Corona Arch and Rafting Down the Colorado River

Rafting on the Colorado River

Two weeks ago, I had the chance to go rafting down the Colorado River. I’ve been wanting to go rafting for years, and when the originally scheduled youth group canceled because of that pesky virus going around, spots opened up for families at the same discounted price. My husband and I signed up, along with three of our kids, and when the time came, we loaded up our car and headed to Moab.

This is me, ready to go. Ignore my weird hair. It was just going to get wet!

Teyla re

Hotter than Hot/Corona Arch

It was terribly hot in Moab at our camping spot across from the Corona Arch trailhead, which dampened our enthusiasm, but it finally cooled down enough for us to hike up to Corona Arch that evening. It was a nice, easy hike. There were many fascinating rock formations, which I didn’t include here. These pictures don’t do it justice. You really need to see it for yourself. Beautiful!

Starting out to Corona Arch


Corona Arch in Moab

Us Under the Arch

Us standing under the arch


There are many carins built by people who go to the arch. We built one in memory of my youngest sister, Sarah, who died of liver failure last year. Later online I learn that the rangers really don’t want people to build them. Oops!


Fisher Towers Run

The next morning, we headed to the river! We went with a guided group on the all-day Fisher Towers run. First picture is Lisbon. The next is of my two daughters and husband (who forgot to shave). The last one is my youngest son and Lisbon (who is the youngest of all seven of our kids). Jared and Lisbon are super close, despite the 12 years that separate them.  

Lisbon in the Colorado River


Liana, Lisbon, and Jared on the Colorado


Jared and Lisbon

Not Very Rapid

On this section of the water, especially with the lower water level, the so-called rapids were, well, not very rapid. In fact, it was a little too placid for my tastes. Contrary to what I thought, there really isn’t a danger of tipping on these big  boats, at least not on that run.  I’m told that other places at earlier times of the year are more exciting. With eight-year-old Lisbon along, I was okay with a calm run. She may swim like a fish, but she’s still little.  

Colorado River Rapids


The Scenery was Beautiful

Rafting on the Colorado River 1


Rafting on the Colorado River2


Rafting on the Colorado River 3


Rafting on the Colorado River

Lisbon in the water

Heat and Rivers Mix Nicely

We were all wearing long sleeves and shorts over our swimsuits as well as hats so as not to burn. That plan worked perfectly. No burns. The best part was floating in the river between the rapids. The water was lovely. Every time we felt a bit hot, we just jumped in and floated. The first picture is my husband and the next two I’m hanging with Lisbon in the water.

TJ floating in the Colorado River

Teyla and Lisbon floating in the Colorado River

Teyla floating in the Colorado River

River Wasn’t Very Deep

In many places the river wasn’t that deep, but it’s going deceptively fast. You can’t simply walk along the bottom like my husband and daughter Liana are trying to do. The riverbed goes by very fast!

Walking in the Colorado


One negative about the trip was the food they offered when we stopped for lunch. I’d have much rather seen separate bagged lunches instead of platters of sandwich makings without any serving utensils. They did have hand sanitizer, but would it have hurt to give everyone a fork, or to throw a sandwich in a bag? If anyone was sick, we might have all become ill. Fortunately, no one got sick. Maybe we were all washed off in the river? Yeah, probably not.


Would I Go Again?

Yes! I’m hooked. Only this time I want a more challenging run. My family enjoyed it too.

Teyla rafting on the Colorado

A Near Scare

All too soon it was time to go home. First we grabbed some hamburgers at a fast food place. Then for some reason, we forgot to fill up our gas before leaving Moab, which apparently is in the middle of nowhere. We had more than a few miles running on fumes and prayers before we finally reached another town where we could fill up.

Have you ever gone river rafting? I’d love to hear about it!

Teyla Rachel Branton

Text and Photo Copyright 2020 Teyla Rachel Branton

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4 Responses to “Corona Arch and Rafting Down the Colorado River”

  1. Cathy Davidson

    Really loved all the pictures! What a beautiful place, l would love to try it.

  2. Margaret

    Hi Teyla, this is my 1st visit to your blog (link on your newsletter), but I wanted to learn more about your river rafting experience. Never tried it & I don’t really swim (I like to be able to touch the bottom with my feet), but I’d love to try if it’s not too rough. My family are not daredevils like yours: we avoid the fast/ high/ scary rides at theme parks!

    I loved your pics. The landscape looks amazing. My husband & I were in Las Vegas back in 2000 & he hired a car & drove to the Grand Canyon. Not a great experience: there was thunder & lightning (1st time in 6 months, we were told): absolutely terrified! However, what we could see was stunning, & your very first picture reminded me of that trip. Wrong state (sorry, got Arizona & Colorado mixed up).

    Thanks for sharing.


    • Teyla Rachel Branton

      High Margaret! Nice to meet you. The beauty of the river rafting is that you can chose the level you want. A lot of the time on this run, the river wasn’t very deep at all. I was amazed at how all the little kids were floating around in the water. The life jackets are very secure. Just ask whichever company you go with which is their easiest run. It was well worth it. I have never yet been to the Grand Canyon. I want to go. The lightning does sound scary, though!


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