- Sample Itinerary
- Trip Details
- About the Area
- Getting Here
Join Kathleen Leopardi-Anderson, owner of Personal Training Zone on our Lodore Canyon rafting trip for women. This tip will combine stretching, core work along with the peaceful meditation of Yoga with the exceptional natural beauty of the Green River. Each morning, we invite you to relax and breathe in the cool fresh air while reflecting upon the steep canyon walls and lush green forests surrounding us.
Our Yoga exercises will include practicing postures of strengthening our inner woman while we calm our mind. The peaceful and exquisite Lodore Canyon is an amazing place to restore both body and soul. We invite you to leave all your worries and your busy lifestyle behind and return to a more natural way of life for a few days as we journey down the Green River.
“Women tend to relax more by virtue of it being all women,” admits guide Jen Davison. “A frivolity and relaxation happens as well as a kind of empowerment.” Empowerment and transformation evolve as guests take on an outdoor-river environment, perhaps for the first time, find nourishment in nature, and witness skilled female guides tackle the river, with opportunities to row themselves. The guides will lead side canyon hiking, give the guest room for solitude and encourage time to relax, reflect and rejuvenate.
- Deep narrow canyon of exceptional beauty
- Excellent opportunity to observe wildlife
- Great side canyons for intimate exploration
- Exciting Class III and IV white water rapids
For a first person account of a Holiday Women’s Retreat read this funny yet touching account from Ellise Pierce for SPIRIT MAGAZINE
Submit your review
I keep using the word "majestic" when I describe the trip. Reconnecting with the wilderness and experiencing Lodore Canyon via the Green River is something that I will cherish for a lifetime. Words and even the photos cannot capture the untouched beauty of the region and sharing the experience with 9 other inspiring women across the country did wonders for my heart and soul. The guides were INCREDIBLE and I was floored by not only their professionalism but how genuine they were (you can train a river guide to get you down the river, but you can't train a person to be sincere, thoughtful, considerate, etc). These girls were not only strong and capable but they were truly remarkable.... They blew me away with their many talents. The food was over the top, the hikes were breathtaking and the women’s fitness trip added value with the core/stretch workouts. Everything blew my expectations out of the water and I can't thank you enough for helping to "find me" again. Sincerely, Water Logged.
I was impressed with the good condition of the bags, tents, sleeping bag and pillow. The guides: Susan, Erica and Tuesde were incredible. The trip itself is set up to be great but the guides made it epic!!! They were incredible young ladies, you can train a guide but you can't instill the personalities and passion that these girls had. The food was over the top!! Never in my wildest dreams could I imagine the meals that were made by the river, so good!! It was one of my best trips ever (and I go on lots of trips to many great palaces). My guides were awesome, I felt very safe going through the rapids because it was clear they knew what they were doing. They had so much knowledge to share about the areas we were going through. They had great personalities, were lots of fun and had zest for life. Tuesde is going to rock being a guide!!!
The Soul Soothing Flow Of The Green River
Guides were fantastic! Knowledgeable of geology, excellent boating skills, efficient at getting camp up and down, great chefs and super duper personalities! They really bonded with the group!! Fantastic scenery with a morning stretch session while listening to the flowing Green River really soothes the soul!!!
I really liked the day we played volleyball, and the food was really good on the whole trip.This trip was over the top! A perfect combination of exciting rapids, great campsites, amazing food, and relaxation. Our trip had 20 girls, 4 boats, and 4 guides--what a perfect girls weekend trip! The only labor was setting up and taking down our tents--the guides did all the rest: cooking, cleaning, rowing. I would highly recommend Holiday and the Gates of Lodore trip.
The guides EXCEEDED expectations!! They were fantastic. Hiking was great fun! I loved doing Yoga at the top! Well exceeded expectations!! Absolutely delicious food. I couldn't believe we were being cooked salmon dinner on the river! Very quick in loading and unloading boats. The ranger even commented that Holiday is the quickest and best of bringing the boats out of the water. I would highly recommend the ladies trip!! We had such a great time that we are trying to talk our husbands into a couple’s trip.
