Great Family Adventures: O.A.R.S.'s 'Ranch & Raft on the Colorado River'

Yes, we know: The family vacation is a much-parodied event, and perhaps rightfully so. But fumbles, foibles, and hassles aside, families keep taking them for the same good reason: They’re priceless sources of memories.

    Photo: Courtesy of O.A.R.S.

HIGHLIGHTS: Though the Grand Canyon is often the topic of any Colorado River conversation, the waterway’s upper reaches—free of dams—are exquisitely beautiful, historically significant, and easily accessible in southeastern Utah. During this trip, O.A.R.S. guides lead your family down the whitewater of Cataract Canyon, past the mighty Green River confluence, and through infamous rapids. On land, you’ll star-gaze and hike to ancient Anasazi ruins. After takeout, the trip returns to Moab via a Cessna flight over the canyon; its last two days consist of horseback riding through Castle Rock Canyon, a 4x4 trip through Canyonlands National Park, and a trip to see the iconic rock formations of Arches National Park. Children ages seven and older are welcome, except during high-water season (typically spring), when the minimum age is increased to 16.

OUTFITTER: O.A.R.S. (Outdoor Adventure River Specialists), with more than 40 years of experience, was the first company permitted to run paddling expeditions in the Grand Canyon.

ITINERARY: Moab to Potash, Cataract Canyon, Hite Marina, Castle Rock Canyon, Canyonlands National Park, and Arches National Park.

DATES: Multiple departures between April and October.

PRICE: From $2,297 per adult and $2,197 per child, including all meals, four days of rafting (and use of relevant equipment), three nights of catered camping, two nights’ accommodation at Red Cliffs Lodge, ground transportation, and flights between Hite Marina and Moab.

INFO:, (800) 346-6277.

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