Lodore Canyon is, perhaps, Holiday’s most popular trip. As the steep, vermillion walls of the Gates of Lodore rise above you, feelings of awe, excitement, and anticipation rise, too—and keep rising for four magical days. The clear water of the upper Green River carries you into a fantasy land of lush vegetation and hidden waterfalls, plus there are beaches, history, and geology to explore. Here we’ve compiled a collection of customer reviews that hit all the high points. You all say it best: this is a place for friends and families to create memories, to eat well, to relax, and for everyone to experience just a little bit of awe.
Holiday Trips Bring My Family Closer Together
Our guides were better than ever. On all our trips they’ve been great. Drew in particular is fun, professional and makes things great. The guides are great to watch out for us old out of shapers… The cuisine was better than home. Your bunch is really good. I will be with you every year till my body can’t do it anymore. It’s been a great vehicle for my family to get close. Thanks to all of you.
By Bill Jensen & Karen Li
Photos Can’t Quite Capture The Magnitude Of The Canyons
I was initially concerned about what state the sleeping kits and tents might be in, but was very pleasantly surprised when we got there. No complaints whatsoever. Guides went beyond what I would have expected to keep everybody comfortable, happy and well fed. The views were spectacular and butt dam falls was a guaranteed kid pleaser. The food was considerably better than I would have expected. Continue to make a fuss about it in your advertising – its good, and I’m a professional chef. And that was even on a trip with fire restrictions so everything was done with propane.
The van ride from Vernal to the put-in was beautiful and how Lane managed to arrange for that rattlesnake to wriggle up to the van when we pulled over was quite a good trick. Neither photos nor DVD images can quite capture the magnitude of the experience. We were overwhelmed by remoteness and beauty at every turn of the road and every bend in the river. The guides only served to enhance the experience, and by the end of the trip they were more like family. We plan on returning to try a different river- maybe the middle fork of the Salmon.
By Tom & Lania Rittenhouse
I Ate Better than at Home
Our gear had absolutely no problems. Bags, tent, and sleeping bag were all in excellent condition and performed exceptionally well. I cannot say enough good things about the guides. They made the trip!!! Zach, Ben and T-Burd are out-of-this-world good and Chet and Christian were incredible additions, full of energy and quick to help. We had great hikes and rapid scouting stops. I am telling all my friends: three gourmet meals per day, totally awesome food … I ate better in camp than I do at home. That’s not just a line it is the truth. The transportation was professional and safe. The best way to describe my experience is to say I am already planning my next trip with Holiday Expeditions.
By Bruce Nielsen
Numerous Wildlife Sightings!
Our guides well exceeded my expectations. Having Drew and Ann as guides on this trip was part of the very wonderful and full experience. I can’t be complimentary enough of them. They are very knowledgeable about the river ecosystem, history, and geology and were great assets in that sense. They were also always pleasant, kind and helpful, and truly became part of our group not just our guides. We loved the hiking and fishing, and for us of course, the yoga. I was expecting typical camping food and that is not what we were served. We appreciated the fresh food. There was always ample quantity, and the guides’ preparation and presentation always made us look forward to the next meal.
We just want to make sure that you know that this was truly one of the most enjoyable things I have ever done. I was surprised at the amount of wildlife we encountered and how beautiful and pristine the scenery was. I also recognize that I was able to truly relax and appreciate the river’s pristine beauty because of the planning and work done by Holiday and the two wonderful guides who accompanied us.
By Heath & Debra Koltenuk
Holiday Crew, A Well-Oiled Machine
While I only traveled in one of the rafts, when we got to shore, it was like watching a well oiled machine at work. All three guides had everything set up and working for us by the time we got our tents and camping spaces set up and before they took time for themselves. I was always glad there was a waterfall when we reached our hiking destination. This was my first time river rafting, and I absolutely enjoyed it. Tilts made sure we got to experience as much as the rapids had to offer. It gave us a new meaning to being “all wet”. Thank you to the crew for a wonderful adventure.
