Painting with Watercolors Workshop on the Green River

When was the last time you got together with a group of artists and adventurers to paint in watercolor? This fluid, lyrical art form is the perfect medium of expression for a workshop while floating through Lodore Canyon.  Treat yourself to 4 days of humbling canyon walls, playful rapids, delicate grottoes, and decidedly decent dining, all while digesting the canyon’s magic through art. We have enlisted the best when it comes to our artist in “river-dence-” Michal Onyon, who has married her stunning artwork with Holiday River Expeditions trips for over three decades.

This watercolor workshop on the Green River takes you to Colorado’s northwestern and Utah’s northeastern corner, a wonderland of dramatic geology. A full four-day trip through the Gates of Lodore is the easiest and best way to see remote sections of Dinosaur National Monument. Starting at Browns Park, we quickly pass through the Gates of Lodore and are greeted with majestic red quartzite walls towering 800 feet above. Throw in crystal clear water, and green coniferous trees, and you’ll have all the inspiration needed to start painting! Each campsite brings sandy white beaches to lounge on and paint the scenery in front of you. Or, if you’re looking for more movement, take a hike up a side canyon from camp. Who knows what sort of magical wonderland awaits you! Regardless, the leisurely pace will give you ample daylight at camp to paint to your heart’s content. Don’t worry though – this trip isn’t just leisure! Exciting Class II to IV rapids each day of this trip ensure the perfect balance of relaxation and adrenaline. Michal has created a supply list so you are sure to have everything you’ll need!  The visual supply list is below in the video section.

To learn more about this majestic river check out our Insider’s Guide to Lodore Canyon!

Things to do and see in Vernal, Utah

About Michal:

Michal Onyon with Artwork

Michal Onyon’s  en pleine aire watercolors of nature have been in gallery shows and were instrumental in awarding her an art residency in Zion National Park. These small, easy paintings are a creative visual of a moment of time observing land and light. To her, they are like zen postcards, where even sounds and the feeling of the air can be remembered. We rarely stay in one spot very long and for her, painting heightens looking closer and longer. In this journey, painting ability does not matter. We can all learn with each other. Come as you are and create in a beautiful place with us.

In an effort to end the erasure of the traditional inhabitants of the land through which we recreate, Holiday acknowledges that Lodore Canyon is the homeland of the Eastern Shoshone people and the Núu-agha-tʉvʉ-pʉ̱ (Ute) people. We honor and respect these people, and continue to develop our land acknowledgment initiative. Read more here.
Book This Trip

Trip Overview

  • Type:


  • Location:

    Green River - Dinosaur National Monument

  • Length:

    4 Days

  • Dates:

    Aug 29 - Sep 1

  • Meet at:

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

  • Difficulty:


  • Min. Age:


  • Deposit:



  • Find artistic inspiration from dramatic cliffs and geology
  • Technical and thrilling class III & IV rapids
  • Plentiful wildlife sightings & world-class trout fishing
  • Daily hike options to overlooks and secret waterfalls
  • Early days to camp provide ample time for painting
Getting Here Before You Go Packing List FAQs

Rates & Dates

4 Day

  • Adult:
  • $1,300
  • Youth:
    18 and under
  • $1,300
  • Senior:
    65 and older
  • $1,300
  • Group:
    10 or more
  • $1,300
Book This Trip
Check Availability
  • Aug 29 - Sep 1

*Rate does not include the $27 land use fee.


Beginning in northwestern Colorado, the mildly flowing Green River picks up momentum as it slips through the imposing Gates of Lodore through remote parts of Dinosaur National Monument. Float through breathtakingly clear water and hear stories of John Wesley Powell’s adventures while scouting the rapids of Lodore Canyon. In just 19 miles, the Green River picks up the Yampa at Echo Park. A lull in rapids is brief before the Green swirls through Whirlpool Canyon and brings us back into Utah. One more rest as the river slows its speed through the calm stretch of Island Park, before we launch into Split Mountain Canyon to close out the trip with eight miles of rapids!

Sample Itinerary

The night before your trip, we’ll all meet at our headquarters in Vernal, Utah at 7:00pm. This pre-trip orientation is the perfect time to receive your waterproof bags, give us any personal drinks, and learn more about our four-day float. Our accessories store will also be open for you to acquire any last minute items (see our packing checklist for a list of items you can find at our store).

Day 1:

Meet back at our Vernal Headquarters bright and early at 7:00am. Snooze, or watch for raptors and pronghorns on the three-hour drive from Vernal to the put in at Browns Park National Wildlife Refuge. Imagine you’re one of John Wesley Powell’s boatmen, entering the great unknown as we pass through the impressive Gates of Lodore. We’ll navigate our first named rapid, Winnie’s, and stop for a delicious lunch – everything tastes even better on the river. The afternoon brings us to our first scouted rapid, Disaster Falls. Hike with your guides to see this rapid, and hear just how it got such a formidable name! Enjoy soft sand and gorgeous views at camp as you consider your first painting. Meanwhile, your guides whip up a delectable dinner.

Day 2:

Awake to your guides pouring you hot coffee and serving you a hot breakfast! We’re in high desert country now—the Colorado Plateau. This landscape is teeming with wildlife: bighorn sheep, beavers, bald eagles, and great blue herons are just a few animals you may see. Today’s river miles may be short, but they’re certainly be memorable! We’ll tackle the technical rapids of Lodore Canyon: Harp Falls, Triplet Falls, and Hell’s Half Mile. From camp, hike to Rippling Brook and discover a secluded waterfall before enjoying another delicious river-front dinner.

Day 3:

As we exit Lodore Canyon and meet the Yampa River at Echo Park, the canyon widens and the river circles Steamboat Rock. Enjoy another riverside lunch while your guides share the significance of Echo Park with you. Downstream, 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 River’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 3:00 p.m. Marvel as your guides make quick work of loading the boats onto our waiting trailers. After a short, 30-minute drive, we’ll return to the warehouse between 4:00 and 5:00pm.

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!

women on beach with watercolor books

The nature of all river trips is extremely variable. This itinerary is only one possibility!  Camp sites, water levels, weather, and the interest of the group can all impact the daily schedule of a river trip. That’s why we love to say, “Go with the flow!”


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