Is Moab Rafting Fun In July?

By Kolben   •   April 2, 2020

Is Moab Rafting Fun In July?

Moab Full Day Rafting - Mild to Wild

Question: Moab rafting is fun in July?
Answer: It’s no secret that it’s most popular to explore Moab’s Mars-esque landscape in the spring or the fall when temperatures are bit cooler. What is it like to raft here in July? July is a great time to head out onto the Colorado River for some paddling fun! You will always be able to find splashes, swimming holes, and breathtaking views when you raft the Colorado River in Moab.

Thinking of planning a trip to Moab in mid to late-summer? Here is some useful information about what to expect.


What are Moab’s rapids like in July?

If Moab is in the middle of the desert is there even any water to raft in July? The mighty Colorado River that flows through Moab is controlled by various damns. This produces a constant stream of cool water cutting through southeastern Utah year-round. While water levels are certainly higher in late spring and early summer, there are still rapids in July and on into the fall. Depending on what river section you choose, you could encounter class I-IV rapids in July. 

Moab Utah River Rafting - Moab, UT - Mild to Wild Rafting

World-renowned Cataract Canyon of the Colorado River will have large class III-IV waves throughout the entire summer. Cataract Canyon has multiple trip lengths ranging from 2-6 days. An overnight trip, Cataract Canyon will take you deep into Canyonlands National Park. Cataract Canyon has some of the biggest rapids in the US year-round!

For those looking for a shorter trip, the Castle Valley section of the Colorado River has options for 1hr, ½-day, and full-day trips. On the Castle Valley trip you’ll find gentle class I-II waves, amazing swimming holes, sandy beaches, and breathtaking views. You can choose to take a Kayak or a Raft on this trip. A kayak will get you closer to the water and make the rapids feel bigger. Especially during the summer heat. 

So yes, Moab’s rapids are still quite fun in July! Just make sure you chose the right trip and boat type for the adventure level you are looking for. One of the greatest things about Moab rafting in July is the awesome opportunities to jump off the raft, swim, and feel refreshed from the desert heat.


What is the Best Moab rafting trip in July?

Cataract Canyon Rafting Trip Colorado River

One of our favorite things about Moab rafting is that all trips are available March – October. It’s a fantastically long rafting season! What’s the best rafting trip to chose in July you ask? We’re slightly biased in that we think they’re all great. Here are our tips for which trip lengths and times are the best options for those joining us in July.

For the more adventurous crowd looking to get off the beaten path and tackle Moab’s biggest rapids, Cataract Canyon is going to be your best bet. While you can do the trip in just 2 days, we recommend 4-day trip for July. Here’s why. As the river starts slowing down, it takes more time to cover the full distance of the canyon. With the 4-day trip you’ll have more opportunities to get off the raft and explore side canyons, petroglyphs, and viewpoints. If you have time, the 6-day trip will give you maximum time to relax, swim, and play games in camp.


If you aren’t ready to commit to an overnight trip, then the Castle Valley section will be your ideal ticket to adventure. In July the AM ½-day trip is our most popular option. Starting your trip earlier in the day will allow you to get off the water before the full heat of the day sets in. If winds are present they will be stronger in the afternoon as well. If you are worried the class I-II rapids aren’t quite enough for you, select the Inflatable Kayak option. Inflatable kayaks are much smaller and will keep you up close and personal with the water.  This makes the waves feel that much larger. 



While there are changes from season to season for rafting conditions in Moab, there are still plenty of great options for river fun from mid to late-summer. Pick adventures that are close to the water, and schedule your outdoor activities in the mornings and evenings to avoid the heat of the day. If you are out in the middle of the day, make sure you are out on the water, tackling Moab’s rapids and swimming in the cool water of the Colorado River!


More Reading:

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