There are raft trips, and then there are raft trips. Once upon a time the prime objective was to get wet and have fun while bucking rapids, but these days companies are getting more creative in the trips they offer. Yoga, anyone?
Sure, the scenery you'll see in the national parks you float through is captivating enough, but why not also use those incredible vistas as a backdrop for things like yoga, working on your outdoor photography skills, or even doing a little birding?
Here's a look at some of the special rafting trips being offered by the Glacier Raft Company, Holiday River Expeditions, O.A.R.S., and Wilderness River Adventures this year:
Glacier Raft Company
* On August 26, the company will offer a "Historic Float" on the Middle Fork of the Flathead in conjunction with the Museum at Central School. This float is open to anyone and everyone and is themed on learning about park history, the railroad influence, and early-day characters.
Holiday River Expeditions
* Birding Field Trip on the Yampa River through Dinosaur National Monument, May 26-30.
* Naturalist's Trip during the full moon on the Green River through Lodore Canyon in Dinosaur National Monument, July 3-6.
* Naturalist's trip during the full moon on the Colorado River through Cataract Canyon in Canyonlands National Park, July 30-August 3.
* Fall extended hiking trip along the Colorado River through Cataract Canyon in Canyonlands National Park, September 23-30.
** Holiday River Expeditions also will have a National Parks Week special that will save you $100-$200 per person off rafting or rafting/mountain bike combo trips in national parks in Utah. Watch the Traveler for details.
* Study the geology of Dinosaur National Park while floating the Yampa River. May 16, 26, and June 9.
* Check out the star-studded night skies over Cataract Canyon in Canyonlands National Park during a special astronomy raft trip. August 12.
* Getting married? Consider a bachelor, or bachelorette, float trip through either Cataract Canyon in Canyonlands National Park or Lodore Canyon in Dinosaur National Monument.
Wilderness River Adventures
* Grand Canyon Through the Eyes of Gary Ladd—National Geographic and Life photographer Gary Ladd will share what a lifetime on the river has taught him. This trip includes photography tips, geology lessons and Ladd’s interpretation of the canyon. August 24-31
* Family Adventure Boat Trips—This trip puts family first with activities fit for ages eight and older. Rafters will spend time with other adventure-loving families and create lifelong friendships. July 6-13
* Yoga in the Grand Canyon—Combine rafting excitement with the relaxation of yoga. This trip leverages the canyon’s serene and awe-inspiring nature to exercise body and soul. Professional yoga instructor Alex Smith will lead daily yoga sessions suitable for all experience levels. August 17-23