Guide to Whitewater and Scenic Rafting in Moab

Guide to Whitewater and Scenic Rafting in Moab

Whitewater rafting is an exhilarating activity for thrill seekers and people who love exploring the great outdoors. Moab, Utah, is full of stunning scenery and incredible rafting opportunities led by experienced guides. Rafting in Moab is a fantastic experience, complete with rushing waters, exciting bends and incredible views that will leave you in awe. 

Whether you want to feel the heart-pounding thrill of traveling through splashing waves, big drops and swirling pools or simply want to float between Utah's stunning rock walls, you will have a blast in Moab. 

What to Expect While Whitewater Rafting

Whitewater rafting adventures are fun and safe, but it's important to pay attention to safety guidelines. Before your trip, your experienced guide will instruct you on how to safely sit in the raft, how to properly hold your paddle and how to follow their instructions along the way. Rafting guides are trained to handle emergency situations, and they know which areas are safe to travel along, so you can rest assured you are in good hands.

Whitewater rafting is a fun way to get an adrenaline rush, but the rush you feel on your adventure will depend on your thrill level. You can choose rafting tours in the following levels:

  • Novice: Class II rapids consist of clear and wide channels that are straightforward and fairly easy to maneuver. 
  • Intermediate: Class II rapids are a little more complex and slightly challenging to maneuver with tight passages, strong currents and irregular waves. 
  • Advanced: Class IV rapids present powerful and intense rapids with unavoidable waves for those seeking the highest thrills.

What to Wear When Rafting

Wearing the right clothing is important on a rafting excursion. Since you will be in contact with water and moving around, wear comfortable shoes you don't mind getting wet. The best footwear options for rafting are water shoes, old sneakers or sturdy sandals that will stay on your feet. Avoid wearing loose-fitting sandals or flip-flops because these are likely to fall off during your trip.

You will experience some big splashes, and your clothes will get wet as you paddle through exhilarating waters. Wearing clothes that dry quickly, protect you from sun exposure and keep you warm can help you stay comfortable on your adventure. During warmer months, the following items will keep you most comfortable:

  • A bathing suit
  • A synthetic shirt and quick-dry shorts
  • A wide-brimmed hat to shield your face from the sun
  • Sunglasses with a retainer strap to keep them secured to your face

If you go rafting during cooler or rainy conditions, wear clothing that will provide more warmth. Avoid wearing cotton clothing items in any season because cotton is cold when it's wet. Stay extra warm in the cooler months with the following items:

  • Synthetic long underwear on your legs
  • A synthetic undershirt and a long-sleeve shirt
  • Wool or synthetic socks
  • Waterproof and windproof pants
  • A waterproof and windproof jacket
  • A warm, thin and snug hat
  • A wetsuit if you own one or can rent one from an outfitter

What to Pack for River Rafting

River rafting tour guides and companies will provide essential rafting equipment such as helmets, paddles and safety floatation devices. However, you should pack some essential items to use before, during and after your trip. For the best whitewater rafting experience, pack the following items:

  • Sunscreen to apply before your trip and take with you on the raft
  • A water bottle with a carabiner so you can secure it to the raft
  • Snacks if your tour guide does not provide them
  • A towel 
  • Dry clothes to wear after your trip
  • A bag to store your wet clothes when you return

Best Rafting Tours in Moab

If you are wondering where to go rafting in Moab, you will find that this incredible area is full of fantastic whitewater adventures, thanks to the Colorado River. 

The Colorado River flows through seven states, from Colorado's Rocky Mountains to the Gulf of California. A large portion of this river flows through Utah, offering plenty of whitewater rapids of various classes. From exhilarating waves, swirling pools and big drops to calm, serene waters, there is a whitewater rafting tour for everyone to enjoy in Moab.

Fisher Towers

Fisher Towers is a popular section of the Colorado River featuring class II and class III rapids, depending on the seasonal flow. Red River Adventures offers full and half-day tours through this exciting area, also known as the Moab Daily. Full-day tours last five and a half hours and cover 13 miles of splashing rapids.

Westwater Canyon

Westwater Canyon is another section of the Colorado River offering exciting rapids and whitewater rafting near Moab. Join the Moab Adventure Center on a fun Westwater Canyon day tour to experience swirling pools, exhilarating waves and stunning views. On this route, you will paddle through rushing waters and then marvel at red and gold canyon walls as you float through calmer waters to balance your adventure. Rafting through Westwater Canyon lets you experience incredible rapids such as Sock-it-to-Me, Skull Rapid and Funnel Falls. 

Cataract Canyon

Cataract Canyon is perfect for thrill-seekers and is home to the wildest whitewater rafting route in Utah. The exhilarating rapids in Cataract Canyon are full of thrilling hydraulics and rushing waters, including the famous Big Drop rapid. Rivers and Oceans offers Cataract Canyon day tours covering 96 miles of over 30 whitewater rapids. On this tour, you will travel through Canyonlands National Park to enjoy incredible scenic views and learn interesting facts from an educated guide along the way.

Best Place for a Relaxing Float

If you want to spend a relaxing day on Utah's waters enjoying the spectacular canyon views, you can explore the Colorado River's calmer waters. Canyonlands by Night and Day offers river tubes and stand-up paddleboard (SUP) rentals, so you can enjoy a mild adventure without the rapids' rushing waters. Enjoy a nice float in the sunshine with friends and family as you make your way between incredible red rock cliff walls.

Rafting in Moab With Kids

Kids can join in on whitewater rafting fun, but they must meet certain age and weight requirements. Children must be at least 5 years old to go on mild rafting adventures, and they must weigh at least 40 pounds. Tour companies often require children to be 12 years or older to join the more challenging class III and IV rapids.

Stay at Moab KOA to Enjoy Incredible Whitewater Rafting Adventures

Moab is home to stunning views, rushing waters and exhilarating waves. When you stay at Kampgrounds of America in Moab, you can enjoy the area's best views and whitewater locations. Whether you want to float along calm waters between stunning red rock walls or experience the heart-pounding thrills of advanced rapids, you will have an unforgettable time in Moab. 

Moab KOA offers the perfect location to rest your head and relax after a day of adventures. With unique and convenient campground amenities and plenty of fun recreational activities, you can enjoy a fun and comfortable stay. Take a swim in Moab's largest pool or gather around a cozy campfire after exploring Moab's thrilling rapids. Make Moab KOA your base camp for easy access to the best whitewater and scenic river rafting spots!

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