Posts tagged with "river rafting"

HOLIDAY RIVER EXPEDITIONS

Soldier, geologist and explorer John Wesley Powell is an American legend. One-hundred-fifty years ago this year, he and a brave band of men set out from Green River, WY, with a mission to map and log the canyons, tributaries and features of the unexplored Green and Colorado rivers. History tells the amazing tale of adventure, hardship and ultimate success.

In 2019, to honor and celebrate the spirit of that epic journey, Holiday River Expeditions will re-create a portion of Powell’s trip on an 18-day, oar-powered rafting adventure from July 5 to 22. The John Wesley Powell 150th Celebration Trip will retrace Powell’s route through Lodore, Desolation, Gray, Labyrinth, Stillwater and Cataract Canyons in Utah. The 308 miles can be done as a whole, spanning the entire state of Utah, or as one or more of four stand-alone segments.

“This kind of epic, multi-week rafting adventure is rarely offered in this day and age of quick escape vacations. For this season only, it’s our honor to offer guests this voyage back in time offering a true slice of American history through stories and expert insights,“ explains Lauren Wood, Trip Director and granddaughter of company founder, the late Dee Holladay. “While this journey is lengthy, modern equipment and services guarantee it’s nowhere near as arduous and challenging as Powell’s expedition was.”

On each leg of the trip, Holiday River Expeditions has invited a renowned river historian along to help recreate what Powell encountered on his journey via captivating stories and readings.

The full July 5-22 18-day adventure is $3,850 per person (plus Land Use Fee). Included in all four legs of the trip are delicious campfire meals, snacks and beverages, all required equipment, expert guides and shuttle transportation.

4-day Gates of Lodore – Guests begin with Lodore Canyon in Dinosaur National Monument, arriving by van from Vernal, UT. The put-in is in Brown’s Park National Wildlife Refuge where almost immediately some of Powell’s more infamous rapids — Disaster Falls and Hell’s Half Mile — challenge rafters (the Powell party named most all of the rapids and features found here and downstream). Tranquil waters prevail up to the confluence of the Yampa River in Echo Park, named for its incredible acoustics and scenery. Then come the swirling, unpredictable currents Powell dubbed Whirlpool Canyon. The last day in Dinosaur National Monument carries guests into what Powell described as a place where the river stretched out shallow and as wide as the Missouri River.The per person rate for Leg 1 is $1,005 (youth, senior and group rate $885). River historian Roy Webb joins this segment. He has spent his life running the rivers of the western United States and has authored four books and many articles and book reviews, virtually all on the history of river running in Utah. He is a charter member of the Colorado Plateau River Guides Association. 5-day Desolation Canyon includes a 30-minute scenic flight from Green River, UT, to the embarkation point for Desolation Canyon at Sand Wash. Much of Desolation Canyon is a National Historic Landmark established in 1969, the centennial of the Powell expedition. It was selected because it is relatively unchanged from the time of Powell and the place where the most authentic experience can still be had today. As the cliffs’ colors shift dramatically, it is easy to see why Powell named Gray Canyon. Even more eccentric rock towers lead to sporty rapids like Wire Fence, Three Fords and Coal Creek. Mystical seeps in the rock layer bring verdant life to the canyon walls.The per person rate for Leg 2 is $1,180 (youth $980, senior, group $1,085). Dennis Willis, a noted river historian, joins this sector. For 30 years Dennis worked for the BLM’s Price Field Office as the caretaker of Desolation Canyon. He supported and nurtured scientific research in fisheries and hydrology, geology, botany and archaeology. With over 120 Desolation trips logged, it is still his magical, special place.

5-day Labyrinth Canyon brings guests through a rarely visited section of the Green River and into the upper stretches of Labyrinth Canyon that slowly rises up and closes in, moving from alien flat lands of the upper section to breathtaking red-canyon walls with exquisite side stops like Trin Alcove, 10-mile Canyon and Bowknot Bend.The per person rate for Leg 3 is $950. Joining this section is John Weisheit, an active member of the Conservation of Living Rivers and Colorado Riverkeeper of the Waterkeeper Alliance. 5-day Cataract Canyon begins with tranquility on the flat water and in the secret tiered grottoes of Stillwater Canyon. Here signs of Ancestral Puebloan peoples abound. The confluence of the Green and Colorado rivers marks the beginning of Cataract Canyon and the heart of Canyonlands National Park. After few short miles of flat water, from downstream comes an ominous thunder of Powell’s Cataracts – 30-plus rapids. With full chapters written about them, these massive wave-trains and churning holes are an epic crescendo for this extended and historic excursion.

