• Spires of Cedar Mesa sandstone in Chesler Park (Needles District)

    Canyonlands

    National Park Utah

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  • New backcountry requirements in effect

    Hard-sided bear containers are required for backpackers in parts of the Needles District. More »

Cataract Canyon

photo: A raft hits the top of Big Drop Two during high water
A raft hits the top of Big Drop Two during high water
NPS Photo by Travis Poulson
 

Cataract Canyon contains fourteen miles of rapids ranging in difficulty up to Class V. It is a particularly hazardous and isolated section of the Colorado River and is subject to extreme water level fluctuations.

A permit is required for all trips through Cataract Canyon. People interested in boating through Cataract Canyon should also read about the flat water as these sections cannot be bypassed.

Most Cataract Canyon trips put in at Potash, Moab, Green River, or Mineral Bottom. The usual take-out for Cataract trips is Hite Marina on Lake Powell. Boaters should be aware of lake conditions as they will affect the final day(s) of your trip.

While hiking trails lead to the rivers from each of the districts, these trails are too long and rugged to be seriously considered for shuttles, even for inflatables and other lightweight boats.

Zebra Mussel Advisory

All boaters on Lake Powell must comply with Glen Canyon's zebra mussel regulations.

Did You Know?

Desert Bighorn Sheep

Desert bighorn sheep live year-round in Canyonlands. These animals make their home along the rivers, negotiating the steep, rocky talus slopes with ease. Once in danger of becoming extinct, desert bighorns are making a tentative comeback thanks to the healthy herds in Canyonlands. More...