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Forty-six miles of remote dirt road winds along a mile wide sandstone bench trapped between the Blue Mountains, 2000 feet up on your right, and the Yampa River Gorge, twelve hundred feet down on your left. We will ride to scenic overlooks of the river canyon cut from a breath-taking landscape of petrified sand dunes. From one such point called `Jenny Lind Rock’ the confluence of the Green and Yampa rivers can be seen. It was from this same rock in the 1870′s that hermit Pat Lynch claimed his pet lion loved to scream… confronted with the high desert’s wild beauty, you might find yourself compelled to do the same.
In 1915 President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the Dinosaur area a National Monument. This designation has preserved Dinosaur leaving miles of unspoiled wilderness. The Yampa Bench weaves an exciting, scenic path through 50 miles of the park. Massive slickrock canyon walls with views of Lodgepole Pines on Blue Mountain make this canyon unique.
One of the advantages of a bike trip is the flexibility of the daily itinerary. It can vary widely from one trip to the next based on group desires, Mother Nature, and courtesy for other groups in the area. This typical itinerary illustrates a bike trip through Dinosaur National Monument on the Yampa Bench. The Yampa Bench itinerary will vary with the time of season, weather conditions on the trip, and scheduling of campsites.
Meet group at Holiday River Expeditions headquarters in Vernal, Utah. A one and a half hour van ride, takes us to Iron Springs Overlook for a magnificent view of things to come. Time to fill your water bottle and adjust your bike seat for one of the most spectacular downhill glides on the Colorado Plateau. Seven miles and two thousand vertical feet later we will have made the descent from the high plateau through Sand Canyon to the Yampa Bench. Riding along the mostly level bench takes us past breathtaking overlooks where we can view the Yampa River one-thousand feet below. We will camp near Johnson Canyon, where a short hike reveals an area noted for its rare plants.
Day two will be our most ambitious day of biking (20-25 miles). A morning roller coaster ride takes us past the old Baker homestead, beyond Haystack Rock to the beginning of our climb over Blue Mountain’s Ridge tops. Two miles and 700 vertical feet of pedaling deliver us into Bear Valley, where we receive our reprieve; several miles of smooth sailing. We will camp this evening at the head of Disappointment Draw with distant views of the Yampa Valley.
This day begins with a short morning ride before hiking down disappointment draw to where our vans will be waiting. Arrival back in Vernal is approximately 1:00 p.m.
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 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). Before leaving our headquarters, each guest along with a Holiday guide will perform a pre-trip inspection of your bike. If you are providing your own bike, please make sure that it is in good repair, we recommend a complete service by a professional shop prior to the trip. Guests with bikes’ that fail our inspection will be asked to rent a Holiday bike for $150.00/person. We will then take a one and a half hour van ride to the embarkation point.
We will meet our van at Deerlodge Park, and then we will take you back to our headquarters in Vernal, Utah (2 hour van ride). Our expected time of arrival back at our headquarters is 1:00 to 2:00 p.m.
The Yampa Bench bike route follows a graded dirt road for most of the trip with a few steep down hills, and one extended uphill segment. This dirt road has steep gradients, loose rocks, sand, and ruts. Riders who have no previous off-road bicycling experience, should be experienced road cyclists with good athletic ability. All riders should prepare for the trip by riding their bike on a regular basis prior to the trip.
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 $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. All policies will be enforced and we strongly recommend trip cancellation insurance. 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 is 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, gatorade, two sodas per day 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/snacks that you bring so that you can keep track of them. The liquor store in Green River, Utah is located in the back of the West Winds restaurant. In Utah, wine or liquor is not sold after 7:00 p.m., before 11:00 a.m., or on Sundays and holidays. We will have high energy snacks and fresh fruit available, but if you have a favorite energy bar or snack bring it along.
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 by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
IN THE EVENT OF EMERGENCY CIRCUMSTANCES THE NIGHT BEFORE THE TRIP, OUR VERNAL HEADQUARTERS NUMBER IS 801-789-4586.
In early June temperatures in Dinosaur average 55 to 70 degrees during the day and 50 to 60 degrees at night. In late June 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 is so pleasant. Any wilderness trip, however, is subject to an occasional localized insect hatch. During these hatches (most common in June) 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 in a tent instead of under the stars.
Hiking is strictly an optional activity. There are many interesting short hikes available. Hiking can be done in your biking shoes, 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.
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.
