requiring more planning. The trip leader must consider the overall ability of the group when deciding what hikes to offer. In anticipation of doing some side exploration during your trip, remember to bring a water bottle and lightweight shoes that are comfortable for walking on uneven terrain. All hikes are optional so you can choose to relax by the boats or in camp instead. If you are an avid hiker, please let your Adventure Consultant know prior to your trip so the trip leader is aware.


If you plan to fish, be sure to familiarize yourself with Utah fishing regulations, as well as Dinosaur National Monument fishing regulations for this trip. Adults will need to purchase a three-day, seven-day, or Utah annual permit online (not required for youth 12 and under). You can also purchase a license at the Vernal Wal-Mart which is a 5-minute drive from the OARS warehouse. You need to bring your own rod, tackle, and/or bait*.

*Fishing rods must be collapsible and have a hard case. Please tell your guide about your fishing gear at the pre-trip meeting, so they can plan adequate storage space. All hooks must be de-barbed in deference to the endangered native fish in the river which must be released immediately if caught. Additionally, if a hook is swallowed, you must cut the line at the mouth. Do not try to dig out a swallowed hook on a native fish. Threatened or endangered species must be released immediately, while invasive species may not be released.

Click on the links below for additional information on the following topics:


We recommend checking for an up-to-date weather forecast for Vernal, UT one week before your trip. Being properly prepared for weather variations is an important factor in fully enjoying your trip.

Average Air & Water Temperatures

 Air (Day)°FAir (Night)°FWater Temp °F

Packing for Your Trip

For more helpful information about what to wear and how to pack for a river expedition or to view our packing video, please visit our packing essentials page.

We want you to be prepared and comfortable for your trip. Below you’ll find some general tips for how to dress and what to pack and a comprehensive packing checklist. The need for warm weather or cold weather items should be based on a reliable weather forecast leading up to your trip.


During the day—Start with a swimsuit and/or swim trunks and a synthetic or Merino wool shirt as a base layer. Additional layers for sun protection or insulation can be added and subtracted depending on the weather, temperature, and how wet you’re getting in the rapids.

In camp—When the weather is warm, lightweight cotton pants/shorts and shirts make great camp wear. Anytime the forecast calls for cool evenings and cold nights, a dry set of long underwear is the perfect base layer under long pants and a fleece sweater.


During the day—The best choice is an amphibious shoe that drains water, protects your toes, and won’t come off in swirling currents. A retired pair of athletic shoes can work well, too. Sport sandals with a heel strap are a good option. Find professional-grade options made by Chaco®, the official footwear sponsor of OARS guides.

In camp—We recommend wearing shoes in camp due to the risk of kicking a rock buried in the sand or stepping on a sharp stick. The athletic shoes or light hikers you bring for hiking can double as your camp shoes. It’s nice to put on dry socks and shoes after a day on the water. Flip-flops or slip-on sandals are OK for wearing in camp only.

If you buy new shoes or sandals for the trip, make sure you break them in first!


During the day—Wide-brimmed hats are a good choice for sun protection. Ball caps are also useful since they fit under helmets, which are required attire when paddling our whitewater rivers.

In camp—When the weather is cool or cold, you’ll want a non-cotton beanie-style hat to wear in camp. They are the perfect remedy for bed-head as you rise from your sleeping bag to secure your morning cup of coffee or tea, or for retaining warmth in the evening hours after the sun sets. 

Hot Weather Trips

During the summer months, conditions on the river may be hot and sunny. These trips require less gear than spring or fall trips, but thoughtful packing is still required. Protection from the sun and heat will be critical to your enjoyment and health while on the river and during side hikes. To protect yourself from the sun’s rays, consider bringing long-sleeved shirts and pants.

A good way to keep cool is with long-sleeved cotton shirts. Old collared dress shirts work well. They can be soaked in the water and worn in the raft or carried on a hike for later use. This method of evaporative cooling is very effective. Bandanas are another useful item that can be used in this manner.

Camp-wear should be made of cotton and be loose-fitting. A combination of shorts/skirt and a lightweight top is ideal for staying cool on hot afternoons. 

To Avoid Being Cold

Synthetic or Merino wool long underwear is a must-have on river trips. It can be worn under shorts, rain gear, T-shirts, etc., then stripped off when the chill of the morning has worn off. It keeps you warm even if it’s wet (which can happen easily), dries quickly, and it’s compact enough to be stuffed into your small waterproof bag or daypack after you take it off. It can be layered under your waterproof rain jacket and pants. In cooler weather a rain jacket and pants work better than a wetsuit because the jacket and pants can be put on when it’s cold, or when you’re going through whitewater, then easily taken off when the sun comes out and it’s hot. Some folks find that wetsuits don’t work as well as they are tedious to put on and take off. During early season or high-water trips, we do provide wetsuits for paddlers. Be aware that cotton items, once wet, do not insulate; only synthetic and wool materials will keep you warm during cool, wet weather.