By Eva Lanphear
River Guides are Wonderful Role Models
Everything was very clean, from our bags to our tents! I was worried a bit about using your sleeping bags, but they were very nice. Our three guides were WONDERFUL. They worked really hard and made the trip a pleasure for all the guests. We also had a lot of fun. From horseshoes to hiking, we got to do it all. Food was exceptional! Four of the five members of my family are vegetarian and the food was just great and met all of our needs. What could be better than strawberry shortcake eating contest river side? I want a copy of the Holiday Cookbook! Vans were great and I liked that we stopped two times on the way to the put-in. It made the ride seem very short. The driver was very courteous and was waiting for us upon our return. I think our river experience was one of the best family vacations we ever had. The river guides were wonderful role models for our young teenage sons. They saw them working hard and playing hard and really enjoying themselves. Kyle (who was 19) was a particular favorite and inspired my boys to become river guides themselves someday.
By Michael & Joy Simmonds
Sweet Hike To Jones Hole
Fun guides, very knowledgeable and experienced. They were also great cooks and super helpful and friendly. We had a great hike at Jones Hole and I definitely wasn’t expecting food of that quality. I had done the Lodore trip over 25 years ago as a teenager and had very high expectations based on that original experience. Holiday exceeded my expectations in every way. The guides were very friendly and knowledgeable, and were there to meet my every need. The food was absolutely amazing. How they were able to pull such gourmet meals out of those boats I’ll never know. And all of this in one of the most beautiful places on earth. What an awesome experience. Thank you Holiday!
By Bryce Benson
Our Guides Read the Group Perfectly
Leading women on a river retreat has its challenges. They were all from various backgrounds, experiences and physical capabilities. Our guides read the river expertly, of course, but they also read the group and were very considerate of our elder participants. They also communicated well with me and the other group facilitator and were flexible in forming each river day. Therefore we could experience all we wanted to and still have time for our group circles. Molly and Lauren were AMAZING and WONDERFUL!
By Susie Kincade
Cheerfully Handled Dietary Restrictions
Every facet of the experience was outstanding. I was especially impressed with how competently and cheerfully the guides dealt with clients’ multiple dietary concerns. I have done two Lodore trips now with Holiday Expeditions. As a private boater, I am aware of the many challenges that can arise on whitewater trips. Holiday’s staff and equipment has been top notch. Plus the food has always been ample, healthy and delicious. I would recommend Holiday to anyone!
By Veronica Egan
Wish the Trip Didn’t Have to End
The guides were way above our expectations. Not that we expected a dull trip by any means, but Kerry and Ben made it so much fun. It was my first river trip, and it certainly will NOT be my last. Toward the end, we were already planning to come again next year and do another trip, maybe on another river. This was one of my best vacations yet!!! Hikes were fun and beautiful, and were well narrated and full of interesting facts. I was pretty scared to get in that kayak by myself and go down the rapids, but it was a total blast!! Ready to go again!!! Food was DELICIOUS!!!!! I couldn’t believe those guys could prepare such yummy food at EVERY meal!! And the fact that they had brought it all with them for four days without having to stop at the store, that was amazing! We had a nice chatty ride with Lane up to the canyon, and Kerry and Ben filled us in with all the “rules” and such and things we would expect on the trip. The scenery was beautiful, and the ride was just fine with a quick stop in the middle for a bite to eat since we had gotten up so early and hadn’t had breakfast. When we arrived at the canyon and fitted our life jackets, we loaded the boat, and off we went. The trip back to the office was a short one, but we really weren’t ready for the trip to end. Four days of fabulous fun, and then we had to go back home to the real world. IT WAS A TOTAL BLAST!! LOVED IT!! CAN’T WAIT TO GO AGAIN!!
