Other Whitewater Trips on the Colorado River

 »  Ruby & Horsethief Canyon
 »  Westwater Canyon
 »  Cisco Run
 »  Moab Daily
 »  Take Out Beach to Potash
 »  Cataract Canyon
 »  Review this trip
 »  Post Alert for this trip
Lodging in Utah

 »  Utah Bed & Breakfasts
 »  Utah Cabins, Condos, and Vacation Rentals
 »  Utah Campgrounds
 »  Utah Hotels & Motels

 Find a Rafting Trip

 Link to Us
 Email This Page to a Friend
 Business Login
 Add a Listing

  Follow Us On Twitter
  Visit Us On Facebook

Paddlesports Schools:

Rocky Mountain Outdoor Center
Located in:
Salida, CO

More Details
Our Website
Whitewater Kayaking, Rafting, Rock Climbing, & Mountain Biking: Guided Tours and Professional Instruction. Choose your own a (more...)

Paddlesports Schools:

Otter Bar Lodge Kayak School
Located in:
Forks of Salmon, CA

More Details
Our Website
Otter Bar offers all skill levels of whitewater kayak instruction based out of our wilderness lodge on California's pristine Salmo (more...)

Paddlesports Schools:

Great Northern Whitewater Resort/Glacier River School
Located in:
West Glacier, MT

More Details
Our Website
River/Guide school Great Northern Resort has a 36 year history of providing whitewater and fishing trips on the Flathead River in (more...)

Paddlesports Shops:

Tumalo Creek Kayak & Canoe
Located in:
Bend, OR

More Details
Our Website
Tumalo Creek Kayak and Canoe has the largest selection of whitewater kayaks, sea kayaks, recreational kayaks, paddleboards and can (more...)
site home  :: self guided home  :: U.S. river guide  :: Rivers in Utah  :: Colorado River Utah  :: Cataract Canyon Kayak & Canoe Touring

Cataract Canyon Kayak & Canoe Touring on the Colorado River

Lazy day before the confluence of Green and Colorado River, August 1998
View from the start of The Loop, August 1998 Deadhorse Point, August 1998 Camp at Imperial Canyon after the rapids in Cataract Canyon, August 1996 Big Drop Rapid, October 2004 Ellen Olson enjoying the ducky, October 2004
Dollhouse hike from Spanish Bottom, October 2004 Enjoying music and scenery, October 2004 Lunch near Rapid 24, October 2004 Great sidehikeNewly exposed Dark Canyon, October 2004 Sunset near Sheep Canyon, October 2004
Warm Spring that has surfaced near mile 175, October 2004 The Colorado River flows past the Hwy 95 bridge, October 2004 View of the old Hite Marina Takeout, October 2004

View larger map of Cataract Canyon & get directions
Click 'Earth' to fly through the canyon!
Cataract Canyon Info
Use this information at your own risk. See our legal notices.
Put In:  Potash Launch Site
Take Out:  Dirty Devil River
Difficulty:  Class I to Spanish Bottom , Class IV in Cataract Canyon
Gradient:  1 ft/mi first 48 miles; 16 ft/mi in Cataract Canyo
Run Length:  96 miles. Shorter trips possible.
Current Streamflow:  3210 cfs @ 12/14/2016 11:00 AM - COLORADO RIVER NEAR CISCO, UT, reading taken from USGS
Flow Information (phone):  NWS tape, 801-539-1311
Good Level:  2,000-30,000 cfs (larger rafts up to 40,000 cfs)
Streamflow Comments: 

To get accurate flows through Cataract Canyon after the confluence of the Green River and Colorado River you must add flows from Green River at Green River Utah and the Colorado River at Cisco, UT. The flow shown on this page is just the Colorado at Cisco, UT.

Season Comments:  January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
Permit:  Required year-round below Spanish Bottom. Available for the asking in the offseason but limited April 15 through October 14. First come, first served basis starting January 1. Group limit of 40. Contact Canyonlands National Park, Moab UT 84532; 435-259-3911.
Character/Similar To:  Cataract Canyon lies below the Colorado-Green Confluence and is essentially an extremely scenic float through deep, rugged, desert canyon until that point. Once your actually inside the "Cat", the river provides ten miles of big water rapids. At low flows boaters can count 26 distinct drops. At high water many of the rapids blend together to form huge waves and monster holes. Sneak chutes are often comfortably wide but a few passages require skillful maneuvering in very heavy surf.
Hazards:  Huge hydraulics at high water. Rugged, isolated canyon.
Water Craft:  kayak,wwcan,raft
Land Ownership:  Mostly public. Private at the put-in.
Wilderness:  Yes
Camping on River:  Excellent camping with broad beaches and outstanding side hikes. Many sites are flooded at highwater.
Location:  In the Canyon Country (UT), 240 miles Southeast of Salt Lake City
Shuttle Logistics: 

Put-in: From US 191 about 4 miles north of Moab (about a mile west of the US 191 bridge) turn south onto Utah 279 and drive about 15 miles to the Potash Boat Ramp.

Take-out: Return to US 191 and drive north to I-70. Head west to Utah 24 and then go south to Hanksville. Turn left on Utah 95 and drive approx. 40 miles. Turn right between mileposts 41 and 42, just downstream from the Dirty Devil River. Hite Marina is no longer the takeout due to a receding Lake Powell.

Towns near Cataract Canyon Kayaking

Green River Utah
Moab Utah
Price Utah

Other Resources

Canyon Country Kayak Clubs
  • U of Utah Outdoor Recreation Program
  • Utah Whitewater Club
  • Conservation Organizations
  • Glen Canyon Institute
  • Virgin River Runners' Coalition