Meet new challenges and develop as a leader. On this river expedition, you’ll explore over 100 miles of the breathtaking canyons of Utah’s Green River, the birthplace of whitewater boating. Challenge yourself to paddle a kayak, paddle raft, and oar rig. For 16 and 17 year-olds only!
Utah’s canyon country is a land of towering cliffs, thrilling whitewater, and quiet valleys where the only sound is the song of the canyon wren. You’ll travel by raft and kayak through this vast wilderness, learning how to live, camp, and travel down a big Western river.
The Green River, which flows through Colorado and Utah, is an ideal classroom because of its progression of difficulty, allowing you to develop your skills in a secure and confident manner. Your course will begin at the NOLS River Base in Vernal, Utah. You’ll start by learning basic kayak strokes, maneuvering, how to enter and exit the craft, and the fundamentals of a kayak roll on a calm lake near the NOLS base.
You’ll then head to the Green River, where your instructors will introduce rafts, the rigging process, and river camping gear. During moving water instruction, you’ll learn eddy turns, peel-outs, ferries, river reading, and other whitewater kayak and raft techniques. Rafting instruction begins with an overview of paddle rafting and oar raft rowing skills. Mastering the stroke combinations, timing, and communication skills needed to put your raft exactly where you need it precede more advanced techniques, including raft rescue.
Working off of the skills you learned on the lake, you will begin your technical whitewater kayak progression in classic Western river whitewater. You’ll learn to scout rapids and employ techniques to efficiently manage your group as you negotiate hazards. Learning to rig, load, and row the oar rafts that carry your gear completes a well-rounded curriculum of whitewater skills.
While on the river, you’ll have time to study the human and natural history of the area. You’ll learn about the area’s geology, discover ancient petroglyphs and ruins, and will learn the importance water has played in terms of the area’s natural history as well as current land management issues.