5 Ultra Rad Moab Rafting Tours You Cannot Miss

Last Updated on January 11, 2024 by foxintheforest

The vast desert landscape of Moab might not make you think of rushing water, but the Colorado River that carved out the canyons here is an incredible place for Moab rafting.

The breathtaking views as you float down the mighty river with sandstone walls rising around you will be etched in your memory after this amazing adventure.

If you want recommendations for Moab rafting from a local expert, I’ve got you covered.

I visit Moab multiple times a year, and adventure and explore all around the area, so I’ve got the lowdown on whitewater rafting in Moab for you.

About this Guide to Moab Rafting Tours

Inside this local guide to Moab river rafting, you’ll find expert advice about:

  • How to get to Moab
  • Why go white water rafting in Moab
  • When to go rafting in Moab
  • The best Moab rafting tours
  • What to wear while river rafting in Moab
  • The most intense Moab white water rafting
  • Additional resources for exploring Utah

How to Get to Moab

Moab is a fantastic outdoor town in eastern Utah near both Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park.

The drive from Denver to Moab is about 5.5 hours west along I-70, and Moab is approximately 4 hours south of Salt Lake City.

Why Go Whitewater Rafting in Moab?

Moab white water rafting is an incredible experience, as you go through thrilling rapids with breathtaking views of sandstone canyons and red rock spires rising in the distance.

White water rafting in Moab is truly an epic adventure you’ll never forget.

Does Moab Have White Water Rafting?

Despite being in the middle of the desert, Moab does have white water rafting on the Colorado River.

You can raft past the Fisher Towers, through Westwater Canyon and other canyons, and also go river rafting in Moab on the San Juan River and the Dolores River.

The Best Time to Go Rafting in Moab

If you’re wondering when to visit Moab, spring and fall are usually the best since the weather is more moderate, especially if you want to do some Moab hikes.

But the best time to go whitewater rafting in Moab if you want the biggest roaring rapids is in early summer as the snow melts. The warmer weather will also be pleasant as you splash around in the river while November in Moab might be a bit too late for rafting.

My #1 pick for the best Moab rafting 🛥️ trip is this Fisher Towers half-day trip! It’s a short and sweet 4-hour trip that will take you on some gnarly, class III rapids! 😀

The Best Moab Rafting Tours

These Moab rafting tours offer a variety of options so you can choose from calm Class I & II rapids to exhilarating Class III & IV rapids, and head out for a full day of adventure or a shorter excursion.

1. Canyonlands 4×4 Drive and Colorado River Rafting

Rafting along the rives in Canyonlands during a Moab rafting tour.

⭐️ Rating: 4.7/5.0 (36 Reviews) Price: $252.53 per person Duration: 9 hours 📍Meeting Point: Hotel pick-up Operator: NAVTEC Expeditions Details: Read more on Get Your Guide Now!

Combine two of the most fun things to do in Moab with a 4×4 tour in Canyonlands followed by rafting in Moab on the Colorado River.

This tour begins on land before you hit the water as you go off-roading around the Island in the Sky district of Canyonlands National Park.

You’ll drive along White Rim Road and along the switchbacks of the Shafer Trail.

“We had a great time. Lunch was chicken Caesar wraps that were delicious but not what I would consider a buffet lunch. We had 2 different guides, both were great! I thought the water rafting would be a little more of a thrill but can’t help water levels. Overall a great trip!”

Mindy (read more reviews now)

After the 4×4 fun, you’ll stop for a tasty picnic lunch along the banks of the Colorado River.

Enjoy the view of the canyons as you eat, then get ready to hit the water for your Moab rafting experience.

You’ll float the Class I and II rapids of the Fisher Towers section of the Colorado River for a more mellow but still exciting white water rafting Moab tour.

Full-day adventure with off-roading experienceOnly half a day of rafting
Buffet picnic lunch (with water & lemonade)Canyonlands National Park entrance fee not included
Local pickup available at accommodations

2. Westwater Canyon Full-Day Rafting Adventure

People rafting on Colorado river with table mountains at sunset near Moab, Arches national park, Utah, USA.

