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EXPEDITION GUIDE
Moab Southwest Sampler
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Southwest Sampler Travel Route

Southwest Sampler Travel Route

Quick Facts »

NOTE: Departure times may vary as much as 15 minutes with the sunrise and sunset, depending on the time of year of your visit. Refer to your confirmation at time of booking for your specific departure times.

  • BEGINS: [Exact departure times on Trip Confirmation sheet] - SpringHill Suites, Moab, UT
  • ARCHES TOUR: 7:00 - 7:15 AM
  • LUNCH: 12:00 PM
  • HUMMER SUNSET: 5:45 - 6:00 PM
  • RAFTING TRIP: 9:45 AM
  • TRIP LENGTH: 4 days
  • MINIMUM AGE: 5
  • FEATURING: Arches National Park & More
  • RAFTING: Six Class II-III whitewater rapids, combined with calm stretches
  • BOAT TYPE: Oar Rigs, Paddle Rafts, Inflatable Kayaks
  • HIKING: Short walks & longer hikes over moderate terrain (all optional)
  • CAMPING: Cots, tents, sleeping bags, chairs & water-resistant bag
  • MEALS: All meals on river portion are provided. Lunch after Arches Included.
  • TRANSFERS: Bus transfers to river from Moab, Utah

Itinerary & Travel Details

Surrounded by an immense red rock playground, Moab, Utah is the perfect setting for a kid-friendly family outing–and Western’s Southwest Sampler provides just the right amount of adventure for the whole gang. You’ll get a taste of the “best of the Southwest” on this 4-day, 3-night getaway. First, you’ll spend 2 relaxing nights in luxurious comfort at the SpringHill Suites by Marriott – a quiet location between town and the National Parks, along the banks of the Colorado River. You’ll explore the wonders of Arches National Park and experience one of Moab, Utah’s most renowned adventures – an off-road Hummer Safari. Top it all off with 2 days of Colorado River rafting plus one night of all-inclusive beach camping and star gazing and you’ll return with endless stories and unforgettable memories.

Note: The outlined itinerary is provided as a sample. Daily activities and sights will vary based on weather conditions and guide preferences.

DAY ONE »
Arrive in Moab, Utah and check into the SpringHill Suites anytime after 3:00 PM. Take some time to explore this unique Southwestern town and its breathtaking surroundings. Top off your day relaxing at the spectacular Marriott pool.You may want to purchase last-minute retail items at Western River’s Moab Adventure Center located at 225 South Main Street (sunscreen, clothing items, hats, etc.)
DAY TWO »

Enjoy complimentary hot buffet breakfast at the SpringHill Suites, then meet in the lobby of the hotel for pick-up. [CHECK CONFIRMATION FOR EXACT DEPARTURE TIME]. Enjoy an exploration of Arches National Park with Western’s knowledgeable guides. You won’t believe your eyes as you tour this one-of-a-kind place where over 2,000 natural sandstone arches and towering red rock formations blanket the landscape. After hiking and touring Arches, you’ll eat a catered lunch at the Marriott.

At sunset, you’ll experience the exhilaration of an incredible off-road excursion aboard the worlds’ most serious 4x4. Be sure to take pictures because no one back home will believe where you’ve been!

DAY THREE & FOUR »

Enjoy the breakfast, then check out of the Marriott and experience a 2-day Colorado River rafting adventure [CHECK CONFIRMATION FOR EXACT DEPARTURE TIME]. On the first day of your rafting trip, you’ll completely unwind as you drift between crimson cliffs on serene waters. Savor a barbeque dinner as you watch the sunset bathe the red rock landscape in a dazzling array of light and color. Then fall asleep to the sounds of the river under a blanket of innumerable stars. The next morning, you’ll awake to the smells of coffee brewing and bacon sizzling. After breakfast, we break camp and head downriver. Moderate whitewater, wondrous sites and a delicious lunch at Red Cliffs Lodge rounds out the perfect 2-day rafting adventure. You’ll arrive back to Moab around 2:00 PM.