By Genie Jones
Striking and Stunning River Canyons
This was my first time doing this trip, and I was able to get all the info I needed beforehand by navigating through the website. Very helpful! Our guides were pretty much the coolest people EVER, the hikes were beautiful (and the perfect level of difficulty, so everyone could easily participate) and the food literally blew my mind. Everything was DELICIOUS! I was absolutely blown away by the whole experience. It was my first time rafting, and it will certainly not be my last! The guides were professional, knowledgeable and so much fun to be around. They taught us so many fun new facts about the river and canyons throughout the trip, which I really appreciated. And everywhere you look is just stunningly beautiful and striking. I still can’t stop looking through my photos (which don’t even do it justice!). I would recommend this trip to EVERYONE.
By Emily Sabbatini
A Tale of Two Rivers
The Holiday office coordinators are the friendliest people on the planet. The personal touch….that is what makes dealing with Holiday by phone so easy. There was strong leadership on our trip. I found the staff especially attentive to my food allergy problem (i.e. celiac disease) and that level of attention put me at ease. The hike to the petroglyphs up Jones Hole Creek (my second time) was very rewarding. The Lodore trip is a tale of two rivers: the damned, controlled Green River, and the undammed wild Yampa River. Having done the Yampa previously, I enjoyed the contrast of the Green merging into the Yampa. I also learned that doing the same river twice (i.e. the Yampa) is not the same experience twice: the river is never the same. The staff is just tireless and puts effort into maximizing the group’s experience. Unplugged in the canyons of Utah on swift-river in an ever changing landscape: paradise!
By John Sheff
There is Nothing Like a Women’s Trip!!
Guides were great. ‘Uber’ Guide Jessica and the next great ‘Uber’ Guide Lauren! I loved the hikes when I went, and loved it when I didn’t. Sometimes the best activity is sitting next to a roaring river in a canyon, drinking cold white wine out of a plastic ‘Go with the Flow’ coffee mug and reading fiction! Holy cow that was a lot of good food! There is nothing like a four day women’s trip – Wine, Women, ‘Wrafting’! It was wonderful.
By Susan Ashby
The Trip Was Over The Top!
I especially liked the packing list! I really liked the day we played volleyball, and the food was really good on the whole trip. This trip was over the top! A perfect combination of exciting rapids, great campsites, amazing food, and relaxation. Our trip had 20 girls, 4 boats, and 4 guides–what a perfect girls weekend trip! The only labor was setting up and taking down our tents–the guides did all the rest: cooking, cleaning, rowing. I would highly recommend Holiday River Expeditions and the Gates of Lodore trip.
Trip Review by Tara
The Most Satisfying River Experience
Holiday River Expeditions produced its usual impeccable service and caring guides. So after many years and trips I brought my family for the first time to show them the wonders of Lodore Canyon. I know there will be many more Kelly trips to come. I cannot imagine an outfitter producing a more satisfying river experience. The equipment was very carefully managed. The guides were very conscious of our safety, as well as always helpful and knowledgeable. They all worked very hard to cater to a trip which included grandmothers, and young children, therefore all for a wonderful 30 year birthday celebration.
By Kerry Kelly
We Want to Do it Again Next Summer!
Karen from your office was a gem in helping us figure out all the details of the rafting trip. She explained the highlights of the different river trips and suggested which trip to go on in the time frame we had. It was wonderful to speak with her & helped us book the trip! I liked your website, the photos, video and comments were really helpful and gave me the “visual” of what was to come.
The guides were fantastic. They each were highly skilled oarsmen & also extremely kind, fun, intelligent, nature-loving, grounded, energetic and personable to all guests. It was great to have women & men guides working together & obvious they had respect for each other throughout our time on the Green. (BIG Thanks to Molly, Lauren, Susan, Zack & Leland and trainee Kaitlyn)
Our Gates of Lodore rafting trip was the highlight of our 18 day Utah camping trip this summer. Being on the Green river for 4 days & nights was better than my family & I could have imagined. Fantastic guides and incredible side trips, mouth watering meals, great group of guests, including an array of children 8-14 yrs. Each guest found their comfort zone, whether introvert or extrovert, and by the end of the trip people were content & relaxed. My 9 year old daughter daughter wants to be an oarsman like Lauren, Susan & Molly now! We want to do it all over again next summer. Thanks Holiday – it was a gift to raft with your company.
