Best time to visit Utah

Rafting Season in Utah

Whitewater rafting is a synonym of Utah. Choose the season that suits you the best and have fun on water

Best time: April–October (best mid-May–mid-June)

Rafting Season
Rafting Season
Rafting Season
Rafting Season
Rafting Season

The power of the whitewater in Utah is exceptional. If you are searching for the most incredible rafting, you'll find it here. Enjoy the rush of the river and the beauty that surrounds you. On the lower parts of the rivers, you can see wildlife and marvel at amazing landscapes.

Some of the best rafting can be found on the Colorado River, Green River, and the Upper and Lower stretches of the San Juan River. The Green River in central Utah features a 14.5 km rafting route. It starts at Nefertiti Access Point, goes through Gray Canyon, and ends at Swasey's Boat Ramp. This is a relatively moderate trip that includes floating, paddling, and rafting. The desert scenery around is breathtaking and unforgettable. Except for great rapids, paddlers can also see the majestic bloom of wildflowers.

The northern part of the state offers a fun ride on the waters of The Weber River. This eight km float takes you through Weber Canyon, Rock Garden, Croydon Bridge, Devil's Slide, and Slalom Rapid. In the beginning, the water is quite calm, but further, it gets stronger and faster, especially during high water season. In general, this river features II-III-class rapids, with the biggest being Taggart Falls. During the high water, this journey can be somewhat crazy.

The high water season lasts from mid-May to mid-June. Snowmelt rivers in the beginning of the season can turn your paddling trip into unforgettable rafting adventure. It's good for advanced paddlers. Whereas, newbies are recommended to opt for the period of medium water between late-June and mid-August. This is a perfect time for young families and beginners. Some rivers and separate river sections which are closed during the high water season are open again. As it is the warmest part of the year, this time features the peak of tourists season. Low water rafting is possible between early April and mid-May, and also late August (on Green River the rafting season is extended well into October). This season features fewer people and is the best time to enjoy the views and watch wildlife on the rivers.

The 27 km float on the San Rafael River is kind of a calm river journey. It takes you along the towering canyons and cottonwood groves through narrow, serpentine curves of the river. In some parts, the water is really fast and unpredictable and needs constant attention from the paddlers. Starting from the San Rafael Bridge the water becomes very swift and dangerous, so it is the best place to stop and take-out. The best time to float on this river is late May through early June, but in some years there's no such opportunity at all. So you should check the condition of the river before you go. There are no guides or services along the river, so you will be on your own.

Practical info

When is the best time for high water river rafting in Utah?

From mid-May to mid-June, experienced paddlers in Utah can take on the snowmelt rivers which have strong currents and big rapids. The high water rafting season is perfect for a thrilling adventure. For young families and beginners looking for a moderate experience, it's recommended to visit during late-June to mid-August, which is the medium water season. Show more

Where can I find advanced rapids for river rafting in Utah?

The Colorado, Green, Upper and Lower parts of the San Juan River in Utah provide some of the best rapids for advanced rafters. While the snowmelt rivers present the most potent rapids during the high water season, moderate yet challenging rapids can be found during medium to low water season. It's essential to note that some rivers may be closed during the high water season, so check before planning your trip. Show more

What is the best time to raft for novice rafters in Utah?

The medium water season between late-June and mid-August is perfect for young families and beginner rafting enthusiasts visiting Utah. The rivers during this time have moderate rapids, making the ride less challenging. Although low water rafting is possible from early April, mid-May to late August, the peak of tourist season, is the ideal time for novice rafters. Be sure to verify the river's conditions before setting out. Show more

Which river in Utah is considered a calm river journey for river rafting?

The San Rafael River in Utah is ideal for paddlers looking for a calm river journey, covering a 27 km stretch with towering canyons and cottonwood groves visible through the narrow and serpentine curves of the river. Although parts of the river have fast and unpredictable water, the ride is considered suitable, provided paddlers remain vigilant. The best time to embark on this river ride is between late May and early June. Show more

Are there any safety precautions to take for river rafting in Utah?

When planning a river rafting trip in Utah, ensure you wear a life jacket, appropriate clothing and footwear, and maintain adequate hydration. Carrying enough food and water is essential during the trip. While booking a trip with an experienced rafting company is advisable, check the river's condition, especially during high water season when certain rivers or river sections may be closed. Always be mindful of the weather conditions and heed the safety instructions of the rafting guide. Show more

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Authors: Olha Savych