Yampa River Rafting Trips

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Yampa River Whitewater Rafting – About This Trip

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Yampa River Rafting is WILD; the last undammed river on the Colorado River system. Through the years the Yampa River has defied many attempts to dam its free flow, several by congress, and the most formidable in 1965 by Mother Nature. On June 9th, 1965 a flash flood carried tons of rock down Warm Springs draw blocking the river channel. Within twenty-four hours the Yampa took aim and breached the dam, leaving in its wake Warm Springs Rapid, rated among the 10 biggest drops in the country; originally pioneered the day after by Dee Holladay himself.

Every May and June this whitewater river rises to the occasion and CRANKS with plenty of full-bodied waves from the first day to the last. Like many wild things the Yampa River also has a serene side… tiger-striped walls that drop 2000 feet sheer to the water, side-canyon waterfalls, Fremont Indian rock art, and Whispering Cave. If you feel the need for something rare, something wild and free…the Yampa is waiting.

Trip Overview

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Location: Yampa River - Dinosaur National Monument
Type: Rafting
Length: 4 and 5 Days
Dates: May - June
Meet At: Vernal, UT 8:00 AM
Rating: Intermediate
Age Min: 8
Deposit: $300

Highlights

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  • Unbridled rapids fed from uninterrupted snow melt 
  • Endless winding bends of dramatic striped canyon walls
  • Abundant wildlife in an distinctly healthy ecosystem 
  • Numerous hidden treasures & points of interest through this historic canyon. 

Trip Price & Departure Dates

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4-Day
Adult - $1,005
Youth/ Group/ Senior - $885 
(18 & under) (10 or more) (65 & older)

5-Day
Adult - $1,100
Youth/ Group/ Senior - $965
(18 & under) (10 or more) (65 & older)

+$22 NPS Fees per person.

2019 Trip Schedule

4 Day Trip Dates
May 15, 18, 22, 25, 27
June 3

5 Day Trip Dates
May 20, 29
June 7, 8, 10, 12, 14, 15, 17, 19, 22, 24, 26, 29

Trip Slideshow

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Full Gallery

Map

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The Yampa River ushers in the true wild heartbeat of the whole Colorado River system. We join its currents at Deerlodge Park and ride its waves till the confluence of the Green River; from there we meander through historic Whirlpool Canyon, Island Park and the final crescendo of Split Mountain, taking out at Split Mountain Boat Ramp at the southern boundary of Dinosaur National Monument.

Itinerary

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One of the advantages of a river 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 on the river.  This typical itinerary illustrates a four-day trip on the Yampa River.  In June, we lengthen the Yampa trip by one day and follow this general itinerary.

Day 1:  Meet party at headquarters in Vernal, Utah  (8:00 a.m., Mountain Time). We will issue your waterproof bags.  You can buy any last minute items from our accessories store at this time (see our packing checklist for a list of items you can find at our store). before transport to put-in at Deerlodge Park in Colorado.  The Yampa's speedy flow takes you over many miles and abundant rapids.

Day 2:  Visit indigenous ancestral sites, after the Yampa meanders past such attractions as The Grand Overhang, Cleopatra's Couch and Tiger Wall.  A heavy flash flood in 1965 down Warm Springs Draw choked the Yampa with boulders, forming the river's largest rapid.

Day 3:  The Yampa joins the Green River at Echo Park where the canyon widens before the river circles Steamboat Rock.  Here the river enters Whirlpool Canyon. The afternoon may be spent at Jones Hole Creek - a blue-ribbon trout stream with side canyon petroglyphs and waterfall.

Day 4:  Peaceful morning in Island and Rainbow Park before entering another massive gorge.  The Green's powerful forces cut laterally through Split Mountain's uplifted and colorful core.  Rapids abound before the take out and a 35-minute ride back to Vernal. Our expected time of arrival back at our headquarters is about 4:00 p.m.

On a 5-day Yampa trip you will follow the same river-currents as on a 4 day with minor changes. Your second day may not yet find you at an ancestral site but rather a stunning overlook hike or possibly an idyllic cave viewpoint. Your 3rd day would drift you back on course into much of the same schedule as the 4-day itinerary.

As mentioned earlier, this is a sample itinerary and should not be thought of as the trip you will experience.  It is intended to give an idea of what the trip will be like. It could also be exactly what you do.  Keep an open mind, be flexible, go with the flow, and enjoy!



Reviews

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by Alex Wilton on Holiday River Expeditions

Everything was top notch! I can only think of three things. First, offering some cold coffee or tea at lunch time, would be a nice touch for those of us who need afternoon coffee : ). Second, I would recommend having non flavored / sweetened oatmeal as an offering: our trip only had the sweetened type and a few of us relied on another in the group who just had regular quick oatmeal. Third, having all natural peanut butter instead of the Jiff : ). Absolutely fantastic. Food was incredible. River was beautiful. Really enjoyed the hikes. And the guides were so on point, and genuinely awesome nice people.

by Carol Norquest on Holiday River Expeditions

The guides were amazing and Tom (aka "The Star Lord") did an excellent job of bringing a beginner (aka "me") on board, even though most all on this trip were more educated in this area. This was my first introduction to stargazing and I'm hooked. Vicki, Justin and Emma were equally excellent, as was the entire group on this trip. OVERALL: This was my third trip with Holiday, and certainly won't be my last. Our guides and guests were a perfectly eclectic group that combined to make a truly excellent adventure. Tom (aka "The Star Lord") took us on an incredible journey through the stars each night...unforgettable in my book! The knowledge, humor and skill (and...yes...patience...) our guides demonstrated was top shelf, for sure. I would advise anyone contemplating their first trip to "come on in and go with the flow"...you won't regret it. That is, as long as you go with Holiday. ;-) You may post.

by Kenny Develyn on Holiday River Expeditions

Everything was great. The food and guides in particular impressed, but everything from start to finish was smooth. I can't say enough about how much I loved this trip. Having spent most of my life backpacking or taking horse pack trips, the river is new to me. But the Holiday team - combined with the spectacular beauty of the Yampa - ensured that this is my new outdoor vacation of choice. The incredible service and the relaxed rhythm of a river trip allowed for some amazing conversations and lots of time for self reflection. I left the trip feeling rejuvenated and eager to join another Holiday trip next summer.

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