Cataract Canyon Rafting, Colorado River Trip

Moab Utah
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> Cataract Canyon

Cataract Canyon

Boaters come to Cataract Canyon for a chance to experience over 112 miles of Colorado River fun, including some of the most challenging rapids in the United States.

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  • 112 miles (typically 3-6 days)
  • Difficult, up to Class V Rapids
  • Put-In: Moab boat ramp


This scenic trip down the Colorado River treats visitors to a blend of serene flat water paddling and exciting white water rapids. During the rivers peak flow from mid-May to mid-June, the rapids here are among the most challenging in the United States.  Scenery includes sheer canyon walls, riparian vegetation, and abundant wildlife.

The time of your trip will depend on your approach the river. If you utilize motorized rafts, you can navigate the flat sections faster. Rafts propelled only by man-power will typically need 5 – 6 days. 


The put-in for this trip is at the Moab boat ramp.


  • Distance: 112 miles
  • Average Time of Trip: 3 – 6 days.
  • Difficulty: Difficult, up to Class V rapids.
  • Put In: Moab boat ramp
  • Take Out: Hite Marina

Plan & Prepare

  • River running season in Utah coincides with the hottest part of the year. Remember to pack plenty of water and sunscreen. Additional protection from the sun, including hats and light long sleeve shirts is advised.
  • Due to the inherent risk involved with white water rafing, all but the most experienced river runners will benefit from hiring a guide service to plan their trip.
  • Remember to always wear a life jacket.
  • Make sure to arrange a shuttle vehicle in advance. If need be, many local companies will shuttle you back to Moab for a fee.
  • There are no toilet facilities located on this section of the river. All solid human waste must be carried out. Commercial porta-potty toilet systems are allowed.
  • There are no designated campsites on this section of the river. The Bureau of Land Management strongly adivses you camp on the sand bars to minimize environmental impact.
  • You will need a permit to run this section of the river. Call (435) 259-4351 for details.