Plein Air Moab – Colorado River Paint & Float

A day of natural history exploration and artistic creation!


Join Canyonlands Field Institute in our first partnership program with Red Rock Arts Festival + Plein Air Moab for a day of painting and exploration on the Colorado River. Jump on board and float with us on the Colorado River and spend the day painting for Plein Air Moab. Our Naturalist-Guides will provide context to this incredible place through interpretive discussions both on and off the rafts.


In the heart of Canyon Country, our float from Gold Bar Campground to Potash Boat Ramp will float through a magnificent sandstone landscape. Along the way, we will see a variety of geologic layers including Moenkopi, Kayenta, Wingate, Chinle, and Culter Group Undivided. In the fall this section of river will have many large sandbars for us to land on and paint from with a 360-degree panoramic view.

Trip Schedule

Please note that weather or water level may necessitate changes in itinerary. It is always possible that wind, rain, or other weather can slow our day. CFI cannot promise to have you back at the pre-determined time.We will try our best to stick to this schedule. Think carefully about reservations or engagements soon after the program is due to end.

8 am                Meet at the Moab Arts & Recreation Center

8:10 am           Travel to Gold Bar Campground in a CFI van with guides and river gear

8:45 am           Arrive at launch for orientation and safety talk

Morning         Enjoy a leisurely float to our painting destination while learning about the geology and history of this area

10:30 am         Land and begin painting for three hours. A lunch will be set out and further discussion of this unique landscape while painting will ensue

1:30 pm          Pack up our supplies and embark back onto the rafts to finish our day

3:00 pm          Arrive at Potash Boat Launch

4 pm               Return to the Moab Arts & Recreation Center

Suggested Personal Gear List

Travel light, but travel right!

  • Swimsuit or shorts and athletic top for gals
  • Rain gear (rain pants and rain jackets ALL seasons, storms come up suddenly)
  • Shirt: long sleeve for sun protection
  • Pants: long or shorts (appropriate to season & need for warmth or sun protection)
  • River shoes: tennis shoes or sandals that can get wet (sandals must have secure heel strap); must wear footwear at all times
  • Jacket or warm sweater spring and fall
  • Hat or cap, for sun protection (even cowboys and boatmen wear one)
  • Sunscreen (a burn is too easy)
  • Sunglasses
  • Camera (we have light duty “river bags” for gear; bring your own high-quality waterproof camera pouch for expensive camera/video equipment please)
  • Personal items: protective lip balm, medications, etc.

Water bottle (1-qt or 1-liter) VERY IMPORTANT! We provide refill water.

  • Where: Gold Bar Campground to Potash Boat Ramp
  • When: October 07, 2018
  • Time: 8:00 am to 4:00 pm
  • Group Size: 12
  • Age Group: 16+
  • Deadline for Signup: September 23, 2018
  • Cost per Person: $150/person
  • Deposit: $50 nonrefundable, applies to total fee