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Whitewater rafting trips through Lodore Canyon are filled with excitement and beautiful scenery. We will encounter 800 foot canyon walls superbly crafted by Mother Nature of Precambrian Bedrock along with exquisite vermilion rock formations. Many of its exciting whitewater rapids were named by John Wesley Powell, who first discovered the canyon in 1869. Powell’s adventures live on in the whitewater rapids he named: Disaster Falls, Triplet Falls and Hell’s Half Mile. Set aside as an American treasure in 1938 under the National Park System, Lodore Canyon is a sanctuary for bighorn sheep, deer and elk.
Our 44-mile white water rafting trip begins at the “Gates of Lodore” located in Dinosaur National Monument on the Green River. We travel through some exhilarating white water rapids that will require expert navigation by our River Guides. At Echo Park, your journey through Lodore Canyon slows down a bit allowing you an opportunity to explore this breathtaking region in an inflatable kayak.
Our final day in Lodore Canyon brings us to the entrance of Split Mountain Gorge. Indian rock art and a diverse array of wildlife and incredible natural beauty combine to make this an amazing and unforgettable whitewater rafting trip.
Kerry and Peter were wonderful guides and hosts. Providing a safe and enjoyable experience for our family was their entire focus. Food and service were above and beyond; everything exceeded our expectations. I learned so much about this beautiful place. I never gave much thought to Lodore Canyon or Dinosaur National Monument before, but now this place will always be close to my heart. Thanks for a most memorable time.
Our guides rocked, the food was great and very unexpected. This was the best trip my husband and I have ever taken. All our guides, Jordan, Kailei, Molly, Brian, Doug, and Mike were amazing. They always practiced safety first, but knew how to have a good time as well. We couldn't believe how good the food was and hope we can imitate it when we go camping. There is no way this will be our last trip with Holiday River.
I got stuck with some work I needed to do and Karen was very helpful in helping me make a change. The guides were great! my girls (10 and 11 yrs) and I were bringing up the rear on a hike and Molly made sure we got back without any stress, and the food was great. 3 meals daily, always different. I'd always wanted to do a multi-day river trip, and kept putting it off. I'm so glad we went! My daughters were saying they wanted to do it again next year on the very first day! So I'm hoping we can do another trip next year, it was a wonderful experience and beyond my high expectations! thank you all again!
I used the web site often to communicate with my grandchildren's parents about the trip. All of the guides were great. We especially enjoyed their care for us and their knowledge of our trip's geology. Meals were great and well presented. The trip was fantastic. It had been 20 years since we had rafted with Holiday. We were as pleased this time as the last and will look forward to another trip.
The guides were absolutely amazing. They made the trip enjoyable, while making sure everyone was comfortable and safe. Zach, Jordan, Jessica and "Tilts" thanks - you all did a great job! We all had a blast. The biggest surprise on the trip was the food. Wow! The food was great! Holiday did a fantastic job; truly a step above other outfitters. One of the best trips I've ever taken. The river was so much fun. The scenery in Lodore Canyon was breathtaking. We all had a blast. Can't wait to come back and do it all again.
The Lodore Canyon River rafting adventure is filled with beautiful natural surroundings and exciting white water rapids. The Gates of Lodore is a first-class river experience that only takes four days.
First discovered in 1869 by Major John Powell, Lodore Canyon is home to world class white water rapids such as Disaster Falls, Triplet Falls and Hell’s Half Mile. This whitewater rafting adventure is run on a 44-mile stretch of the beautiful Green River, also known as the “Queen of Rivers”.
Our white water rafting voyage cuts through the High Uinta Range traversing alpine forests and desert slickrock. This is Utah’s highest mountain range reaching 13,400 feet at King’s Peak and the only Rocky Mountain range to run east and west.
One of the advantages of a river rafting trip is the flexibility of the daily itinerary. It can vary widely from one rafting trip to the next based on group desires, Mother Nature, and courtesy for other groups on the river. This typical itinerary illustrates a four-day whitewater rafting trip through Lodore Canyon.
Meet party at headquarters in Vernal, Utah. Three-hour bus ride to Brown’s Park National Wildlife Refuge, the site of the put-in. Pass through the Gates of Lodore and encounter Upper and Lower Disaster Falls.
