Yampa River Rafting with Del Sol String Quartet

Yampa River Del Sol Music Band ShotFor the fourth year in a row, we combine the magic of Yampa River rafting with the uplifting joy of classical music. Join Holiday and the Del Sol String Quartet for five days of sunrise string quartet concerts, endless canyon scenery, and exhilarating whitewater. A “string quartet that thrives outside the concert hall,” Del Sol is all about “music that brings out the endorphins.” The Yampa River is, too. It’s the only major river in the Colorado River system that is unregulated by a dam. Endorphins are just the beginning. Experience the power of true wilderness and truly talented musicians.

The Yampa River flows through Dinosaur National Monument (designated an International Dark Sky Park in 2019), through canyon walls so white they reflect the starlight. Consequently, every Yampa trip features spectacular scenery, rich cultural history, and the thrill of fast-moving water. In additional to all that the Yampa offers, relish fireside rehearsal sessions each evening and short hikes to epic, natural concert venues in the morning. This trip is a perfect blend of wilderness and auditory art. Listen to the strings of skilled artists harmonizing with the sounds of nature. Carry the tunes with you throughout the day as you discover all the ways that the Yampa is WILD. And allow the rhythms of the natural world to carry you away from our ultra-connected modernity with each passing day.

Read more about the members of the Del Sol String Quartet.

Vernal, Utah: Things to Do and Places to Explore

Featured Reviews:

“See if your foot can stay still once you put on this funky disc of rhythmically infectious (if often warped) music played by the adventurous Del Sol String Quartet” (New York Times)

“…robust, finely blended ensemble playing, rhythmic alertness and a fearless willingness to take on a wide range of contemporary repertoire” (San Francisco Chronicle)

Book This Trip

Trip Overview

  • Type:

    Music

  • Location:

    Yampa River - Dinosaur National Monument

  • Length:

    5 Days

  • Dates:

    June 7-11, 2024

  • Meet at:

    Vernal, UT @ 7:00 pm (night before the trip)

  • Difficulty:

    Intermediate

  • Min. Age:

    8

  • Prices:

    $1,565 + $12 park entrance fee

  • Deposit:

    400

Highlights

  • Enjoy informal concerts from a professional string quartet
  • Run the rapids of a truly wild river
  • Consistent whitewater fun for inflatable kayaks
  • Colorful, varied geology and massive canyon walls
  • Fully catered meals and riverside camping
Getting Here Before You Go Packing List FAQs

Rates & Dates

Itinerary

The Yampa River runs wild and free out of the mountains near Steamboat Springs, CO and flows into the canyons of Dinosaur National Monument. For 47 miles, beginning at Deer Lodge Park, the Yampa flows through colorful canyons and deeply incised meanders. It meets the Green River in Echo Park, where the waters of the two rivers merge gradually, cross the Utah state line, and roll through Whirlpool and Split Mountain canyons.

Sample Itinerary

Don’t miss the pre-trip meeting at Holiday’s headquarters in Vernal, Utah, at 7:00 p.m., Mountain Time! This is when we’ll hand out waterproof bags and provide instructions on how to pack them. Buy any last-minute items from our store (see our packing checklist for a list of items you can find at our store) and ask any last-minute questions!

Day 1:

Meet back at our warehouse bright and early, toss your packed bags into a raft for transport, and then we’ll hit the road for the 90-minute drive to the put in at Deerlodge Park in Colorado. Once on the river, Yampa Canyon swallows us up, and we’re off! Rapids begin almost immediately: small, but splashy. We’ll pause for lunch along the shore, and set up camp in a grove of juniper trees just above Teepee Rapid.

Day 2:

The soft lilt of stringed instruments will be your wake-up call. Enjoy the first morning concert from the members of the Del Sol Quartet, then meander down to our camp kitchen for breakfast. Teepee Rapid starts the day: a big splash in a raft or an even bigger splash in an inflatable kayak! We’ll hit several more rapids on our way to lunch, and possibly hike up Starvation Valley, the side canyon that feeds the second big rapid of the trip, Big Joe. Camp tonight at Mather’s Hole and sleep in a natural amphitheater – perfect for another musical performance.

Day 3:

Another sunrise concert and gourmet breakfast give way to a gentle float past The Grand Overhang and Cleopatra’s Couch. Visit the Mantle Cave, an archaeological site, and then float past Tiger Wall, a striped sandstone overhang. They say kissing it brings good luck for just a few miles downstream we’ll run Warm Springs Rapid. In 1965, a massive debris flow from Warm Springs Draw choked the Yampa with boulders, forming the river’s largest rapid. Celebrate our successful passage with a meal of chicken fajitas and homemade sopaipillas! Listen to the quartet work through its evening tuning session while the stars turn on and the Milky Way glows.

Day 4:

Today’s morning harmony is a prelude to the confluence of the Yampa and the Green rivers at Echo Park. Here the canyon widens and the rivers flow together around Steamboat Rock and into Whirlpool Canyon. The afternoon may be spent hiking or lounging at Jones Hole Creek: a picturesque trout stream with a waterfall and pictographs. We’ll camp downstream for one more night of music, stars, and camaraderie. Feast on steak or salmon and a decadent dessert before drifting off to sleep with the sounds of the river soothing your slumber.

Day 5:

Soft string sounds send us off into a peaceful morning in Island and Rainbow parks. Paddle an inflatable kayak in calm water and look for bald eagle nests in the cottonwood trees along the river. After lunch, we’ll run the last rapids of the trip. Split Mountain Gorge includes Moonshine, SOB, Schoolboy, and Inglesby rapids. One after the other, the splashing continues all the way to the take out. After loading up the boats and gear, it’s a 30-minute ride back to Vernal. Our expected time of arrival back at our headquarters is 4:00 p.m.

Please note: this is a sample itinerary and is solely intended to give you an idea of what the trip will be like. Keep an open mind, be flexible, go with the flow, and enjoy!

Yampa River Whitewater Cloud Guests

Any trip on a wild river will be changeable by nature. Every Yampa trip will be a little bit different based on the campsites we are assigned, the interests of your group, weather, and the need to be considerate of other groups on the river. This sample itinerary illustrates one possible five-day Yampa River trip.

Reviews

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Holiday River Expeditions
Average rating:  
 7 reviews
 by Bette Hess

Our guides exceeded all my expectations! They were all amazing. Em, Zack, Ben, Drake, and Kyle were a positive team. All were talented, skilled and made our trip and meals seamless. Each was always ready to assist at any time. Great chefs and #1 team.



Loved the rafting adventure. Enjoyed the Del Sol Quartet sounds in the canyons and on the water in our flotilla.

 by Katherine Hess

Shar was very responsive and answered all my mom's many questions.

The guides were very professional and skilled. Couldn't believe their amazing culinary skills. And they made a multi-night river experience very natural, easy, and fun!

Our trip with Del Sol was particularly special with amazing musicianship, interest in local river and canyon acoustics, and diverse repertoire that we all really enjoyed. We felt so lucky to have had this great experience!

 by Steve Messier

It was a well-organized experience that ran like clockwork and provided the clients with a safe and varied rafting adventure, excellent meals, and well-informed and personable guides.

 by Lisa Ross

The Yampa River Trip with Holiday was fabulous!

This was my first river trip and definitely NOT my last. The guides did an excellent job of orienting a newbie like myself. I can't wait to schedule a trip for next year.

 by Eric Alban

Awesome trip in all ways. The Guide-client ratio was excellent. Beautiful scenery/nature/outdoors experiences, fantastic food, sharing quality time with friends, guides, self at choice. I have done trips with HRE for a couple of decades and will continue to do so:) Great job all!

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