LGBTQ+ Yampa River Rafting Trips

LGBTQ+ White water Rafting trips on the Yampa River

The Yampa River is a truly unique experience. The Colorado River’s healthiest tributary is due to being largely undammed and therefore liberated from any of the negative impacts of more controlled rivers in the region. This makes it the perfect setting for this affinity trip offering for members of the LGBTQ community. As queer folks, we implicitly understand the value of living into our authentic selves; the Yampa stands as a beautiful metaphor for all the ways we benefit from being true to our natural selves.  Proudly partnering with The Venture Out Project on this LGBTQ trip offering – we are entering our 3rd season of bringing a truly awesome team of facilitators and guides together, ready to create a secure container for self expression and wilderness connection for you. 

Every spring this free-flowing river grows with the melting snow-pack and cuts through its magnificent canyons, chalk full of pillowing waves from the first day to the last. Between the world-class whitewater sections you’ll find tranquil lazy river miles to enjoy. See iconic geographic features like tiger-striped walls and overhanging cliffs, side-canyon waterfalls, and prehistoric rock art from the Fremont culture.

The canyons of the Yampa and Green rivers are lodged in the heart of Dinosaur National Monument the home of some of this countries first and most significant political moments for wilderness preservation. After spending 46 miles of this 71-mile trip on the Yampa we will merge with the Green River at Echo Park, once fated to be underwater during the great dam wars of the 20th century. Floating down river we’ll move through Whirlpool Canyon, Island Park, and Split Mountain Gorge, each with unique character of their own; like all of us! These rivers have rich biodiversity and are are great places to spot big horn sheep, peregrine falcons, osprey, and bald eagles. And if that’s not enough, look up at night into a starry canopy evoking wonder and awe.

If you want to feel the comfort of enjoying such a treasured natural place within the context of a safe-er than usual space, come join us on this 3rd round of LGBTQ affinity trips – on the Yampa River. 

To book this trip, follow this link to The Venture Out Projects booking site! 

If you would like to get your name on a list to book this trip simply call us at 801-266-2087 and let us know ahead of the registration date.

Read more: Insider’s Guide to Whitewater Rafting on the Yampa River

Vernal, Utah: Things to Do and Places to Explore


The Yampa River flows through the traditional homeland of the Núu-agha-tʉvʉ-pʉ̱ (Ute) people. With great respect and appreciation, Holiday acknowledges the Indigenous people who lived in and cared for these lands long before the Yampa was set aside as a place only to be visited. You can read more about our land acknowledgements initiative here.
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Trip Overview

  • Type:


  • Location:

    Yampa River - Dinosaur National Monument

  • Length:

    5 Days

  • Dates:

    June 7-11

  • Meet at:

    Vernal, Utah @ 7:00 pm (night before the trip)

  • Difficulty:


  • Min. Age:


  • Deposit:



  • Truly wild rapids fed by melting snow pack
  • Careening bends of tiger striped canyon walls
  • Epic biodiversity in a thriving ecosystem
  • Enjoyable and abundant inflatable kayak-friendly rapids
  • Witness sacred sites within the heart of Dinosaur National Monument
  • See the full canopy of a starry night in this International Dark Sky Park
Getting Here Before You Go Packing List FAQs

Rates & Dates

5 Day

  • Adult:
  • $900 - $1450 sliding scale
  • Youth:
    18 and under
  • Senior:
    65 and older
  • $900 - $1450 sliding scale
  • Group:
    10 or more
Book This Trip
Check Availability
  • June
  • 7-11

To book this Affinity trip, follow this link to The Venture Out Projects booking site!

*Rate does not include the $27 land use fee.


The Yampa River flows west out of the Rocky Mountains near Steamboat Springs, Colorado, and continues through the wild recesses of Dinosaur National Monument in northwestern Colorado. It winds through pillowing rapids for 47 miles before flowing into the Green River in iconic Echo Park. The now usurped Yampa river joins the Green into Utah and through the dynamic landscapes of Whirlpool and Split Mountain canyons.

Sample Itinerary

The night before your trip: Please join us at Holiday’s headquarters in Vernal, Utah, at 7:00 p.m., Mountain Time for a quick pre-trip orientation . Your guides will issue your waterproof bags, instruct you on how to pack them, and you’ll have time to buy any last minute items from our on-site store (see our packing checklist for items you can find at our store).

Day 1:

Meet back our Vernal operation center bright and early the next morning, packed and ready to load into our vans. Sit tight with anticipation for a 90-minute van ride to the put-in at Deerlodge Park in Colorado. After preparing the rafts and getting you oriented, we’ll push off and begin to better get to know one another and our unique identities, personalities and motivations for joining this affinity trip.  We’ll enter the walls of the Yampa’s Canyon right off the bat, and encounter several fun, splashy rapids. Enjoy lunch on a beach near a historic cabin. Make camp and fall asleep to the sound of rushing water.