Life in Stone Christa Sadler $11.95
The Educated Outfitter Harvey Lay Murdock (Grandson) $10.95
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. only. 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: email@example.com">
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
|WATERPROOF BAG||EATING UTENSILS AND PLATES|
|DAY BAG (OR) AMMO CAN||FULL COURSE MEALS lunch the first day through lunch the last day|
|DRINKS ice water, gatorade, juices, 2 pops/person/day-mix of regular & diet||BIKE REPAIR KIT ample for common road repair on standard Mt. Bikes. If your bike has nonstandard components, come prepared.|
The day bag 8" diameter high (or) ammo can 12" x 6" x 7" is for items you will need access to during the day. For your sleeping gear and clothing, we will furnish you with one bag 15" diameter x 24" high. When properly sealed, bags and cans are usually waterproof. Once in a while, one could develop a problem, so if you have concerns, test your day bag or ammo can. Separate storage is provided for tents and beverages. Please remember to keep your gear light and compact . . . the less you bring, the happier you will be. Please limit gear and clothing to no more than 15-20 lbs.
|CUP plastic mugs work well.||PONCHO/RAIN SUIT|
|SLEEPING BAG compact and warm||SLEEPING PAD/AIR MATTRESS Compact, must fit in the bag described above.|
|GROUND CLOTH waterproof||LIGHT TENT back packer style, not the bulky, heavy types.|
You can rent the items listed above in our sleeping rental kit. We offer two varieties, our basic sleeping kit which includes a sleeping bag, sleeping pad, ground cloth, rain gear and cup for $40.00, or the same basic sleeping kit with a two-man tent for $65.00. Rentals requested the morning of the trip are subject to availability.
|BIKE must be in good repair; Holiday Rental Bikes w/helmet and platform pedals are available $150.00/bike; guests whose bikes fail to meet minimum safety standards will be asked to rent Holiday bikes. If you rent a bike from Holiday and use clipless pedals you MUST bring your own pedals.|
|SWIMMING SUITS||FANNY PACK for walks & biking|
|SHORTS quick drying||SHIRT(S) short-sleeved, cotton, bike jerseys; ie T-shirts|
|LONG PANTS quick drying||SHIRT(S) long-sleeved, cotton for sun protection|
|HAT for sun protection, with strap||SHOES keep dry for camp/hiking/biking, i.e. durable sneakers or lightweight hiking boots|
|SUN GLASSES with safety strap||SOCKS several pair, 1 cotton, 2 polypropylene or wool|
|SUN SCREEN SPF 15 or higher||JACKET fleece or pile with wind/rain resistant shell|
|CHAPSTICK with sunscreen||LONG UNDERWEAR (optional) med. weight polypropylene/synthetic type|
|HAND LOTION small plastic bottle||BIODEGRADABLE SOAP available at outdoor specialty stores, or ivory soap|
|TOOTHBRUSH/PASTE||INSECT REPELLENT concentrates in small bottles works best, ie Musk brand|
|COMB or BRUSH||TAMPAX/ZIPLOCK BAGS 1 bag per day|
|WASHCLOTH||MEDICATION Aspirin/IBU Profen/Tylenol and personal prescriptions|
|TOWEL dries quick, light and compact||FLASHLIGHT small with extra batteries|
|KLEENEX small travel pack||STUFF SACK to keep clothes separated, ie pillow case or plastic bag|
|DISPOSABLE CAMERAS (optional)||EXTRA BEVERAGES/SNACKS(optional) NO GLASS PLEASE, liquor, wine, canned-beer/wine coolers/specialty pops/high energy foods.|
Things not to bring on your trip glass-bottled beverages, radios, firearms, pets, and large amounts of cash beyond what you'll want for your guide's gratuity. Do not bring expensive electronics such as cell phones, laptops, tablets and the like, binoculars, cameras, jewelry & non-waterproof wristwatches. Warning: In the event of a loss our insurance will not cover these items.
**If you do decide to bring any of these items along with you to the meeting point for your trip the most secure location to leave them behind would at your hotel in their safe or locked up in the trunk of your vehicle. As a last resort we have non-secure location at our headquarters, but we cannot assume responsibility for these items.
|STOCKING CAP wool/polypropylene||PILE OUTERWEAR in addition to a quality jacket, synthetic pile pants|
|GLOVES wool/polypropylene||LONG UNDERWEAR medium weight polypropylene|
|RIDING TIGHTS cold weather riding|
|WATER BOTTLE(S) / HYDRATION SYSTEM||HELMET required - no exceptions, ANSI or SNELL approved.|
|BIKE SHORTS padded||SPARE BIKE TUBE Tuffy/Kevelar thorn strips are nice|
|BIKE GLOVES a necessity||TUBE PATCH KIT|
There is greater chance of inclement weather on these trips which otherwise offer many advantages to the well-prepared traveler. Polyproplylene, fleeces, 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). A visit to an outdoor specialty store like R.E.I. or E.M.S. will go a long way toward finding the right type of synthetic under and outer-wear and the kind of quality rain gear that is a must on these trips. Also, you can order items online from Backcountry.com
ITEMS YOU CAN BUY AT HOLIDAY'S ONLINE STORE: http://www.bikeraft.com/store/ or at our accessories stores in Green River and Vernal; the meeting points for our biking trips.
ITEMS YOU CAN BUY AT BACKCOUNTRY.COM: www.backcountry.com