The “Gates” mark the beginning of High Desert country – the Colorado Plateau – and as the canyon narrows, more rapids emerge: Harp Falls, Triplet Falls, and Hell’s Half Mile. Hike at Powell’s Rippling Brook and Falls.
At the confluence of the Green and Yampa rivers at Echo Park, the canyon widens before the river circles Steamboat Rock. Here the Green River enters Whirlpool Canyon. The afternoon may be spent at Jones Hole Creek – a blue-ribbon trout stream with side canyon petroglyphs and waterfall.
We enjoy a peaceful morning in Rainbow and Island Park areas before entering another massive gorge. The Green’s powerful forces cut laterally through Split Mountain’s uplifted and colorful core. White water rapids abound before the take out and a 35-minute ride back to Vernal.
We meet for your trip in Vernal, Utah at Holiday River Expeditions headquarters, 7:00 a.m. (Mountain Time) the morning your trip begins. If you arrive in Vernal by bus or plane, call our headquarters (435-789-4586) upon your arrival to make arrangements to have you and your gear transported to our headquarters the morning of the trip. If you are driving, your car can be left at our headquarters.
Upon your arrival at Holiday River Expeditions headquarters (7:00 a.m., Mountain Time), we will issue your waterproof bags. You can buy any last minute items from our accessory’s store at this time (see check list of what to bring for a list of items you can find at our store). We will then take a three-hour scenic van ride to the Gates of Lodore, where we will transfer to the boats.
We will disembark at Split Mountain Campground in Dinosaur National Monument near Jensen, Utah. From there we will transport you back to our headquarters in Vernal, Utah (35 minute van ride). Our expected time of arrival back at our headquarters is about 4:00 p.m.
Our guides are trained in first aid and carry first aid supplies only. REMEMBER to bring your own prescription medicines. ALERT our guides to any medical problem you might have such as diabetes or allergic reactions. Wilderness expeditions are a long way from hospitals, doctors, and pain-relieving medicines. Evacuations to modern medical care are uncertain, and protracted. In case of evacuation and/or medical treatment beyond first aid, expenses incurred are the responsibility of the participant.
If cancellations are made prior to 90 days before the trip, monies will be refunded less a $50.00 service charge per person. If cancellations are made within 90 days and outside of 45 days of the trip date monies will be refunded less a $100.00 service charge per person. Cancellations made within 45 days of the trip date are non refundable. Prior to 45 days to the trip date we will transfer reservations to another trip in the same year with a $25.00 service charge per person. Cancellation of a trip is very unlikely, but we reserve the right to cancel any trip due to river or weather conditions or the lack of sufficient reservations. A full refund will be made if such is the case.
Medical and cancellation insurance on a vacation plan can be obtained from numerous insurance companies. We offer plans underwritten by TRAVEL GUARD that cover accident, baggage and cancellation claims. An application should be enclosed with this information package. We encourage all to take advantage of this coverage. It is available to American and Canadian citizens, as well as citizens of another country as long as you have a U.S. address. If you have questions give us a call. Also, if you are bringing expensive cameras, binoculars, or other items we suggest you have insurance coverage for them (commonly available through Homeowners Policies). In the event of a loss, our insurance will not cover those items.
Many guests ask us if tipping is appropriate after the trip. If you feel the guides have been instrumental in your enjoyment of the trip, you may choose to direct a gratuity to the trip leader in the form of cash or check. He/She will then distribute it evenly to the other crew members. Of those that choose to tip, the average contribution amount ranges between $15.00 and $25.00 per guest, per day. However, the decision to tip is left to your sole discretion.
We provide ice water, lemonade, two sodas per day per person and ample cooler space. If you choose to bring any specialty sodas and/or alcoholic beverages, we have no problem taking whatever you want to bring – within reason. Don’t bring beer, wine coolers or sodas in glass containers. Wine packaged in a box is ideal. Mark beverages that you bring so they are packed on your boat. In Utah, wine or liquor is not sold after 7:00 p.m., before 11:00 a.m. or on sundays and holidays.