Guides were great. 'Uber' Guide Jessica and the next great 'Uber' Guide Lauren! Loved it when I went on the hike and loved it when I didn't. Sometimes the best activity is sitting next to a roaring river in a canyon, drinking cold white wine out of a plastic 'Go with the Flow' coffee mug and reading fiction! Holy cow, that was a lot of good food! Nothing like a four day women's trip - Wine, Women, Wrafting! It was wonderful.
WOMEN’S RETREAT INFORMATION
No matter which rivers you’re “retreating” to, all of our women’s retreats offer the opportunity to relax, reflect and rejuvenate. This supplement to your river itinerary should help you prepare to pamper yourself and enjoy an invigorating outdoor experience with other exciting and welcoming women.
What to Expect
When you’re on the river, watches aren’t as important as “river time”. The pace of life on the river is affected more by water levels and camp assignments than what our watches are telling us. Most of the time the river sets a leisurely pace that allows us time to enjoy all that the river has to offer. High/low water flows will affect what camps we call home for the night, when activities are done, and how much time is allotted for activities and “free time”. Flexibility is important. We are flexible with the women’s trip activities (yoga, meditation, hiking, camp set-up, etc.), and guests can decide which activities they want to participate in.
In the van on the way to the embarkation point and each evening at camp, your trip leader will review the basic itinerary for the upcoming day. She will explain when your group needs to depart camp, when breakfast is served, and how much time the group will have for various activities and hikes the following day. If you have strong preferences for activities on any given day, please let your trip leader know.
On a river trip, groups often form a remarkable unity. Your trip leader and guides are on your trip to get you comfortably down the river, prepare your meals, assist you with your camping equipment, share information about the area, and ensure your trip enjoyment. Your guides usually participate in the activity sessions with you, and sometimes facilitate their own group experiences. If you have questions about the day’s activities, meals, or river running, your guides will be happy to help you. Your facilitator (s) is licensed and/or certified in their areas of expertise, and are on your trip to teach you the healing arts and enhance the river experience with their wellness insight and experiences. Both your facilitator (s) and guides will enjoy sharing the experience, and the company of their guests. Get to know them!
Wellness and Healing Arts
During the retreat, you will be experiencing and learning “wellness tools” to take home. Morning and afternoon activity sessions may vary with respect to river time and group interest. Mornings before breakfast typically begin with some sort of meditation, yoga or movement session. The wellness tool activities usually take place at camp before dinner, and appetizers may be served before or during these activities. Hikes and other activities may also be offered at camp. After dinner, facilitator (s) or guides often plan activities or entertainment, but we also try to allow free time to reflect, relax, read, or simply enjoy each other’s company. Nothing is mandatory, all activities are optional.
On the last day there will be a short closing activity at lunch, just before the transition and “re-entry” back into the world. You’ll return relaxed and rested, with your newly found knowledge, confidence and “tools”.
We meet for your trip in Vernal, Utah at Holiday River Expeditions headquarters (see map), 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.
Beginning of the trip: 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.
After the trip: 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.
Medical emergencies: 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.
Cancellation Policy: 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. 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 if such is the case.
Insurance: Medical Evacuation and cancellation insurance on a vacation plan can be obtained from numerous insurance companies. You should be aware that medical evacuations in the backcountry can easily cost $10,000 and up. You are responsible for these potential expenses and we strongly encourage all guests to have this coverage. We offer plans by TRAVEL GUARD that cover evacuation, baggage and cancellation claims. It is available to American and Canadian citizens, as well as citizens of another country as long as you have a U.S. address. For a quote or questions give us a call or include Your Names, Birth Dates in an Email and we will send a quote. 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.
Beverages: We provide ice water, lemonade, one soda 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.
Tipping: Many guests ask us if tipping is appropriate after the women’s retreats. 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. She will then distribute it evenly to the other guides. 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. Note that on this trip you will have two different services — your river guides and facilitator. You will find that they are both important to your overall trip experience. If you intend to tip both, please direct your guide tips to the trip leader, and the facilitator tip directly to the facilitator.