Review by Maud & Bob Zimmer Demmerle
Our best Women’s trip so far!
I just want to tell you how wonderful the raft trip was. All of the women are still raving about it and talking about going on another. It really went above and beyond all expectations, and for me that includes the planning part and working with you to make our women’s trip the best so far.
The food was beyond impressive and I don’t even have to say “for camping food”. Everyone was surprised at the variety of offerings, how good it was, and the details that went into preparing and presenting. Of course we were also impressed that you could safely feed gluten free and garlic free eaters with delicious appetizers, pancakes and dinners that we don’t even treat ourselves with at home!
I don’t know how you manage to hire such great guides. We felt safe in their expertise, but they also waited on us hand and foot (see photo). Plus they socialized in the evening after working incredibly hard all day. It was fun seeing Kerry again and the women all enjoyed his stories and that he would share so much about the land and geology.
I will be contacting you within the next few years for a trip with my family. I can’t wait to do another trip with your company, nor can I thank you enough!
Trip Review by Deb Roberts
A Safe & Respectful Way To Explore Our National Parks
The food was phenomenal! Who would have thought to have freshly baked pineapple upside down cake when camping? This was no “hotdog and hamburger” trip. I have finally stopped talking about this trip to everyone and now take time to write about it. I would like to give a huge thank you to those who first created this company, especially in showing us that our national parks and rivers can be safely explored and respected. I’m truly grateful to be able to experience this trip and with the perfect group. The guides were informative, entertaining and I really felt very safe with them. Thank you again to all at Holiday River!
By Elizabeth Geraghty
The Key Word is FUN!
I always try not to have a ton of expectations but you guys exceeded every one of them! The guides who took us down the Green River were all amazing people who went out of their way to make the trip nothing but seamless fun. The key word here is FUN! This is not an act for these guides, they love what they do and they purposely integrate the guests in to their fun. I cannot stop gushing about how epic the trip was and have already referred several people to Holiday Expeditions.
By Steve Epstein
An Intimate & Beautiful Step Out Of Our Daily Lives
This trip was among the best we’ve taken in the last decade. We decided to make this a reunion trip with a few couples from earlier times in our lives. It was a great decision and allowed us to become reacquainted in an atmosphere that was both intimate as well as beautiful. Your guides were truly facilitators of our enjoyment in every possible facet of the experience. Kudos to Holiday Expedition for putting in the hard work that allows people like us to step outside of our daily lives into such an incredible environment.
By Wayne & Kathy Adams
Holiday Runs a Great Program
Three thumbs up on the food. It was much better than I anticipated with fresh veggies and fresh fruit all prepared quickly and efficiently by our guides. The presentation flair of the pineapple spears was just great! A+++ Holiday River Expeditions will meet and then EXCEED your expectations. They have a great program run by great staff. You won’t be disappointed. HIGHLY recommended.
By David Seffren
Sending a BIG Thank You!!
To Jess, T-Burd (Ka-Kaww), Wade and all the folks at Holiday River Expeditions,
Thank you for sharing this amazing experience with us. Our whitewater rafting trip was an adventure our family will cherish always. The trip was filled with great adventure, incredible natural beauty and really really good people. Smart, passionate, funny and equally important, talented in the culinary arena, you guys were awesome.
Our run down the Green river through Lodore Canyon was the kind of outdoor adventure our family lives for, time away connecting with nature to replenish the soul and heighten the spirit.
Thanks again for a truly inspiring experience, you’ll not soon be forgotten.
David, Zaida, Ethan & Aidan
Guides Take the Trip to the Next Level
The guides are impressive, and truly contribute to the overall experience. They were intelligent, informative, helpful, interesting, fun and just plain nice (and some pretty good cooks too)! They raise the bar high. The food was great – fresh and well prepared. The raft trip itself is beautiful and wondrous, but your people are definitely your best asset. Excellent trip! We have been telling everyone about your company and will definitely take more trips.