Prior to leaving for your trip, we welcome you to call our Salt Lake City office, Monday through Friday at 800-624-6323 (outside Utah), or 801-266-2087 (inside Utah). We’re happy to take the time to answer your questions. You may also contact us through e-mail at email@example.com.
IN THE EVENT OF EMERGENCY CIRCUMSTANCES THE NIGHT BEFORE THE TRIP, OUR VERNAL HEADQUARTERS NUMBER IS 435-789-4586.
In the early and late seasons (May, early June and September) temperatures in Dinosaur average 55 to 70 degrees during the day and 50 to 60 degrees at night. In late June through August, daytime temperatures are between 80 and 90 degrees with nighttime temperatures 60 to 70 degrees. A little rain can happen, and can cool temperatures considerably. With this in mind we recommend you have a rain suit, polypropylene underwear, (fleece top and pants are nice in cool weather too) and a light tent. If you reserved a rental unit with us when you booked your river trip, we will have a tent and rain gear for you. There will also be sun, so bring a hat and plenty of suntan lotion and/or sunscreens.
Bugs, snakes, etc. are generally no problem. In fact, the lack of pesky insects is one of the reasons that wilderness camping on the river is so pleasant. Any river trip, however, is subject to an occasional localized insect hatch. During these hatches (most common in June to mid-July) mosquitos can be bothersome. Be sure to bring long sleeve clothing and repellent. Insect repellents that contain “deet” are by far the most effective during heavy hatches, but are also suspected of causing various health problems. Citronella-based products (skin-so-soft) work only in light hatches. We rarely see any snakes, but if the thought of them bothers you, try sleeping on the beaches or in a tent instead of rocky or bushy areas.
Hiking is a highlight of the trip, however, it is strictly an optional activity. There are many interesting short hikes available. Hiking can be done in durable sneakers or lightweight hiking boots. Remember that hiking and other activities vary widely pending time, and what other plans are ahead for the day on the river.
Trout can be found on the upper stretches of the Green River the first two days of the trip. This section is in the state of Colorado, so if you wish to fish these two days you will need a Colorado fishing license, which can be purchased on line at http://wildlife.state.co.us/ShopDOW/AppsAndLicenses/. Most of the fish caught from the river after the first two days will be catfish. However, on the third day we will arrive at Jones Hole, a beautiful trout stream. We normally spend about three hours here and may even camp. You will need a Utah fishing license to fish here, which may be purchased at most sporting good stores, or Smiths in Vernal prior to the trip. Please note that these stores will not be open the morning you meet for your trip. Only artificial lures and flies are allowed on this stream. If you would like to obtain more information or secure your license in advance contact: Utah Wildlife Resources, 1596 W. No. Temple, SLC, UT 84116, 801-538-4700 or online at https://secure.utah.gov/hflo2/hflo.
Things to see in the area:
Dinosaur Natural History Museum in Vernal (open 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.) www.dinoland.com, Dinosaur National Monument’s Quarry Visitor Center and the Harper Corner Overlook. Also, nearby are the Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area, Jones Hole Federal Fish Hatchery, Ouray National Waterfowl Refuge, Uinta Mountains, and others.
Reading material, you may enjoy:
These books can be ordered online at our e-store, or by sending the appropriate amount listed above plus $4.95 shipping and handling for the first book, and an additional $2.00 for each book thereafter to Holiday River Expeditions, 544 East 3900 South, SLC UT 84107. This is available within the U.S. If outside the U.S. additional shipping and handling charges will be added. You can call 801-266-2087 for rates. These books can also be purchased at our headquarters in Vernal.
You can fly to Salt Lake City located 180 miles west of Vernal, Utah. From Salt Lake City you can rent a car and drive 3 hours to Vernal. You can also fly directly from Denver, Colorado to Vernal, Utah with Great Lakes Aviation. If you need assistance with your travel arrangements, please ask your Holiday River Expedition reservation agent.
