double clickWestern River Expeditions COVID-19 2020 - What to Expect
"Wilderness is not a luxury,
but a necessity of the human spirit" - Edward Abbey
Together Outdoors

What to Expect for 2021

With our 2020 season officially behind us, we are grateful that our proactive mitigation plans, combined with the efforts of local governments and communities have allowed thousands to come and experience the healing nature of the river, fresh air, and sunshine! We thank those who traveled with us and look forward to hosting all who are planning to join us on an upcoming adventure.

During the 2020 season, we put in place additional precautions and procedures to help our guests feel more comfortable and confident in their decision to venture out with us. We will continue to develop and update those procedures as needed in the coming months.

We believe that experiencing the outdoors with loved ones is an important part of providing people with a sense of connection, interaction and celebration. We’re looking forward to welcoming all those who have already booked with us and those who are seeking the perfect vacation for this next summer!

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Staying Healthy While on Your Trip

We've worked hard to create an environment where all our guests can feel comfortable traveling with Western River Expeditions. Additional protocols and procedures have been added to several parts of the operation, while many others were already built in. We will continue to update our protocols as needed for future trips, improving and adapting what we've been practicing thus far.

Grand Canyon

Read the Full Plan »

Interested in seeing additional details as to how we plan to operate and respond to any issues. You can check out our full COVID-19 Mitigation & Operations Plan here.


Frequently Asked Reservation & Policy Questions

1. What if, at the time of my departure, I am unable to travel due to a ban or restrictions imposed by federal, state or local agencies?

If an official travel ban has been issued that does not allow you to travel to or from your point of origin and your trip is in Utah or Grand Canyon, Western River Expeditions will allow you to use the full value of your non-refundable payments as a credit for a future trip. Credits must be applied to the same trip for any available departure through 2022. The full value of the credit must be redeemed prior to December 31, 2021. Please note that cancellations within 30 days of departure may incur cancellation fees based on the policies of our partner flights, hotels, and other arrangements that we have made in order to operate your trip. For this reason, we recommend that you notify our office as soon as possible if you are facing a travel ban and need to transfer your trip date.

Policies differ for trip partners in Idaho, Oregon and Costa Rica. Please refer to your booking confirmation for more details or inquire with our reservations team.

2. If I cancel or reschedule, will Western River cover my pre and post-trip flight costs, rental car expenses or hotel costs?

In the event of any cancellation or rescheduled trip, you will be responsible for cancellation or change fees related to pre or post-trip flights, rental cars, hotels, etc.

3. What if Park closure or other federal land restriction prevents me from traveling on my scheduled date?

If Western is unable to operate a trip in Grand Canyon or Utah due to any reason(s), including closure by a federal agency, governmental intervention, health department requirements, or the decision on our part, Western River will reschedule your departure on a future date for the same trip based on availability or issue an Expedition Credit for the full value of your non-refundable payments. Credits must be applied to the same trip for any available departure through 2022.

Policies differ for trip partners in Idaho, Oregon and Costa Rica. Please refer to your booking confirmation for more details or inquire with our reservations team.

Planning to make a new reservation with Western River Expeditions?

All policies stated here will also apply to new reservations for the 2021 season. You may always check availability of our trips online. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you have additional questions. Of course, as always, we recommend purchasing travel insurance. You may wish to consider the “cancel for any reason” policy, but first carefully review the policy to make sure it will cover your situation.

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Planning for your Upcoming Adventure

We currently expect to operate all departures for the 2021 season in Grand Canyon, Utah, Idaho, Oregon, and Costa Rica. Whether you’re already booked on a 2021 trip with us or thinking about an outdoor escape in the coming months, you can look forward to an unforgettable experience.

Map of rivers in the western united states

Healing Together

Our hearts go out to each of you who has been personally affected by the global crisis of COVID-19. As a company, we are doing our best to support those who depend upon us as a business and a family, especially those suffering from grief and loss. We believe that by reaching out to those around us, we can heal together.

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Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon 6 & 7 Day Expeditions »

Grand Canyon Upper Havasu Firstfalls

On this once-in-a-lifetime adventure, experience astounding views of hidden waterfalls, ancient Indian ruins, lush hanging gardens, and magnificent overlooks. Raft the best whitewater on the Colorado River and savor calm moments on the river to reflect and renew.

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Grand Canyon 3-Day Expedition »

Grand Canyon Lower Camp Cheers

Experience 3 days rafting Grand Canyon in the lower 100 miles of the canyon. Moderate, but still exciting white water on this stretch of Grand Canyon makes this trip a perfect introduction to rafting and camping without sacrificing any Grand Canyon grandeur.