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WHERE/WHEN TO MEET

Moab Marriott Entrance

Meet at SpringHill Suites »

LOCATION: 1863 N. Hwy 191, Moab, UT
Early on the morning of your river trip, you'll meet in the lobby of SpringHill Suites by Marriott, Moab.

The first two nights of your Southwest Sampler are packaged within the reliable luxuries of the Moab Marriott SpringHill Suites. You can check in as early as 3:00 P.M.

The breakfast buffet opens at 6:00 A.M. Your pick-up in the morning for the Arches Tour will be posted on your trip confirmation. Meet in the lobby of the SpringHill Suites.

Staying at Springhill Suites

Located 5 miles from Arches National Park and 2.5 miles from downtown Moab, Springhill Suites by Marriott is the meeting location for your expedition.

SpringHill Suites & Western River Block Reservations »

While a 2-night stay at SpringHill Suites is included in your Southwest Sampler Vacation, guests may choose to extend their stay either before or after.

Western River has secured a certain quantity of rooms at special rates for our guests. Rooms and rates are available up to 45 days prior to your stay; after this date, discounted rates may be offered based on availability. If you want to add extra nights, please make your lodging reservations online as soon as possible. If you experience any difficulties using this link, please email: Carla.Gregory@Marriott.com and mention the Western River Expeditions Block.

Book for 2019

Notes from SpringHill Suites »

  • COMPLIMENTARY PARKING for all guests of Western River - even for guests not staying at SpringHill Suites.
  • BAG STORAGE Guests of SpringHill will receive complimentary storage for up to two bags per room. Additional bags may be stored at the hotel for $10 per bag per day. Non-SpringHill guest bag storage is available for $10 per bag per day.
  • HOT BREAKFAST BUFFET is complimentary only for overnight guests of SpringHill Suites. Other guests may purchase breakfast at the front desk.
  • RENTAL CAR CONVENIENCE When you rent a car with Canyonlands Jeep & Car Rental (Moab Airport), you may leave your rental at the SpringHill parking lot for pickup while you are on the river. Leave keys with front desk, or Western employee at check-in.

Getting to Town from the Airport »

No Taxi Moab

Free hotel shuttles are still not available in Moab. Taxis, ubers and shuttle services are pricey in groups, and not fully reliable.

Canyonlands Jeep and Car Rental truly is theeasiest and cheapest way to get to town - even if you're leaving first thing in the morning for a rafting trip. Canyonlands will pick your rental up from the Marriott! You just park it at the Marriott, go rafting, and voila!

NOTE: The Marriott is 2.5 miles north of town.) You will still want a car to grab dinner or last minute items before your river trip in the morning.

Reserve Canyonlands Car Rental

Get Thyself to Moab, Thyself!

In any big city airport, you may expect to hail a taxi, or text an Uber. Not so in Moab...at least not yet.

Your overnight chariot awaits!

Canyonlands Jeep & Car Rental

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While You're in Moab

Moab Hot Air Ballooning

Adding a Few More Days in Moab »

Add 1 or 2 days before or after - You may be surprised at how much more you can pack into your Moab Sampler vacation by adding just one or two days before or after your already perfectly-packaged sampler vacation. We are talking brag-worthy, adventure-extending itinerary additions like canyoneering into hidden grottoes, hot air ballooning, mountain biking and more...

We had a great time!​

My husband and I took a canyoneering adventure. The guides made the experience unforgettable. Their knowledge of the area and expertise in rappelling made the tour very informative, as well as safe, but exciting at the same time. We had a great time!

Boudett - Illinois

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Top Recommendations to Add to Your Moab Trip

Moab Canyoneering Smile

Canyoneering »

Morning or afternoon departures take you deep into the landscape, literally. It's a half-day commitment, but worth the bragging rights, for sure. Imagine rappelling into a hidden grotto and then off a giant rock arch. The hike out is a delight by its own right.

Canyoneering Adventure

Moab Hot Air Ballooning

Hot Air Ballooning »

The early morning start of these 3 hour balloon adventures may allow time to grab an afternoon (fixed-wing) flight out of town from the Moab airport.

Hot Air Balloon Sunrise Adventure

Moab Horseback

Horseback Ride »

Maybe since we are just sampling Moab, a horseback ride through movie-set scenery will be appropriate? Morning or Afternoon rides are available.

