An adventure vacation such as a river trip down Desolation Canyon can provide experiences and memories that will last a lifetime. We want you to enjoy your river trip as much as possible. In order to do this, it is necessary that you understand the physical requirements of the trip. Health determinants such as age, weight, lack of physical conditioning, degenerative brain disease, and diseases or conditions associated with the heart and lungs may become intensified due to the unpredictable environment and distance from hospitals. Understanding these risks along with the possible strenuous physical activity that accompanies whitewater rafting trips of this nature will help you be better prepared for this trip of a lifetime.
Caloric Expenditure with Caloric Intake
- A rafting adventure with Western River Expeditions is a wonderful mix of physical excursion, relaxation, and tempting gourmet foods. It’s important to make sure you eat a well-balanced diet to keep your body fueled for each day’s adventures. If you have allergies or other dietary restrictions, please see the “Food & Beverage” tab found on this same page. Please note that all allergy and dietary restriction information should be shared with our detail-oriented reservation staff before final payment is due.
Self-Sufficient & Responsible
- A river trip such as this requires active participation from each guest. Our wonderful guides will do their best to ensure the safety and welfare of each guest on the trip, but you are also responsible for your personal safety. The guides fill their long days with varying responsibilities, so they will not be able to devote a lot of extra time to any one individual throughout the trip.
Your Personal Gear Bag
- You must be able to carry your own gear bag which holds your 20-pound duffle bag and sleeping bag, a tarp, and bed sheets. You will also be required to set up your own cot and tent after the guides demonstrate how to do so. You will decide where you set up your personal camp and take your duffle bag. You’ll be responsible to take your gear where you want it and return it back to the boat the next morning.
Ropes & Paddles
- The type of boats we use on the Green River down Desolation Canyon is great for families and individuals of all ages and abilities. Being able to grip ropes tightly with your hands is important because it’s how you’ll stay inside the boat during the rapids. If you are in an inflatable kayak, you’ll need to paddle intensely (using your abdominal muscles, leg muscles, and arm & shoulder muscles) at times. This will get you through both the rapids and some flatwater sections of the river. Ask a member of the reservations staff what type of boat(s) are available during your trip date for more information.
- Assist in “Self-Rescue”
- It is possible that you could fall out of the boat or that the boat could capsize. In the event that this happens, you will need to be able to self-rescue by either swimming back to the boat or to shore. If you swim to shore, you may have to traverse over rocks, tree limbs, and other natural obstacles to get to the boat downstream. Your guide will point you in the direction of safety if anyone falls out of the rafts or kayaks.
- For participants who have heart conditions or who are very overweight, falling out of the boat during a rapid or other highly intense situation could possibly result in a “cold-water immersion heart attack”. Such attacks occur when the person swimming cannot calm their breathing and the heart does not receive enough oxygen.
- The nature of this trip requires you to get on and off boats regularly. You may be asked to get on or off the boat on a flat, sandy beach or you may be asked to step onto boulders or a beach with a steep grade. It may take as much as a 2-3 foot ascent to climb onto the rafts. Also, the boats may have slippery and sandy surfaces at any time. The boat may be tied off in swift water, which means it could be swaying or rocking as you board or exit the raft.
- There will be opportunities to stop and hike as we travel downriver. These hikes lead to ancient granaries, historic hideouts, petroglyphs, pictographs, and incredible views. Not all hikes are mandatory, but guests are required to get off the raft due to safety concerns. If you have concerns about this, or would like to learn more about the possible side hikes, please give our friendly staff a call.
- Our daily lunches and nightly camp will be on sandy beaches. Again, this requires you to be able to get on and off the boats on uneven terrain. Sand can be difficult to walk on, and each night and morning you will be carrying your own gear bag, including your 20-pound duffle bag, sleeping bag, bed sheets, and tarp. Please note that reaching the toilet facilities at night in the dark also requires traversing irregular ground terrain.
Your Life Jacket
- In order to fit into this coast guard approved, National Park Service required, Type V Whitewater life jacket, you must weigh at least 50 pounds and have a chest size no larger than 52 inches. We have both “Adult” and “Youth” jackets. Youth jackets are for those weighing between 50-90 pounds (23-41kg). Both adult and youth jackets are adjustable in order to fit a range of chest sizes and body types. If you have any concerns regarding the fit of a life jacket, please contact our office staff. After a discussion, if you are still unsure about the fit for either yourself or a child, we’ll mail you a life jacket for you to try it on.
- Your guide will fit you to your life jacket while on your adventure. For your safety, it is crucial that you wear your life jacket as instructed. These Type V life jackets are very effective at keeping your head above water; but if you are unable to swim a threatening situation could arise, especially during a rapid-filled section of the river.