Day 2:

Hike to a wide cave where ancestral indigenous peoples left signs of their presence. Follow the river’s entrenched meanders past the 1,200-foot Grand Overhang. Listen for the call of peregrine falcons or other raptors that nest on the canyon rim. Send a prayer for good rapid runs to come by carefully kissing the Tiger Wall. Then hold on tight for Warm Springs rapid, the biggest of the trip.

Day 3:

This morning may include a silent float as we approach the confluence at Echo Park where we will join the Green River. Watch the different colored-water flow side by side mixing together to form a truly unique confluence experience. The canyon walls changes dramatically as we float through the Mitten Park Fault and into Whirlpool Canyon. Spend the remaining daylight hours at Jones Hole Creek: fishing, hiking, petroglyphs, big horn sheep, and waterfalls are all likely in the cards.

Day 4:

Whirlpool canyon offers numerous playful rapids before exiting into Island Park: an area full of striking open-sky scenery. Peak into Cottonwoods for a watchful bald eagle.  We’ll follow the river as it makes a sharp cut through the aptly named Split Mountain. The river drops dramatically at an average of almost 20 feet per mile for the last eight miles. Enjoy your last several rapids before we break for lunch and finally arrive at the boat ramp. We’ll load the boats and then transport you for the final half hour ride back to our warehouse in Vernal. We typically plan to arrive back at our headquarters around 4:00 p.m.

Please remember that this is a sample itinerary, not an exact description of your trip. Our goal is simply to give you an overview of what the trip may entail. We invite you to embrace the inherent changeability of a wilderness river trip and come prepared to have fun and go with the flow!

LGBTQ Yampa Jones Hole Hike

We say the Yampa is WILD, and it is. Each trip will be different depending on weather, the interests of our passengers, assigned campsites, and the need to be considerate of other river users.

Our five-day Yampa River trips follow the same general itinerary with minor changes depending on assigned campsites and water flows. Your second day may not yet find you at an ancestral site but rather on a hike to a stunning overlook or historic cave. You’ll encounter the Tiger Wall and Warm Springs Rapid on the third day, and meet the Green River on the fourth. Day five will take you through Island Park and finish with Split Mountain.


Still not convinced? See what others are saying.

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Holiday River Expeditions
Average rating:  
 5 reviews
 by Jill-Marie Seymour

Lauren was fantastic at promptly answering all of my questions, and when I had to cancel my original trip due to a medical situation, they made sure I could apply my full deposit to a future trip (which I was finally able to take this year).

I brought my own gear but the bags provided were far larger and more sturdy than the standard dry bag.

I’ve done long-distance backpacking and several multi-day kayak and canoe trips but have never been whitewater rafting or on a guided trip. This experience blew me out of the water (not literally, the guides made sure I stayed in the raft).

The entire trip had the vibe of an awesome summer camp: great activities, amazing scenery, wonderful company, and competent, friendly staff who always made sure you were comfortable and well-fed and shared incredible knowledge of the Colorado Plateau and its’ challenging water management history.

I started the trip as a solo traveler and finished 5 days later with 25 new friends (including all the guides). I can’t wait to go again next year and my experience with Holiday has ignited in me such an interest in whitewater rafting and in exploring the rivers of the Plateau that I’m already planning my own multi-day (flat water) trip on the Green River this fall and a short guided class V trip up here in Alaska this summer to tide me over until I come back.

 by Ash Ebbo

The guides were amazing and the food so flipping good!

Having not done a lot of outdoor activities to this extreme (mostly just camping for a few nights with a car), I wasn't sure what to expect. But I really felt like the group/guides made the trip really accessible for people with all levels of experience. The trip really exceeded my expectations (which were pretty high to begin with) and I can't wait to do it again.

 by Matthew Zodrow

Had a great time! Loved the authenticity, presence, and engagement of the guides. Had a wonderful trip!!

 by Corey Gallet de St Aurin

The food was some of the best I’ve ever had camping. The guides were personable, caring, professional, and passionate about their work. They cared for the participant's safety physically but also mentally and emotionally. I saw people push their boundaries and grow over the short course of the trip.

I will enthusiastically share my experiences with Holiday River Expeditions with others. I think the TVOP and Holiday partnership is invaluable. The outdoors has healing powers, but to people in marginalized groups safely navigating with the appropriate skill can be a barrier to entry. I would love to see a career pipeline established. I think lots of LGBTQ folks would consider becoming a river guide with Holiday if they knew they would be free to be themselves and have amazing colleagues who would show up for them.

 by Tim Brouillette

I have been raving about this trip since the 1st day. The guides were incredible (Em, Liz, Eve, and Michelle)!!! They were friendly, knowledgeable, and engaged. They were attentive to the client's wants and needs and were communicative about how and when they were able to meet them while offering alternatives when unable to do so.

The food was delicious and I would have been thrilled to receive it in a restaurant, let alone on a rafting trip!

Am already looking forward to going again!