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 FAQs

Rates & Dates

4 Day

  • Adult:
  • $1,075
  • Youth:
    18 and under
  • $955
  • Senior:
    65 and older
  • $955
  • Group:
    10 or more
  • $955
Book This Trip
Check Availability
2021
  • May
  • 21, 25, 29
  • June
  • 2, 19, 26, 29
  • July
  • 1, 2, 6, 8, 9, 13, 15, 16, 20, 22, 23, 27, 29, 31
  • August
  • 3, 5, 6, 10, 12, 17, 19, 24, 26, 27, 28, 31
  • September
  • 1, 3, 8, 10

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.

 

Sample 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:  
 147 reviews
by Ray Kelsey on Holiday River Expeditions

Our first family river trip couldn't have been more perfect. The canyons and river are spectacular. Guides were friendly, knowledgeable, and professional. Equipment was top of the line. Food was amazing and always fresh; eggs cooked to order, hors d'oeuvres, homemade lasagna, fajitas, steak, deserts, and more! Health, safety, and sanitation were always top priority. Not having to worry about logistics or navigation made it so relaxing for us parents. Guides do practically everything. Kids had a blast and can't wait to go again! Holiday is a class act and has this trip dialed in tight. You won't regret it. Money well spent. If you've never been on a river trip, you can't go wrong on this one!

by Carol Wolff on Holiday River Expeditions

We worked directly with Karen at Holiday. She was great. Everything was first class! Amazing - four day trip on the Green River through Lodore Canyon. Everything was first class from start to finish: booking the trip, the guides and the AWESOME food. I can't wait for my next river adventure with Holiday!

by David & Elayne Harmer on Holiday River Expeditions

Karen was awesome, as always! Our trip down the Green through the Gates of Lodore was fantastic. I honestly couldn't give any suggestions for improvement! Justin was a phenomenal team leader and inspired confidence every time he spoke--we knew we were in good hands. Cloud was not only super interesting and personable and a skilled boatman, she was also a fount of knowledge--she answered every question I threw at her, whether it was history, geology, native cultures, etc. Jack and Tyler and Katie were also great. The food was delicious! I loved the hikes but wish we could've done more.

by Kay DEvelyn on Holiday River Expeditions

Susan and crew were fantastic. Truly, even though the weather was a challenge during one day, they did everything possible to make us comfortable and cared for

by Faith Gartrell on Holiday River Expeditions

Our trip was great! Adjustments to food and food prep due to COVID were well thought out and geared for safety. The guides are informative, passionate about their jobs and well versed in the politics affecting the future of our rivers and wilderness

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