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Grand Canyon 4-Day Expedition »

Grand Canyon Lower Jrig Tea

Combine your 3-day Grand Canyon vacation with one day and night at a working cattle ranch perched high on the rim of the Grand Canyon. Not only will you raft the grandest canyon in the world, but you'll also enjoy horseback riding, Western entertainment and much more.

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Moab, Utah

Cataract Canyon Classic 4-Day Expedition »

Cataract Canyon Dead Horse Point

Experience an all-inclusive 4 day rafting journey through Utah's legendary Cataract Canyon just outside of Moab Utah. Exciting whitewater combined with the indescribable scenery of Canyonlands National Park make this an ideal river trip.

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Cataract Canyon Express 2 Day »

Cataract Canyon Express Whitewater

High-speed, custom rafts allow you to journey through the Colorado River's legendary 100-mile Cataract Canyon in just 2 days–perfect for those with busy schedules yearning for a quick, but refreshing dose of adventure.

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Desolation Canyon 5-Day Expedition »

Desolation Canyon Utah Rafting 360 Three Canyon Overlook Father Son

A remarkable wilderness of twisted mountains, dramatic cliffs, and towering plateaus carved by an ancient inland sea, the Green River through Desolation Canyon offers one of America's favorite rafting trips. Comfortable summer water temperatures, over 60 fun-filled rapids, and rich human history make this the ideal getaway.

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Southwest Sampler 4 Day: Arches National Park & Colorado River »

Southwest Vacation Package Arches Window

Sample the "best of the Southwest" on this 4-day, 3-night getaway. Spend 2 relaxing nights in luxurious comfort at the Marriott SpringHill. Explore Arches National Park, then, as the sun sinks low you'll climb to new heights with an off-road Hummer® Safari. Top it off with 2 days and 1 night of Colorado River rafting in famously-filmed Castle Valley.

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Westwater Multisport 4 Day: Colorado River & Red Cliffs Lodge »

Westwater Canyon Rafting Al Gore

Raft the mighty Colorado River through Westwater Canyon - named by National Geographic Adventurer as "the West's best short whitewater trip". Explore Moab's breathtaking backcountry on an exhilarating Hummer® Safari. Each night you'll revel in the luxurious comfort of Red Cliffs Lodge located on the banks of the Colorado River surrounded by two of America's most astounding National Parks.

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Snake River Hells Canyon 4 & 5 Day Expeditions »

Hells Canyon Rafting Beach

Discover the biggest whitewater rapids in the Pacific Northwest. Here mountains of golden grass and pine forests topped with snow-capped peaks are home to soaring eagles, wild mountain goats and Native American legends.

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Main Salmon 5 Day Expedition »

Main Salmon River Rafting Calm

Experience 5 days exploring Idaho's rugged and astounding wilderness. More moderate but exciting whitewater on this stretch of canyon makes this river trip a perfect introduction to rafting and camping without sacrificing any of the grandeur.

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Lower Salmon 5 Day Expedition »

Lower Salmon River Rafting Camp Night

Discover the perfect family adventure complete with huge sandy camping beaches and a dedicated "River Jester" who entertains the children with nature hikes and fun activities, providing the perfect blend of whitewater and relaxation.

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Middle Fork of the Salmon River 5 & 6 Day Expeditions »

Middle Fork Salmon River Rafting Mountain 3

The Middle Fork of the Salmon River in Idaho is considered one of America's best rafting destinations. It begins as a small mountain stream that quickly grows into a rushing river with several major rapids - over 100 rapids in 100 miles.

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Rogue River 3 & 4 Day Lodge to Lodge Adventure »

Rogue River Black Bar Lodge Entry

Rafting the Rogue River in Oregon is an American Classic. A special lodge to lodge itinerary makes this one of the most unique rafting vacations anywhere. With abundant wildlife and natural beauty, this Oregon rafting trip is a must-do!

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Costa Rica

Costa Rica 9-Day Vacation Package »

Costa Rica Vacation Package Gorge

Experience the hidden jungles of Costa Rica along the Pacuare River. Relax at the world-renowned Pacuare Lodge. Relax in the hot springs at the base of the Arenal Volcano spend some time at the beach in Manuel Antonio National Park. We are currently planning to operate trips from this point forward. Please note, however, that guidelines and requirements regarding pre-testing and insurance may apply internationally.

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Brian Merrill Ceo

Keep Calm and Raft On...

We are grateful to our amazing guests who have been so understanding and supportive through the challenges this past year. Their kindness and optimism has been truly phenomenal.

We will continue updating this information as we learn more. We hope that together we can continue to adapt to change, face the unexpected, stay calm under pressure, and embrace uncertainty. These are hallmarks honed by both our Western River team and our travelers over the past 60 years. They will serve us well as we continue to do the best we can for ourselves, our families, and our team.


Brian I. Merrill
Chief Executive Officer
And the entire crew at Western

We are glad to have you with us! We look forward to seeing you on the river!