If you have any questions 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 email@example.com.
IN THE EVENT OF EMERGENCY CIRCUMSTANCES THE NIGHT BEFORE THE TRIP, OUR VERNAL HEADQUARTERS NUMBER IS 435-789-4586
Dinosaur weather: 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 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) mosquitoes 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.
Fishing: 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. 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.
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:
Exploration of the Colorado River Powell ………………………………………… $12.95
Dinosaur River Guide Belknap (waterproof)……………………………………… $19.95
Life in Stone Christa Sadler……………………………………………………………. $11.95
The Educated Outlaw Harvey Lay Murdock (Grandson)…………………….. $10.95
These books can be ordered on line at www.bikeraft.com, or by sending the appropriate amount listed above plus $5.60 priority shipping 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.
If you are flying, 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)
Landmark Inn & Suites 435‑781‑1800 (kitchenette & free hot breakfast)
Spring Hill Suites by Marriott 435‑781‑9000 (indoor pool, hot tub, kitchenette, complimentary continental breakfast buffet)
Best Western Antlers 435-789-1202 (outdoor pool, indoor hot tub, complimentary full breakfast)
Super 8 435-789-4326 (indoor pool, continental breakfast)
Econo Lodge 435-789-2000 (complimentary continental breakfast)
Motel 6 435-789-0666 (indoor pool)
BE SURE TO MAKE ADVANCE RESERVATIONS!
If you are camping out, 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 the Dinosaurland KOA in Vernal (435-789-2148).
Flight Recommendations - Salt Lake City, Utah
Air Service to Salt Lake City (SLC)
- Air Canada 888-247-2262
- Alaska Airlines 800-252-7522
- America West Airlines 800-235-9292
- American Airlines 800-433-7300
- Continental Airlines 800-525-0280
- Delta Air Lines 800-221-1212
- Frontier Airlines 800-432-1359
- JetBlue Airways 800-538-2583
- KLM Royal Dutch Airlines 800-618-0104
- SkyWest Airlines 800-453-9417
- Southwest Airlines 800-435-9792
- United Airlines 800-241-6522
- US Airways 800-435-9792
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.
All rental cars are located in both terminals of the Salt Lake City Airport.
- Alamo 801-575-2211
- Avis 801-575-2847
- Budget 801-575-2821
- Dollar 801-575-2580
- Enterprise 801-537-7433
- Firefly 801-531-3563
- Hertz 801-575-2683
- National 801-575-2277
- Payless 801-322-6330
- Thrifty 801-265-6677
- Salt Lake City to Green River 180 miles
- Salt Lake City to Blanding 300 miles
- Salt Lake City to Vernal 180 miles
To Green River Only (Bus has limited schedule and is not as convenient as rental cars)
Shuttle Service to Green River or Blanding, Utah from Salt Lake City or Moab (Vernal is on a Charter basis only)
Rafting Gear & Clothing Checklist
PROVIDED BY HOLIDAY RIVER EXPEDITIONS
- LIFE JACKET
- LARGE WATERPROOF BAG
- DAY BAG
- CAMP CHAIR
- EATING UTENSILS AND PLATES
- FULL COURSE MEALS lunch the first day through lunch the last day
- DRINKS ice water, lemonade, juices, 1 pop/person/day-mix of reg. & diet
The day bag 8" diameter x 20" high is for items you will need access to during the day. For your sleeping gear and clothing, we will furnish you with one bag 16" diameter x 2 feet high. When properly sealed, bags are usually waterproof. Once in a while, one could develop a problem; so if you have concerns, test your bags. 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 to no more than 15-20 lbs.
GEAR YOU MUST BRING OR RENT FROM HOLIDAY
- CUP plastic mugs work well
- WATER BOTTLE (not included in the rental kit)
- SLEEPING BAG compact and warm
- PONCHO/RAIN SUIT high quality important for Dinosaur & Desolation trips.
