Many of you have probably visited the spectacular Grand Canyon, but how many of have actually seen the mighty Colorado River? As a matter of fact, many of the people who experienced an adventure in the Grand Canyon haven’t even glimpsed at the waters of the Colorado River! So, what did they lose?
A lot! And this comes from someone who is not a big fun of extreme sports and adrenaline rushes! Turtles live hundreds of years, and I plan to get at least to my first hundred, so why not imitate their lifestyle?! However, when my friends proposed a super fun rafting the Colorado River adventure, I said yes without thinking twice. Even now I don’t know exactly why, but I said yes and I couldn’t take it back.
Only afterwards I started reading more about the Colorado River and its rafting tours. Well, imagine my surprise to found out that its whitewater rapids are legendary, and that some of the largest whitewater in entire North America resides in the canyons of Utah and Arizona. Also, it seems that the Colorado River has quite an exhilarating rafting route through gargantuan clad canyons, where it loves to plunge passionately. Well, it was too late then to go back on my word, especially since my friends had already booked the two-day rafting adventure in Cataract Canyon. It’s important to mention that you can’t go rafting the Colorado River by yourself, and the trips need to be booked away ahead, because there are a limited number of licensed Colorado River rafting outfitters. So, that was that! I was rafting on the Colorado River!
A breathtaking two-day rafting experience
The tours vary from one-day excursions to fourteen-day journeys that also include a lot of hiking, relaxation in grottoes and breathtaking views. However, my two-day rafting adventure was a lot chiller than this, and didn’t feel exactly like a war on water, like I had expected to feel.
Considered to be one of the best rafting backdrop on the continent, Cataract Canyon surprised me with a surreal scenery and about 30 whitewater rapids, rated by our guide as world-class. Considering that my heart was probably one millimeter away from jumping out of my chest and into the rapids, I kind of agree with him.
The trip was about 100 miles, but it honestly felt like one million sometimes. However, when the water was calm (mainly at the beginning of our journey, for about 50 miles), I so enjoyed being there, admiring the red sandstone of the Canyonlands National Park and then the petroglyphs, cliff dwellings and, eventually, the waterfalls.
The peak of adrenaline rush was definitely touched when the Colorado River met the Green River, because that was where the Class 4 and 5 rapids made an entrance. I realized then that I was face to face with the mighty Nature, and daily routine and worries seemed so petty. One on one with Mother Nature always has this effect on people!
Amazing views both on water and land
We camped in a wonderful area from where we admired a superb sunset and amazing sunrise. Nothing makes you forget about yourself like a sky full of stars! All the camping equipment was provided by our tour company, so this time I had everything I needed to be a happy camper. Usually I forget important stuff at home, such as sleeping bags, camp chairs or ground cloth. Don’t worry about rain because is infrequent in these parts, and so are mosquitoes, my number one enemy when camping.
We traveled through the beautiful Canyonlands National Park and took in amazing vistas at every bend in the river. Native American habitations unveiled to us shyly, and I even got the chance to learn a thing or two about their culture. We departed from Moab, in Utah, and safely landed at Lake Powell, from where a ground (thank the Universe!) shuttle took us back to Moab.
The adventure in Cataract Canyon was spectacular and, although I don’t know if I would do it again, I am sure it’s a must for nature lovers all over the world. Colorado River is absolutely amazing, and it would be great if I would have the heart and…courage to rafting it from its start point to the end of its journey. This adventure would give me the opportunity to discover 5 National Parks, as well as 6 National Monuments, State Parks and Conservation & Recreation Areas. Well, that’s quite the river, isn’t it?