⭐️ Rating: 4.5/5.0 (98 Reviews) Price: $235 per person Duration: 10 hours 📍Meeting Point: Navtec Expeditions Operator: Navtec Expeditions Details: Read more on Viator Now!

This full-day adventure starts in Moab, where you’ll get your necessary gear (including life jackets) and meet your rafting guide.

Then you’ll head out in a van to the put-in on the Colorado River, where your guide will give you a safety briefing and a paddle lesson.

Then it’s time to hit the water and raft down Westwater Canyon! In this Moab rafting trip, you’ll go through 12 Class III and IV rapids to get your adrenaline pumping.

Your guide will expertly maneuver you on an oar boat through Funnel Falls, Skull and Sock It To Me, and more.

If you want to join in on the fun, you can ride in a paddleboat where you help power the raft under the direction of your guide.

“Fun balance of beautiful scenery and heart pounding rapids. Was fun family adventure that I would recommend for those up for getting on the Colorado River.”

Michelle (read more reviews now)

You might be feeling hungry after all the excitement in the whitewater, and around noon, you’ll pull aground and enjoy a lunch buffet on the beach.

Relax and enjoy the tasty meal, take some photos in the canyon, then get back on the raft for the rest of your adventure.

As you go through the mellower sections of the canyon, your guide will give you details on the geology, history, and wildlife of the area.

You might even get lucky enough to see some river otters splashing around or bald eagles perching in the cottonwood trees.

Full day of rafting4 passengers are required for a trip to run
A full day of raftingLong drive time to reach river put-in
Choose between an oar boat and a paddleboat
Can request local pickup/drop off
Beachside buffet lunch (with extra ice water)

3. Whitewater Rafting on the Colorado River

Mother and daughter rafting together on the Colorado River in Moab.

⭐️ Rating: 4.7/5.0 (59 Reviews) Price: $109 per person Duration: 6 hours 📍Meeting Point: Paddle Moab – Raft, Kayak, SUP, and Canyon Co. Operator: Paddle Moab Details: Read more on Get Your Guide Now!

Meet in downtown Moab to be transported to the put-in.

You’ll ride along Highway 128 for amazing views of the desert landscape on your way to the Colorado River, where you’ll get a comprehensive safety briefing before getting in the 6-person paddle raft.

Your Moab white water rafting trip will take you through the Class II rapids in the Fisher Towers area.

“What a great time! Rowan was our guide and she was fantastic! So friendly and hard working. And she had great information about the site along the way. Very mellow, relaxing time. Everyone was awesome – Jack also had a group with us in a different raft and he couldn’t have been nicer too. Even lunch was much better than I expected. I’d definitely book with Paddle Moab again and ask for Rowan.”

Deb (read more reviews now)

These rapids will give you a thrill without taking you to the limit, and you’ll be able to take in the stunning scenery of the red rock canyons soaring above you.

Take a break for lunch along the banks of the Colorado before getting back in your raft and continuing through the canyon for the rest of your Moab rafting adventure.

No pickup must meet at a location in MoabNo pickup must meet at a location in Moab
Lunch along the riverShorter rafting experience (6 hours, including drive to & from put-in)
A dry bag isprovided to keep valuables safe

4. Fisher Towers Half-Day Rafting

Two women sitting and looking at the Fisher Tower in Moab.

⭐️ Rating: 4.5/5.0 (473 Reviews) Price: $95.00 per person Duration: 4 hours 📍Meeting Point: Navtec Expeditions Operator: Navtec Expeditions Details: Read more on Viator Now!

This Moab rafting tour is perfect to fit into your day since you can choose from a morning (9:00 am), mid-day (noon), or afternoon (2:00 pm) adventure.

At the designated time, you’ll meet in Moab to get a safety briefing with your guides and then get in the van to shuttle out to your starting point in the Fisher Towers section of the Colorado River.

If you are on the noon tour, you’ll indulge in a nice lunch on shore before you take off.

Once you hit the river, you can sit back and relax while your guide takes the oars and maneuvers your raft through the rushing Class II-III rapids.

“Had a great raft down the Colorado through NavTec tours. Warren was a great guide. The kid really knows his stuff! As knowledgable as he was about rafting I’ll bet he knew even more about the geology and mythology of the area! A very entertaining and informative trip. Would highly recommend!”