By Todd Williams & Vinita Robitsch
One Of The Top 2 Vacations We’ve Ever Taken!
Making it easy for us, your office staff at the Holiday River Expeditions headquarters helped us pick a perfect trip for kids who are 8 and 10. The Green River through Lodore Canyon. There were two other families with kids on our trip, which was great. We were glad we used your rental gear, the bags were actually a little bigger than expected. Next time I will bring more clothes! We also rented the sleep kit with the tents. All the gear was in top shape. Our guides, Lauren, Wade, Julian, and TJ were fantastic. They were very knowledgeable and tons of fun. Wade was also totally hot! 🙂 The two hikes we did were terrific. The second one was a little long for the 8 year old, as we only made it half way.
The only thing I would recommend is adding some cards or small games in your “KIDS” Kit. The food was amazing, I never eat that well at home, never mind in the wilderness! Your vans were comfortable and did the job. Overall, My 10 year old daughter’s comment sums it up perfectly, “it was like a 4-star hotel without the roof”. One of the top 2 vacations we have ever taken. The kids loved it!!
The McCarthy-Barrette Family
The Commitment to “Leave No Trace”
The guides were great, especially in that they shared knowledge of the geology and history of the area. It was a very big part of the enjoyment of the trip for me. They also were great in their commitment to “leave no trace” camping. Meals were “delicious”, says David (age 12) and Dad and Sis agree. It was an excellent trip, the supplied equipment worked well, but your guides’ genuine care about what they were doing and the area they were in, make the trip special. Thanks.
By Steven Cecchini
Outdoor Family Fun Time
Our guides were phenomenal, and the hikes were spectacular. I’ve done many trips of this type and this was certainly the best yet. This was the perfect outdoor family fun trip, and highly recommended. I will definitely be back.
By Christopher Armstrong
Comfortable, Safe And Exciting
The guides were absolutely amazing. They made the trip enjoyable, while making sure everyone was comfortable and safe. Zac, Jordan, Jessica and “Tilts”, thanks – you all did a great job! We all had a blast. The biggest surprise on the trip was the food. Wow! The food was great! Holiday did a fantastic job; truly a step above other outfitters. One of the best trips I’ve ever taken. The river was so much fun. The scenery in Lodore Canyon was breathtaking. The guides were world-class. We all had a blast. Can’t wait to come back and do it all again.
By Doug Jentzsch
First Timers Get Ready For A Blast!
My trip with Holiday was the first whitewater rafting trip I had ever been on. The food was out of this world. The guides created wonderful meals with the Dutch oven and a small tank of propane. You wouldn’t think it possible outside of a full kitchen (lasagna, filet mignon, omelets, muffins, brownies). They always had the instant gratification table to soothe your hunger right when you get off the boats while they prepare the meals.
The guides were enthusiastic, amicable, and very knowledgeable about the river. Also, it impressed me that Holiday left no visible imprint on the river or the campsites. They were great at picking up all food scraps, taking appropriate care of human waste, and telling kids to knock down the sandcastles they made on the beach. This was important to me, to leave things as I found them and it was executed impeccably by the guides.
The rapids were excellent too – we went on the Green River through the Gates of Lodore. The water was really high and the current fast. The guides maneuvered them safely and conservatively while providing exceptional thrill. At no time did I ever think that I was going to fall out of the boat, though I was holding on pretty tight for some of the gnarly waves and rapids. The guides facilitated an excellent way to bond with close friends and make new friends too. The trip went way too fast and I would definitely consider Holiday at the forefront when I decide to make my next rafting trip and have already recommended to my family and friends.
By Ryan Bouckaert
Your Guides were Great Role Models!
