Return of High Water to Utah’s Cataract Canyon Promises Some of the Best Rafting of the Year
ANGELS CAMP, CA, June 10, 2014 – Good news for rafting enthusiasts. High water on the Colorado River through Utah’s Cataract Canyon is back, reports O.A.R.S., the worldwide leader in whitewater rafting with river trips throughout the West.
This month, rafters in Cataract Canyon will experience the biggest whitewater in North America, promises Steve Markle, O.A.R.S. (http://www.oars.com/) spokesperson. Since June 1st the Colorado River has maintained a flow of at or near 50,000 CFS (cubic feet per second) through the heart of Canyonlands National Park—flows above 30,000 CFS are typically considered high water in Cataract Canyon and during the previous two seasons, flows on the Colorado barely reached 24,000 CFS.
The Colorado River through Cataract Canyon is one of the West’s most iconicwhitewater rafting rivers, offering some of the continent’s biggest and most challenging rapids—even for seasoned river guides. Last week, with rising temperatures, the river may have hit its peak flow for the year of 56,000 CFS, but thanks to above average snowpack and cool spring temperatures in the Rockies, outfitters are expecting an extended high-water season this year. As of June 9th, snowpack in the Upper Colorado River Basin was still showing at 166% of average. O.A.R.S. anticipates high-water flows at least through the end of June and possibly into July this year.
“After two low-water years, the water has risen into the mythical range of the mid-fifty thousand cubic feet per second. What does this mean? It means that Cataract is at that level where the rapids are at the highest and steepest and when legendary stories are made. Rapid 7 becomes the North Sea where its third wave can reach heights of over 20 feet! It is the time when rapids #13 through #19 turn into the famous Mile Longs. Rapids Big Drop II and III (two of the top ten biggest rapids of North America) are at the peak of their size,” explained O.A.R.S. Utah Manager, Steve Kenney. “The speed of the current also quickens our time on the water allowing us to do more extensive hikes, with plenty of time to relax in camp with a great meal and to enjoy all of the beauty of this incredible canyon!”
O.A.R.S. has raised their minimum age for trips in Cataract Canyon to 14 during the highest water expected during mid-June, advising travelers with young children to join trips later in the season or on other rivers. O.A.R.S., along with most other outfitters, will also provide motorized support on all high water Cataract Canyon trips to help facilitate a rescue if necessary.
O.A.R.S. offers regularly scheduled departures on Sundays and Tuesdays from Moab, UT. Four- and six-day trips in Cataract Canyon trips start at $1529 per person, inclusive of a scenic return flight over Canyonlands National Park, all camping and rafting equipment, professional river guides, deluxe camping meals and more.