Red River Adventures in Moab, Utah is an ideal winter adventure trip, it has opportunities to do back country skiing, canyoneering and ice climbing.



Visiting Utah for Monumental Outdoors and Adventurous Bustle 

Started In 2003 With 3 Rafts And A Van, Red River Adventures Expanded With Popular Interest Into Rock & Ice Climbing, Canyoneering & Backcountry Ski Tours 

Owner Of Red River Adventures Carl Dec Takes To The Mountains [Photo Credit: Nicole Morganthau Photography]

In the arid desert of southern Utah, among the red rocks and canyon lands, lies Moab, a city best known for its proximity to Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park.  Recently, however, Moab has morphed into a recreational destination for those seeking outdoor adventure.  “People will typically come to Moab for two to five days and they use Moab as their base camp and they raft, climb, hike, canyoneer, stand up paddle board, jump from airplanes, and ride mountain bikes.  Moab is the outdoor recreation Disneyland.  There are few, if any, other towns that have as many opportunities and diverse outdoor recreation experiences as we do in Moab”, boasted Carl Dec, owner of Red River Adventures.  

Dec founded Red River Adventures as a rafting company in 2003, a business that has been expanding ever since.  “I started operations at Red River Adventures in the summer of 2003.  In 2005, we started guiding climbing and canyoneering, in 2016 we added skiing in the Wasatch Mountains.  It has been a process where we expand what we do and where we operate”, explained Dec. 

Currently Red River Adventures offers rafting, rock climbing, canyoneering, ice climbing, cross country skiing, horseback riding and UTV tours.  “The majority of our guests come through Moab and rafting is the biggest part of what we do.  We offer half day, full day, and multi-day trips on the Colorado and Dolores Rivers”, Dec said.  “We raft an incredibly scenic section of the Colorado River called the Fisher Towers section and the area we raft through has been used in films and television going back to John Wayne and John Ford, the director.  If you’ve seen movie footage with desert southwest red rock in it, it’s either Moab or Monument Valley”, claimed Dec.  

Camping Lakeside In Moab Utah, Home Of The Arches And Canyonlands National Parks [Photo Credit: Paul Richer/Richer Images]
Ice Climbing At Red River Adventures [Photo Credit: Red River Adventures]

“My favorite place in Moab is on the Fisher Towers section.  We camp at a place called Onion Creek, it’s inaccessible except by boat, you can’t drive, backpack, or walk there.  It’s guarded by 800-foot cliffs to the north and east, and the river on the south side so you can’t get there unless you boat.  The camp is located right in the center of the valley and you have what is called the Fisher Towers Castleton group and 13- 14,000-foot snowcapped mountains in the background.  There’s few places I’ve been in the whole world that are that pretty to camp and spend an evening at”, Dec said. 

For those who don’t care to ride the rapids, there are plenty of other activities offered.  “We guide rock climbing in the Moab area as well as canyoneering.  Those trips are full or half day trips.  We’ve got the full range of permits in southern Utah, we have 3,000 different climbing routes that fall under our permits.  Our canyoneering, we run four different routes on half day and ¾ day routes.  Canyoneering departs from going on a hike as you have to use ropes to repel, swim or negotiate water, do some scrambling or rock climbing as well, that’s what differentiates it from just hiking.  The desert is famous for slot canyons and these routes travel through those slot canyons”, explained Dec. 

In the winter, Red River Adventures changes gears and focuses on skiing and ice climbing.  “In the Wasatch mountains, outside of Salt Lake City, we guide rock climbing, ice climbing and cross-country skiing.  The skiing and ice climbing are weather permitting from late December through March”, said Dec.  

Rafting Is A Major Part Of Red River Adventures [Photo Credit: Red River Adventures]
Scaling Up A Canyon In Moab Red Rock Lands [Photo Credit: Nicole Morganthau Photography]
Family Sits Around Campfire In The Moab Desert [Photo Credit: Red River Adventures]

Originally from New York City, Dec moved to Moab in 1997 working for a rafting company guiding multi-day trips.  Then in 2002, he traveled to Idaho to help a friend set up a new company in Idaho.  “I fell in love with being in the outdoors when I was really little. I was introduced to it by my parents who used to do these kind of trips, we would pack up and go west to the national parks.  I really like being a part of that, I like that we get to show people this area in a way that it really makes a difference for them”, stated Dec.

“We see about 9,000 people from all 50 states and throughout the world.  Our typical client in the summer is families on vacation to visit the national parks.  That is the biggest part of our clientele, folks out camping, hoteling, or RVing through the parks in southern Utah”, explained Dec. 

Red River Adventures caters to all experience levels and invites anyone to come out and enjoy all that Moab has to offer.  “Honestly, we see everyone.  What we guide appeals to both people who have never ever done this and want to experience rafting, climbing, canyoneering, or back country skiing.  We also have the ability to guide people who have been doing this for decades and we have terrain and activities that will excite those folks as well”, boasted Dec.  For some folks, they don’t realize everything Moab has to offer, they look at it as the town outside Canyonlands and Arches National Parks. But truly from golf to skydiving with everything in between, Moab’s got it and it’s an incredible place with super friendly people.  


A graduate of New Mexico State University with B.S. in wildlife and fisheries science, Jared spent 15 years working in fisheries and parks management. He enjoys camping, fishing, hunting, painting, and wood working. 

OK RV Park & Canyonlands Stables

Make Sure To Stay At:

OK RV Park & Canyonlands Stables, located off of Hwy.191, is set off in its own little oasis. The park is very quiet and low key with a relaxing and inviting environment, yet 5 miles from all the action and things to do in Moab. 

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