Whitewater River Expedition


  • Travel by kayak, oar raft, or paddle raft
  • Paddle 85 miles in Desolation/Gray Canyon and 45 miles in Dinosaur National Monument
  • Learn all of the techniques of river travel-reading the water, paddle strokes, kayak rolls, etc.
  • Explore Utah’s canyon country of towering cliffs, exciting whitewater, and quiet dells
Imagine expeditioning 125 miles through the breathtaking canyons of Utah's wild Green River, the birthplace of whitewater boating.

This course offers a thorough introduction to travel skills on the same river that launched General John Wesley Powell's famous 1869 expedition.

You'll learn to kayak, captain a paddle raft, and row an oar rig as you negotiate the whitewater of Desolation and Lodore canyons. You begin in calm water and progress to moving water, learning increasingly advanced maneuvers. As the canyons get steeper and the rapids get bigger, instruction shifts to hydrology, hazard evaluation, and rescue techniques.

Rapids like Disaster Falls and Hells Half-Mile, named by Powell himself, offer exciting challenges while exploring this magnificent river.


Location NOLS Rocky Mountain
Tuition $4,155 Learn about Financial Aid
Equipment Deposit $225
Minimum Age 16
Duration 16 Days
Type Classic
Start/End Vernal, Utah
Fly in/out Salt Lake City, UT
College Credit
  • 2 Credit Hours
  • 2 Hours Skills Practicum
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High School Credit
  • 0.5 Carnegie Units
  • 0.5 CUs Physical Education
Learn about High School Credit

“The most rewarding aspects of this course were opportunities for personal growth, practice with group dynamics and team building and getting to know an amazing crew of NOLS instructors.”

-Lauryn H.