Moab is a grungy-hip little place with restaurants, hotels, bars, fun things to do, and some of the country’s most exciting outdoor recreation areas wrapped right around town limits. Since its Utah whitewater is famous for world-class river rafting, Moab is a fantastic jumping off point so you can get in on the wet n’ wild action.
Multiple river rafting companies call Moab their headquarters due to its access to several great rivers–the Colorado, the Green, and the San Juan–as well as its size. Since Moab’s a bigger town, you can enjoy the area amenities, like its restaurants, hotels, and other things to do, before launching an unforgettable river rafting adventure.
What to consider
Whitewater rafting encompasses trips from extreme to serene. Most outfitters tailor trips to a variety of needs, including client age, adrenaline level (or, how nervous are you), and time of year. Often you can choose theme trips, such as all women, kids’ groups, naturalist outings, yoga inclusive, multi-adventure, etc. Many rafting companies offer day trips if you just want to get your feet wet, so to speak. Longer trips can be upwards of a week in length. As usual, holiday weekends will be packed, so booking a trip well in advance should give you a better shot at nabbing those priority spaces during high travel times.
Who should go
Just about anyone can go on a Moab whitewater rafting trip, if you’re fit enough. For some river trips, you’ll need to hike to or from the put-in (raft launching area). On an overnight, you’ll be camping. If you’re on an oar boat trip, you will be expected to help row the boat. And in general, you need to be able to lug your gear short distances, get in and out of the boats, and have quick enough reflexes to quickly respond to guide orders when you’re running those fast, fun rapids. Most rafting companies have suggestions for fitness level and preparation as well as age ranges; older children are usually requested for the big water trips. Check with your chosen company to be sure you fit their every client category.
When to go
If you want big, fast water, book a springtime trip when rivers are full of snowmelt and running high. For warm days and nights, try July and August. For the calmest water, head out in the fall, when changing leaves might also grace the riverbank trees.
A sampling of Moab rafting companies to check out: