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4 Unforgettable Moab Adventures With Navtec

By Brian Higgins
July 21, 2023 | Updated July 30, 2023

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If you’re headed to Moab and looking for something to do, there are some pretty obvious activities that jump out at you. Seeing your computer background come to life at Delicate Arch. Taking in the sprawling views of Canyonlands National Park and the Colorado River from the Island in the Sky district. Comparing your sandal tan to a local’s and feeling woefully indoorsy. 

There’s nothing wrong with the classics, but there’s a whole lot mo’ to Moab than the first page of the guidebook. If you’re looking for someone to lead the way, look no further than Navtec Expeditions. With some of the most unique adventures in town and expert guides to hold the reins (and your hands, if you’re afraid of heights), it’s an experience you won’t forget, no matter which adventure you choose.

Experience huge white water on the Colorado River

We’re not sure if you’ve heard, but it gets pretty toasty down in Moab. Why not cool off with a trip down the river? Navtec’s river trips run the gamut from whitewater thrills to flatwater chills, so there’s a trip for everyone. 

If you’re the type who opts for the lazy river when you’re at the waterpark, you’ll love taking a half-day, full-day or overnight Moab rafting trip. In classic oar boats, you’ll float through a mix of gentle waters and moderate rapids. It’s the perfect mix of splashing and relaxing, with a backdrop of towering red-rock buttes and mesas. And don’t worry, your guide will teach you the difference between those. 

Let’s say you’re more of the log flume type. Well in that case, book a trip down the Class III and IV rapids of Westwater Canyon to get some of that sweet, sweet splashing into your life. Moab’s white water rafting allows you to experience a speedier side of the Colorado River as you barrel through huge waves in an oar boat. If your favorite part of the log flume is the animatronic characters, however, you’ll have to settle for stunning canyon views instead.

And, finally, if you’re the kind who asks to ride the giant water slide that closed after all those lawsuits, you’ll enjoy the heart-pumping waters of Cataract Canyon. It’s home to Class IV and V rapids and some of the biggest water in North America. Navtec knows how to ride these waves too — they're the only outfitter that uses the more maneuverable rigid hull inflatable boats (RHIBs) through Cataract. This allows them to play around a bit more and ride sections of some rapids more than once. To learn more about what it’s like to run Cataract with Navtec, read about our team’s experience. 

Rappel down into Moab’s canyons

It ain’t called Canyonlands for nothin’. And while they sure look nice from above, the deep, twisting canyons of Moab and Canyonlands National Park are best experienced from within. If you’ve never gone canyoneering, it’s a little bit hiking, a little bit climbing and a whole lot of fun.

Not only is canyoneering in Moab an exciting way to get out of your comfort zone and try something new, it’s also an incredible way to experience the area’s backcountry and see things that most others won’t. Navtec has plenty of trip options too, from quick outings for the whole family to strenuous overnight adventures into Canyonlands’ very aptly named Maze district. 

Kids in tow? Heights a no-go? Start small with Navtec’s half-day Moab canyoneering trip. It’s a perfect intro to this exciting sport. Armed with harnesses, helmets, a belay device and great guides to instruct you, you’ll rappel, down-climb and occasionally splash your way through a stunning red-rock canyon.

And if you’re ready to take the next step, Navtec has several great offerings with moderate ratings. The pièce de résistance (French for “a frickin’ awesome time”) of this level is the Granary Canyon trip. It’s perfect for beginners and intermediates who are up for a challenge, and features six rappels, including a final 200-foot descent along the Colorado River. 

Meanwhile, more adventurous travelers can opt for an overnight stay in the remote Maze district. Take on the endlessly variable (and occasionally wet) fun of the High Spur route or the sheer drops of Bluejohn Canyon. And if you recognize that last name from “127 Hours,” don’t worry — Navtec will get you through without incident, and in about 93 fewer hours.

Explore the way-way-backcountry of Canyonlands on 4x4

Did you know that Navtec is one of only a few Moab 4x4 outfitters with permits to explore Canyonlands’ backcountry? Of course you didn’t — you’re reading this article. If you knew that already, you’d have taken one of these awesome trips before. And you’d probably be taking another one right now.

Navtec’s trips cover the whole span of Canyonlands, too. If you want to check out the popular Island in the Sky district, Navtec has a trip for that. (This isn’t a 1990s teen comedy — we actually like this popular kid.) And sure, it’s the busiest section, but you won’t just be checking off viewpoints next to RVs and camper vans. Instead, you’ll travel the famous White Rim trail and up the rugged switchbacks of the Shafer trail, with geological, historical and biological facts aplenty along the way. 

Lots of parks have a section like Island in the Sky, however. Not all of them are home to the most remote landscape in the lower 48 states. Navtec’s guides are the first to admit they haven’t made a dent in exploring the vast expanses of Canyonlands’ backcountry, but they’ve done a pretty dang good job.

Because just like a post-pandemic desk job, Navtec isn’t afraid to go remote. Take their multiday trips into the Maze, for example. There are few 4x4 tours in Moab as rugged and immersive as this three-night stay under star-filled skies, complete with daily outings to archaeological sites and photogenic slot canyons. Other highlights include hidden gems like Lavender Canyon and a highlight-filled romp through the heart of the Needles. Each trip is different, with side adventures aplenty and a great guide through it all. 

See it all from canyon rim to river bottom

But what if it all looks good, like at your favorite all-you-can-eat buffet? What if you want to take in a bird’s-eye view of the Colorado and still get some fish’s-eye splashes? If you want to experience the Moab wilderness from canyon rim to river bottom, Navtec has several one-day and multiday offerings that traverse the backcountry and the river alike.

If you’ve only got one day to explore the rushing waters and soaring heights of Canyonlands, check out Navtec’s Canyonlands and calm water cruise. This adventure features all the same stops as the half-day Island in the Sky tour, with a relaxing RHIB boat ride through Canyonlands and a hike through a petrified forest. And if a scenic Moab 4x4 tour is relaxation enough for one day, book their Canyonlands and whitewater trip, which trades flatwater in Canyonlands for some splashy rapids just north of town. 

But maybe you want to explore Canyonlands so much you’ll make Edward Abbey look like a socks-with-sandals tourist. For folks who want to immerse themselves as deeply as possible in this unique and rugged park, Navtec offers incredible five-day (!) river/4x4 trips into the Needles and Maze districts. Each trip features all the highlights of that district’s 4x4 tours, with the foamy waters of Cataract Canyon’s Class IV and V rapids acting as the icing on the cake.

There’s truly so much to do and see beyond the usual stopovers in Moab and Canyonlands, and few groups make the trip like Navtec. Book your next Moab adventure today, and soon you’ll have an even better desktop background than Delicate Arch, with a sandals tan worth bragging about.

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