- SLEEPING PAD/AIR MATTRESS Compact, must fit in the bag described above.
- LIGHT TENT Back packer style, not the bulky, heavy types.
You can rent most of the items listed above in our sleeping rental kit. We offer two varieties, our basic sleeping kit which includes a sleeping bag, sleeping pad, rain gear and cup for $40.00, or the same basic sleeping kit with a two-man tent for $65.00. Rentals must be reserved in advance, especially on the San Juan trips where we meet away from our headquarters. Rentals requested the morning of the trip are subject to availability. Cups and water bottles available for purchase at our stores in Green River and Vernal Headquarters, or online.
RECOMMENDED CLOTHING & GEAR
- SWIMMING SUITS
- SHORTS quick drying
- LONG PANTS quick drying
- HAT for sun protection, with strap
- SUN GLASSES with safety strap
- SUN SCREEN SPF 15 or higher
- CHAPSTICK with sun screen
- HAND LOTION non-fragrant,small plastic bottle
- COMB or BRUSH
- TRAVEL TOWEL dries quick
- KLEENEX small travel pack
- CAMERA (at your own risk), extra memory cards (or film), batteries, and waterproof container
- BINOCULARS (optional, at your own risk)
- SARONG (optional)
- SHIRT (S) short-sleeved, cotton, i.e. T-shirts
- SHIRT (S) long-sleeved, quick dry for sun protection
- SHOES keep dry for camp/hiking, i.e. durable sneakers or lightweight hiking boots
- SHOES to get wet while rafting, i.e. water sport shoes or sneakers
- SOCKS several pair, 1 cotton, 2 polypropylene or wool
- JACKET fleece or pile with wind/rain resistant shell
- LONG UNDERWEAR (optional) med. weight polypropylene/synthetic type
- BIODEGRADABLE SOAP available at outdoor specialty stores, or ivory soap
- INSECT REPELLENT Deet concentrate in a small bottles works best
- TAMPONS/ZIPLOCK BAGS 1 bag per day
- MEDICATION Aspirin/IBU Profen/Tylenol and personal prescriptions
- FLASHLIGHT or HEADLAMP small with extra batteries
- STUFF SACK to keep wet/dry clothes separated, i.e. pillow case or plastic bag
- HYDRATION PACK /FANNY PACK for hiking
- FISHING GEAR (optional) compact and well protected, i.e. rods in a case
- EXTRA BEVERAGES (optional) NO GLASS PLEASE, liquor/boxed-wine/canned-beer/specialty pops/juice
- EXTRA SNACKS (optional) for small children and people with diabetes.
- GROUND CLOTH (optional, not included in Rental Kits) use it to sleep out under the stars
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 jewelry, watches or electronics i.e. cell phones, laptops, tablets, etc. 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 be at your hotel in their safe or locked up in the trunk of your vehicle. As a last resort we have a non-secure location at our headquarters, (except San Juan trips), but we cannot assume responsibility for these items.
EARLY OR LATE SEASONS SUPPLEMENTS
(May, June and September on all trips.)
- STOCKING CAP wool/polypropylene
- GLOVES wool/polypropylene
- WETSUIT BOOTIES (optional) replaces water sport shoes above
- PILE OUTERWEAR in addition to a quality jacket, synthetic pile pants
- LONG UNDERWEAR med. weight polypropylene/synthetic type
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, 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. They offer a wide variety of gear to help you dress for success while on 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, Desolation, Lodore and Yampa trips (not San Juan trips).
ITEMS YOU CAN BUY AT BACKCOUNTRY.COM Backcountry camping gear and clothing
Supplements to add to your checklist
Yoga Mat . . . they are not included with the trip, you can use your own sleeping mat or the mat that comes with your rental kit. Yoga blocks, straps and massage oil/charts are provided. Please note that yoga and movement sessions are generally held in sandy areas.
Loose clothing for stretching.
Sarong . . . a great multi-use item for your river bag. Use it as a cover-up to escape the sun, a quick-dry towel, an elegant wrap skirt at camp . . . the uses are endless!