Cataract Canyon is a 46-mile (74 km) long canyon of the Colorado River located within Canyonlands National Park and Glen Canyon National Recreation Area in Utah. It begins on the upstream end at the confluence with the Green River and ends at the confluence of the Dirty Devil River. The lower half of the canyon is submerged beneath Lake Powell when the lake is at its normal high water elevation of 3,700 feet (1,100 m).
Cataract Canyon contains fourteen miles of rapids ranging in difficulty up to Class V. It is a particularly hazardous and isolated section of the Colorado River and is subject to extreme water level fluctuations.
A permit is required for all trips through Cataract Canyon. People interested in boating through Cataract Canyon should also read about the flat water as these sections cannot be bypassed.
Most Cataract Canyon trips put in at Potash, Moab, Green River, or Mineral Bottom. The usual take-out for Cataract trips is Hite Marina. However, a prolonged drought has significantly changed conditions on Lake Powell.
While hiking trails lead to the rivers from each of the districts, these trails are too long and rugged to be seriously considered for shuttles, even for inflatables and other lightweight boats.