Lodging before and after your trip can be booked at one of seven motels:
Holiday Inn Express 435-789-4654 (indoor pool, complimentary breakfast) www.hiexpress.com/vernalut
Landmark Inn & Suites 435-781-1800 (kitchenette & free hot breakfast) www.landmarkinn-ut.com
SpringHill Suites by Marriott 435-781-9000 (indoor pool, hot tub, kitchenette, complimentary continental breakfast buffet) www.marriott.com
Days Inn 435-789-1011 (TV, outdoor pool, continental breakfast) www.daysinn.com
Super 8 435-789-4326 (indoor pool, TV, continental breakfast) www.super8.com
Econo Lodge 435-789-2000 www.econolodge.com
Motel 6 435-789-0666 (indoor pool) www.motel6.com
BE SURE TO MAKE ADVANCE RESERVATIONS!!
There are camping facilities in Dinosaur National Monument at the Green River Campground, or the Split Mountain Campground (groups only). These campgrounds are a 35-minute drive from our Vernal headquarters and they have tables, fire pits, modern comfort stations, a water system, trailer sites, campfire amphitheater and a nature trail; there is also wood for sale. Reservations are required for the Split Mountain campground,and they require a $10 reservation fee plus $25/site to camp/night (435-781-7759). The Green River campground is on a first-come, first-serve basis and it is $12/vehicle/night to camp. An entrance fee is also required. There is also a Dinosaurland KOA in Vernal (435-789-2148).
Holiday River Expedition's Travel Agents - Mateja Harrington & Cindy Swenson with Cruise and Travel Masters are happy to assist you with your travel plans. Contact Mateja or Cindy to take the work out of "Getting Here".
Toll Free - 800-264-0557 (You must ask for Mateja Harrington or Cindy Swenson) Or, do it yourself, we can help… Air Service to Salt Lake City (SLC) or Denver (DEN) TRANSPORTATION OPTIONS FROM SALT LAKE CITY to Green River, Vernal or Blanding, Utah Once in Salt Lake City most of our guests rent-a-car and drive to our meeting points. Salt Lake City to Green River 180 miles Shuttle Service to Green River or Blanding, Utah from Salt Lake City (Vernal is on a Charter basis only) TRANSPORTATION OPTIONS FROM DENVER to Green River, Vernal or Blanding, Utah Air Service to Moab (CNY) (52 miles south of Green River), Utah from Denver, Colorado
Email Attention Mateja or Cindy: firstname.lastname@example.org">
Colorado and Utah Rivers
Gateway - Salt Lake City, Utah OR Denver, Colorado
All rental cars are located in both terminals of the Salt Lake City Airport.
Salt Lake City to Blanding 300 miles
Salt Lake City to Vernal 180 miles
Air Service to Vernal (VEL), Utah from Denver, Colorado
Or, do it yourself, we can help…
Air Service to Salt Lake City (SLC) or Denver (DEN)
TRANSPORTATION OPTIONS FROM SALT LAKE CITY to Green River, Vernal or Blanding, Utah
Once in Salt Lake City most of our guests rent-a-car and drive to our meeting points.
Salt Lake City to Green River 180 miles
Shuttle Service to Green River or Blanding, Utah from Salt Lake City (Vernal is on a Charter basis only)
TRANSPORTATION OPTIONS FROM DENVER to Green River, Vernal or Blanding, Utah
Air Service to Moab (CNY) (52 miles south of Green River), Utah from Denver, Colorado
PROVIDED BY HOLIDAY RIVER EXPEDITIONS
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There is a greater chance of inclement weather on these trips which otherwise offer many advantages to the well-prepared river traveler. Polypropylene, fleece, pile, bunting, capeline, etc. are a few examples of trade names for a class of synthetic materials that retain their ability to insulate when wet (please note, cotton does not.) Your comfort on the trip starts with finding the right type of synthetic under and outer-wear and quality rain gear. We recommend Backcountry.com for your additional river trip needs. Backcountry.com offers a wide variety of gear to help you dress for success the for your river trip no matter what the weather decides to do. A prepared traveler is a happy traveler.
ITEMS YOU CAN BUY AT HOLIDAY'S ONLINE STORE: www.BikeRaft.com or at our accessories stores in Green River and Vernal; the meeting points for our Cataract, Westwater, Ranch, Desolation, Labyrinth, Fisher Towers, Lodore and Yampa trips.