Expedition Light Packrafting on the Colorado River & Hike Dark Canyon
Explore Dark Canyon by Backpack, Exiting via the Colorado River With a Packraft
This is a shorter version of our full Beginner Packraft Expedition Course, which we’re running October 19-22. On this 3-day adventure beginner packrafters will learn many backcountry expedition skills, along with paddling skills while exploring some remote sections of Colorado River through the lower portion of Cataract Canyon. Starting at the Sundance trail we will hike a relatively easy trail along the canyon rim, then descend the rough and steep Sundance trail (a 1200 vertical foot drop) into Dark Canyon.
Known for clear flowing water, ancient ruins and remote hiking, Dark Canyon forms at the Western Flank of the Blue Mountains and flows through the Bears Ears National Monument for close to 40 miles before merging with the Colorado River in the Glen Canyon National Rec Area. Our hike will take us through the lower section toward the Colorado River with one camp along the way. Once we exit Dark Canyon it’s a 13-mile paddle out on the Colorado with one night camping on the river.
Plan to meet with us via Zoom once prior to the course to discuss planning, packing and logistics with your guide.
A 25% deposit is required to secure your space. And another 25% deposit is required within 90 days of the course. You’ll need to provide the remaining balance 30 days prior to your course. The remaining balance is due immediately if you are registering inside of the 30 day window.
Additionally, please review our cancellation policy, which you will find on our Terms, Conditions & Cancellation Policy Page.
This course includes an open packraft, PFD, paddle, helmet. As well, we provide all food in the backcountry, permits, wag bags, sanitizing kits, and camping permits.
We do not offer transportation. Thus you must fly, drive or rent a car. Also we do not provide whitewater boats, drysuits, river knives, whistles or throw bags. Depending on temps, you may or may not need a drysuit for this trip. However, generally spring and fall trips you will need one. You may rent drysuits for a 15% discount through BackcountryPackraft.com (we will give you the discount code once you pay your deposit).
We designed this trip for adventurers looking to hone their backcountry packrafting skills. Although we do teach many of the standard techniques from our other packrafting courses, we spend less time on self-rescue and aggressive swimming skills and drills. Instead we focus more on what it takes to accomplish a multi-day packraft adventure in the backcountry. Checklist of things we cover in this course:
- ✔️Equipment (use and care)
- ✔️Swimming and general water confidence
- ✔️Dealing with currents
- ✔️Decision making
- ✔️Hazards & river dynamics
- ✔️Basic paddle strokes
- ✔️Using eddies
- ✔️Field repair-tips & tricks
- ✔️River commands
- ✔️Spacing on the river
Steve “Doom” Fassbinder: Steve is one of the country’s first Level 3 American Canoe Association Packraft Instructors, as well as a Level 3 Kayak Instructor. He is also certified in Advanced Swiftwater Safety and Wilderness First Responder. An early adopter of packrafting, he has guided for three years and done remote packrafting expeditions around the world for over a dozen years.