Gates of Lodore Rafting Trips

Rafting through the Gates of Lodore is like entering an enchanted wonderland. Lodore is beautiful the way that the pages of an illustrated children’s book are beautiful. Steep, forested red cliffs tower over the crystal-clear water of the upper Green River. Big horn sheep, bears, osprey, eagles, and other wildlife roam the river banks, and history comes to life through rapids and rock art. Deep in the heart of Dinosaur National Monument in northwestern Colorado and northeastern Utah, Lodore Canyon rafting trips are great for families and first-time river runners. It’s an especially relaxing trip, with easy days on the water and plenty of time for hiking as well as playing and relaxing on the beautiful sandy beach camps.

Gates of Lodore rafting trips carry you over some of the West’s best rapids, including Disaster Falls and Hells Half Mile. There are also dozens of smaller rapids that are great fun to paddle in inflatable kayaks. Hike to secret waterfalls or swimming holes. Marvel at thousand-year-old pictographs and petroglyphs left behind by some of the canyon’s original inhabitants. Spend time reconnecting with your friends and family, or make new friends! And above all, there’s geology! Nowhere else are the folds and faults of our planet’s crust so colorfully or clearly displayed. Lodore is one place that has to be seen to be believed.

Featured Review:

The whole Holiday crew is the best! The guides, activities, food, and transportation all come together to make a perfect trip. I love meeting the various river personalities. The team assembled by Holiday really represents the core values of the company and dedication to teaching guests about the wonders of the desert and Colorado River system. The food is delicious, healthy, and expertly prepared. I keep coming back to Holiday again and again because the experience is unmatched. No matter the crew we assemble, Holiday goes with the flow (ha) and makes it an enjoyable trip. (Jesse Dean)

Read more: Insider’s Guide to Rafting the Green River through Lodore Canyon Blog

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Trip Overview

  • Type:

    Rafting

  • Location:

    Green River - Dinosaur National Monument

  • Length:

    4 Days

  • Dates:

    May–September

  • Meet at:

    Vernal, Utah @ 7:00 am

  • Difficulty:

    Intermediate

  • Min. Age:

    8

  • Deposit:

    300

Highlights

  • 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
2020
  • 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

Itinerary

The Green River slips through the imposing Gates of Lodore, into the heart of Dinosaur National Monument in northwestern Colorado. The Green meets the Yampa River at Echo Park, then drops into Whirlpool Canyon and across the state line into Utah. It meanders through the idyllic Island Park, and then ducks into Split Mountain Canyon for eight more miles of rapids before washing up at the Split Mountain boat ramp and our take out point.

 

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 and the river circles Steamboat Rock. Beyond this, the river cuts through the dramatic Mitten Park Fault and 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:

Enjoy a 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. Run Moonshine, S.O.B., Schoolboy, and Inglesby rapids and slide into the take out at approximately 2:00 p.m. Our expected time of arrival back at our headquarters is about 4:00 p.m.

Please keep in mind that this is a sample itinerary and may not be the exact trip you’ll experience. Lodore Canyon offers countless options and each trip may feature different highlights. This is just one possible itinerary. Keep an open mind, be flexible, go with the flow, and enjoy!

One of the best parts of a river trip is its flexibility. Weather, assigned campsites, river conditions, and countless other variables mean that every trip is different. This sample itinerary illustrates one possible four-day trip through Lodore Canyon.

Reviews

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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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