Moab Rafting Overview
The combination of sheer red rock cliffs, incredible sandstone rock formations, and cool green water make rafting in Moab a serious draw for many visitors. Rafting Moab means you can get the excitement of splashy, bumpy white water rapids and the calm, soothing experience of gentle flat water all in a single day!
The Colorado and Green Rivers in Moab offer a variety of places to put in and take out, so visitors can create all different kinds of trips. If you’re looking for a quiet half-day float or a thrilling multi-day white water adventure – or something in between – the Moab rafting companies have you covered.
Where to Go Rafting in Moab
Wondering where to go Moab river rafting? The best rafting in Moab can be found super close to town, with easy take-ins and pull-outs. Here are our picks for the best spots.
The Classic Moab Daily
The Moab Daily is a 13-mile section of the Colorado River near Moab. This river section is so-named because of its popularity with kayakers, paddlers, and rafters. It is one of the best Moab rafting trips because it alternates between Class I through III rapids and also includes some flat, calm sections. The scenery is amazing, too – your Moab Daily trip will include views of Fisher Towers, Castle Valley, LaSal Mountains, and Arches National Park. It’s both beginner- and family-friendly, so even those with no rafting experience can enjoy this Moab white water rafting adventure. If it’s your first time, we recommend taking a rafting trip with one of our curated TripOutside local expert outfitters!
Fisher Towers Rafting Moab
Many people come to Moab looking to get it all in one trip: splashy whitewater adventure and views of the area’s most iconic rock formation, Fisher Towers. A fisher towers rafting trip will start with a drive up Highway 168, which is a National Scenic Byway. You’ll put in at Onion Creek – a fun rapid in its own right, then ride a series of awesome rapids: Professor Creek, New Rapid, and Rocky Rapid. The trip closes out with White Rapid, one of the Colorado River’s best whitewater experiences.
Turn it up in Westwater Canyon
Westwater Canyon takes it up a notch with Class III and IV rapids, and this section of river is best done as a guided rafting trip. The unique geological formations and rapids in Westwater Canyon have even been compared to rafting in the Grand Canyon. The challenging nature and amazing scenery make this some of the best white water rafting in Moab. Day trips and multi-day Moab rafting tours are both available for Westwater Canyon.
When to Go Rafting in Moab
Water levels will influence your experience of the river. While deciding when to go rafting in Moab, you can make some seasonal decisions based on the type of white water rafting you want. In short, Moab river rafting trips will be a little more rowdy in the early summer months of May and June, when the snowmelt is filling up the Colorado River. Class II rapids typically increase to a Class III rating in the months of May and June. By the same token, you can go before May or after June to get an easier, calmer experience. Here’s what you need to know when you visit Moab in the summer, or any month!
Summer time is a natural choice for rafting in Moab – it’s very hot and sunny in this desert town, so jumping in the water for a swim is delightful! That said, summer tends to bring crowds, and the heat during the middle of the day can be oppressive. Many people choose to travel to Moab in the shoulder seasons of spring and fall because of the milder temperatures.
Getting to Moab
The closest major airport to Moab is Salt Lake City, which is 236 miles, or about a 4 hour drive. Grand Junction, Colorado also has a regional airport, and is about 1 hour 45 minutes from Moab. Other major cities in the vicinity include Las Vegas (6.5 hours) and Denver (5.5 hours).
Moab Rafting Rentals, Tours & Lessons
TripOutside features the absolute best Moab rafting companies for tours, rentals and lessons. Whether you’re looking for Moab rafting half day, full day, or multi-day trips, our guides are all four-star rated or above, and are some of the most experienced rafting guides in the state of Utah. We take the guesswork out of booking a Moab rafting trip – all of our outfitters provide top notch service and safety.
Moab Rafting FAQs
What is the best time of year to go rafting in Moab?
The best time to go rafting in Moab depends on what kind of experience you want. Early summer time rafting is especially thrilling because of the snowmelt and higher water levels. This means running the river will be faster, which can make some rapids easier, while others become more technical when you have to navigate them quickly. The heat also plays a role in when to go rafting in Moab. Some people want the scorching days of mid-summer, so they can enjoy the cool river waters. Others prefer the milder temperatures of spring and fall. Talk to the many Moab rafting companies to help you decide when is the best time for your rafting trip.
What is the river that runs through Moab?
The Colorado River runs through Moab and contains some of the most popular Moab river rafting. The nearby Green River also includes some wonderful sections of water that are popular for people looking for rafting in Moab.
What is the Moab Daily?
The Moab Daily is a popular rafting section of the Colorado River near Moab. The entire 13-mile section actually runs just north of Moab and requires a shuttle. It can be done as a half- or full-day trip and is available to all levels of experience!
What is best to wear rafting in Moab?
For your Moab rafting trip, we recommend wearing quick-drying clothes with some UPF protection. We highly recommend a sunhat and secure water shoes of some kind (like Tevas or Chacos). You should also bring plenty of sunscreen, a water bottle, sunglasses, and a sense of adventure!
Where can I raft in Moab?
There are plenty of destinations for rafting in Moab â€“ from the beginner-friendly Moab Daily section of the Colorado to the more advanced thrills on Westwater Canyon, you’re sure to find a Moab rafting experience that suits your needs!
Do I need a permit to raft the Colorado River near Moab?
You do need a permit for Colorado River rafting in Moab. You can get a permit yourself at the Backcountry Permit Office in Moab, but many folks choose to book a guided rafting trip, or rent from one of TripOutside’s curated rafting outfitters, because rafting trips and raft rentals come with a permit and all the things you need to have a great time on the river!
Is River Rafting in Moab difficult?
Only as difficult as you want it to be! There are plenty of beginner-friendly rafting routes in Moab. You can even float exclusively on flat water with no rapids, if that’s what you want to do!