Something warm for your top & bottom: You need to be prepared for inclement weather. Bring a good fleece or wool top and bottom, along with a warm hat and gloves. You’ll want to double up on your base layers so that you’ll have a set to wear in the boat and a set of warm, dry clothes for camp.

Spring trips: This is surely one of the most beautiful months to be on the Green and Colorado Rivers, but spring can also produce some surprisingly chilly times. The sun is not far enough North in the sky for its warming rays to reach down into the river canyon for as many hours a day as it does in the summer. This means more shady areas, fewer sunny ones. Therefore, when you are splashed (drenched) going through the rapids and you’re in a shady area, you will get very cold unless you are prepared.

Rain Gear

Rain gear protects you from rain, wind, and the splash of the rapids. It is one of the essential items that all guests should have regardless of the weather forecast, or what time of year they are traveling. Look for a jacket and pants that are 100% waterproof, not just water resistant. A hooded jacket is recommended as well as good secure closures around your head, neck, wrists, and ankles. Do not bring a rain poncho as it cannot be worn under your PFD.

Sun Protection

Protecting yourself from the sun should be taken very seriously! In many cases, a long-sleeve shirt is the best method for preventing sunburn on your upper body. Lightweight long pants may also be appropriate to protect your legs. A hat, sunscreen, lip balm, and sunglasses are also a must.

Bugs & Mosquitoes

Bugs and mosquitoes vary depending on location and time of year. It’s a good idea to come prepared with insect repellent. Long-sleeved shirts and pants may be desirable at times. Often yellow jackets and wasps can be a nuisance. We recommend a eucalyptus and lemongrass repellent. If you are allergic, please bring two epi-pens.


Even if you aren’t anticipating your menstrual period, come prepared for it. We recommend you bring some sandwich-size zip-close bags. These bags can store products during the day while you are on the river. Used pads or tampons can be disposed of in the trash at lunch or at camp. We provide some menstrual products on most trips for emergencies.

Sleeping Gear

We supply a professionally laundered sleeping bag, sheet liner, pillow with a freshly laundered pillowcase, sleeping pad, and a 2-person tent. The complete customized sleep kit that we provide is designed for your comfort and maximizes available luggage space. Our sleeping bags are degree rated depending on the season and are 33” x 84,” which is longer than the normal (80”).

Packing List

Equipment and Personal Items

☐ Two 1-liter water bottles: durable and reusable; insulated bottles recommended for trips in hot climates to prevent water from becoming too hot to drink
☐ Headlamp or flashlight (consider bringing extra batteries)
☐ Polarized sunglasses with securing strap (consider bringing a spare)
☐ Quick-drying towel (such as those made by Rumpl)
☐ Hand sanitizer
☐ Toiletries, including biodegradable soap (such as Campsuds or Dr. Bronner’s)
☐ Sunscreen and lip protection: waterproof & SPF 30 or higher (aerosol sprays not recommended)
☐ Moisturizing lotion or cream
☐ Insect repellent
☐ Personal first-aid kit (Band-aids, antibiotic ointment, ibuprofen, moleskin, eye drops, etc.)
☐ Spare pair of glasses and/or contacts
☐ Cash for gratuities


☐ River shoes or sandals with a heel strap (such as those made by Chaco®); “Aqua socks” strongly discouraged
☐ Athletic shoes or lightweight hiking boots: Comfortable, with good tread and well broken-in (not new)
☐ Hiking socks: 3-4 pairs, mid-weight


☐ Long-sleeved shirts: 2-3 lightweight and light color for sun protection (old dress shirts work well)
☐ Long pants: lightweight and light color for sun protection
☐ Shade hat or visor with securing strap – flexible enough to fit under your helmet
☐ Rain jacket & pants: waterproof (not water resistant). A hooded jacket with secure closures is recommended
☐ Swimwear: tankinis and board shorts are a great option
☐ Underwear
☐ Shorts: 2 pair lightweight and quick-drying
☐ Hiking shorts: 2 pair (some people prefer different shorts for the river and hiking)
☐ T-shirts/tops: 3-4
☐ Synthetic or Merino wool long underwear: 1 set top & bottom, light to mid-weight (optional for late June & July trips)
☐ Fleece top & bottom: 1 set light to mid-weight (optional for late June & July trips)
☐ Camp clothes: comfortable and appropriate for the season. Cotton is recommended for hot weather trips. Some guests may prefer an athletic skirt or dress.