Matt and TBurd are so enjoyable, very different people, yet highly engaging and fun. They were good role models for my grandsons. I loved the waterfall hikes. This takes extra effort on the part of the guides and is much appreciated. The guides went to extra trouble–particularly with the campfires and s’mores, thank you. It was very nice also to be with such nice people who were also on the trip.
By Martha Gilliland
Fine Attention to Details
The rental bags and the bag system are excellent. Other rafting companies don’t use the numbering system which causes a lot of confusion. I’ve never been disappointed with the guides. Plus the hikes and food were excellent. As always I am impressed by Holiday’s fine attention to little details. Nothing goes wrong on your trips; nothing is forgotten and every base is covered. The systems you have from the numbered bags and life vests, to washing dishes down stream, to introducing everyone to each other before the trip begins are all far superior to the other rafting outfitters I have used.
By Richard Oatman
Befriended By Otters
I rode on all of the rafts, and must say that ALL of the guides were exceptional. They really made the trip a memorable one! The food was better than I cook for myself. They should have a reality show of river rafting cooking….you would win! The overall experience was a great one! From the beginning to the end when we were surprised by the two otters at the “take out”, what more can be said…It was a blast!!!
By Cindy Ludwig
What a Memorable Birthday Trip
The food was excellent! I have allergies and sensitivities which can be hard to handle, and it was all handled VERY well, so I couldn’t be more pleased. This was the trip of a lifetime. I gathered nine family members to commemorate a special birthday, and this was also handled very well. We got a lot of special attention and it was clearly noted what trips we had done in the past; you maintain an excellent database! We were very pleased! What a memorable birthday trip, it was PERFECT!
By James Waldman & Sarah Williams
The food was AMAZING! The trip was absolute heaven. Such beautiful scenery brings peace to your soul. The guides were genuinely concerned about creating a great experience! I can’t imagine a summer without a river trip with Holiday!
By Beth Stauffer
It’s Liberating To Be “Off The Grid”
Lodore Canyon was beautiful. It was a great time on the river unplugging from the stresses of work. Mike and Doug were very knowledgeable, friendly and accommodating. I would encourage anyone considering a river trip to go ahead and book it. If you enjoy the outdoors and being off the grid, you’ll love this trip!
By Erwin & Tanya Kratz
Night Time Circles Around The Campfire
Our guides, Ben, Tim and Peter were fantastic. They made our time on the river really fun. They’re also great cooks! We went on the Gates of Lodore trip, and the entire experience was phenomenal! The scenery was breathtaking, the rapids were exciting, and our guides made the whole experience a ton of fun. We loved everything: the hikes, the amazingly delicious meals, the inflatable kayaks, and the circle time at night around the campfire. Everything was better than we could have imagined, and we can’t wait for our next river trip!
By Sameer & Carin Giga
Rollicking Good Time!!
Our guides were handsome, witty, funny, and very entertaining. We had a dozen teenage girls on the trip and they kept the girls busy playing games, enjoying ambushes on the other boats, and generally having a rollicking good time on the paddle boats. I really enjoyed the waterfall hike. The food was high quality and yummy. It was terrific not to have to cook. It was an excellent trip overall, we will definitely be coming back. Thanks to the outstanding river guides, especially Nema and Zack.
By Barbara Rizzardi
The Cure To “Nature Deficit Disorder”
Thanks to everyone. But especially the guides who were thoughtful care takers of our extended family and their individual needs (8-68 years old). If your kids are suffering from “Nature Deficit Disorder” in their wired world, ask the doctor to prescribe a float trip on the Green River. You won’t be disappointed with the outcome.
By John & Nancy Rasmuson
Thank you for a Great Experience!
The guides surpassed my expectations, the food was incredible. I travelled thousands of miles from the Republic of the Marshall Islands for my whitewater experience with Holiday Expeditions, and I must say it was worth it. The guides were personable and extremely competent. They helped to make the experience truly unforgettable. I plan on returning to the Green River with friends in the near future. Thank you for a great experience.
By Ricardo Fullerton