Off the Map: Rafting & Stargazing in Canyonlands National Park

Explore one of the most remote spots in the Lower 48 by raft. Learn about the ecosystem that surrounds these secluded landscapes and study astronomy as you admire star-spangled skies.
Rating (4.75)
Program No. 23013RJ
10 days
Starts at

At a Glance

From Salt Lake City, journey by coach, van and raft to reach Cataract Canyon, the most remote location in the Lower 48. It’s here where you’ll connect with your surroundings during explorations into what the ancient Puebloan peoples deemed “the center of the universe.” On an invigorating learning adventure, raft with the only outfitter that rows the river, instead of by noisy motor, and move with the natural rhythm of the Colorado River. Enjoy fascinating – and sometimes challenging – hikes through riverside forests and to some of the world’s most incredible landscapes, all while gaining extensive knowledge of the geology and ecology of this untouched wilderness. At the end of each day you’ll be reminded of your escape from the sounds and lights of the city as you camp under millions of sparkling stars in this International Dark Sky Park, and immerse yourself in the beauty of our world.
Activity Level
Outdoor: Spirited
Rafting 10-20 miles daily through Class III Rapids, which can include moderate, irregular waves that may swamp an open raft. Hiking opportunities of various lengths available most days; some strenuous and involving steep inclines with loose material on trails. Participants are expected to set up their own tents each evening.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 10 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Experience exciting rafting adventures, as you raft down the Colorado River and enjoy fascinating lessons on its vibrant ecosystems.
  • Learn about astronomy as your instructors help you identify stars and constellations in the Canyonlands National Park’s pristine night sky.
  • Unplug from the bustle of modern life as you camp in tents amid the tranquility of the Colorado River’s beaches and enjoy the peacefulness of the environment.

General Notes

This program is part of our “Off the Map” series, exploring truly remote areas of the United States as a way to connect with local culture and landscapes, and disconnect with the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives. Our goal is to bring you to places that have limited access to Wi-Fi, cell service and other technology so you can enjoy authentic learning experiences without modern distractions. All rafting and camping supplies provided. Due to the nature of this program, listening devices are not available.
Featured Expert
All Experts
Profile Image
Jason Thornton
Jason Thornton has been providing outdoor experiences since 2005. Jason has worked as a park ranger, white water excursion leader and now administers the outdoor activities program and teaches recreation management courses for BYU-Idaho. He has a bachelor’s degree in recreation management and master’s degree in parks and recreation administration. Jason has a passion for outdoor recreation and helping others to be inspired by nature

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

Profile Image
Jason Thornton
View biography
<%= Bio %>
Suggested Reading List
View 6 books

Click here to provide website feedback
Website Feedback