Additional Essentials (Depending on Weather)

☐ Extra pair of dry footwear for camp
☐ Wetsuit booties and/or neoprene, synthetic or wool socks (for wearing inside your river shoes)
☐ Additional fleece top & bottom
☐ Extra set of synthetic or Merino wool long underwear top & bottom
☐ Warm hat and gloves: 1-2 sets, synthetic or wool
☐ Fleece vest
☐ Extra dry skin cream: Look for creams that have such labeling as healing, therapeutic, salve, for rough cracked skin, etc. Healing foot creams are also a good idea.
☐ Neoprene paddling gloves

Optional Items

☐ Camera and accessories
☐ Lightweight, packable blanket (such as those made by Rumpl)
☐ Sarong: useful for sun protection, evaporative cooling, changing clothes, etc.
☐ Small day pack, waist pack, or hydration pack for side hikes
Bathing wipes: pre-moistened disposable cleansing towels 
☐ Small bags: stuff sacks, zip-close bags, or similar for organizing items in your dry bag
☐ Large empty bag: laundry bag, pillow case, or similar for putting clothes into after your trip
☐ Earplugs
☐ Binoculars
☐ Splash jacket and pants
☐ Lightweight cord and clothespins for drying clothes
☐ Sketchbook, notebook and pen, paperback book
☐ Bandana
Stand-up urination device

Packing Your Gear

At the pre-trip meeting, each person will be given one large waterproof bag (approximate sealed size: 13” diameter x 25” tall; 3318 cu in; 54.4 L), for their clothing and personal items. A second bag for your sleeping gear (sleeping bag, sleeping pad, ground tarp, sheet, and pillow) will be packed and waiting for you. These two bags will be your “checked luggage” and will only be accessible in camp. Tents are stowed separately. 

We also provide a small waterproof bag for day use where you can keep items such as rain gear, camera, sunscreen, lip balm, etc. (approximate sealed size: 17” tall x 9” diameter; 1081 cu in; 17.7 L). The bags are cylindrical in shape and pack from the top. Please pack light, and keep in mind that river attire is casual: comfort, convenience, and boat space take precedence over style. At the end of the trip, you will return to Vernal with your waterproof bags, where you will be able to unpack your gear before your trip home.

Extra Luggage

We recommend you take on the river only what’s absolutely necessary. Keeping gear to a minimum ensures it will fit into the waterproof bags we supply and reduces unnecessary packing and unpacking in camp. If you do have extra luggage you will need to store it in your vehicle or at your hotel so long as the hotel can make this accommodation.


We recommend that you leave your valuables at home. For personal items like wallets, purses, and cell phones, we suggest putting them in a zip-close bag at the bottom of your waterproof bag with your clothing. 

We are unable to store any personal belongings that don’t accompany you on the trip.

  • Visit our Trip Resources page for more info on the use of drones, electronics, cannabis, CPAP Machines, firearms, and more.
  • Find all the gear you need for your trip online in the OARStore and 15% of your purchase helps provide under-resourced youth with outdoor adventure experiences.



Tipping is appreciated by our staff. If you are wondering how much to tip, you may consider that we operate in a service industry with a host of behind-the-scenes contributors in addition to the guides on your trip. In general, we suggest a gratuity based on 10 – 15% of the trip cost. It is customary on OARS trips for gratuities to be given to the Trip Leader, in the form of cash or a personal check, who will then distribute appropriately amongst all the guides and support staff.


In reviewing your statement, you’ll note a $1/person/day donation to Utah Rivers Council, a non-profit conservation organization dedicated to Utah’s rivers and clean water sources. One hundred percent of these funds go directly to Utah’s rivers and your contribution is tax-deductible. This donation is voluntary and may be removed from your invoice if you choose not to participate. Please notify our office if you would prefer to delete the donation from your balance.

Terms & Conditions

Reservations and Payments

An $800/person deposit is required at the time of booking with final payment due 90 days before departure. Accounts on which final payment has not been received 80 days before the departure date will be canceled.

Payments can be made by check, money order, eCheck, wire transfer, Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover. 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. Your payment is fully refundable for 7 days, less a 3% processing fee, after making a reservation when you reserve a trip 7 days or more prior to the final payment due date.

Cancellations and Refunds

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. 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 that 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. For these reasons, we strongly urge you to consider purchasing a travel protection plan.