The per person rate for Leg 4 is $1,180 (youth, senior, group $1,040).Weisheit will also provide insight and interpretation along this final leg of the journey.

About Holiday River Expeditions

Holiday River Expeditions began in 1966, when Dee Holladay and his wife Sue took the plunge to become river outfitters. Due to its respect for the lands, rivers, guests and employees, the family-owned-and-operated company has grown exponentially. Each of its guides is professionally trained in first aid and river safety, and with 50+ years of experience, the company provides guests the opportunity to explore the nation’s wild lands safely and securely. Holiday River Expeditions has a commitment to protect the environment through education and conservation, and as such, uses oar-powered and paddle rafts exclusively.

Chilko Lake in BC

The end of summer heralds one of nature’s most enjoyable spectator sports – brown bear watching in British Columbia.

From mid-September and into October, the Chilko River hosts one of the region’s most dramatic salmon runs that in turn attracts furry visitors who wander in to dine on a veritable feast of spawning Sockeye.

Meet the Chilko Lake grizzly bear (Ursus arctos ssp.), a large subspecies of the North American Brown Bear. Adult female grizzlies weigh around 290–400 lbs., and adult males about 400–790 lbs. with an average length of 6.50 ft.

The congregation of hungry bears can number up to 100 or so, providing a visual feast for human visitors to this remote region who are hungry to see one of Nature’s annual spectacles.

Proprietors and owners of The Chilko Experience, Phil and Anne Huston, satisfy guest appetites with friendly hospitality, complete privacy and wholesome fun in the wilderness on their private estate. Plus, they ferry their guests onto the river in boats that are positioned to witness the feeding frenzy — but at a safe distance.

These bears are concentrated on a three-mile river segment beginning at the river’s mouth and extending downstream, an area where in some years the salmon numbers exceed one million. The result is that the Chilko River has some of the finest bear viewing anywhere in North America. The reason for this concentration is that the river is located deep within the BC interior and is the only salmon-feeding option for bears within a 200-mile radius. While there may be more bears located along the coast, with the many feeding options that exist, they are more dispersed and harder to observe.

Phil Huston explains that most viewing is done by low-draft river boats with experienced guides who know to stay at least 50 meters away from the bears in order not to stress them.

“Of particular interest are the mother bears and cubs. Two cubs are common but families of three are seen also. Photographers from around the world come to Chilko to seek the perfect brown bear photo,” he says.

While the bear get to feast, fishing for salmon on the Chilko River is restricted to all but those of First Nations decent. “However, the salmon spawn draws large rainbow trout populations that challenge and reward both the novice and experienced angler,” Huston notes.

Only 12 guests a week (up to 22 if they’re extended friends and family) have the privilege of lodging on the estate in the six custom log and timber frame homes that took center stage on HGTV’s Timber Kings a few years back. Today these one and two-bedroom, artisan-crafted dwellings continue to delight visitors whom their hosts welcome like family to their exclusive estate. Each unique home shares common features: oversized windows for maximum natural light, stone floors, hand-beveled denim (blue toned pine) ceilings, steel roofs, all tastefully furnished with antiques. Anne Huston, a long-time antique dealer, has adorned these classic homes with many of her collectibles. See: https://thechilkoexperience.com/log-homes/

This season (June 1 through Oct. 21), it’s fun as usual fly and spin cast fishing, canoeing, lake cruising, horseback riding and four-wheeling in the never-ending (five million acres) forests of native pine, splashed by the world-famous Chilko River and Chilko Lake. Complimentary guided activities are conducted directly from the estate. Optional river rafting and guided fly-fishing outings come with an extra fee.

Rates per person for this boutique and all-inclusive hospitality are based on the number of nights. Children ages 6 and under lodge free. Ages 7 to12 visit at the half-adult rate. Singles are accommodated in the Main House with no additional single supplement charge. A per person three-night stay is $2,950 and a six-night stay $5,950. See: https://thechilkoexperience.com/rates/

Most guests access the Chilko valley via private charter flights originating in Vancouver, BC. The flight time is one hour. Guests can also fly commercially to Williams Lake and then drive three hours to the estate. From Vancouver it’s a 10-hour drive.

About The Chilko Experience

The estate is a charter member of The Austin Collection and a member of the Mantis Collection, Villas of Distinction and the Chilko Operators Association. The staff practice sustainability, including recycling, at every level. A 48-panel, 12 K solar system generates 98 percent of the estate’s energy needs. On premise are a greenhouse and a 140-foot freshwater well. The abundant water supplies are all based on glacier and snow melt, so pure that residents can drink right from the lakes and streams.