Gates of Lodore Rafting Trips

This whitewater rafting and stargazing trip on the Green River through Lodore Canyon combines the best of the day with the splendors of the night. Running through the heart of Dinosaur National Monument, an International Dark Sky Park, Lodore provides visitors with the opportunity to see a quality of dark, starry sky that exists only in isolated pockets in remote corners of the United States. During the day, we’ll navigate translucent blue-green water through class II–IV rapids, hike through dark red cliffs, and lounge on white, sandy beaches. At night, we’ll watch the sky come alive with the brilliant swath of the Milky Way, spot satellites and meteors, learn the stories of the constellations, and seek out the Andromeda Galaxy, both with binoculars and naked eyes.


Learn more about this majestic place in our Insiders Guide to Lodore Canyon Blog

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Trip Overview

  • Type:


  • Location:

    Green River-Dinosaur National Monument

  • Length:

    4 Days

  • Dates:

    May - September

  • Meet at:

    Vernal, UT @ 7:00 am

  • Difficulty:


  • Min. Age:


  • Deposit:



  • Dramatic cliffs guide you through a geologic time warp
  • Exciting, technical class III & IV rapids
  • Riparian ecosystem provides habitat for a variety of wildlife
  • Wilderness rafting trip with fully catered amenities
  • Visit hard-to-see corners of Dinosaur National Monument
  • World-class trout fishing
Getting Here Before You Go Packing List

Rates & Dates

4 Day

  • Adult:
  • $1,035
  • Youth:
    18 and under
  • $915
  • Senior:
    65 and older
  • $915
  • Group:
    10 or more
  • $915
Book This Trip
Check Availability
  • May
  • 22, 26, 30
  • June
  • 3, 4, 20, 24, 27, 30
  • July
  • 2, 3, 7, 9, 10, 14, 16, 17, 21, 23, 24, 28, 30
  • August
  • 1, 4, 6, 7, 11, 13, 18, 20, 25, 27, 28, 29
  • September
  • 1, 2, 4, 9, 11


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, assigned campsites, and courtesy for other groups on the river.

Typical Itinerary

Day 1:

Meet your party at our headquarters in Vernal, Utah at 7:00 a.m., Mountain Time. There we will issue your waterproof bags and 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). Watch for raptors and pronghorns on the three-hour drive from Vernal to the put-in at Browns Park National Wildlife Refuge. Enter the canyon through the impressive Gates of Lodore and imagine you’re one of John Wesley Powell’s boatmen, entering the great unknown. Winnie’s and Disaster Falls are the first major rapids we’ll navigate: a great taste of what’s to come.

Day 2:

The “Gates” mark the beginning of high desert country—the Colorado Plateau—in what is deemed an ecological transition-zone: a landscape teeming with wildlife. As the canyon narrows, more rapids emerge: Harp Falls, Triplet Falls, and Hell’s Half Mile. Hike at Rippling Brook and discover a secluded waterfall.

Day 3:

At the confluence of the Green and Yampa rivers at Echo Park, 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 a waterfall.

Day 4:

Peaceful morning in Island and Rainbow parks 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, where your Lodore Canyon rafting adventure will come to an end.

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!

This sample itinerary illustrates a four-day trip through Lodore Canyon.

The Green River slips through the imposing Gates of Lodore into the heart of Dinosaur National Monument, meets the Yampa River at Echo Park, then slices into Whirlpool Canyon to reach the idyllic Island Park. From there it’s eight more miles of rapids as the river carves its way through Split Mountain before washing up at the takeout.


Still not convinced? See what others are saying.

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Holiday River Expeditions
Average rating:  
 139 reviews
by Lauren Champagne on Holiday River Expeditions

This historical celebration trip on the Green River in Lodore Canyon was superb. Our guides were skilled, mature and knowledgeable allowing all of us seeking to learn, plenty of opportunities! Every aspect of the trip was beyond my dreams. thank you for a life time of memories

by Frank Rossi on Holiday River Expeditions

Karen is a great help. All reservations were handled quickly and completely. All our guides were wonderful. We also especially enjoyed our 3 interpreters on each leg: Roy Webb, Dennis Willis, and John Weisheit

by Benjamin Huff on Holiday River Expeditions

Another great trip! I came two previous times with my dad when I was younger... this time I brought my two sons. The wilderness, the water, the guides, the food.... everything is spectacular! A Holiday trip is something everyone should experience at least once in their life!

by Aaron Brodsky on Holiday River Expeditions

Gates of Lodore with Holiday was fantastic! The food was amazing, the guides were super friendly and approachable, and the experience was unforgettable.

by Derald & Marthe DeYoung on Holiday River Expeditions

Our family of 10 were all totally happy with our experience. Our guides led by Trevor, were fantastic, knowledgeable, very friendly and bent of backwards to be of help and service. I can't say enough about how good the guides were. The food was also fantastic. Our family who had not experienced a trip like this before were extremely impressed with the food and its preparation. Everything was very positive and all 10 of us were very happy campers! Thanks for a great family experience. This was to celebrate our 50th anniversary. Derald DeYoung

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