180 or more days before your trip$100 per person
179 – 120 days before your trip$200 per person
119 – 90 days before your trip$400 per person. The remainder of your payment can be transferred to another trip within the same year (or to a credit account for the following year). No refund.
89 days or less before your tripFull fare

Please note that different deposit/cancellation policies may apply for charter groups. Refer to the group organizer’s confirmation email for details.

Canceled Trips

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 prior to departure. Do not make non-refundable travel arrangements until you have verified with OARS that your trip is confirmed. 

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 the initial deposit amount and any non-refundable 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 cannot 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 $50/person fee up until 120 days before departure for a one-time transfer of your payment. Transfer requests made 119 days or less before departure will be treated like a cancellation according to the schedule above.


Under most circumstances, if you are of an adventurous spirit and in reasonably good health, you should have no problem enjoying an OARS trip. People with medical conditions, including pregnancy, should have a physician’s approval before taking an adventure travel trip.

Travel Protection

Because there are costs that you will incur if you cancel the spaces on this trip that we’re now holding for you, or in the event you need to be evacuated during the trip due to an unforeseen illness or injury, we strongly encourage our guests to purchase an optional travel protection plan. A travel protection plan may help reimburse the cost of your pre-paid, non-refundable payments in the event you are prevented from taking your trip for a covered reason. Trip participants must understand that in the event of an illness or injury on a wilderness trip, evacuation can be prolonged, difficult, and expensive. Learn more about the plan we recommend.

Please note: To be eligible for coverage for pre-existing medical conditions, you must purchase the plan within 21 days of your initial trip payment and you must be medically fit to travel at the time you pay for the plan.

Emergency Medical Evacuation coverage can be purchased as stand-alone coverage, independent of a comprehensive travel protection plan. You can get a quote for this type of policy by entering a Trip Cost amount of $0 when getting a quote.

Please note: By entering a Trip Cost amount of $0, the plan will not include Trip Cancellation coverage and you may not be eligible for Emergency Medical Expense benefits relating to any pre-existing conditions.

Liability Release / Assumption of Risk

Everyone is required to sign a standard liability release / assumption of risk form before the trip, confirming awareness that there are inherent risks associated with the trip. Due to the nature of the activities, a condition of your participation is that you will sign this form and return it to our office before the trip begins. Anyone who refuses to sign the form will not be allowed to participate, and consistent with OARS cancellation policy, there will be no refund of the trip fees at that time.

Responsibility – An Important Notice

O.A.R.S. Canyonlands, Inc. and cooperating agencies act only in the capacity of agent for the participants in all matters relating to transportation and/or all other related travel services and assume no responsibility however caused for injury, loss, or damage to person or property in connection with any service, including but not limited to that resulting directly or indirectly from acts of God, detention, annoyance, delays and expenses arising from quarantine, pandemics, strikes, theft, pilferage, force majeure, failure of any means of conveyance to arrive or depart as scheduled, civil disturbances, government restrictions or regulations, and discrepancies or change in transit over which it has no control. Reasonable changes in the itinerary may be made where deemed advisable for the comfort and wellbeing of the participants, including cancellation due to water fluctuation, insufficient bookings (this trip requires a minimum of 4 guests), and other factors. There is risk in whitewater rafting, particularly during high-water conditions. Rafts, dories, and kayaks do capsize. You could be swept overboard. Your guide will make every attempt to assist, but you must be strong and agile enough to “self-help” and “float-it-out” without further endangering yourself or others. We reserve the right not to accept guests weighing more than 260 pounds or with a waist/chest size exceeding 56 inches. We may decide, at any time, to exclude any person or group for any reason we feel is related to the safety of our trips. We are experienced in accommodating people with various disabilities. Please give us an opportunity to make you feel welcome. We need to discuss any special requirements ahead of time.

OARS trips occur in areas where unpredictable environmental conditions are to be expected. To moderate dangerous situations for our guests and guides, all travelers must obey the rules and regulations as determined by the managing agencies and the Trip Leader and demonstrate reasonable consideration for other guests and OARS employees. We reserve the right to remove any guest from a trip if, in our opinion, that guest’s actions or behaviors pose a threat to the safety of her/himself or others, or if those actions or behaviors compromise the enjoyment of the trip for others. Should a guest be asked to leave a trip, there will be no refund for the unused portion, nor will OARS be responsible for additional expenses incurred by the guest for accommodations, return transport, change fees, etc. Prices subject to change without notice. Upon advancement of deposit, the depositor agrees to be bound by the above-recited terms and conditions. OARS is an equal opportunity provider.

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