Explore the rugged desert landscapes of the US by foot, bike, raft and rope during this nine-day active adventure.

Pack your bags for an active adventure from progressive Denver to Salt Lake City and its Mormon majesty. Hit Telluride for year-round outdoor fun then cruise to Moab for an overnight rafting trip down the mighty Colorado River and multiple opportunities to hike, scramble, climb and rappel through the desert landscape that have inspired for generations. Stop at Dead Horse Point and gaze out on the Colorado River, which curves moat-like around a mesa, and leave this adventure glowing inside and out.


Start
Denver, United States
Finish
Salt Lake City, United States
Destination
United States
Style
Basix
Theme
Active Adventures, Explorer
Code
SSTU
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 13

Why you'll love this trip

  • Visit the mountain town of Telluride, a year-round outdoor paradise known for its epic film and music festivals

  • Traverse the sandstone mazes of Canyonlands on a canyoneering adventure, squeezing between narrow gorges and navigating impressive rock formations

  • Experience the rush of the Colorado River on an overnight rafting trip, then be amazed at how quiet it looks from above during a stop at Dead Horse Point

  • Finish up this active adventure in the big city with a small town feel – the inimitable Salt Lake City

Is this trip right for you?

  • This is an active trip for active adventurers including rafting and canyoneering and although you only need a moderate level of fitness some activities can be physically demanding. However no prior experience is necessary and you will be guided on these activities.

  • This is a participatory trip. That’s a fancy way of saying you’re not just along for the ride – you’re part of a team! You know the phrase ‘the more you put in, the more you get out’. Well that’s extra true on this trip. Be prepared to roll up your sleeves and help out with camp activities like food prep and washing up. It’s all about giving your new travel mates a hand – everyone knows there’s nothing worse than trying to put up a tent on your own!

  • That teamwork also extends to our optional food kitty of approximately US$10 per day, run to cover the cost of meals. This kitty saves you worrying about stuff like where to get food or what exactly sales tax is, and actually helps keep your costs down. Instead of paying individually as you go, it means we can bulk purchase items and cook our own food – though there’s always the chance to use it for the occasional pizza night! The kitty is optional and for your convenience, so if you've got specific dietary requirements you can opt out and purchase (and cook) your own food.

  • The weather in the north can be unpredictable at times and you need to be prepared for all weather conditions. It can get suprisingly hot in summer, but it could also be quite cold. We suggest you bring layers.

Itinerary

Welcome to Denver! Colorado's capital is a progressive city with a burgeoning arts scene and, of course, a massive outdoors community thanks to the city's proximity to the Rocky Mountains. Meet your team at 6 pm then join them for an optional group dinner, or grab some food and explore the nightlife on your own.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Today you'll take a long drive through the Rockies, but hey, there'll also be some pretty phenomenal scenery along the way. The impressive views don’t stop when you reach Telluride, a former Victorian mining town nestled in the Rockies which is now a ski-town with plenty of outdoor opportunities all year round. The town is also home to several famous music and film festivals that take place during the middle of the year. It's also a surprising foodie city, with the main street featuring high-calibre restaurants and some wicked bars, so why not spend the night exploring (responsibly, of course).
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Enjoy a day at your leisure in Telluride. Take a free gondola ride up to the San Sophia overlook for unparalleled views of the surrounding San Juan Mountains, then check out the Mountain Village or explore the endless hiking trails. You could also choose to hit the slopes on a mountain-biking experience or, if you're simply happy with the views, remain in Telluride and visit the Historical Museum, walk the quaint main street full of shops and enjoy the crisp mountain air.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Telluride - Hiking - Free
  • Telluride - Mountain Biking - USD70
  • Telluride - Gondola Ride - Free
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Transfer this morning to the Moab area, approximately three hours from Telluride. Moab is an mountain-biking mecca and the jumping-off point for so many iconic locations including Canyonlands National Park and Arches National Park, the latter of which you'll spend half a day hiking in this afternoon. Walk the Devil's Garden Trail and gaze in wonder at the other-worldly sandstone formations, then watch the sun set at Delicate Arch, perhaps the most recognisable arch in the universe after that golden McDonalds' variety. This is quintessential desert landscape and isn't easily forgotten.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Arches National Park
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Up bright 'n' early today for an adrenaline-filled overnight adventure down the Colorado River. Travel through the Cataract Canyon in a unique, motorised whitewater boat twisting and turning with the river as it meanders through the canyon walls. Experience the full gamut of river-rafting from flat water through to Class V rapids, pulling over to the sandy banks throughout the day to hike to waterfalls and bluffs and see this ancient canyon from a different perspective. Camp by the river in the evening and enjoy a chef-made meal, then fall asleep under the stars to the sounds of the flowing water.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Moab - Overnight Colorado River Rafting and Canyoneering Expedition
Meals Included
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Greet the day with hot coffee and a big breakfast then it's back on the water. Continue down the river to the take out point but the adventure doesn't end when the rafting does. Embrace dry land on a half-day canyoneering trip through the sandstone mazes of Canyonlands, where you will squeeze between narrow gorges and be awed by rock formations that are alternatively softly curved and sharp. Return to Moab in the evening – preferably with both arms intact, you'll need them to lift a few cold beers this evening. 
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Spend a day hiking through the Island of the Sky section of the Canyonlands National Park. Witness incredible views over the Canyonlands from the top of this towering, sheer-walled mesa. There are multiple trails to choose from, or you could take part in an optional activity like rock climbing or an off-road hummer tour. During the return to Moab, stop at Dead Horse Point State Park look out at one of the most photographed scenes not just in Moab, but the entire west, where the Colorado River lazily bends around a mesa across the valley.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Moab - Canyonlands National Park - Hiking
  • Dead Horse Point State Park
Optional Activities
  • Moab - Off-Roading Hummer Tour - USD80
  • Moab - Rock Climbing - USD104
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Rise and shine for the four-hour drive to Salt Lake City, Utah's capital, and check out Temple Square. Covering 10 acres and owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, this vast square – including the impressive granite temple at the centre – is a testament to how influential the Mormon religion is in Salt Lake City. The rest of the day free your own exploration. This is the final evening of the trip so why not organise a group dinner and reflect on your adventures with your new travel crew in the evening.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Your trip ends today and there are no activities planned. Feel free to stay on in Salt Lake City, keep exploring Utah's national parks or, if the travel bug has well and truly bit, continue your adventures in North America. Check out our website for some more incredible journeys in wild, rugged places.
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.

Meals

2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 1 dinner

Transport

Private vehicle

Accommodation

Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night), Camping (with facilities) (5 nights), Hotel (2 nights)

Included activities

  • Arches National Park
  • Moab - Overnight Colorado River Rafting and Canyoneering Expedition
  • Moab - Canyonlands National Park - Hiking
  • Dead Horse Point State Park

Dates & availability

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Essential trip information

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