Moab Horseback Riding

Full List of Moab Adventures »

Mac Biking Intrepid Use the "Things to Do in Moab" page to explore the possibilities in Moab. Adding one or two more days to your stay and pack in so many more brag-worthy adventures to your itinerary!

Adventures in Moab

Expedition Guide

Expedition Guide & Packing List

Want to download (almost all) of this info?

The Expedition Guide for each trip contains the packing list, and most of the info seen on this page. Combine the "offline" handiness of the Expedition Guide with the online resources of this travel planning page.

Keep the PDF on your phone, or print it out for dashboard reference as you pull into town. See who else you spot with this handy guide on their dash around town. They're smart, cool, savvy travelers. Just like you!

Download Guide

How to Pack for your Cataract Canyon Rafting Vacation

Get a better idea of each of the items on your Cataract Canyon Express packing list. See an example of each item and understand why we recommend you pack it for the river.


PACKING LIST

Packing the Best Camera for Rafting

Choosing the right camera for whitewater rafting is an important decision. With so many options out there, we discuss the pros and cons of the more common cameras we see on the river.

Do you REALLY need "Quality" Rain Gear?

Western River Expeditions sent two of our intrepid guides to answer the question once and for all: "What is Quality Rain Gear and Why Do I Need it?"

The Morning of Your Rafting Trip

  • Check out of your accommodations & eat a good breakfast
  • Meet in the lobby of SpringHill Suites by Marriott
  • Check Confirmation for exact departure time
  • Come dressed and ready to raft (see diagram on Packing List)

Items Provided by Western River Expeditions
  • Transportation from Moab, Utah to the river
  • Professional, licensed guides
  • All meals between trip departure and return
  • All eating utensils and souvenir insulated bottle
  • Unlimited water and lemonade
  • Freshly laundered sleeping bag and sheet
  • Cot (28” x 74”)
  • Tent and ground cover
  • Water-resistant dry bag for sleeping gear and personal duffle bag
  • Custom rafts
  • US Coastguard approved whitewater life jackets
  • Wilderness First-Aid kit
  • Sanitary Facilities
Get the Gear with Redrock Outfitters

Through several decades of experience on the river, Western knows what clothing and gear will keep you smiling every second of your adventure. Specifically, we’ve bundled “The Works” for him, for her and one for gear in general. Get a FREE item with a “Works” purchase. For your convenience, you can order all these items online with Western’s retail division Red Rock Outfitters.

Things to Bring on the River
  • Duffle bag (approx. 12”x13”x24”), packed with clothing, toiletries, personal items outlined on the Cataract Canyon packing list
  • Extra drinks, if desired. No glass containers. Water and lemonade are provided.
  • Utah State Liquor Store (beer, wine) – 55 West 200 South (closed Sundays)
  • City Market (beer, soda, etc) -- 425 South Main Street
  • Extra snacks, if desired. (Snacks will be provided during the trip)
  • Photo ID, a major credit card, and cash for gratuities.
  • Camera(s) - Phones as cameras in waterproof cases/sleeves (Cell service unavailable)
Things NOT to bring on the River
  • Car keys can be left at your hotel front desk, or with stored luggage while away
  • Unnecessary electronic devices (game devices for kids, etc.)
Valuables
You will want to have photo ID, a major credit card, and some cash for gratuities. All other valuables and jewelry should be left at home or in a safety deposit box at your hotel. In addition, as a safety precaution we suggest that you not wear rings on the river. Also, each year a few of our guests traveling on airlines arrive without luggage. With this in mind, we suggest you carry with you medications, prescription glasses, and anything you may not be able to replace the evening before your trip departs.
Extra Luggage

Transfer all your personal clothing and gear which you will need on your rafting trip to a small, lightweight duffle bag. Identify duffle bag with label, and leave any extra suitcases or luggage in your vehicle or at the hotel. Marriott SpringHill Suites provides complimentary parking and luggage storage upon request. Please DO NOT BRING SUITCASES on your river trip. As part of your camping equipment package, we provide a water-resistant bag in which you will place your duffle bag as well as the sleeping bag that we provide.

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