Jeffrey (read more reviews now)

Enjoy the stunning scenery of the deep red canyon walls and the towering sandstone spires nearby. Keep an eye out for birds and other wildlife along the way, too.

If you want to take more control of your journey, you can request an inflatable kayak instead of riding on the raft.

Your guide will give you a paddling lesson before you put in and will also give you directions as you go.

No matter how you choose to ride down the river, you can jump in the water for a cool, refreshing swim before your short ride back to Moab.

3 departure times to fit your scheduleNo meal on earlier or later trips
Option to paddle your own inflatable kayak4 passengers minimum are needed for a trip to run
Local pickup available where you’re staying
Lunch is provided on trips starting at noon

5. 1-Hour Colorado River Speed Boat Tour

Colorado River running at base of a big red sandstone butte in Castle Valley at Utah and Colorado border, USA.

⭐️ Rating: 4.9/5.0 (43 Reviews) Price: $79 per person Duration: 1 hour 📍Meeting Point: 1861 N Hwy 191, Moab, UT 84532 Operator: Canyonlands By Night & Day Details: Read more on Get Your Guide Now!

Take a unique ride on the Colorado River in a speed boat instead of the typical raft. This speed boat adventure packs a ton of fun into a limited time, and you will get wet!

Meet for your boat ride about two miles north of Moab, where you’ll get your gear and get ready to go.

Your guide will take you speeding through the rapids, sometimes even spinning 360 degrees for a true thrill ride.

Be prepared for some serious splashing – depending on your seat in the boat, you could seriously get soaked (so ponchos are available for purchase).

“If youʻre looking for an epic adventure at a fair price take a tour on the 1 hour Colorado River Speed Boat Tour. We had a blast rocketing up the Colorado River in the speed boat. It was so fun and lived up to the name “Spin and Splash”!! Be prepared to get soaked and have fun! Rory was an amazing guide.”

Mikiala (read more reviews now)

But don’t worry, the captain will also make sure to slow down some of the time so you can fully take in the panoramic view of the gorgeous red cliffs that surround you.

Enjoy upbeat music the whole way before you head back to the rest of your day.

Quick river trip if you have limited timeNot a real Moab rafting trip
Fun atmosphere, including loud musicA larger group of up to 20 people
No pick up available

My #1 pick for the best Moab rafting 🛥️ trip is this Fisher Towers half-day trip! It’s a short and sweet 4-hour trip that will take you on some gnarly, class III rapids! 😀

The Most Intense Moab White Water Rafting

While most Moab rafting tours will stick to more mellow rapids, the hardest river rafting in Moab can be found in Cataract Canyon, deep in a remote area of Canyonlands.

Experienced river runners can run the canyon on a multi-day trip and encounter intense Class III, IV, and even V rapids.

What to Wear While White Water Rafting in Moab

While your Moab rafting tour guides will provide you with all the gear you need for your adventure on the river, you’ll want to make sure you wear the right clothing to stay safe and comfortable on your journey.

Here is a list of what to wear while white water rafting in Moab:

  • Quick-drying shirt and shorts
  • Bathing suit (underneath your clothes in case you want to go for a dip)
  • Sturdy water shoes – NOT flip-flops
  • Sunglasses (with a strap if you don’t want to lose them!)
  • Sunscreen and SPF lip balm are a must
  • Hat (optional, but good to keep the sun off your face)
  • Lightweight rain jacket (at least bring this along if rain is in the forecast)

Additional Utah Traveling Resources

Looking for more ways to explore Moab? Check out these things to do nearby:

Picture of Meg Atteberry
Meg Atteberry

Meg is a long-time Colorado local and outdoor industry professional. She's spent the last 15 years hiking, climbing, mountaineering, and canyoneering all over Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and Nevada in search of the best views. She's written for Outside Magazine, REI, Backpacker Magazine, and appeared on the Weather Channel.

Hi There!

Meg Atteberry standing on a mountain sticking her tongue out

Meg aka Fox is a 30-something who's born to explore. Toddler mom, queer, and neuro-spicy her favorite things to do are climb in the alpine and camp in the desert. Her mission is to get you out on your greatest adventure.