Rivers are often used as metaphors for our lives, with their calm flatwater, turbulent rapids, and frequent obstacles. Join together with a community of fellow adults, age 45+ for a rejuvenating and inspiring week rafting a river of extremes and discovering your own personal rivers. The world-famous Colorado River meanders away from Moab, Utah and you will experience serenity and comradery in the initial training flat water as the canyons rise a thousand feet above the water. As you and your team enter the rapids of Cataract Canyon, your team will work together to successfully navigate the exhilarating rapids and immense canyon landscape. Previous rafting experience is unnecessary for this expedition. Through periods of reflection, building an ideal community, leadership, adventure, and discovery this course offers an opportunity to pause your everyday life and return home renewed, reinvigorated, and inspired to be your best self.
Each course is as unique as the individuals who form the community. Your course itinerary may vary depending on weather and the skill levels of your group, but it will likely focus on personal discovery, community, and experiences in the wilderness.
Rafting – While on the river, each day is spent learning to recognize and navigate various obstacles and hazards in the river, and how to anticipate the forces of the current from far enough upstream. You and your companions will work to become a team, coordinating your spacing, and paddle strokes. You will have an opportunity to be the captain of your crew and put to use what you’ve learned as you maneuver your raft through Class II – IV rapids. Interspersed between the rapids are flat-water sections where there is a current, but no whitewater. At times, you will take advantage of this calm water to hone your skills and enjoy the view. Time in a raft is ideal for getting to know each other and form boat pride, laughing your way downriver as you relax into the graceful simplicity of river life.
In places, the canyon rims rise thousands of feet above, enclosing you in a remote world of rushing water, delicate ecosystems, and unbelievable beauty. During your course, your instructors will introduce you to the most important elements of the river life: reading whitewater currents, paddling, whitewater captaining, geology of the canyon, environmental stewardship, outdoor cooking, first aid, natural history of the river canyons, and of course, those beautiful star-studded night skies.
Day Hiking – As you travel down the river, you will stop along the way to explore side trails, canyons, and historic or geologic points of interest. These hikes will take you through rough terrain to incredible, remote places that are only accessible from the river. You may witness blazing sunrises or find yourself leaping into crystal clear creeks. The hikes are always well worth the effort to see ancient artifacts as well as stunning natural beauty.
Solo – A possible solo of up to 12 hours provides an important break from the rigors of both the expedition and the distractions from everyday life. This is a truly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. With sufficient food and equipment, you’ll spend time alone at your site to journal, rest, reflect on the past and look ahead to future goals. Many students are initially nervous about solo, but later recall solo as one of the highlights of their course. This activity may be abbreviated or eliminated depending on weather or other factors.
The following is an example of what your 7-day itinerary may look like. Your actual course plan will vary according to weather, student skills and abilities, and instructor preferences.
- Day 1 Course Start, River Launch
- Day 2-6 Whitewater Rafting, day hikes, possible solo
- Day 7 Course end and transportation home
Cataract Canyon of the Colorado River
One of the most rugged and beautiful canyons in the West, Cataract Canyon takes you through the heart of Canyonlands National Park. You will learn how to guide a whitewater raft as you float past natural wonders and ancient ruins to the confluence of the Colorado and Green Rivers while preparing for what awaits downstream. The Colorado River roars through 29 exciting rapids that rate with those of the Grand Canyon, including the famous Mile Long Rapids and “the Big Drops.” In the nearby canyons, fantastic rock shapes carved by the whimsical forces of nature await you as your group ventures off-river to jaw-dropping views.
To apply for this course click the apply button next to the course dates that work for you. The non-refundable application fee of $125 is due at the time of application. For full fee schedule and process, click here. Course tuitions listed do not include our application fee or transportation fee.